Edward Abbott

Silhouette of Edward Abbott (Parliament of Tasmania)

Edward Abbott (1801–69), writer, was the eldest son of Edward Abbott (Deputy Judge Advocate 1815–25 and Civil Commandant of Launceston 1825–32). Founder in 1839 of the Hobart Town Advertiser, Abbott served as MLA for Clarence (1856–64), MLC for Cambridge (1864–66), Usher of Black Rod (1867–69), Warden of Clarence (1860–69), justice of the peace and magistrate.

Abbott was the author of The English and Australian cookery book. Cookery for the many, as well as for the “upper ten thousand”. By an Australian aristologist (London, 1864). Acknowledged as the first Australian cookery book, it is an extraordinary collection of recipes, lengthy quotations, pithy maxims, history and science, described by the Tasmanian Times as 'a very readable book indeed, and eminently characteristic of the author's peculiar studies, favourite pursuits, and natural humour'. (See also Food.)

Further reading: T Marshall, 'Edward Abbott and aristology', Tasmanian Ancestry 20/3, 1999; G Pont et al, Landmarks of Australian gastronomy, Sydney, 1988; Tasmanian Times, 5 April 1869.

Tony Marshall