Thomas Reibey

Thomas Reibey, a cartoon by Thomas Midwood (AOT, PH30/1/3111)

Thomas Reibey (18211912), clergyman, farmer and politician, was born at Entally House, Hadspen. Reibey was the first native-born Tasmanian to be ordained in the colony, at a ceremony performed in 1844 by Bishop Nixon. He was a popular cleric, with both his parishioners in Launceston and Carrick, and the Anglican Synod (his personal wealth made a stipend unnecessary). In 1868 Reibey was accused of attempted seduction, and unsuccessfully sued for libel. This scandal of 'the ecclesiastical debauchee' led to his resignation in 1870. However, the mobility of Tasmanian colonial society was such that within four years Reibey was sitting in the House of Assembly. He held his seat until 1903, and was Premier from 1876 to 1877.

Further reading: ADB 6.

Wendy Rimon