James Ross

Illustration from one of James Ross' almanacs, 1830 (Tasmaniana Library, SLT)

James Ross (17861838), teacher and editor, a Scot who had conducted schools, emigrated to Van Diemen's Land in 1822. He received a land grant, but by 1825 was working as a tutor to Lt-Governor Arthur's children, and the government printer and editor of the Hobart Town Gazette. In 1827 he began the independent Hobart Town Courier. During the 1830s he clashed often with his rivals Melville, Bent and RL Murray, always defending the government line. In 1829 he began the annual Hobart Town Almanack, and in 1835 a short-lived literary journal, the Van Diemen's Land Monthly Magazine. He published An Essay on Prison Discipline (Hobart, 1833), and his account of life in the colony appeared in his Almanack of 1836. He sold his printing, bookbinding and stationery interests in 1836.

Further reading: ADB 2; E Morris Miller, Pressmen and governors, Sydney, 1952.

Michael Sprod