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Moral Activist: Dr Edward Swarbreck Hall @Allport Library and Museum of Fin...
Thu. 2 February 2017, 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm AEDT
Speaker: Stefan Petrow
MORAL ACTIVIST: DR. EDWARD SWARBRECK HALL IN TASMANIA 1850-1881
Every society needs a change agent to challenge the complacency of the elites and to defend the dispossessed and the vulnerable from abuse and mistreatment. There were very few change agents in nineteenth century Tasmania, where a culture of conformity and self-interest flourished. Arguably the most prominent change agent was Dr Edward Swarbreck Hall, who was a thorn in the side of the Establishment of Van Diemen’s Land. For nearly fifty years after his arrival in 1833 he clashed with doctors, administrators, politicians and the clergy. As a doctor he protected the inmates of the convict system, the Cascades Female Factory and the Queen’s Orphan Asylum from oppression and mistreatment. He agitated for the protection of the public from infectious diseases and their vaccination against smallpox, and he defended Catholics and Catholicism from sectarian attack by Protestant critics. This paper will look more closely at some of the campaigns of Hall, who, with great moral courage and passion, renounced the pursuit of private gain and strove tirelessly for the benefit of the sick and powerless.
This talk forms part of Professional Historians of Australia (Tasmania) and the Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office program of public lectures held in the Allport Library, Ground Floor, 91 Murray Street, Hobart.
Image: Tasmanian Archive and Heritage Office: Photograph - portrait - carte de visite - Hall, Edward SwarbreckM.D. - one time Health Officer of Hobart - c. 1860s - Photo taken by Charles A. Woolley, 42 Macquarie Street, Hobart. (Series Ref: PH31/1/1753)