The story of Bishopscourt is one of many people, places and moments spanning three centuries.

Find out about some of the people who have been associated with this place, walk where their stories unfolded, and learn about some of the people who shaped modern day Tasmania and the world around it, including the accidental leader of the Turning Point of WW2 in 1942, the D-Day invasion in 1944 and the surrender of the Germany Army in 1945.

A Turning Point in History

Monty’s Tasmanian Childhood

No Deal - Monty Ends WW2 in Europe

Click on the images to learn more.

THOMAS HORNE, THE COLOURFUL BANKRUPT ATTORNEY GENERAL   Within a year of being admitted to the Supreme Court in February 1830, Thomas Horne became involved in lively politics. He was a Judge, Attorney General, first member for Hobart in the Legislative Council and later President.  His finances were precarious: at one point he admitted to losing £20,000 in trading with New Zealand and was forced to sell properties. He was appointed Attorney General in 1844 to help avoid insolvency! He was the first occupant and builder of what would become Bishopscourt.

THOMAS HORNE, THE COLOURFUL BANKRUPT ATTORNEY GENERAL

Within a year of being admitted to the Supreme Court in February 1830, Thomas Horne became involved in lively politics. He was a Judge, Attorney General, first member for Hobart in the Legislative Council and later President.

His finances were precarious: at one point he admitted to losing £20,000 in trading with New Zealand and was forced to sell properties. He was appointed Attorney General in 1844 to help avoid insolvency! He was the first occupant and builder of what would become Bishopscourt.

MONTY OF EL ALAMEIN, WW2 HERO  One of the most interesting families to live at Bishopscourt was the  Montgomery family . The house changed considerably during a major building phase in 1889 in preparation for the arrival of a new bishop, Bishop Montgomery, and his family at the height of the British Empire.  One of the children, Bernard Montgomery, 1st. Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (Monty), became a noted British Commander and WW2 hero, but his childhood in Tasmania is not so well known.

MONTY OF EL ALAMEIN, WW2 HERO

One of the most interesting families to live at Bishopscourt was the Montgomery family. The house changed considerably during a major building phase in 1889 in preparation for the arrival of a new bishop, Bishop Montgomery, and his family at the height of the British Empire.

One of the children, Bernard Montgomery, 1st. Viscount Montgomery of Alamein (Monty), became a noted British Commander and WW2 hero, but his childhood in Tasmania is not so well known.

MAUD MONTGOMERY, A VERY INDEPENDENT WOMAN   Maud, wife of Bishop Montgomery from the age of 16 and mother of 8, was the third daughter of the eminent English clergyman, preacher and author, Frederic William Farrar. She maintained resolutely a wide range of domestic, diocesan and philanthropic responsibilities. She was said to have inherited her father's concern for moral righteousness and an ability in public speaking, as shown in her dealings with equally strong-minded Lady Hamilton at Government House.

MAUD MONTGOMERY, A VERY INDEPENDENT WOMAN

Maud, wife of Bishop Montgomery from the age of 16 and mother of 8, was the third daughter of the eminent English clergyman, preacher and author, Frederic William Farrar. She maintained resolutely a wide range of domestic, diocesan and philanthropic responsibilities. She was said to have inherited her father's concern for moral righteousness and an ability in public speaking, as shown in her dealings with equally strong-minded Lady Hamilton at Government House.

Lady Teresa Hamilton, the Outspoken Governor's Wife   Teresa Hamilton arrived in Tasmania in March 1887, when her husband, Sir Robert Hamilton, became Governor. She undertook the social activities expected of the governor's wife with panache but, being a forceful lady, she was imbued with new ideas of the activities suitable for women, such as were becoming popular in Britain.   When Maud Montgomery arrived in 1889 as wife of the Bishop of Tasmania, their paths started to cross and ultimately the two strong-minded women end up not seeing eye to eye.

Lady Teresa Hamilton, the Outspoken Governor's Wife

Teresa Hamilton arrived in Tasmania in March 1887, when her husband, Sir Robert Hamilton, became Governor. She undertook the social activities expected of the governor's wife with panache but, being a forceful lady, she was imbued with new ideas of the activities suitable for women, such as were becoming popular in Britain. 

When Maud Montgomery arrived in 1889 as wife of the Bishop of Tasmania, their paths started to cross and ultimately the two strong-minded women end up not seeing eye to eye.

BISHOP BROMBY, THE BUILDER AND A LEADING TEACHER OF TEACHERS   In 1869, the Church rented 26 Fitzroy Place and then named it Bishopscourt. After much debate, the Church bought the house in 1876: “every Australian Diocese, I believe, has erected a suitable residence for the Bishop except Tasmania…An opportunity now offers itself for the purchase of the House which I now occupy, standing upon nearly three acres of ground”. Bromby offered £200 of his salary to help fund the purchase.

BISHOP BROMBY, THE BUILDER AND A LEADING TEACHER OF TEACHERS

In 1869, the Church rented 26 Fitzroy Place and then named it Bishopscourt. After much debate, the Church bought the house in 1876: “every Australian Diocese, I believe, has erected a suitable residence for the Bishop except Tasmania…An opportunity now offers itself for the purchase of the House which I now occupy, standing upon nearly three acres of ground”. Bromby offered £200 of his salary to help fund the purchase.

Montgomery Family Life at Bishopscourt - Late 19th Century Ways   The children had lessons in the morning with games or exercise of some kind in the afternoon. Later in life, especially in Ireland, she added another very strict rule. Everybody had to be out of the house between two and four o'clock in the afternoon, so that she could rest undisturbed by noise or interruption of any kind.

Montgomery Family Life at Bishopscourt - Late 19th Century Ways

The children had lessons in the morning with games or exercise of some kind in the afternoon. Later in life, especially in Ireland, she added another very strict rule. Everybody had to be out of the house between two and four o'clock in the afternoon, so that she could rest undisturbed by noise or interruption of any kind.

BISHOP MONTGOMERY, THE MISSIONARY  The Rt Rev. Henry Hutchinson Montgomery, KCMG was an Anglican bishop, a missionary and author in the last part of the 19th century and the very start of the 20th. His family fell 'under the spell of the charm and simplicity of colonial life', and was 'ideally happy' in Tasmania. Montgomery's infectious enthusiasm and organisational skills resulted in unparalleled expansion of the church.  Born in India, Henry was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. Writing on 16 March 1944, G. M. Trevelyan observed that Montgomery was one of the few people ever to have jumped up the college steps in one bound.  Montgomery became engaged to the Archdeacon of Westminster's daughter Maud when she was 14 and they married two years later: one of their five sons was  Field Marshal The 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Monty.

BISHOP MONTGOMERY, THE MISSIONARY

The Rt Rev. Henry Hutchinson Montgomery, KCMG was an Anglican bishop, a missionary and author in the last part of the 19th century and the very start of the 20th. His family fell 'under the spell of the charm and simplicity of colonial life', and was 'ideally happy' in Tasmania. Montgomery's infectious enthusiasm and organisational skills resulted in unparalleled expansion of the church.

Born in India, Henry was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge. Writing on 16 March 1944, G. M. Trevelyan observed that Montgomery was one of the few people ever to have jumped up the college steps in one bound.

Montgomery became engaged to the Archdeacon of Westminster's daughter Maud when she was 14 and they married two years later: one of their five sons was Field Marshal The 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein, Monty.

A TURNING POINT IN HISTORY   The Second Battle of El Alamein began on 23 October 1942, and ended 12 days later with one of the first large-scale, decisive Allied land victories of the war. It was a decisive turning point in history, led by Monty who had grown up in Tasmania at Bishopscourt.  Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister at the time, said of this victory:   "Now this is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end."

A TURNING POINT IN HISTORY

The Second Battle of El Alamein began on 23 October 1942, and ended 12 days later with one of the first large-scale, decisive Allied land victories of the war. It was a decisive turning point in history, led by Monty who had grown up in Tasmania at Bishopscourt.

Winston Churchill, the British Prime Minister at the time, said of this victory: 
"Now this is not the end; it is not even the beginning of the end."

Showdown at Government House   After the grand Naval Ball, the January 1890 meeting of the Nil Desperandum Society was sparsely attended. Lady Hamilton was not amused. The following month a full-scale argument erupted with Maud Montgomery trying to act as peacemaker. This culminated in a showdown and mass resignations in February 1891. Read about ' Showdown at Government House '

Showdown at Government House

After the grand Naval Ball, the January 1890 meeting of the Nil Desperandum Society was sparsely attended. Lady Hamilton was not amused. The following month a full-scale argument erupted with Maud Montgomery trying to act as peacemaker. This culminated in a showdown and mass resignations in February 1891. Read about 'Showdown at Government House'

JOHN BEATTIE, AUSTRALIA'S FINEST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER   Bishop Montgomery and John Beattie, Australia’s finest landscape photographer of his time, were close friends. He joined Bishop  Henry Montgomery  and Professor  William Brown  in establishing the historical and geographical section of the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1899.

JOHN BEATTIE, AUSTRALIA'S FINEST LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHER

Bishop Montgomery and John Beattie, Australia’s finest landscape photographer of his time, were close friends. He joined Bishop Henry Montgomery and Professor William Brown in establishing the historical and geographical section of the Royal Society of Tasmania in 1899.

AUSTRALIA'S PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE CHURCHILL'S 'END OF THE BEGINNING' REMAINS UNDERRATED AT HOME  El Alamein became the most important battle in which Australians participated during the war. This was for two reasons: the battle was a transformative event that changed world history, and the role played by the 9th Division was crucial to the British victory, a point made by British commanders at the time. When the battle ended, Montgomery, who grew up in Tasmania and led the battle, went immediately to the Australian lines to thank the commander of the 9th Division, Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead.  The conundrum, however, is that El Alamein has become the forgotten battle in Australian memory. It has a contradictory identity: it is the most important battle we fought in that war, yet is the least remembered.

AUSTRALIA'S PIVOTAL ROLE IN THE CHURCHILL'S 'END OF THE BEGINNING' REMAINS UNDERRATED AT HOME

El Alamein became the most important battle in which Australians participated during the war. This was for two reasons: the battle was a transformative event that changed world history, and the role played by the 9th Division was crucial to the British victory, a point made by British commanders at the time. When the battle ended, Montgomery, who grew up in Tasmania and led the battle, went immediately to the Australian lines to thank the commander of the 9th Division, Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead.

The conundrum, however, is that El Alamein has become the forgotten battle in Australian memory. It has a contradictory identity: it is the most important battle we fought in that war, yet is the least remembered.

THE PROMINENT ARCHITECT AND THE DODGY CATHEDRAL THAT HAD TO BE...ERR... REBUILT  Henry Hunter was a prominent architect and civil servant in Tasmania and Queensland, Australia. He is best known for his work on churches, 24 in Tasmania. One had to be rebuilt after ten years due to dodgy foundations. In 1877, he designed major changes to Bishopscourt.

THE PROMINENT ARCHITECT AND THE DODGY CATHEDRAL
THAT HAD TO BE...ERR... REBUILT

Henry Hunter was a prominent architect and civil servant in Tasmania and Queensland, Australia. He is best known for his work on churches, 24 in Tasmania. One had to be rebuilt after ten years due to dodgy foundations. In 1877, he designed major changes to Bishopscourt.

Eliza Wilson, a Housemaid aged 28, found herself in a Dublin court on 22 September 1840 accused of stealing. She received a 7 year sentence and, as it would turn out one year later, transportation to Van Diemens Land. Eliza left Kingstown Harbour on Sunday 12th August 1841 with 144 other female convicts and their 36 children, never to return. On arrival in Hobart Town on 26th December 1841, she was assigned to Thomas Horne and took up residence in the cellar at 26 Fitzroy Place with two other convict servants.

List of Convicts assigned to Thomas Horne

List of Convicts assigned to Thomas Horne