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John West

1809 – 1873

John West (1809–1873), clergyman and newspaper editor, was accepted for service in Van Diemen’s Land by the Colonial Missionary Society in 1838. He went to Launceston, where in addition to his missionary work, he helped establish the Examiner, the public hospital, the general cemetery, an Immigration Society and the Mechanics’ Institute. West is particularly remembered for his leadership of the Anti-Transportation League; and for his History of Tasmania (1852), which is considered a founding text of Australian historical writing. He was also one of the co-founders of the Hobart High School, which opened in 1847. West left Launceston in 1854 and went to Sydney, where he became the editor of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Updated 2018