[ William Johnstone, General Merchant of Launceston, Van Diemen's Land [ Tasmania ].] Manuscript accounts of six Australian firms with him: William Bayles; Henry Burge; Westgarth, Ross & Co.; Lewis Cohen; Du Croz, Nichols & Co.; Moses Moss.

William Johnstone (c.1819-1874), General Merchant, Launceston, Van Diemen's Land [ Tasmania ]; William Bayles; Henry Burge; Westgarth, Ross & Co.; Lewis Cohen; Du Croz, Nichols & Co.; Moses Moss
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[ Launceston, Van Diemen's Land [ Tasmania ]; and Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. ] Between 1853 and 1866.

See William Johnstone's obituary in the Illustrated Tasmanian News, May 1874. He was born in England and left Somerset for Van Diemen's Land in 1841. He set up in business the following year in Launceston, which had been founded in 1806, and is said to be the third oldest colonial settlement in Australia, after Sydney and Hobart..As the years proceeded he prospered spectacularly, and by the time of his death he was so highly esteemed, that 'many places of business had the front windows partially closed while the shipping in port and the Town Hall had the Union Jack hoisted at half mast'.

Autograph Letter Signed and Typed Note from the novelist and biographer Ralph Straus to Mrs. Roscoe [Secretary, Society of Women Journalists], the former discussing the newly-formed Collins Crime Club, 'J. J. Connington' and M. R. K. Burge.

Ralph Straus (1882-1950), Manchester-born writer, educated at Harrow and Pembroke College, Cambridge [Mrs Roscoe; Collins Crime Club; Sir Godfrey Collins; 'J. J. Connington' [Alfred Walter Stewart]]
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Autograph Letter Signed: From Exeter, but on his letterhead, 8E Hyde Park Mansions, NW1 [London]; 14 May 1930. Typed Note: On his letterhead, The Tanyard, Shorne, near Gravesend; 26 August 1945.

Both items in poor condition, with burn marks and damp damage [fire damaged much of the Society's archive]. Some of the text of the autograph letter has faded, and it may be that the signature to the typed note has washed away. Autograph Letter Signed: 2pp., 4to. He begins by offering to 'oppose anybody' in a debate that Mrs Roscoe is organising (at the Society of Women Journalists).

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