Cover image for Derwent Bank
Derwent Bank
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1828
End Date:
31 Dec 1849
The Derwent Bank opened in January 1828. Its first Managing Director was William Hamilton, who was followed by Charles Swanston. The bank was a key financial instituion and prospered until the 1840s. It went into liquidation in 1849. Swanston died in 1850, and the affairs of the bank were wound up by another director, John Walker.
The records continued to be stored in Walker's mill. Some of these records were acquired by the Royal Society of Tasmania during the 1940s. In 1961 a selection of these records (NS37 items 15-63) were transferred to the Archives Office of Tasmania; the rest were retained by the Royal Society and are now in the Special Collections at the University of Tasmania library.
Dr W E L H (Sir William) Crowther took custody of the remaining records, which by then were in a poor state of preservation and badly disordered. Dr Crowther partially sorted and arranged them before donating them to the State Library of Tasmania in the 1960s. Detailed listing of these records is in progress, and new items will continue to appear during 2018.

The Derwent Bank was a key financier of the Port Phillip Association. Records of the Melbourne branch of the Bank are held by the State Library of Victoria.
The records in the Royal Society Collection at the University of Tasmania include Charles Swanston letterbooks and records of John Walker's business, as well as the Derwent Bank.
Information Sources:
S.J. Butlin, 'Charles Swanston and the Derwent Bank 1827-1850', Historical Studies: Australia and New Zealand, 2:7 (1943), pp.161-185; Australian Dictionary of Biography (Swanston) ; AE807/1/3;;Eleanor Robin, Swanston: merchant statesman (Melbourne: Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2018)
Functions Performed:
Tasmanian businesses
Thomas Anstey (NG3347)01 Jan 177731 Dec 1851

Stephen Adey (NG3353)01 Jan 178131 Dec 1860

Swanston Family (NG3235)01 Jan 178931 Dec 2012

John Walker (2) (NG37)01 Jan 179927 Feb 1874

Port Phillip Association (NG3346)01 Jan 183431 Dec 1840