Cover image for Roberts Family
Roberts Family
Agency Number:
Start Date:
01 Jan 1840
End Date:
31 Dec 1959
Mary Grant Roberts (nee Lindsay) married Henry Llewelyn Roberts on 18 August 1863 at St David's Cathederal, Hobart. Henry Roberts later established the wool-broking and stock-agency company of Roberts & Co. Ltd.which began in 1865 as an auctioneering business selling farm produce, skins and hides started by Roberts, George Anthony Kemp and John William Abbott and known as Kemp, Roberts and Co,.
Mary and Henry built a substantial home "Beaumaris" fronting Sandy Bay Road extending from Newcastle Street, Battery Point There she established what becaume "Beaumaris Zoo" which opened to the public in 1895 and attracted international attention to indigenious fauna by sucessfully breeding Tasmanian Devils in captivity and displaying the Thylacine.
Mrs Roberts died in Hobart on 27 November 1921 survived by two sons and three daughters. Henry had died in 1919. After her death the zoo passed to the Hobart City Council and was moved from "Beaumaris" in Sandy Bay Road to a site on the Hobart Domain near Government House where it operated , still under the name Beaumaris Zoo, until its closure in 1936. The last known Tasmanian Tiger (Thylacine) died there in that year and was then officially extinct.
Mary and Henry's son Gerald Alleyne Roberts born on 13 July 1877 in Hobart attended Hutchin's School from 1889 - 1894 then entered his father's business of Roberts & Co. Ltd, becoming director in 1908 and chairman of directors 1932 - 1961. He expanded the company to one of the largest of its type in Tasmania, negotiating an amalgamation with Allan Stewart Pty Ltd of Launceston in 1955 and bringing in the Burnie-based Farmers' Co-operative Auctioneers in 1957 to become known as Roberts, Stewart & Co Ltd.
A keen sailor, boat-builder and commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Tasmania in 1909 - 1911, he was active and generous in the business, defence and social life of Hobart despite being a quiet and reserved man. He died in Hobart on the 18 June 1961, survived by his wife Lanoma nee Sadler, whom he married in Launceston on the 25 February 1909, and by his four sons.
A son Tulloch Llewelyn Roberts of Sandy Bay, Hobart and director of the firm, died on the 27 April 1979 aged 63 in Hobart.

Information Sources:
Australian Dictionary of Biography - Online Edition - article by Eric Guiler - on Mary Grant Roberts (1841 - 1921) and Gerald Allendyne Robarts (1977 - 1961) - ;;The Companion to Tasmanian History - entry by Wendy Rimon