Convict James Dyson was assigned to work for the Van Diemen's Land Establishment for all of four days between 2 and 5 October 1837. What happened next will not surprise you in the slightest.

This particular entity was the New South Wales and Van Diemen’s Land Establishment, established 1825. After they failed to acquire any land in NSW for their venture into large scale farming in the colonies, it was rebranded as The Cressy Establishment, Cressy Company, or (most obscurely of all) the Van Diemen’s Land Establishment.

Useful description of the VDL Establishment (aka: The Cressy Company).

This Establishment should not be confused with the Van Diemen’s Land Company, ALSO founded at the same time and operated in both NSW and VDL. Most internet searches for the Establishment will return matches for the VDL Company instead, by virtue of the latter still being a going concern today (2022). The Establishment was over by 1855.

Useful description of the VDL Company.

The VDL Company‘s estates were located in the north western corner of VDL, while the Establishment lands were located south of Launceston on the Norfolk Plains, around the towns of Longford and what would later be named Cressy.

Longford was initially named Latour after one of the seven gentlemen investors in the Establishment. Colonel Peter Lautour would later on destroy at least two investment and colonisation schemes in the Swan River Colony, which would directly impact the future of a VDL convict who was yet to be assigned to his VDL properties, before seeking a fresh start in Western Australia.

It’s all very convoluted.

Convict James Dyson was assigned to work for the Van Diemen’s Land Establishment all of four days between 2 and 5 October 1837. The magistrate he was hauled before on that final date was James Cubbinston Sutherland, who farmed on the Isis River south of Cressy. Sutherland was a JP for the adjacent Campbell Town Police District, and that was where Dyson was sent for his next dose of condign chastisement.

Imperfect map with Cressy on it. Sutherland’s land is located centre bottom.

The manager of the VDL Establishment on these dates was James Denton Toosey. What is unascertainable by me is precisely which portion of the estate Dyson had been assigned to, other than that it was probably on the southern range of the Establishment. I have no idea if was to Toosey Dyson was insubordinate to, or some other overseer. I have not been able to find a decent map of the Cressy Establishment’s holdings — if such a beast has even been drawn up.

The relatively short history of the VDL Establishment, or Cressy Company is insanely complicated to investigate, due in large part to its principal investors litigating against each other incessantly. I’ve attempted to follow some of the court cases back in England where Colonel Lautour attempts to argue (unsuccessfully) that just because he was a blithering idiot was no reason he should not get his money back.

Unfortunately, you’ve not read the last of Colonel Peter Lautour on this web site.