Fires in the Bishopsbourne Area (1839 – 1982)

Longford Fire Engine Attending a Fire, 1957

1839 – Minette, Liffey River – Colonial Times, 13 August 1839

House and out-buildings burnt to the ground. Cause unknown. Loss near £500.

1852 – Ross ……. Little Hampton – Colonial Times, Fri. 7 May 1852

Burnt, a stack of hay containing 80 tons. The fire occurred on Sunday morning last between two and three o’clock. Believed to have been deliberately lit.

1858 – Field, William, “Enfield”, Bishopsbourne. Launceston Examiner, Tue 17 Aug. 1858

Burnt a Dutch barn and 80 tons of hay on Saturday evening last, also located in the debris a body, believed to be that of an old woman, a drunkard. She had just previously returned to the property from the township with a bottle of spirits.

1861 – Pitt, William – the Oaks – Launceston Examiner, 14 September 1861 

Fire noticed on Saturday morning around 3.30 am, burnt a stable and horse(s).

Thomas Fox arrested and charged with lighting the fire. Fox was exonerated and released. Considerable loss of property sustained.

1863 – Norman, (Rev) J.N. – Bishopsbourne – Hobart Mercury, 13 April 1863

Home of Rev. Norman burnt on 10 April 1863, 6 p.m. Great number of inhabitants assembled, but they could render no assistance, there being no supply of water

1871 – Allen, Thomas and Robert – the Oaks – Launceston Examiner, 1 April 1871

Burnt wheat stacks, lost their entire crops, estimated to contain 2 000 bushels of wheat. Cause supposed to be due to a spark from the threshing machine which had just commenced work.

1875 – Harris and Son Bishopsbourne – Launceston Examiner, 20 February 1875

Burnt, House, store and stock the fire being discovered around a quarter past one on the morning of Thursday 18 February 1875. The building was described as large and commodious but was totally destroyed in two hours.

The goods were insured for £500 in the Northern Insurance Co. The building was not insured.

1876 – Bird, William – near Cressy – Launceston Examiner, Thu. 9 March 1876

Inquest as to the origin of the fire to be held at his home on Thursday morning at 11 o’clock, before the Coroner, Charles Arthur Esq. The fire is believed to be deliberately lit.

1876 – Armstrong, Alex. – Bishopsbourne – Launceston Examiner, Thur. 9 March 1876

Burnt on Monday night between 9 and 10 o’clock, two stacks of wheat, estimated to contain 1 000 bushels. The fire is believed to have been deliberately lit. The stacks were insured in the Cornwall Insurance Office.

1886 – Garcia, Allen James – Bishopsbourne Road, property adjoining that of Mr. Thomas Routley – Launceston Examiner, Saturday, 24 July 1886

Burnt to the ground, living quarters, furniture, bedding, clothing, the attached stable, a chaff cutter, horse feed etc. Two of the horses were badly burnt. A third horse escaped with only his coat singed. The fire occurred between 12 and one in the morning. The cause of the fire was thought to be due to rats carrying off and igniting some matches. His financial loss was heavy.

1889 – Hall, Robert – Bishopsbourne – Launceston Examiner, Mon. 10 May 1880

Burnt on Thursday last, about 8 p.m., the stable and two stacks of hay, containing about 45 tons. The cause of the fire unknown. The insurance with the Cornwall Insurance co had expired only a few days before.

1889 – Field, William, property at College Hill, Bishopsbourne. Launceston Examiner, Wednesday, 25 September 1889

Burnt a gorse hedge. A reward of £10 offered to any person giving information that will lead to a conviction of the perpetrator.

1890 – Bishopsbourne Police Station – Launceston Examiner, Tue. 2 September 1890

A fire was discovered in the roof of the Police Station. Constable Donovan (in charge) fortunately noticed the shingles smouldering. With the assistance of others were able to put the fire out. The covering and ceiling of one room suffering to a considerable extent. The cause was thought to be from a spark from a passing traction engine.

1894 – Greig, James – Maitland – Launceston Examiner, Tue. 20 February 1894

Murfet, R

Burnt on Saturday last, at the property of Mr. Greig, Maitland, two stacks of wheat belonging to Mr Greig, together with a thrashing machine belonging to Mr. Murfet. The machine was at work at the time, but it was impossible to save it, the fire spreading so fast. Neither the wheat nor the machine was insured

1894 – Skirving (Mr) – the Oaks – Launceston Examiner, Tue. 20 February 1894

Stack of hay accidentally burnt.

1895 – Pitt, William – Winterbrook, Bishopsbourne – Launceston Examiner, 28 May 1895

Burnt a stable, a horse, reaper and binder, a quantity of seed wheat, chaff, guano, etc and the tail board of a wagon before the wagon was pulled from the fire. The fire was discovered by Mr Pitt’s two sons and a young man named Jordan.

1896 – Hall, John – Vron, Bishopsbourne – Launceston Examiner, Wed. 2 December 1896

Burnt five stacks of hay, estimated to contain 100 tons. The fire occurred on 28 November

1896 between 11 and 12 o’clock on Saturday night. They were insured in the Cornwall Insurance Office, Launceston.

1897 – Dodery, William, “Como”, Bishopsbourne. Launceston Examiner, Sat. 17 April 1897 

Burnt – barn, stables, sheds and 3 000 bushels of oats.

July 1897 – New buildings – a 12 stall stable and chaff house built by Mr. A. Stokes of Longford.

1903 – Hall, John – Little Hampton – Launceston Examiner, Thur 19 February 1903

Burnt, on Monday last, two stacks at his Little Hampton farm. Partly covered by insurance.

1903 – Howard, E.H. – Green Rises – Launceston Examiner, Thur 19 February 1903

Burnt, on Monday last, two stacks of hay with only two tons saved. The two stacks were a considerable distance apart. Partly covered by insurance.

1927 – Brooks, Edward – Green Rises – Hobart Mercury, Tue. 16 August 1927

Burnt a 25-ton stack of hay valued at £150. The fire occurred on Sunday night. Mr Brooks delivered a man to Trooper T. Earley of Bracknell for charging over the fire.

1957 – Badcock, Eric – Family records. Sunday, February 1957

Burnt, former stable being used as a hay barn and storage. Burnt down one Sunday afternoon. Insured.

1970 – Smith, Alan and Margaret – Bishopsbourne Shop and Post Office (former Bush Inn), diary record of Eric Badcock, 7 February 1970

Premises burnt out on a Saturday afternoon. All the shop stock was got out and most of their furniture. Fire believed to have resulted from an electrical fault. The property was rebuilt as a residence.

1982 – Railway line, Woodstock to Longford – diary record of Eric Badcock – Wednesday 27 January 1982

Large grassland/bush fire, spread by a blazing load of logs. Much grass, bush and several grain crops destroyed.

A Barn Fire, Bishopsbourne (opposite the Bush Inn) – 1957

Compiled by Ivan Badcock – 2012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *