Dr. Henry Jeanneret L.S.A., M.D., L.R.C.S.




Henry Jeanneret was born on 31 Dec 1802 in The Poultry, St Mary Colechurch, London, England. He died on 12 Jun 1886 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England. He married Harriet Merrett, daughter of William Merrett and Elizabeth Beard on 15 Dec 1832 in St. James Church, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She was born about 1809 in England. She died in Jun 1873 in Romsey, Wiltshire, England. He then married Frances Ann Barnett, daughter of William Barnett and Ann Matthews in 1874 in Great Malvern, Worcestershire, England. She was born on 23 Aug 1826 in Princes Risborough, Buckinghamshire, England. She died on 02 Nov 1901 in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England.


Henry and Harriet had the following children:


i. Henry James Jeanneret was born in 1842 in Haider, Ireland. He died on 30 Aug 1860 in Wee Waa, New South Wales, Australia.

ii. John Louis Jeanneret was born on 26 Nov 1850 in St. Mary, Islington, Middlesex, England. He died on 05 Jan 1877 in Hunters Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

iii. Jane Warren Jeanneret was born in 1838 in Port Arthur, Tasmania, Australia. She died on 03 Oct 1857 in Leicestershire, England.

iv. Charles Edward Jeanneret was born on 09 Feb 1834 in New South Wales, or Hobart Australia. He died on 23 Aug 1898 in Wyrallah, Richmond River, New South Wales, Australia. He married Julia Anne Bellingham, daughter of Francis Bellingham and Julia Rowe Ive on 12 Jun 1857 in St Phillips Church, Sydney, New South Wales. She was born on 14 Jun 1837 in Gracechurch, London, England. She died in 1919 in Hunters Hill, New South Wales, Australia.

v. Francis Crosbie Jeanneret was born in 1844 in Flinders Is., Tasmania, Australia. He died on 05 Mar 1873 in Poole, Dorset, England.

vi. Frances Charlotte Jeanneret was born in 1837 in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. She died in 1837 in On Voyage To Hobart, Tasmania.

vii. Sarah Charlotte Jeanneret was born on 01 Nov 1848 in Launceston, Tasmania, Australia. She married Thomas Chambers on 10 Jan 1889 in Parish Church Ryde, He was born in 1829. He died on 24 Aug 1896 in Summer Hill, Ashfield, New South Wales, Australia.





“In the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries of Australian colonisation the discipline of dentistry as we know it today was an uncommon one. The medical men (all men!) of the First Fleet undertook dental extractions as part of a doctor's normal surgical duties; and the management of dental and maxillo-facial injuries was part of their routine professional lives. One of the early colonial surgeons in Sydney, Dr Henry Jeanneret, had a special interest in dentistry. When he was 28 years of age, he published in Sydney in 1830 the first paper on dentistry in Australia, entitled “Hints on the Preservation of the Teeth”, it dealt with a subject of neglected health that was of singular importance to all in the Colony - soldiers, convicts and free settlers alike. Although other doctors - had published letters on preventive and public health in the Colonial newspapers as early as 1804, Jeanneret's privately published booklet was one of the first preventive health books, dental or medical, published in this country.

Henry Jeanneret was born in London on New Years Eve, 1802. When he was 15 years of age he was apprenticed to a surgeon in Oxford. His practical training in surgery and the rural life of surrounding Oxfordshire were to stand him in good stead in his professional life across the world, particularly in the outposts of the penal colony at Port Arthur and the Aborigines' Establishment on Flinders Island in Bass Strait. He was to make significant contributions to both medicine and natural history in his future professional life in Sydney and Tasmania during the convict era; and he was to be a performer at the centre of events which were to see the tragic demise of the Tasmanian Aboriginals.

The above extract is taken from a paper entitled “ORAL HISTORY” - MEMORIALS TO THREE PIONEER AUSTRALIAN DENTISTS by Gael Erica Phillips and John Hemsley Pearn. The paper was read at the Biennial National Conference of the Australian Society for the History of Medicine, February 10 - 14, 1993 Hobart, Australia.





Chronological precis of the life of Dr Henry Jeanneret

1802 Born in England 31st December 1802

1817 Apprenticed to the surgeon John Symmonds, City of Oxford for 5 years. 14 March, 1817

1822 Studied medicine at The Radcliffe Infirmary (Oxford); worked as a Dresser at The London Hospital and at the City Dispensary, London

1823 Studied at the University of Paris

1824 After studying at Oxford, London and Paris graduated from University of Edinburgh 7 October

1824. Elected as a Licentiate of Society of Apothecaries

1825 Moved to Edinburgh. Active both in clinical medicine and in natural history. He was elected President of the Plinian Natural History Society of Edinburgh University; awarded the Doctorate of Medicine (Edinburgh University) and elected as a Licentiate of the Royal College of Surgeons

1826 Negotiated to emigrate to Australia to take up land under "Land Regulations of 1827" Confirmed by Sir George Murray

1828 Letter of introduction provided by Sir Richard Dundas to Governor Arthur

1829 Emigrated to Sydney, N.S.W. and set up Medical practice

1831-1832 Treatise and Lectures on Dentistry, by Henry Jeanneret M.D. published. Article by contributor and his first Australian Book of Dentistry

Practiced for some years in Colony (N.S.W.) chiefly in capacity of Dentist

1832 Married Harriett Merritt of Sydney Notice of intention of leaving Sydney for Van Diemans Land appeared in the Australian Newspaper

1834 Son Charles Edward born Sydney 9 May 1834

1834 Dr. Jeanneret opened a Medical Practice at 31 Murray Street, Hobart Town and practiced till the end of 1837

1835 Claim for Land by Dr. Jeanneret

1837 Daughter Frances Charlotte born

1837 Infant daughter Frances Charlotte died on voyage from Sydney

1838 Relinquishing his Medical Practice in Hobart Town, Dr. Jeanneret received appointment in Service of Crown of Medical and Spiritual Charge of Point Puer, Port Arthur

1838 Daughter Jane Warren born

1840 Daughter Charlotte Sarah born

1842 Posted to Aboriginal Settlement on Flinders Island as Surgeon, Commandant and Justice of the Peace

1842 Son Henry James born

1843 Suspended from office by Governor Sir John Franklin

1844 Resumed practice at 31 Murray Street, Hobart from 21 September 1844

Presumed to have spent some time at the penal settlement at Norfolk Island

1846 Reinstated to Flinders Island by the British Government

1847 Son Francis Crosbie born

1847 Settlement at Flinders Island disbanded

1848 Dr Jeanneret and family left Flinders Island aboard the “John Bull” and arrived at Launceston 18 February 1848

1849 In a published statement in the Colonial Times 27 February 1849 through a Secretary of States Despatch, the British Government ordered the Colony to renumerate Dr Jeanneret to the sum of one thousand pounds in settlement of his claims

1850 Dr Jeanneret and family sail for Sydney aboard the ‘William’ on 11 April 1850

1850 Son John Louis born

1851 Returned to England with family and took up residence at 12 Finchley Road, St Johns Wood, 18 August 1851.

1851 Dr Jeanneret had printed in pamphlet form a letter to the Rt. Hon. Earl Gray - being a short explanatory appeal relative to the authors conduct as Superintendent of Flinders Island.

1854 Pamphlet published by Dr Jeanneret after Cholera epidemic in London

1874 Wife Harriet died

1874 Married Frances Ann Barnett, eldest daughter of Mr William Barnett at the Abbey Church, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, England, 13 November 1874,

1886 After returning to England, Dr Jeanneret died at Cheltenham 16 June 1886.





After practising in London till 1828, Dr Henry Jeanneret applied for a post in Australia but was recommended for a land grant in proportion to his capital under the “Land Regulations Act of 1827”. Reluctant to sell out before certain that the colonial climate would suit him, he was assured at the Colonial Office that he could visit Sydney and reserve land while he returned to England to sell his property. Confirmation of these negotiations was given by Sir George Murray in 1828.

With a letter of introduction from Sir Richard Dundas to Governor Arthur, he departed England on the brig “Tranmere” with the intention of setting up practice in either Sydney or Hobart Town. He arrived in Van Diemans Land on 12th. November 1829 from where he proceeded to Sydney, arriving in December 1829. On arriving in Sydney, he applied for a reserve grant but was told that he must take out a bond for five hundred pounds to remain in the colony for three years. Protesting against this condition he established a practice as a surgeon and dentist. It was during this time that Dr Jeanneret wrote the first book on dentistry in Sydney, ‘Hints for the Preservation of Teeth’ (1830).

Dr Jeanneret had a very keen sense of preventive medicine and particularly of the prevention of dental ill health. He publicly advocated, in his book, general rules for the preservation of the teeth. He advocated daily brushing of the teeth and gave practical illustrations in lay terms how a toothbrush might be used. He advocated a dentifrice of charcoal mixed with chalk and powdered cinnamon. He advocated that a silken thread might be used for flossing the teeth. Chapters in his book dealt with Teething, Shedding of Teeth, General Rules for the Preservation of the Teeth, Diseases, Decay, Toothache Remedies, Diseases of the Gums and the subject of Artificial Teeth and Palates.

During those first five years in New South Wales Dr Jeanneret took a great interest in everything tending towards the advancement of the colony. He was a strong advocate of the establishment of Schools of Art and his lectures on scientific subjects helped to develop the resources of the colony. In 1831 he was active in dysentery epidemic.

On the 11th December 1832 he married Harriet Merrit of Sydney, sister of the wife of the late Mr Francis Mitchell. They were married at St James’s Church. Their first son, Charles Edward was born on the 9th May, 1834.

Not enjoying the climate due to ‘being by day eaten up by flies and by night by mosquitoes’, Dr Jeanneret requested a transfer to Van Diemans Land. He gave notice of his intention to leave Sydney for Van Diemans Land in the following notice which appeared in The Australian Newspaper 8th November 1832:


Dr Jeanneret begs to inform friends

and public that he proposes leaving

NSW shortly and requests those

requiring his assistance as a dentist

to make early application having

been obliged to disappoint many

persons on leaving for Van Diemans

Land.Clarence St, Sydney, New

South Wales 8th October 1832.


It was not until 1834 that Dr Jeanneret and family sailed from Sydney for Hobart Town. On arrival he established a medical practice at 31 Murray Street, Hobart Town where he practiced until the end of 1837.

1835 saw the start of a long winded attempt by Dr Jeanneret to obtain land which he understood, before leaving England, would be made available upon application. He duly lodged an application with the NSW Government on 24th March 1835 which was evidenced in a note from Sir George Murray to General Darling and an enclosed memo from Mr Ferguson. A number of communications concerning Dr Jeanneret’s land claim were made between Secretary of State Spring Rice, Sir George Murray, General Darling and Lord Glenelg , but were of no avail. A letter from Government House dated 27th October 1835 stated that “Dr Jeanneret appears to labour under a misconception in supposing that there was an intention to except him from the operation of any established rules. No record of any instruction to that effect having been transmitted to General darling.” On the 25th January 1836 the claim was dismissed in a terse letter from Government House with the words: “This department unable to trace any application on papers authorising same.”

The following year, 1837, Dr Jeanneret’s wife Harriet gave birth to a daughter Frances Charlotte Elizabeth in Sydney. Two months and eleven days after her birth, on the return voyage from Sydney to Hobart Town, Frances died. Her tombstone is set in a wall at St Davids Park, Hobart.

In 1838 Dr Jeanneret relinquished his medical practice in Hobart Town to take up an appointment in Service of the Crown as Medical and Spiritual Charge of Point Puer, Port Arthur. The settlement at Point Puer was a prison where many hundreds of boys aged from eight to twenty years old, who had been transported from Great Britain, were kept.

Dr Jeanneret did much to alleviate the hardships that the boys endured. The system of securing the juvenile prisoners to a triangle and flogging with the cat’o’nine tails in the presence of all their comrades was deeply opposed by Dr Jeanneret and eventually abolished during his tenure at Point Puer. Apparently, during his time at Point Puer, Dr Jeanneret fell foul with Captain Charles O’Hara Booth which was to prove detrimental for him in his later appointments. Having incurred the displeasure of the authorities by his leniency, Dr Jeanneret was forced to abandon his charge and returned to medical practice in Hobart Town where he practiced until 1842.

Jeanneret's clinical skills as a surgeon and dentist, together with the bureaucratic controversies in which he was eternally embroiled, have overshadowed his work as a botanist. He was interested in botany generally, but particularly in seaweeds and other marine plants. He corresponded with two of the great doctor botanists of his era, Professor William Henry Harvey, Keeper of the Dublin Herbarium and subsequently with botanists in both England and Scotland. He sent specimens of marine algae from Port Arthur to Dr Hooker in London and the new genus Jeannerettia was named, in 1847, "in dedication ... to Dr Jeanneret of Tasmania, from whom we have received a number of interesting algae, gathered at Port Arthur, and among them the first specimens we have seen of this new remarkable plant ”. Jeanneret's name is well known in the world of botany . His eternal memorial is the name of the beautiful red cold water algae, Jeannerettia pedicellata and Jeannerettia lobata. These delicate red seaweeds, with their glowing colours, are common in the seaborne drift of the southern shores of Australia. There is a drawing of the type specimen, sent from Port Arthur in Tasmania by Dr Henry Jeanneret in 1838. Drawn by another doctor botanist, Dr William Henry Harvey, it features in Harvey's "Nereis Australia", published in 1847, with acknowledgments.”




“This new genus is dedicated by Dr. Hooker and myself, to Dr. Jeanneret, of Tasmania, from whom we have received a number of interesting Algae,

gathered at Port Arthur”


The South Temperate zone offers a remarkable contrast, even with our present miserably imperfect knowledge of its marine vegetation, and no doubt, when more fully explored, the difference will be much more striking. In place of but ten genera, as in Europe, there are in the south no less than twenty-two, of which twelve are peculiar to the Southern Ocean, and these twelve are by far the most remarkable and strongly marked of the family; namely, Claudea, Botryocarpa, Polyphacum, Lenormandia, Jeannerettia, Sarcomenia, Pouexfenia, Kützingia, Epineuron, Spyrhymenia, Trigenia and Polyzonia.


Hook.fil.etHarv. Frons prolifera. Phyllodia plana membranacea costa evanescenti percursa, striis curvatis è costa ad marginem obliqué proficientibus notata, è cellulis quadratis coloratis for mata. Ceramidia ignota. Stichidia lanceolata fasciculata per totam frondem dispersa, tetrasporas duplici serie foventia. Alga Australasica, speciosa, purpurea, foliacea, phyllodiis lobatis.


This new genus is dedicated by Dr. Hooker and myself, to Dr. Jeanneret, of Tasmania, from whom we have received a number of interesting Algae, gathered at Port Arthur, and among them the first specimens we had seen of this remarkable plant. In its general habit there is a considerable resemblance to Delesseria platycarpa, but the nature of the fructification is very different; and it is, in truth, more nearly allied to Polierfenia, from which it chiefly differs in having a distinct costa, and in being proliferous.


At Port Arthur, Tasmania, Dr. Jeanneret. Also collected by the Rev. Mr. Eving. (v. s. in Herb. T. C. D. com. cl. Hooker!) Frond perennial, eventually of large size, probably one or two feet long, but our specimens are very imperfect, formed in a proliferous manner of nerved phyllodia, the new springing from the midribs of the old. Primary leaves, in old specimens, lose their lamina and are converted into tough, strong, compressed, or more or less winged stems, six to eight inches long,

or more, giving off, along their extent, secondary phyllodia with more or less of membrane adhering to them. From the primary and secondary leaves thus altered into stems, spring, without order, except that they invariably issue from the midrib, the young phyllodia which we shall now describe. In our most perfect specimen these are from two to four inches long, and from half to three quarters of an inch wide, oblong, undivided or forked, having a few lateral, alternate, rounded lobes, a very undulating margin, and furnished with a strong, thick midrib, which gradually fails towards the apex, and vanishes altogether at a short distance from the point. This rib throughout its length is covered with foliaceous processes, the preparation probably, for phyllodia of the next season. Our specimens are too imperfect to warrant us in limiting the variations in form of the perfect phyllodium, which are probably considerable. The lobes, for example, may lengthen, acquire midribs, and be themselves lobed, of which propensity we think we see indications in one specimen. The whole leaf is traversed by close, parallel, internal striae, very visible under a pocket lens, which originate in the midrib, and proceed in a very oblique line towards the margin. These are formed by internal, articulated filaments, which pass through the substance of the lamina, which is formed of a double layer of quadrate, coloured cells. Substance rigid, not adhering to paper. Stichidia in bunches, scattered over the surface of the phyllodia. Colour probably a clear purple-lake, brownish when dry.

Given the displeasure of the authorities at Jeanneret’s performance at Point Puer it is curious that in 1842 he was appointed to the Aborigine Settlement "Wybalena" on Flinders Island as Protector of Aborigines, Surgeon and Commandant and Justice of the Peace, by the hand of Governor Sir John Franklin . Perhaps it was Jeanneret’s reputation as “... a brilliant medical officer who had a vast knowledge of the treatment of dysentery ” that motivated this appointment at a time when Aboriginal mortality at Flinders Island was high. Regardless of the reasons for his appointment, he was to take charge at “Wybalena” at a very low point in the history of the demise of the Tasmanian Aboriginal people. According to Bonwick, the historian, “After departure of Robinson from Flinders Island and his failure to have Natives transferred to Port Phillip the aborigines sank into an apathy from which they never emerged.”

Of the two hundred natives originally relocated to the Settlement on Flinders Island, there were only fifty two surviving when Jeanneret took up command of the Settlement. These consisted of twelve married couples, eleven single men, six single women and eleven children in various stages of ill health.

“On arrival at Wybalena, Dr. Jeanneret was much shocked at the Islands affairs. He found the rations inadequate for his charge and even tampered with by the small military party still esteemed necessary for the safety of the Settlement.”

Bonwick also wrote of Jeanneret:

“Of an impulsive, energetic nature and highly sensitive in his conscientiousness he was led from the rebuke of wrong doing to active denunciation and was early involved in personal collision with the soldiers whom he accused of malpractices with the Natives. Engaging in voluminous correspondence with the Government, the officials long tired of the Native question and never appreciating the pertinacious exhibition of abuses preferred to get rid of the difficulty by the suspension of the Superintendent in 1844 .”

According to Lyndall Ryan in her book “The Aboriginal Tasmanians”, the Aborigines were indifferent to Jeanneret’s position and his difficulties increased when two unexpected groups of Aborigines arrived - one from Port Phillip, the other from Cape Grim. They were to have a profound effect upon the establishment. Jeanneret’s problems were further compounded by Clark, the catechist who has been described by Plomley as anarchistic and whose interference was mindless and destructive with a meaningless determination to cause trouble .

Dr Jeanneret had determined to make the Aborigines self sufficient by allocating them plots of land for growing vegetables as well as flocks of sheep. He introduced a system of rewards for those that were prepared to work. Payment was made for work performed and profits from the sale of vegetables and wool were distributed accordingly. Typically the money earned was used to purchase treats such as tobacco, sugar and clothing. The group of Aborigines from Port Phillip undermined this system, believing that they should not have to work for such extras.

It is difficult to rationalise the varied reports of Dr Jeanneret during his appointment to Flinders Island. On the one hand he received support from people like Dr Nixon, Bishop of Tasmania and Lady Jane Franklin, whilst on the other he was dammed by the political leaders of the day. Many historians seem supportive of his actions and dismiss the many petty quarrels with which he was embroiled. Certainly Dr Jeanneret appears to have been a tenacious opponent who did not know when to leave well enough alone. Perhaps some of the cruelest comments encountered by this writer are those found in an annotation by Governor Denison to a volume of papers concerning dealings with Dr Jeanneret in the archives of the Colonial Secretary -

“The whole thing is a tissue of absurdity from end to end. If Dr Jeanneret had his deserts he would be whipped like an unruly schoolboy, and his whelp of a son as well...”

Obviously tempers were frayed over the issue of the Tasmanian Aborigines which proved to be a massive blunder and disgrace to the Tasmanian Government. It should be noted that an emissary from the Government, Matthew Curling Friend, spent three weeks at the settlement investigating claims against Dr Jeanneret. Friend had previously been a member of two boards of enquiry into affairs at the settlement. Without going into the details of Friends findings, Plomley writes:

“The minutes of the evidence taken by Friend contain many statements in favour of Jeanneret - and none supporting Clark which can be held to be unbiased - but so much black had been applied to Jeanneret’s image that any application of a different colour could not stick .”

Dr Jeanneret’s whelp of a son, Charles Edward, in later years (1885) was described in the book “Australian Men of Mark ” “As a public spirited and enterprising citizen, and Alderman both of his own suburb and of the City Council, and later as a member of the Legislative Assembly, he is in many worthy respects an acknowledged representative man.”

On the 21st November 1843 Dr Jeanneret was dismissed. He returned to Hobart Town to plead his case and also resumed his medical practice at 31 Murray Street, Hobart Town from September 1844 until he was reinstated at Flinders Island on the 18th February 1846. Three weeks after Jeanneret’s dismissal Sir John Franklin accompanied by Lady Franklin, Dr. Nixon - Bishop of Tasmania and several officials visited Flinders Island on the 12th December 1843. The party minutely inspected the establishment. It appears that the visit only lasted one day as evidenced by a letter from Lady Franklin to Mrs Jeanneret dated the following day 13th December from aboard the “Flying Fish”.


Dear Mrs Jeanneret,

We shall remember our visit to you with much interest and pleasure and I beg you to accept my earnest wishes for your improved health and strength and for your future welfare. With kind compliments to Dr. Jeanneret. Believe me dear Mrs Jeanneret.

Very truly yours,

Jane Franklin.


On his return to Hobart, Dr Jeanneret harassed the Government seeking reasons for his dismissal and the vindication of his character. failing to receive either satisfactory replies or pecuniary compensation, he petitioned the Secretary of State in February 1845 for reinstatement and compensation. These were granted by Lord Stanley in a despatch dated 11th August 1845, who directed that “immediate measures be made to compensate Dr Jeanneret, either by restoring him to the office he has lost, with all arrears of salary; or by placing him in some other equally lucrative position with the payment of those arrears.” ,

The soldiers on the island were withdrawn and Dr. Jeanneret was granted full control. His triumph over the local authorities did not lessen the spleen of his enemies nor silence the voice of calumny and reproach . To quote Plomley once again,

“...there is much to be said in favour of him, however strongly he acted as ‘the boss’ in his dealings with both the whites and the blacks. Jeanneret’s job was a difficult one. He had to contend with Franklin’s stinginess on the one hand, and with an intractable problem of management of the Aborigines on the other. And opposed to him were not only the Governor and the administration in Hobart, but also Robert Clark and the Aborigines, the latter stirred up against him by Clark and as well wanting to get as much as possible for nothing and annoyed that they had to do something to earn their luxuries, even if that something were very little indeed.”

Early in 1846, Jeanneret received a letter of congratulations from his friend Dr. Nixon, Bishop of Tasmania.


2nd. January 1846.

Congratulations on your reappointment, Testimony of gratification.

Signed F.R. Tasmania


In April of the same year he received another letter of encouragement from the Bishop


7th. April 1846.

Expressing satisfaction of safe arrival at Flinders Island and satisfactory arrangements of withdrawal of soldiers.

Signed F.R. Tasmania


To quote the historian, Bonwick, support for Dr Jeanneret may be found in the words of Dr Nixon, ‘who was ever a friend to both’. “Yet knowing him well and honouring him much I am sure he misrepresented himself, for of all men I know few with more real kindness of nature, or more profound regard for his duty to God. For his pious and gentle Lady the Natives cherished tender feelings.”

All was not well though, almost immediately upon his return to Flinders Island a petition against him was got up upon the apparent inspiration of Dr M.J. Milligan with the clerical assistance of Clark the Catechist purporting to be from "the free aboriginal people” of Van Diemans Land - dated 17th. February 1846 and signed by eight of the Natives. The petitioners claimed that Dr. Jeanneret carried pistols in his pockets and threatened to shoot them, also his pigs ate the natives food and that the natives were inadequately clothed.

A number of curious documents bearing on this matter are preserved in the Tasmanian Archives most of them chiefly remarkable for their faked simplicities of style . The poor men afterwards repudiated their own act and attributed it to bad counsel.

Dr Jeanneret replied to the petition with a long rebuttal on 12th June 1846. It has been noted that his response was ‘as could be expected from someone obsessed with the injustice to himself’. Lieutenant Friend was appointed to investigate and reported on his questioning of the natives, that they reported the statements had been made for them. Inflexible in Justice the Doctor needed suavity to soothe. Earnest in the discovery of a wrong, he may have lacked the judicious prudence which refuses to see everything, or which perceives extenuating and ameliorating circumstances. His very integrity dissociated him from the sympathies of his subordinates and the rigidity of his righteous rule perhaps increased the restlessness and discontent of his little state.


















“Wybalena” at Blackmans Cove, Flinders Island 1847. Copied from a lithograph by S Prout


The battle with Clark, who was in truth the author of the petition, raged on until the opportunity arose for Jeanneret to stand him down from his duties. “The Catechist, Clark, was accused of cruel treatment and neglect of the children under his care and they were therefore removed from under his roof and the officer was suspended from service. Mr. Clark did not deny his having flogged the girls but declared he had done it in religious anger at their moral offences. One in particular had been seduced into improper society and was very long kept in rigid seclusion”.

The tragedy of the situation according to Plomley was that:

“What is so very evident is the extent to which the Aborigines were used in this war, which was really one between Clark and Jeanneret, with the government a willing recipient of anything to Jeanneret’s disadvantage.”

"In a letter answering some enquiries of mine (Bonwick) about the blacks, Dr. Jeanneret wrote in bitterness of his disappointment on 10th. March 1847. The official directions of the Government provide amply for their handsome provision, though hitherto a faction has often interfered with the instruction furnished. I think so far from being neglected, they are and have been plagued by too much interference”.

It was a month after that date of that letter that the following communication was addressed to Dr. Jeanneret. "His excellency has it in contemplation to break up the Aboriginal Establishment at Flinders Island at an early period and that should his intention be carried into effect your appointment as Superintendent would probably cease as your services would not be required. No charges are here made and no reference is made to mal-administration. On the following day a letter was sent intimating the appointment of a successor Dr. Milligan for the express purpose of effecting the removal of the Aborigines to the mainland. As this is to be accomplished without unnecessary delay Mr. Milligan’s arrival will take place on or about the first proximo, when you will have the goodness to hand over your charge to that gentleman and be prepared to return to Van Diemans Land by the same vessel which conveys him to the settlement.

The Aboriginal settlement at “Wybalena" Flinders Island was abandoned late 1847 by order of Governor Sir William Denison. Dr. Milligan having been appointed as successor to Dr. Jeanneret for the express purpose of the removal of the Aborigines to the mainland at Oyster Cove in D’Entrecasteaux Channel. Dr. Jeanneret was virtually the last Superintendent of Flinders Island. He remained to see the embarkation of the Natives under his successor Dr. Milligan all bound for Oyster Cove. At the time of transfer according to Fenton there were forty four natives at Flinders Island.

A report in the Hobart Town Courier reports their arrival on the 20th October 1847.

"Arrived in schooners Sisters and Gill from Flinders Island with Dr. Milligan and lady, twenty two females, fifteen aborigines and ten children which they landed at Oyster Cove in D'Entrecasteaux Channel."

Some time after the removal of the natives Dr. Jeanneret and family left Flinders Island in the 'John Bull' arriving in Launceston February 1848. Two years later, 1850, they sailed for Sydney, New South Wales where Dr Jeanneret continued to practice medicine. He also continued to write and carry on his appeals to authorities claiming injustices. In 1851, having returned to England, Dr Jeanneret had printed in pamphlet form a letter to ‘Rt. Hon. Earl Grey - being a short explanatory appeal relative to the authors conduct as Superintendent of Flinders Island’.

In a memorial dated 18th February 1853, Henry Jeanneret petitioned His Grace the Duke of Newcastle a Secretary for State for the Colonies for compensation and losses and injury through neglect of the Colonial Office. The pamphlet was entitled ‘The vindication of a Colonial Magistrate from the aspersions of His Grace the Duke of Newcastle’.




The humble petition of Henry Jeanneret, Doctor of Medicine, sheweth, That petitioner served your Majesty as an officer under the Colonial department for ten years, and having been removed from his command as Superintendent of the aborigines of Van Diemen's Land, in 1844, was restored to his office upon appeal to the Secretary of State.

That this award in petitioner's favour was resisted by a petition addressed to your Majesty as from eight aborigines accusing petitioner. But, when petitioner's conduct was subjected to a strict official investigation, those aborigines represented that the said petition was false, and had been unfairly originated; whilst the Europeans who had served under petitioner testified to petitioner's zeal, humanity, and impartiality.

That petitioner has nevertheless been treated as if guilty, and as if he had justly incurred your Majesty's displeasure, and was again dismissed in 1847, and held up to public detestation in the colony, whilst his property was devastated.

That, notwithstanding the Right Hon. Earl Derby decided in petitioner's favour in 1845, and the Right Hon. Sir John Pakington officially absolved petitioner in 1852 from any amputations of a moral nature, or such as could affect his profession, petitioner has been refused redress by the Colonial-office, upon plea of dismissal for offences against law and humanity.

That petitioner went out as a settler under promise of grants of land in 1829, but has in vain claimed the fulfilment of that promise, and has suffered grievous losses thereby.

That petitioner has endeavoured, to the best of his judgment and ability, to comply with the regulations of the Colonial-office, and to obey the instructions he has received.

And petitioner humbly solicits the establishment of his honour, and compensation for his losses, so that the sufferings of his family may not be prolonged. And Your Petitioner, as in duty bound, will ever pray, &c.


24, Howland Street, June 27, 1854.



In another dated 1854: ‘Remonstrance and Exposure of a Colonial Conspiracy whereby Her Majesty the Queen has been imposed upon in a petition against Henry Jeanneret M.D. Charges reputed: Statements by the Duke of Newcastle were in opposition to those of Lord Derby when Secretary of State and the arrival of his Graces immediate predecessor Sir John Pakington. Dr. Jeanneret’s pamphlet "Petition to the Queen" and resulting correspondence clearly states his case of oppression and unfounded accusations.

The year 1854 brought the Cholera epidemic that raged in London and there is evidence that Jeanneret still practiced and published a pamphlet in French: ‘De la guerison prompte et facile du cholera asiatique par la method de Henry Jeanneret’. This also reveals that cases treated included members of his own family, his wife Harriett, a son Francis Crosbie and a daughter Jane Warren. He also refers to cases treated while he was in Tasmania and his discovery of the treatment.






Harriet died early in 1874 and Henry remarried at the end of the same year to Frances Ann Barnett, daughter of Mr William Barnett at Abbey Church, Great Malvern, Worcestershire, Frances Ann and Henry Jeanneret at England on the 13th November, Cheltenham, England.

The Cheltenham Examiner of the 23rd June 1886 records death of Dr Henry Jeanneret L.S.A. M.D. L.R.C.S. at Cheltenham England 17th June 1886, aged 84.

Probate was granted to his widow Frances Anne Jeanneret.

Frances Anne (Barnett) and Dr Henry Jeanneret

“It may be some satisfaction for him to know that, when I was at Oyster Cove a dozen years after, his name was spoken of with respect by the Natives. Even one of them, who had before opposed him, declared him to be a just and good man; and another asserted that he kept the bad men from troubling them there, and that they were far happier on Flinders than ever they had been since.”

- Plomley