Biography of James Dowsing
by Judy Jerkins (E-mail: Judy Jerkins not available)
James Dowsing must have been an interesting man. The little I have been able to gather tells the tale of a man on an alcoholic binge who one night stole the sign above the Inn door and helped himself to a bolt of material from the cart parked in the street. He was sentenced to 7 years and travelled on board the H.M.S. Calcutta, arriving in 1803.
He appears to have been a "good bloke"; he married Johanna Sculley nee Clarke, a convict. Johanna had initially married the free settler James Scully out of love. She bore Scully one child, but then he died. She appears to have married a William Schullah and had another 3 children - presumably they were William's children? However, I am not sure if this wedding actually took place.
Johanna then married James Dowsing and all the children took on the Dowsing surname and are recorded as such in the Census of children on the island.
James Dowsing is commemorated in the naming of Dowsing Point in Hobart, near where the Bowen Bridge joins land on the western shore of the Derwent River.