Determining the fate of the Crowther statue
WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that this article contains references and images of deceased persons and content which may cause distress.
William Lodewyk Crowther (1817–1885), surgeon, naturalist and politician, rose to prominence in Tasmania’s early colonial society, including serving a term as Premier of Tasmania (1878–79). His drive and indomitable character made him a popular figure and four years after his death, a monument was erected in Franklin Square, Hobart, in his honour. The unveiling ceremony took place on 9 January 1889 presided over by the Hon. Premier P.O. Fysh and witnessed by a large gathering including members of the government and other distinguished guests (The Mercury 9 January 1889, p. 2). Facing towards kunanyi/Mount Wellington, the solid bronze statue was a remarkable likeness and fine piece of work as it towered 8ft 6inches (2.5 m) above its freestone plinth bearing the inscription:
“Erected by a grateful public, and sincere personal friends, to perpetuate the memory of long and zealous political and professional services rendered in this colony by William Lodewyk Crowther, F.R.C.S., England, sometime Premier of Tasmania. Born 15th April 1817, died 12th April 1885.”