Van Diemen's Land Company

The Van Diemen's Land Company (also known as Van Dieman Land Company) is a farming corporation in the Australian state of Tasmania. It was founded in 1825 and received a royal charter the same year,[1][2] and was granted 250,000 acres.[3] (1,000 km2) in northwest Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania) in 1826. The company was a group of London merchants who planned a wool growing venture to supply the needs of the British textile industry.[4]

The Van Diemen's Land Company
Privately held company
Number of locations
25 dairies
OwnerMoon Lake Investments
Number of employees

The company established its headquarters at Circular Head [5] under the management of Edward Curr who arrived in Van Diemen's Land in 1826.[4]

Much of the initial cargo, stock and farm labourers arrived in Van Diemen's Land aboard the Tranmere. Some of the settlers refused to adapt to their new surroundings. For instance they did not recognise that in the Southern Hemisphere the seasons were reversed.[4] For many years the costs of farming were only just recovered. By the 1880s the company was making more money from timber felling and timber exports than from farming.[4]

The Van Diemen's Land Company introduced bounties on the thylacine (Tasmanian tiger) from as early as 1830, which was a partial cause of their extinction.[6]

The Company was the constructor of the early stages of the Emu Bay Railway between 1875 and 1884.[7]

The company retains some of the original land grant and is widely believed to be the last Australian chartered company still operating. By the 1970s the company owned one seventh of its original selection.[4]

In July 2014 it was announced the owner of the Van Diemen's Land Company, New Plymouth District Council (through Taranaki Investment Management Limited) in New Zealand, was attempting to sell the company.[2][8] In 2016, it was purchased by Moon Lake Investments, controlled by Lu Xianfeng, for A$280 million.[9]


  1. Royal Charters, Privy Council website
  2. "VDL, Australia's oldest dairy company, up for sale as major shareholder looks for a buyer". Australian Broadcasting Corporation. 9 July 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  3. "Tasmanian State Archives". 11 April 2016. Retrieved 11 April 2016.
  4. Phillips, Valmai (1984). Enterprising Australians. Kensington, New South Wales: Bay Books. p. 22. ISBN 0-85835-647-3.
  5. Jones, E 2015, Along the terrace: the owners and occupiers of Stanley 1843–1922, Stanley Discovery Museum, Stanley, Tasmania, p. vii
  6. "Wildlife of Tasmania: Mammals of Tasmania: Thylacine, or Tasmanian tiger, Thylacinus cynocephalus". Parks and Wildlife Service, Tasmania. 2006. Retrieved 21 November 2006.
  7. Atkinson, H.K. (1991). Railway Tickets of Tasmania. ISBN 0-9598718-7-X. pp.126-127
  8. "China buyers in talks over farms". New Zealand Farmer. 26 June 2014. Retrieved 9 July 2014.
  9. Ted O'Connor (24 February 2016). "VDL sale to foreign buyer a 'betrayal', Kathmandu founder Jan Cameron says". ABC News.


  • Pink, Kerry Winds of Change: A History of Woolnorth (2003)
  • James Bischoff, Sketch of the history of Van Diemen's Land, illustrated by a map of the island, and an account of the Van Diemen's Land Company (1832)

This article is issued from Wikipedia. The text is licensed under Creative Commons - Attribution - Sharealike. Additional terms may apply for the media files.