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4 corrections, most recently by diverman - Show corrections

OBITUARY. JAMES ERSKINE CALDER HOBART, Feb. 20. Considerable regret was manifested throughout the city, this morning when it became known that Mr. J. E. Calder, an ex-Surveyor-General of the colony, and for some years past Sergeant-at-Arms in     the House of Assembly, had died suddenly at his residence, Macquarie street. There are few men in Hobart who are so well known and so generally respected, and the deceased gentleman was one of that fast diminishing band of "old identities" whose career is so inter woven with the history of the colony. It appears that Mr Calder, who was walking about with his usual vigour at the end of last week, complained on Saturday of feeling ill, but on Sunday he was up as usual. In the evening, however,he complained of great pain, and this morning feeling worse, the family sent for Dr. Bright who had been attending him. When the doctor came he pronounced Mr Calder to be better, and wrote out a prescription for him, but the doctor had not been gone more than a few moments before Mr Calder, who persisted in the opinion that he was worse, was seized with a spasm of the heart of which he died a few minutes before eleven o'clock. Mr Calder was born at Great Mailorn, in Buckinghamshire, England, on the 18th of June. 1808, and consequently would have been seventy-four years of age next June, an age which was not ap- parent owing to his erect carriage and keen observing eyes, and the temperate and healthy life he had led. He was educated at the Royal Military College at Sandhurst, but the intention at first entertained of adopting the Army as a profession was not carried out, and Mr Calder came to this colony in the year 1829, having re- ceived the appointment of assistant sur- veyor under the late Mr Sprent. While connected with the SurveyDepartment Mr Calder was one of the most active agents in carrying out the trigonometrical survey of the island, and he has travelled over nearly every part of it. He accompanied Sir John and Lady Franklin in that memorable trip overland from Hobart to Macquarie Harbour in 1841, when the party had to sleep out in the wet for several nights, and to put up with every sort of privation. Upon the death of Mr Sprent in 1859, Mr Calder was appointed Surveyor-General and Commissioner of Crown Lands, an office he filled till 1870, when it was abolished in consequence of the creation of a Minister of Lands and Works, and Mr Calder retired upon a pension, to which was added the salary attached to the office of Sergeant-at-Arms, which he has held over since. Scarcely any man in the city was so well known as Mr Calder, and everyone liked to get an opportunity of talking to him about the early   days of the colony, on which subject he was thoroughly at home, having made the history of the colony his especial study. In persuance of this study he never failed to keep a record of what was happening, and would often take a long walk to gather information about an event of the olden times from some early settler, who may be was con fined to his armchair by old age, and from whom he would get the truth of some old story, and record it for future reference. From the store of old anec dotes and events he thus gathered, he would frequently furnish the press with a pithy account of some page in the colony's history, which was always read with great interest by both his contemporaries and the rising generation. He also wrote a pam phlet on the aboriginals of Tasmania, and another on oyster culture. His reports upon the various portions of the colony were all looked upon as authentic records, as he had a minute acquaintance with the geography and topography of the country, and the reports have been ordered by Parliament to be printed. Mr Calder earned the respect of nearly every one in the colony because he was so well known, and known to possess all the qualities of a gentleman, with the additional claim to respect of having done good service to the land of his adoption. Forty years ago he married a daughter of Mr Pybus, of Bruni Island, by whom he has seven children living, four daughters and three sons. The eldest living son. Mr H. Calder, is in the Education Office, and only one of his children is married, a daughter having some two or three years ago married a son of Colonel Crawford, who is in business now in the city.