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A Cruel and Desperate Man?

Joseph Solomon (1784–1851)

When Joseph died in May 1851 the newspaper obituary described him as a ‘gentleman’ and ‘very early colonist [who] justly enjoyed the esteem and respect of all who knew him.’ Not a mention of his convict past.
By the time the partnership of J. & J. Solomon was dissolved, Joseph had left Hobart and moved north. He opened a store in Launceston, and later a bakery in Evandale.
Prior to his transportation Joseph divorced his Jewish wife before the Bet Din, the Jewish court of law, leaving them both free to remarry. In 1833 he married a widow Eliza Backas (or Backhouse). They settled in Evandale, and were joined by his four almost adult children from England. Also during these years, Joseph relinquished his Jewish faith, and converted to the Church of England.

The wedding of Joseph Solomon and Eliza Backas took place at St. John’s Anglican Church in Launceston, and thereafter Joseph joined the congregation at St. Andrew’s Church in Tasmania’s northern rural town of Evandale.
The wedding of Joseph Solomon and Eliza Backas took place at St. John’s Anglican Church in Launceston, and thereafter Joseph joined the congregation at St. Andrew’s Church in Tasmania’s northern rural town of Evandale.

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