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The Book Thief

James Smith Hadfield (c. 1805-1873)

Transported to Van Diemen’s Land for fourteen years for stealing, James arrived in the Colony in 1831. He committed further offences, and incurred a range of punishments including two years’ hard labour on the Spring Hill Road Party.
Despite his difficult start in the Colony, James was literate, and keen to improve his prospects. He managed to find a draper willing to take him on as an assistant, and he completed the seven-year training required. In time, he refashioned his life in the genteel and respectable drapery business.
With little to offer a wife, James waited until he was forty before marrying Catherine Coglin, a 27-year-old milliner. The couple settled in Launceston, where they raised a family of five children, three sons and two daughters. Their third child was Eleanora Boyce Hadfield.

Till sick with toil, and lassitude extreme, <br />We often think, when we are dull and vapoury, <br />The bliss of Paradise was so supreme, <br />Because that Adam did not deal in drapery. <br /><br />From <em>The Assistant Drapers Petition</em> (1839)
Till sick with toil, and lassitude extreme,
We often think, when we are dull and vapoury,
The bliss of Paradise was so supreme,
Because that Adam did not deal in drapery.

From The Assistant Drapers Petition (1839)

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