Welcome to AusPostalHistory.com

DAVID HASTIE HARVEY, MANAGER of TATTERSALL’S & FAMILY, TASMANIA

This cover was addressed to Master Horace Harvey, Manresa, Lower Sandy Bay, Hobart, Tasmania. It was probably overweight as the strip of four green ‘HALFPENNY Bantam Postage’ stamps of Victoria were insufficient postage. They were cancelled with the duplex ST. KILDA/ JL 4/ 07/ VICTORIA with the barred numeral ‘78', and the oval tax marking of 4D was partially obscured by the vertical pair of the green 2 PENCE Postage Due stamps (the converted issue with the ‘N.S.W.’ removed). The reverse was not seen (Figure 1).

Horace’s father, David Hastie Harvey’s obituary was found at The Mercury on page 7, 30 June 1927, headlined as Mr. D. H. Harvey, Manager of Tattersall’s, A Strenuous Life. The death of Mr. David Hastie Harvey, general manager of Tattersall’s, at his residence, Manresa, Lower Sandy Bay, yesterday at the age of 71 years, removed one of Hobart’s best known and most highly respected residents. He never entered public life in any of its many phases, for his work and his home were his life. For some time he had been suffering from heart trouble, and he passed away in his sleep yesterday morning.

Born at Islington, London on June 3, 1856, the son of a Congregational minister, he found his first employment at an early age as a clerk in the offices of Pickford’s, the well known transport firm. He was a young man of ambition and talent and he went to New Zealand in a emigrant steamer. He at first was employed in an ironmongery store as well as a publisher of a newspaper. He worked hard at both jobs and earned enough money to buy a small selection of land. He retained the selection when he left for Australia and went to Sydney where he worked for a land salesman and he sold vast quantities of land in the now suburbs of Rockdale and Kogarah. He again found employment as an ironmonger; the business and David both transferred to Queensland. He left this firm and entered the employ of George Adams, who was then the licensee of Tattersall’s Hotel, as well as the conductor of the surreptitious sweeps (lotteries) of some N.S.W. races and also on the Melbourne Cup.

His organising abilities were now given scope and he did not fail to take advantage of his opportunity. The business grew steadily and he put in long hours. At a later stage the N.S.W. government stepped in, and said that no more sweeps were to be held. It was then that the business was transferred to Queensland, and Mr. Harvey went with it. He continued to manage the Tattersall’s sweeps in Queensland until his health failed and he went to live in Bega, N.S.W. for some years. Later on the Queensland government legislated against the sweeps and the business was moved again to Hobart, where it remained and flourished, but Mr. Harvey did not go with the business. With the establishment of the Commonwealth of Australia at the beginning of the century, the new Postal Department decreed that correspondence addressed to Tatterstall’s, Hobart was not to be delivered. As a result George Adams sent for the man who had been so successful in building the business, to control the business and David Harvey ran the business again. George Adams instituted the recruitment of his family members, staff, with D.H. Harvey and his family and other friends, business men, banks, newspapers, and other institutions, to which the public directed their mail bets. When George Adams died in 1904, Harvey became one of the trustees of George Adams’ estate and continued managing Tattersall’s until his death in 1927. He also became a beneficiary of the will to a considerable extent.

The late Mr. Harvey was married to a Miss M. Packman in Sydney, and they had a family of eight, of whom four sons and three daughters are living. The eldest son was Horace Harvey who was the recipient of this letter. He has the Studley Park Estate at Sorell, Tasmania, while Harold, another son, has recently gone on the property known as Font Hill at Oatlands. David is an engineer in the State Hydro Electric Department, while the fourth son, Lorimer, is an apprentice with the electrical firm of Medhurst & Son. The daughters are Mrs. Maddock of Melbourne; Violet, who saw extensive service during the war; and Daisy, who is now indulging her passion for travel in the remote districts of India.

There is a short paragraph which is listed as "Not a sporting man" in the obituary, and it reads: Another of the remarkable and little known facts about Mr. Harvey is that although he was so intimately connected with horse racing through Tattersall’s, it is doubtful whether he attended more than half a dozen race meetings in the whole of his life. As for following "(the horses form)", he took no interest in it. In his later years he was a deep reader, especially of works of political history, a subject on which he became something of an authority. His outstanding characteristic of course was his wonderful grip of finance, a subject of which he seemed to possess an almost uncanny knowledge. A picture of David Hastie Harvey taken from the newspaper obituary is seen in Figure 2.

David McNamee’s book Catalogue and Handbook of Tattersall’s Covers (2006) devotes pages 88-95 to covers addressed to the Harvey family: Master Bob Harvey, Miss Elizabeth Harvey, Master Horace Harvey, Mr. Lionel Harvey, Miss Violet Harvey, D. H. Harvey (he at multiple addresses), as well as the use of his middle name, 'Hastie at the Athenaeum Club, Hobart.'

Richard Breckon has published a paper entitled 'Tattersalls and the Post Office ' The Australian Philatelist, Winter 1989, pages 15-20, and he has a cartoonist's rendition of David Harvey's boss which I have included as my Figure 3.

I include a copy of a relatively rare Queensland period registered Tattersall cover addressed to the boss George Adams, Telegraph Chambers, Queens Street, Brisbane, Queensland which has a ms.'6d' and the handstamp 'MORE TO PAY', and the blue 'TWO PENCE' N.S.W. stamp is cancelled with the duplex BALLINA/ DE 2/ 1895/ N.S.W with the barred numeral '147' (Figure 4).

 

 
Copyright 2000-2016