What Contribution dide George Howe Make?

What contribution did George Howe make to shape Australia?

2 Answers

  • Randal
    Lv 7
    9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    HOWE, GEORGE (1769-1821), printer, editor, publisher and poet, was born on the island of St Kitts in the West Indies, the son of Thomas Howe, government printer at Basseterre on St Christopher's Island. George and his brother were both apprenticed to the printing trade. His later work indicates that his education was thorough along the classical lines of the eighteenth century, and that he was well read in European literature.

    In 1790 Howe went to London and worked on The Times and other newspapers. He married and his son Robert was born in 1795. In March 1799, together with a companion, Thomas Jones, and under the name of 'George Happy alias Happy George', he was tried at the Warwick Assizes for shoplifting at Alcester; he was sentenced to death but this was commuted to transportation for life. Robert Howe later referred to Alexander McLeay as 'the benefactor of myself and my poor mother', and it was probably McLeay who enabled Howe's family to embark with him in the Royal Admiral. He arrived at Sydney in November 1800, but his wife died on the voyage. Howe himself recovered from a serious illness in 1801 and attributed his survival to D'Arcy Wentworth.

    Almost immediately Howe became government printer, and the range of his printing far exceeded the broadsheets and orders of his predecessor, George Hughes. In 1802 he issued the first book printed in Australia, New South Wales General Standing Orders, comprising Government and General Orders issued between 1791 and 1802. On 5 March 1803 he began the publication of the first newspaper, the Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser. Robert helped in the printing office when the paper began and 'had the honour, even in those infant days, of gaining the smile and eliciting the astonishment of the King's Representative when he saw us perched on a stool'. According to Robert the old printing press was worth only £2 and they had to manage with a mere 20 lbs. (9 kg) of type; but Howe was an 'ingenious man' and managed in spite of the inadequate press, a chronic shortage of ink and paper, and the refusal or inability of many of his subscribers to pay their debts. He was conditionally pardoned in 1803, and fully emancipated in 1806.


    This is a portion of the entry from the referenced site. George Howe helped to shape Australia by becoming a government printer and printing the first book and publishing the first newspaper in Australia.


    I hope this is helpful.

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  • VS
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    George Howe (printer)

    George Howe (1769 – 11 May 1821) was the first Australian editor, poet and early printer. Howe was the son of Thomas Howe, a government printer on Basseterre, Saint Christopher Island (now better known as Saint Kitts) in the West Indies. When about 21 he went to London and worked as a printer in The Times office. In March 1799 he was charged with shoplifting and sentenced to death, but this was commuted to transportation for life to New South Wales. Howe arrived at Sydney on 22 November 1800. A small printing press had been brought to Australia by Governor Arthur Phillip, and a convict named George Hughes used it to print a considerable number of orders, rules and regulations. Soon after he arrived George Howe became the government printer, and in 1802 printed New South Wales General Standing Orders consisting of 146 pages, the first book to be printed in Australia. In May 1803 Governor King, in a dispatch to Lord Hobart, mentioned the establishment of the Sydney Gazette as a weekly publication—its first number had appeared on 5 March and asked that a new fount of type should be sent to Sydney. The paper was carried on at the risk of Howe, who, though he had been fully emancipated in 1806, did not receive a salary as government printer until 1811 when he was granted only £60 a year. In the meantime Howe conducted the Gazette under difficulties, often running out of paper and suffering much from patrons who fell behind in their subscriptions. In 1810 a lighting strike almost destroyed Howes's printing office. Howe tried various expedients to keep his household going, at one time keeping a school and at another becoming a professional debt collector. Another of these expenidants was becoming a professional mobile food stand for the public, he did this for 3 years.

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