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Mary Ramsay, Dr Agnew: pain, pleasure and politics

Published: Wednesday, 11 December 2019

Mary Ramsay tells us about Dr James Agnew (1815-1901), later Sir James Agnew KCMG, who conducted the first anaesthetic in Hobart. He was a leading figure in Hobart for over 60 years promoting scientific enquiry and the arts. He was also Premier for a year. His home is now Legacy House in Hobart.

Mary Ramsay is an amateur historian who has always been interested in colonial buildings. She served on the Tasmanian Heritage Council for six years. Her interest in Dr Agnew was sparked by the facade of 159 Macquarie St. In a past life she was a librarian but spent forty years farming in the Bothwell area where she was a prominent local historian.