from Cornwall Chronicle (Launceston, Tas)
Our obituary announces the death of Robert Quayle Kermode, Esq., at his residence, Mona Vale, near Ross, on Wednesday, the 4th instant, at the age of 58 years. Mr. Kermode was one of the leading public men in Tasmania, for many years the representative of the lordly Wool Kings of the midland districts, derisively termed by Sir William Denison "Lords of wastes and Princes of deserts." His father, Mr. William Kermode, was a native of the Isle of Mona or Man, and after a hardy career in the maritime service he arrived in this colony, amassed some property, returned to England for his wife and family, Mr. Robert Quayle being the eldest. On arrival Mr. Kermode was allowed the usual grant of 2560 acres of land, with double that area after settling on and improving it. This was the nucleus which Mr. Kermode extended by purchase, into a vast and princely estate. He and some other leading settlers lived from 1830 to 1836 in great hostility to the then Governor, Sir George Arthur, against whose arbitrary rule, they, quite as arbitrary in their own way, rebelled. In consequence of this Mr. W. Kermode was never called to take part at the Governor's Council table, nor did Sir John Franklin or Sir W. Denison ever admit Mr. Robert Quayle Kermode to the Nominee Council. Mr Kermode had been sent to England to be educated, and returned about 1839, a very accomplished gentleman, frank, generous, not slow to quarrel, but willing to apologise. Shortly after the arrival of Sir Eardley Wilmot, Mr. Kermode was, on the 26th September, 1843, placed in the commission of the peace. He married the daughter of the late Thomas Archer, Esq., of Woolmers, but that lady only lived long enough to bear him three children. Mr. R. Q. Kermode took a leading part as a member of the anti-Transportation League, in bringing about the cessation of transportation to this colony. In 1852, the Legislature of the colony consisted of but one chamber— the old Legislative Council — one-third of which was comprised of members nominated by the Governor, and the other two-thirds being elective. Mr. R. Q. Kermode was nominated by the anti-transportation party as a fit and proper candidate to represent the great midland district of Campbell Town and Mr. William Race Allison was nominated by the pro-transportation party to oppose him. Vote by ballot, at that time, was a question, the theory of which had been discussed timorously, as something un-British, to be abhorred and not to be put in practice. Open voting was the good old British plan adopted on this occasion, and with most striking results in every sense of the term. The amount of ill-feeling, caused by the ill-judged, uncourteous, and cruel remarks made during that election, has never been allayed to this day, though the broken heads have been cured and many of them laid at rest years ago. The result of the election was a great victory for Mr. Kermode and the anti-transportation cause. He was elected by a majority of two to one— 140 votes against Mr. Allison's 70. Mr. Kermode was again returned, under the new constitution, to represent Ringwood in the House of Assembly. On being grossly insulted there by Mr. Gregson, he resigned, but was subsequently returned as a member of the Legislative Council, our Upper House. He was a member of Mr. Weston's Ministry without office in 1857, and of Mr. Smith's (now Sir Francis Smith. C. J.) Ministry from 1857 to 1860. Prior to the latter date Mr. Kermode revisited England, and during his stay his younger son died there. He remarried during his absence the present Mrs. Kermode, a lady then resident at Cheltenham, by whom he has had three children. Since his return Mr. Kermode was elected Member for North Esk in the Legislative Council, but resigned about three years ago. The residence of Mr. R. Q. Kermode, Mona Vale, is a princely mansion, built at a cost of some £30,000, but at a period when he was in receipt of between £20,000 and £30,000 a year. The house contains fifty-six rooms besides those of the outbuildings, and it is characteristic of the bountiful hospitality of the deceased gentleman, that of the fifty-six rooms, thirty-four were fitted up as bedrooms for his guests. Mona Vale was a fitting mansion for the reception of H.R.H. Prince Alfred, when en route from and to Hobart Town, and right sumptuously and royally was he entertained there by his loyal host. Each Governor of the colony, since Sir William Denison, has been entertained in a right Royal manner by the Lord of Mona Vale— now no more. Mr Kermode was a thorough Englishman in all his tastes and aspirations, and as such was a liberal friend to the Church of England in this colony, though somewhat intolerant and overbearing in regard to his own theological opinions. The beautiful little church at Ross was erected through his instrumentality, as he bore about two-thirds of the cost, including a gift of the ground. He was thoroughly known and rightly appreciated in the Midland Districts, but was comparatively a stranger in Launceston and the North. He had been suffering from a complication of ailments for the past three years, all originating in that foe to longevity in this colony— disease of the heart. With all his menial powers strengthened by the experience of an active and useful life, in the prime of manhood disease seized upon his stalwart frame, and he pined and withered away as if in consumption, until latterly he was so reduced in body as to be unable to move without assistance, and then—THE END.
'Kermode, Robert Quayle (1812–1870)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/kermode-robert-quayle-2832/text25071, accessed 20 June 2013.