William Shoobridge (1781-1836) came from a long line of farmers and hop-growers in Kent, England. He arrived in Hobart Town with his six children in 1822 after his wife and three other children died on the voyage.
He took up an 8ha land grant at Providence Valley (North Hobart), and the devout Christian no doubt credited Providence when in 1824 he was shot at by a convict, and a metal rule in his pocket saved him from serious injury.
Shoobridge devoted himself to growing hops from sets he had brought from Kent. Aided by the suitable climate, the first marketable crop was produced in 1825, with 453 lbs. (205 kg) in 1826, 362 (164 kg) in 1827 and 1043 (473 kg) in 1828; all was sold to local brewers.
One brewery, established in 1824 by Frenchman Peter Degraves, was destined to become Australia’s oldest: Cascade, still at the forefront of the industry today. William’s son, Richard, carried on the farm until 1864.