Cancelling Crowther is Another Reason to Vote “No” to the Voice

7 July 2023

4.4 MINS

The Woke war on everything is coming for Australians, and its left-leaning extremists want blood from every stone.

With the blessing of a Tasmanian taxpayer-funded “truth-telling” program, activists are demanding a memorial honouring Dr William Lodewyk Crowther be removed.

Hobart City Council agreed, voting 7-4 in favour of removing the 136-year-old statue, declaring Crowther to be “culturally unsafe.

Dr Crowther was a Dutch immigrant and respected Colonial surgeon, who also served for a short time as the 14th Premier of Tasmania.

He then spent the remainder of his days serving Tasmanians as a member of the legislative council.

Activists allege the good doctor brutalised the remains of William Lanne, an Indigenous Australian considered to be the last of Tasmania’s first peoples.

Art activist Allen Mansell, who is spearheading the cancel Crowther campaign, calls the revisionist approach to reinterpreting the doctor an act of ‘righting wrongs.’

Mansell, waving the Aboriginal flag, desecrated the memorial with fake blood and a surgeon’s saw in 2021.

He also placed a rewritten history on the statue, accusing Crowther of ‘butchering [King Billy] like a beast, leaving only some flesh left to bury.’

Others allege that upon Lanne’s death in 1869, Crowther dismembered Lanne,’ after ‘breaking into the Hobart morgue to steal Lanne’s skull.’ (see here and here.)

Telling “his version”, Mansell alleged that Crowther also ‘severed William Lanne’s scrotum, to use as a tobacco pouch.’

Tasmanian historian Dr Ian MacFarlane, refuted the claims, describing them as a ‘self-indulgent fantasy.’

The evidence contradicts the activist, he said.

‘Neither Crowther nor anyone else made a tobacco pouch from Lanne’s scrotum.

‘This is an unsubstantiated urban myth, originating from Lyndal Ryan’s 1981 book, The Aboriginal Tasmanians, and subsequently removed in her second edition.’


‘Crowther did not cut off the feet and hands from Lanne’s body, decapitate Lanne’s corpse, or remove Lanne’s skeleton.’

‘With the exception of the decapitation charge, all of the above actions were done by Dr George Stokell on behalf of the Royal Society,’ he explained.

The Facts

Setting the record straight, Dr MacFarlane recounted that Stokell — house surgeon-general — was ordered by then-premier Richard Dry not to interfere with Lanne’s body.

When Stokell reported finding Lanne’s head missing, the surgeon assumed Crowther had taken it, because Crowther was reported to have been at the hospital with his son around the time.

Crowther’s presence at the Hospital made him the perfect scapegoat.

It was Stokell and the Royal Society who ‘decided to cut off Lanne’s feet and hands’ for the RS Museum, not Crowther, the historian noted.

As a result, Premier Dry ordered William Lanne’s body to be handled with respect and receive a Christian burial.

To protect his resting place in St David’s Church, Dry then put Lanne’s grave under police guard for protection.

After the police dropped the ball and left, Lanne’s body was snatched.

The Premier then suspended Dr Crowther, pending an investigation.

MacFarlane recalled Crowther being horrified by the events — so much so that he undertook his own investigation.

‘Accompanied by Superintendent of Police Richard Propsting and others, he went to the Hospital to try to find the body.’

When ‘Dr Stokell ordered them to leave, Crowther forced the lock of one of the wards, and found the remains of Lanne’s body with the skeleton removed.’

‘Dr Crowther then publicly accused Stokell of also taking Lanne’s Skull.’

Evidence suggests Crowther was being set up. The clear beneficiary was the Royal Society.

An inquiry was convened where Stokell was found to be innocent, declaring he was simply ‘following orders.’

The Tasmanian Times in 1869 attempted to draw public attention to Stokell’s involvement, because he had admitted to removing Lanne’s body from the grave.

Hopes for a deeper inquiry were squashed when Premier Dry refused to extend it, and resigned.

With this, the inquiry ended.

While the cloud of doubt hung around Dr Crowther, Dr Stokell appears to have got off scot-free.

Crowther died in 1885.

His obituary summed up his character as a giver of life, not a life-taker.

The Launceston Examiner brief reads:

‘Having through a long and honourable career given his time, his talents, and often his money to the relief of suffering humanity, with the prospect of no other reward than the consciousness of having done a good deed.’

‘It was these traits in his character which have made Dr Crowther so popular throughout the colony.’

Hence Crowther’s statue, and its historical significance.

Fake History

Discussing the far-left assault on this towering Australian figure, Dr MacFarlane said that it is easy to attack someone who cannot defend themselves.

‘It is [also] not yet clear whether Crowther’s descendants, some of whom are deeply distressed by the very public attacks on his name and reputation, [even] have a [right of reply] recourse available to them,’ he added.

‘There is no place for redemption in the world of the Woke,’ Dr Ian MacFarlane solemnly concluded.

Such is the nature of far-left activism in a postmodern world.

Omission is king. Details are too boring.

Facts are fiction, and feelings are facts.

Similar to the Crowther story, in 2020 activists demanded Port Macquarie Council, in New South Wales, remove a statue of Edmond Barton.

Aided by the ABC, activists falsely claimed that the statue was located on an Aboriginal burial site.

If the ABC had done the proper due diligence, they would have found out — as I pointed out at the time — the statue sits on reclaimed land.

The area the statue sits on was once sand and water.

Alarm Bells

Both the Port Macquarie example and the Hobart City Council’s decision to cancel Crowther, without care for due diligence, raise important questions about the upcoming referendum.

Since “Yes” campaigners believe ALL Australians live on “stolen” land, what will happen to non-Indigenous cemeteries under the “Voice”?

No one is talking about this dark consequence attached to a “yes” victory because the government, and “hate whitey” racists, are not allowing you to hear a proper argument.

Instead, Cultural Marxists are gaslighting “no” campaigners as “Trump voters.”

Then asserting “debate is hate”, or “if you vote no, you want Aboriginal people to die.”

They’re also threatening Australians to “expect an intifada (holy war) if a no vote wins!”

Based on these tactics, and an obvious hatred of Australia, it’s fair to assume that the rise in bans stopping non-Indigenous Australians from accessing forests, beaches, hiking trails, and waterways, will include a demand to displace the dead.

As evidenced above, Left-leaning extremists — with mainstream backing — are already doing this to benign statues.

The leap from cancelling a bronze memorial to cancelling Grandma’s resting place isn’t all that far apart.

In the end, the attempt to cancel Crowther is yet another reason to vote “no.”

Tasmanian residents have until September 30 to sign a new petition asking the government to stop the statue toppling, and save history.


Photo by Jeffrey Czum.

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  1. Kaylene Emery 7 July 2023 at 12:07 pm - Reply

    Lovely work Rod….from one No voter to another.
    May our Lord continue to bless you n yours.

    • Rod Lampard 7 July 2023 at 4:42 pm - Reply

      Thank you, Kaylene. And thank you for always being one of the first to encourage my work here.

      It was an honour to write this.

  2. Kim Beazley 9 July 2023 at 8:13 am - Reply

    I was alerted to this issue several weeks ago by a descendent of Dr Crowther, and you have provided us with an excellent summary of the facts. The way rumour and distorted facts are being used in our time is reminiscent of Leftist revolutions over the last 250 years.

    “Then asserting “debate is hate”, or “if you vote no, you want Aboriginal people to die.” They’re also threatening Australians to “expect an intifada (holy war) if a no vote wins!””

    Rod, in case anyone questions the accuracy of these two, do you have any context or links to verify these quotes? I’d hate to see them challenged unnecessarily.

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