Dictionary of National Biography, 1912 supplement/Youl, James Arndell

YOUL, Sir JAMES ARNDELL (1811–1904), Tasmanian colonist, born at Cadi, New South Wales, on 28 Dec. 1811, was the son of John Youl, a Church of England clergyman, by his wife Jane Loder. As a child he accompanied his parents to Van Diemen's Land (now Tasmania), his father having been appointed in 1819 military chaplain at Port Dalrymple and first incumbent of St. John's, Launceston, in that colony. James Youl was sent to England to be educated at a private school near Romford, Essex, and returning to Van Diemen's Land took up his residence at Symmons Plains, a property he inherited on the death of his father in March 1827. There he became a successful agriculturist and county magistrate.

In 1854 he returned to England to reside permanently, and interested himself in Tasmanian and Australian affairs. From 1861 to 1863 he was agent in London for Tasmania, and for seven years was honorary secretary and treasurer of the Australian Association. In that capacity he was instrumental in inducing the imperial government to establish a mail service to Australia via the Red Sea, and in getting the Australian sovereign made legal tender throughout the British Dominions. He was acting agent-general for Tasmania from Feb. to Oct. 1888, and was one of the founders in 1868 of the Royal Colonial Institute, taking an active part in its management until his death.

But it is with the introduction of salmon and trout into the rivers of Tasmania and New Zealand that Youl's name is mainly associated. After patient and prolonged experiments and many failures he at length discovered the proper method of packing the ova for transmission on a long sea voyage, by placing them on charcoal and living moss with the roots attached, in perforated wooden boxes under blocks of ice, thus preserving the ova in a state of healthy vitality for more than 100 days.

In 1864 the first successful shipment to Tasmania was made. After some difficulty in obtaining ova and proper accommodation in a suitable vessel Messrs. Money Wigram & Sons placed 50 tons of space on the clipper ship Norfolk at Youl's disposal, and he was enabled to ship 100,000 salmon and 3000 trout ova in that vessel. The Norfolk arrived at Melbourne after a favourable voyage of 84 days. Some 4000 salmon ova were retained there, the remainder being transhipped to the government sloop Victoria and taken to Hobart. They were placed in the breeding ponds in the river Plenty on the ninety-first day after embarkation, and a fair proportion hatched out satisfactorily.

For several years afterwards Youl was engaged with others in sending out successful shipments of ova to Tasmania. He was also responsible for the first shipment of ova to Otago, New Zealand, in Jan. 1868, for which he received the thanks of the government of that colony and the special thanks and a piece of plate from the provincial council of Otago. In 1866 he was awarded the gold medal of the Société d'Acclimatation and in 1868 the medal of the Acclimatisation Society of Victoria.

In 1874 he was made C.M.G. and K.C.M.G. in 1891. He died on 5 June 1904 at his residence, Waratah House, Clapham Park, and was buried in Norwood cemetery.

Youl married twice: (1) on 9 July 1839, at Clarendon, Tasmania, Eliza, daughter of William Cox, who served in the Peninsular war and went afterwards with the 46th regiment to Australia and settled at Hobartville, New South Wales; she died on 4 Jan. 1881, leaving four sons and eight daughters; (2) on 30 Sept. 1882, Charlotte, widow of William Robinson of Caldecott House, Clapham Park, and younger daughter of Richard Williams of Philipville, Belgium.

[Burke's Colonial Gentry, vol. ii. 1895; The Times, 7 and 9 June 1904; Launceston (Tasmania) Examiner, 8 June 1904; Proceedings of the Royal Colonial Institute, vol. 35, 1903–4; Fenton's History of Tasmania, 1884; Nicols's Acclimatisation of the Salmonidæ at the Antipodes, 1882; Sir S. Wilson's Salmon at the Antipodes, 1879; Cannon's Historical Record of the Forty-sixth Regiment, 1851; information supplied by his daughter, Miss A. Youl.]

C. A.