After a year in Hobart, John Ward Gleadow came to Launceston in 1826, being its first legal practitioner.
Subsequently he became a partner with William Henty, and on Henty’s retirement he was joined by his son Robert, who was tragically drowned in 1859. Gleadow then took as partners W Ritchie and RJ Parker. (The firm later became Ritchie, Parker, Alfred, Green & Co.) Soon after his arrival Gleadow was granted 2000 acres on the Break O’Day River which he named “Frodsley”.
Gleadow set a high example for the legal profession in Launceston. He had wide business and community interests and purchased a lot of land. He was one of the founders of the Cornwall Turf Club and was a foundation director of many companies, including the Cornwall Bank.
A staunch churchman, he was secretary and Sunday School Superintendent of the Wesleyan Church, and treasurer of the Missionary Society. He was a founder of the Town Mission, a member of the Benevolent Society and on the management committee of St John’s Hospital and of the Launceston Building Society.
Gleadow became a strong supporter of the anti-transportation movement and of representative government. At the first election for the Legislative Council he was elected unopposed for Cornwall, and in 1866 he was elected to the House of Assembly for Morven (Evandale). He was on the Select Committee to draft the Tasmanian Constitution.
In 1826 he married Emma Bartley of “Kerry Lodge”, a happy union which was to last for fifty-five years.