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Archiver > AUS-VIC > 1999-10 > 0941248150

From: "R + L Fletcher" <>
Subject: Re: Diary of Victoria
Date: Sat, 30 Oct 1999 11:49:10 +1000

The following are extracts from a diary of Victoria dated from the first
settlement until 1842, which may be of interest to the list. I will do
followup postings as time permits. Spellings and language are kept as that
originaly used.


November 19 - 8 a.m. Edward Henty, the first permanent settler at Port
Phillip, landed from the Thistle, with Henry Camfield and four indentured
men servants to form an establishment at Portland Bay. The live stock (22
head of cattle, 2 turkeys, 2 guinea fowls and 6 dogs) were also landed and
the unloading of other cargo commenced. Other cargo consisted of building
materials, a bullock dray, a plough and harrows, a whale boat, foodstuffs
and other provisions.
Leaving Launceston in October, due to the bad weather the ship encountered,
34 days passed before she anchored in Portland Bay.

November 20 The men were employed in landing cargo and in building a

November 23 The Thistle sailed for Launceston

November 25 A vegetable garden was started by Henty and Camfield.

November 26 The men finished the hut.

December 1 The erection of stock yards was commenced.

December 6 The stock-yards having been completed, ploughing was
commenced and continued until the 31st. Corn, turnips and peas were sown
and potatoes were planted.

December 19 Francis Henty arrived in the Thistle with 10 head of
cattle and 100 sheep. He also brought 2 fowls, plants, seeds and 4
RABBITS - the first at Port Phillip.


January 22 George Mackillop, of Hobart Town, arrived in Sydney in the
brig Siren and sailed for Hobart Town in April. He went first to the
district known as the Cowpastures, Nepean River and then to the Maneroo
country. From there, accompanied by a party, two of whom were James
MacFarlane and Thomas Livingstone, he made his way a few miles to the south
of Lake Omeo, and gave the name Strath Downie to the locality he reached and
now known as Omeo.

February 19 The erection of a weather-board cottage was commenced by
Edward Henty. He took occupation April 23.

May 27 After awaiting favourable wind for over a fortnight,
the cutter Rebecca, 30 tons, J Harwood, master and Robert Robson, mate,
sailed for Port Phillip, conveying John Batman, 3 men servants (James Gumm,
William Todd and Alexander Thompson) and 7 Sydney natives. The aim of the
expedition was to acquire a large tract of country at Port Phillip, on
behalf of a number of residents in Van Diemen's Land, the Port Phillip
Association. Instead of merely squatting, as the Henty's had done, the
association proposed to achieve their end and establish their rights to
possession, by means of a purchase by Batman from the natives. For the
purpose Batman took over 3 copies of 2 deeds of conveyance, drawn up by J T

Members of the Port Phillip Association included Charles SWANSTON, banker of
Hobart Town; Thomas BANNISTER, Sheriff of Hobart Town; James SIMPSON,
Commissioner Caveat Board Hobart Town, Joseph Tice GELLIBRAND, solicitor,
Hobart Town; John and William ROBINSON, drapers Hobart Town; Henry ARCHER
Collector of Customs Launceston; John Helder WEDGE, Government Surveyor
Launceston; William Gardiner SAMS, Deputy Sheriff Launceston; John SINCLAIR
overseer of Convicts Launceston; Anthony COTTRELL, Chief District Constable
Launceston; Michael CONNOLLY merchant Launceston; John Thomas COLLICOTT
Portmaster General Hobart Town and George Duncan MERCER retired Major,

May 29 The Rebecca anchored about noon, in St Leonard's Bay. Batman,
with Harwood and the Sydney natives, went ashore and explored a few miles.

June 2 After having explored on the 3 previous days, the country
around the western arm of Port Philip Bay, and having penetrated as far as
the You Yangs and the Barrabool Hills, Batman moved the Rebecca to the mouth
of the Yarra Yara. The vessel anchored off Williamstown, where Batman went
ashore in the evening.

June 3-5 Accompanied by his 3 men and the Sydney natives, all well
armed and provisioned, Batman went up the Salt Water River. After
proceeding a few miles beyond Keilor, he took an easterly course until the
Merri Creek was reached at Northcote.

June 6 Batman claimed that, after meeting Chiefs of the Dutigallar
tribe and explained fully to them what his object was, he purchased two
large tracts of land from them - about 600,000 acres and delivered over to
them blankets, knives, looking glasses, tomahawks, beads, scissors, flour
etc as payment for the land, and also agreed to give them a tribute, or
rent, yearly.
The parchment the 8 chiefs signed this afternoon, delivering to me some of
the soil of each of them, as giving me full possession of the tracts of
land. This took place alongside of a beautiful stream of water (the Merri
Creek Northcote) and from whence my land commences and where a tree is
marked four ways to know the corner boundary.
(Copies of the original deeds are in the Historical Museum at the Public
Library Melbourne).

June 9 Leaving the men and natives to begin erecting huts and
establishing a garden, Batman returned to Launceston.

July 6 A white man of huge stature, (six feet 7 inches tall ) wrapped
in a large kangaroo skin, and armed with native weapons, walked into the
camp of John Batmans party at Indented Head. After he had been given food,
the party examined the letters W B tattooed on his right arm and ascertained
that his name was William Buckley. He told them that he had been a soldier
on board the vessel that conveyed the first shipment of convicts to Van
Diemens Land. The ship struck a rock off Port Phillip and all on board
perished except himself and 3 others, one of whom was the Captain, who could
not swim. With the latter on his shoulders, Buckley swan for 24 hours until
he reached the shore in an exhausted condition. Shortly afterwards the
Captain left the others and was never seen again. Left alone in a few days
by the deaths of his 2 companions, Buckley expected to be killed by the
first natives he saw. For 40 days he walked along the beach, living on
mussels, until he encountered some aboriginies who immediately gave him
food. He joined their party and lived with them until he came to the camp.
During the whole time he had not seen any white men and only 2 ships.

Buckley later admitted this story was untrue and that he was really an
escaped convict. He had been in the King's Own Regiment and was transported
for life for selling stolen property. After escaping, he lived with the
aborigines for 32 years before meeting Batman's party. He died in 1856 at

July 27 John Pascoe FAWKNER, publican, arrived at Port Phillip.
He brought his employees James GILBERT, blacksmith and his wife Mary,
Charles WISE and George EVANS farm hands and servant Evan EVANS. Leaving his
employees, Fawkner returned to Launceston on July 30.

August 7 John Helder Wedge and Mr and Mrs Henry Batman with their 4
children arrived aboard the Rebecca.

August 16 John H LANCEY master mariner aboard the Enterprise, as
Fawkners representative, landed at Port Phillipand anchored off the
emcampment of Batman's party at Indented Head.

August 20 The mouth of the Yarra Yarra was reached by Lancey.

August 29 The Enterprize, the first vessel to sail up the Yarra
Yarra, anchored a little to the west of the future Spencer Street.

August 30 The two horses were landed, together with pigs, poultry,
dogs and a cat and a start was made to unload the cargo of goods, trees,
wines, provisions and grog. Erection of a turf store was begun.
J H Wedge, accompanied by Alexander Thompson and some of the Sydney
natives and 2 local aboriinies, arrived at the encampment to advise the
party of Fawkner that they were within the limits of Batman's land.
Fawkner's party stated their determination to hold possession.

September 8 Charles Wise commenced ploughing on a site to the east of
the Yarra Yarra camp.

September 14 The Mary Ann arrived with stores for Batman's party.
Henry Batman erected a sod hut on the south east corner of where William and
Collins Streets would one day meet. It was pulled down when the streets
were surveyed.

October 11 The Enterprize arrived with Fawkner and his wife, William
WATKINS an adopted lad, John SCOTT servant and Mrs Lancey and her 3
children. They also brought building materials and livestock of horses,
cows, calves and poultry.

November 6 Fawkner occupied the house he erected and opened the first
public house at the Settlement without a licence. This was on the south
east corner of William and Flinders streets.

November 9 The barque Norval arrived with John Batman, Dr Barry
Cotter, James Anthony Cowie (one of my ancestors), David Stead, John Lewison
Stieglitz and E Ferguson. They brought 500 sheep for member s of the Port
Phillip Association and 50 Hereford cows for Dr Alexander Thompson, which
were landed at Gellibrand's Point.

November 22 69 sheep were shorn at Portland Bay.

December 29 The first child of European parents was born at the
Settlement, a son to James and Mary Gilbert.

December 31 J T Gellibrand, his son Thomas, John Gardiner, William
Robertson, A Leake, James Malcolm and 2 men arrived. They brought a cargo
of 1140 sheep from Launceston belonging to Charles Swanston. Owing to a
gale, the fodder has ben destroyed and all on board had been employed in
feeding the animals on flour and water. The surviving sheep were landed near
the site of the abandoned (1826-28) settlement at Western Port. Leaving
Robert MUDIE the overseer and several shepherds to search for the sheep
which had strayed from the landing place, Gellibrand and his party walked to
the Yarra Yarra Settlement. He then engaged the Enterprize to convey the
men and sheep to Port Phillip. Mudie and 2 men were drowned through a boat
capsizing whilst the seventy odd sheep that were retrieved were being put on
board the vessel.

I hope this has been of interest

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