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history:squatters

the squatter era in Victoria 1835-1847

introduction

  • in March 1826, three squatters, David Fisher, James Strachan and George Russell arrived on the Caledonia and settled in the Geelong area - it was named Geelong in 1827 and surveyed in 1838 by which time it had a population of 545.
  • 1835 was the main start of the squatters arriving (mostly from Van Dienman's Land) and claiming large areas of grazing land and displacing and eventually decimating the Aboriginal population
  • in 1833, Mr. Robert Russell, surveyor, arrives in Sydney from England, and he, along with Hoddle in 1837 created the plan for Melbourne based on the site of the falls on the Yarra River at Queens St which demarcated the salt water from the fresh water.1)
  • in 1834, W.C. Wentworth tried to buy the entire South Island of New Zealand for £100
  • Oct 1834, the Battle of Pinjarra near the Murray River - 80 Aborigines and 1 European died 2)
  • by 1835, the 1835, the pastures through the middle of Van Dieman's Land were occupied, and additional grazing country would require labour and capital-intensive land clearing, hence a search for more grazing land looked towards Port Phillip District (Victoria)
  • in 1835 the Port Phillip Association headed by Vandemonians (Tasmanians) — Batman a pastoralist, Swanston a banker, Gellibrand a lawyer, and Wedge a government surveyor — ““illegally” planned to occupy land in Victoria with their sheep so that they could expand their pastoral experiences. In order to achieve their aims, Batman came over to Port Phillip and signed a treaty, or made an agreement, to purchase land from the local Aborigines. He claimed to have purchased 600,000 acres, running roughly from somewhere a little bit to the north of Melbourne round about the suburbs of Preston or Northcote down to Geelong and round into the Bellarine Peninsula, and for that he agreed to pay the ‘sellers’ an annual tribute, or rent if you like, of goods to the value of £10 a year. He hoped to be able to persuade the British government to hold the ‘treaty’ valid so that he and his partners could proceed with their pastoral activities.
  • October 1835: the Proclamation of Governor Bourke that Australia was terra nullius upon which British settlement was based, reinforcing the notion that the land belonged to no one prior to the British Crown taking possession of it, and that all people found occupying land without the authority of the government would be considered illegal trespassers, and that Aboriginal people therefore could not sell or assign the land, nor could an individual person acquire it, other than through distribution by the Crown.
  • squatting began soon after October 1835 when “overlanders” Hawdon, Gardiner and Hepburn drove the first cattle from NSW down the central corridor, roughly following Major Mitchell's line
  • in March 1837, Governor Bourke visited the settlement, and approved Robert Hoddle’s grid design for the township of Melbourne
  • by the end of 1838, according to Port Phillip’s Crown Lands Commissioner, there were 57 squatters in the Port Phillip District. 3)
  • in 1839, NSW Govt introduces a £10 licence for each sheep grazing station (previously there were no fees), squatters could just select their own land based on loosely defined boundaries
  • in August 1840, the Colonial Land and Emigration Commissioners of the British Government decided to allow the purchase of land anywhere in Port Phillip District (Victoria)
    • Special Surveys could be requested to enable the purchase of 5,120 acres (2,070 ha), or eight square miles, for ₤1 per acre. This price was significantly below the value of the land at that time.
  • in March 1841, to restrict the sale of valuable land, Governor Gipps introduced regulations that required the land to be more than 5 miles (8.0 km) from a surveyed township, and to restrict the water-frontage to one mile (1.6 km) per four square miles of area. The regulation was rescinded in August 1841.
  • the drought and depression of the early 1840s was disastrous for many land speculators who experienced heavy losses
  • in 1848, NSW Govt introduces Pre-emptive Right on registered runs - the right to buy a square mile (640 acres) for one pound per acre.
  • by the time Victoria was established as a separate colony in 1851, there were 5,000,000 sheep in the District, more than were in rest of New South Wales, and there were just on 100,000 people, 90% of the population of the rural districts were male! Each shepherd looked after a flock of usually about 500 in a land with few if any fences. The aboriginal population had declined ~90%, mainly from disease and decreased birth rates, although perhaps up to 10% of the decline was due to violent conflicts with the pastoralists. 4)
  • 1851-53, George Douglas Smythe surveys the Gippsland coastline

timeline

1835

  • sheep squatters landing in Geelong, come to Victoria to illegally take up pastoral runs
  • the Murray region started to be taken up from 1835 with a peak uptake in 1843
    • Mackillop and Macfarlane moved up the Mitta Mitta tributary to establish a run further south in Lake Omeo district
    • Charles Ebden established the Mungabareena run on the north bank of the Murray at present dayAlbury, and then the Bonegilla Run between the Mitta and Little River (Kiewa)
  • William Roadknight and his son Thomas, settle in Victoria taking up properties in Winchelsea

1836

  • Major Thomas Mitchell, the colony’s Surveyor-General, passed through the then-uncharted regions in search of new grazing land.
    • Following Mitchell’s return to Sydney, his favourable descriptions of Australia Felix instigated a wave of overlanding expeditions to the Port Phillip District along the track made by Mitchell’s drays on their return journey to Sydney. This track became known as the Major’s Line.
    • The Overlanders drove their stock, usually sheep and some cattle, from the settled regions around Goulburn to the Port Phillip District to take up land for pastoral pursuits. One of the 1st to follow this route was Alexander Fullerton Mollison in 1837. Many were plagued in their journey south by the lack of water for their bullock carts, and lack of grass for feed after grassfires had ravaged the area.
  • John Gardiner, pioneered an overland cattle route from New South Wales to the Port Phillip District and established a station on the banks of Kooyongkoot, as Gardiners Creek (later renamed Malvern)
  • Thomas Wedge was one of the original settlers who followed John Batman to Port Phillip, and one of the few who stayed on for very long farming the land allocated as a result of Batman's supposed purchase from the Aborigines. When Government regulation came to the settlement Wedge took out a licence for 7 square miles on the Werribee River. The severe flood of 1851 washed away his homestead and killed several family members resulting in Wedge selling his land to Thomas Chirnside that year.
  • Alfred Langhorn obtains a a grazing licence to 13,729 acres at Laverton
  • John Aitken arrived in Melbourne as the independent rivals to John Batman's Port Phillip Association and selected a large tract of land in the Gisborne region and developed the 640 acre property “Emmaline Vale” and established a merino sheep farm as well as a 10 square mile run at Mt Aitken / The Gap and the adjacent 3,242 acres of the Mt. Holden Run.
  • George Evans occupied the Buttlejorrk or Emu Bottom Run in Sunbury of 8 square miles
  • William & Samuel Jackson established their squatting run of 16 square miles on the banks of Jackson's Creek, Sunbury
  • Henry Howey selected land from near the present town of Riddells Creek through Gisborne to Mount Macedon and he also bought land at the first land sales in Melbourne where his name remains on the property, on the corner of Collins and Swanston Streets. Unfortunately, his small boat carrying him and his family from Sydney was shipwrecked on the Ninety Mile Beach.
  • Hill settled the “Turitable Run” on the south side of Mount Macedon
  • Stainforth settled in the area around the present Rosslynne Reservoir, Barbour and Matson at Bullengarook
  • John Brock (-1856), his wife and 3 sons left Van Dieman's Land and settled on grazing land west of Romsey - the small soda trachyte volcanic hill (1 of 3 such geologic forms including Camel's Hump and Hanging Rock), was named after him as Brock's Monument - now still on private land.
  • Joseph Tice Gellibrand explores the Eltham area and names the Plenty River
  • George Langhorne runs an Aboriginal mission at a place he called Pur-ra-ran - later known as Prahran

1837

  • Henry William Hutchinson Smythe contracted as surveyor for Hoddle and surveys Moonee Ponds Creek and then Geelong 5)
  • Yarra River surveyed to Warrandyte (and then further upstream by T.H Nutt in 1839)
  • Charles Huon establishes a run at Wodonga
  • Captain Foster Fyans was commissioned as the local Police Magistrate for Geelong and established himself on the Barwon River at the site of the area of present-day Fyansford.
  • Thomas Austin took up land near Winchelsea and created a run of 29,000 acres (12,000 ha) known as Barwon Park - he is accredited with the dubious distinction of introducing rabbits to Australia, but his wife made good by establishing the Austin Hospital.
  • James Monckton Darlot overlanded cattle from the River Murray to Portland
  • John Gardiner has a run at Mooroolbark
  • Surveyor, William Wedge Darke made the first maps of the Melton area and noted there were deserted huts suggesting earlier white settlements perhaps escaped convicts
  • John Hunter Patterson establishes Green Hills pastoral station in Toolern Vale
  • Ryrie brothers brought cattle down from Monaro and settled on the lush pastures at Yering
  • Charles Bonney, was probably the 1st white settler in the Kilmore district and initially settled near Glenaroua, but after encounter with bushrangers moved closer to current day Kilmore establishing a sheep run Out Sheep Station - then the most distant station from Port Phillip.He was oon joined in the region by Dr. Richard Hamlyn, who squatted on the Dry Creek, Frederick A. Powlett and W. P. Green had squatted just north of Kilmore, William Hamilton was on the Sugarloaf Creek and Alexander Mollison at Pyalong.
  • Alexander Fullerton Mollison (1805-1885) who had already established a sheep run near Canberra, establishes sheep run with 5000 sheep and 634 cattle at Tarringower on the Coliban run, between Mount Macedon and Mount Alexander
    • in 1838, he was joined by his brother, William Thomas Mollison (1816-1886) and Tarringower was subdivided and extended to Pyalong, which was occupied as a cattle station by William.
    • in 1840, his shepherds named the westward extension as Jim Crow (a euphemism for indigenous people from the stage character created in 1828 by a traveling white minstrel in Nth America and England called Thomas “Daddy” Rice, who used to blacken his face, of note that the indigenous called this region Jumcra but the name Jim Crow Creek became established instead.
    • in 1850 Alexander organized the Merino Import Co. to import rams from Europe, hoping they would have 'a sensible effect on the whole flocks of Port Phillip'.
  • by Dec 1837, a Sydney to Melbourne overland mail run was established

1838

  • George Douglas Smythe traversed along part of the Barwon River, and had marked out parish boundaries from near Geelong to Lake Colac. He surveyed the eastern side or Port Phillip in 1840-43, and then Cape Otway lighthouse in 1846, and the Otway coast in 1848. 6)
  • Henry William Hutchinson Smythe measured the portion of the Sydney Road between Melbourne and Seymour, laid down a township reserve at Seymour. He had traversed part of the Goulburn River near Seymour, also Woody Yalloak and Violet Creek. Je laid out plans for the town of Mitchelltown. He was also the surveyor who laid out the plans for Geelong in 1838.
  • William Cross Yuille establishes a 10,000 acre run he called the Ballarat where present day city of Ballarat now resides, and after he married he settled on a 640 acre run he called Rockbank which he sold to W.J.T Clarke in 1853 to return to Scotland in 1854.
  • Wiliam Pyke, a surgeon, and his brother Thomas (who introduced foxes for hunting into Australia), take up land on Pennyroyal Creek in what is now Melton which he suggested as a name after the hunting ground, Melton Mowbray in Leicestershire, England.
  • Thomas Livingstone-Learmonth establishes the 73,000 acre Ercildoun Run north of Lake Burrumbeet extending to Mt Beckworth 7) and the town Learmonth is named after the family.
  • Faithful settled Bontharambo Plain just downstream of Wangaratta and north of the Ovens, and after trouble with Aborigines moved upstream to what is now Wangaratta and the Ovens Crossing at Wangaratta became so busy with overlanders, that Rattray established a punt with a toll.8)
  • Dr Mackay established Myrrhee between King and Fifteen Mile Creek near Wangaratta, then later the Whorouly Run near Buffalo River in the Ovens valley.
  • David Reid established Carraragarmungee on Reid's Creek (later corrupted to Reedy Creek) near Beechworth, and later had runs at Lower Yackandandah where in 1845, his workers found gold but refused to believe gold existed in Australia
  • Albury becomes a township
  • Arundel Wright establishes a run at Box Hill
  • James Anderson establishes a run at Warrandyte 9)
  • Terence O'Connor establishes a run near Cranbourne he called Cardinia
  • Edward Hobson establishes Tootgarook run on the Mornington Peninsula
  • A.J. Templeton took up 70000 acres on the Seven Creeks (including the upper reaches of Castle Creek) run near Euroa on which he ran 35 head of cattle and 12000 sheep

1839

  • 1st Melbourne suburban Crown land sales had taken place on 13 February 1839 and twelve lots of 25 acres [10 ha] were sold in Newtown (now known as South Fitzroy)
    • Lot 49 was bought by Thomas Walker, who on-sold it to Benjamin Baxter on 17 May 1839. Baxter subdivided the lot and sold the western half to Lieutenant George Brunswick Smythe on 9 October 1839. Before the end of the month Smythe again subdivided and sold allotments of 3, 3 and 5 acres. The name of Gertrude Street first appears in memorials of sale on 30 December 1839
      • Lieutenant George Brunswick Smythe also purchased two large tracts of land in Heidelberg totalling 532 acres he called Chelsworth while his wife, Constantia Matthews Smyth (née Alexander), owned 300 acres [121 ha] of land at Jika Jika, and owned land in allotment 2 section 2 in the City of Melbourne prior to her marriage to George in 1839. George was a foundation member of the Port Phillip Turf Club and the Melbourne Club, was involved in the creation of the 1st masonic lodge and the Melbourne Mechanics’ Institute, and was captain of the first cricket match to be played between the Military and others in the Port Phillip District under the auspices of the Melbourne Club before losing much money in the 1840's depression. Constantia's brother-in-law, Lieutenant Charles Forrest built one of the finest houses in South Yarra, Waterloo on Forrest Hill at the site of what is now Melbourne High School.
  • 1st land sales held in Geelong
  • Wilbraham Frederick Evelyn Liardet settles in Port Melbourne and builds the 1st jetty and initially named Lairdet's Beach
  • Dr John Watton establishes the Eynesbury and Exford runs, south of Melton and the Brisbane Ranges runs covering 70,000 acres - he sold the pastoral occupation licence for Exford and Brisbane Ranges to Simon Staughton in 1842, who became Melton's 2nd settler after the Pyke brothers. Staughton was one of Melbourne's first land speculators and owned a house in Little Collins St, the Royal Arcade, as well as Staughton Estate in Melton and land along the Darling River. In 1870, Staughton's four sons divided the lands into 4 separate properties: Exford, Staughton Vale, Brooklyn, and Eynesbury, the latter was inherited by Simon's son Samuel who passed it on to his eldest son, Capt Tom Staughton.
  • 1st subdivision of the Melton area in the “Plan of Parish of Djerriwarrh” with lots of 80 chains x 80 chains which initially failed to sell in 1840, but sold a few years later and in 1852, Lot 8 along Pennyroyal Creek was further divided to become the village of Melton, and thanks transits to and from the Gold Rush in Ballarat region, Melton flourished in the late 1850's and by 1862, reaching a population of 1000 and over 100 permanent homes
  • Donald Cameron establishes a run he called Clunes, north of Ballarat
  • Lt John Cole Moore Airey takes up a pastoral run between Airey's Inlet and Point Roadknight he registered as Anglohawk Run
  • Major James Fraser and Daniel MacKinnon were granted a licence to run cattle at “Brittania Bay”, Mordialloc
  • Baker established Barambogie (renamed Eldorado in 1842) including Chiltern
  • James Williamson establishes a 192 acre property at Viewbank
  • William Creighton took up the Five Mile Creek pastoral run, including some 60000 acres, covering most of the Creightons Creek catchment near Euroa, as well as much of the Pranjip–Nine Mile Creek catchment above the Burnt Creek confluence. In 1840, he took up Wanghambeham, a run adjoining Five Mile Creek or Killee.
  • Gregor McGregor leased a 80,000 acre sheep run called Arcadia with 6000 sheep on the lower sections of Castle Creek near Euroa

1840

  • sheep squatters who had taken up land were formally recognized and for an annual fee could continue to graze the land
  • James Watson named Keilor after a town in Scotland
  • John Carre Riddell and his cousin Thomas Ferrier Hamilton bought the land and much of the stock of the late Henry Howey - hence the name Riddells Creek
  • James Robertson settles on the Sydenham Run of 5,760 acres - his bluestone homestead is located at the end of the access road to Keilor Public Golf Course
  • Simson brothers establishes a sheep station at Maryborough, known as Charlotte Plains.
  • Rob Bennett et al, establishes the Stringybark Forest run between the Mullum Mullum and Dandenong creeks
  • Meyrick brothers establish Balnarring and Coolart pastoral stations (hence the town of Merricks)
  • Peter Beveridge created a cattle station in Mercer's Vale, later called Beveridge
  • solicitor Peter Ferrie builds a property known as Glen Ferrie on the south side of Gardiners Creek (Glenferrie)
  • Duncan Cameron settles in Glenroy named after his birthplace in Scotland
  • stock-and-station dealer James Watson buys 960-acre property from the government which he then subdivided as Rosanna estate
  • Major Anthony Beale and his wife Katherine purchased 195 hectares of Crown land and named it St Helena
  • Fredrick Manton took up the 44320 acre Noorilim run carrying 8000 sheep on the lower sections of Castle Creek near Euroa
  • Roderick McKay took up a lease on the 80000 acre sheep run Euroa with 6000 sheep on the lower sections of Castle Creek.

1841

  • having established the Ballarat run, William Cross Yuille establishes the Rockbank Run
  • Alexander McCallum establishes a run of 257 sq. km in the area of what is now Talbot, north of Clunes
  • Edward Khull establishes the Tallygaroopna Run near the Murray, south of Cobram, of 160,000 acres which was subdivided in 1848 to create the 43,180 acre Katandra Run 10)
  • William Rutledge purchased by Special Survey, 5120 acres (or eight square miles) of land at one pound per acre from the Colonial Government and in the SE corner of the survey, created 1acre and 20 acre lots to establish the township which he named Kilmore, after his home town in County Cavan in Ireland.
    • most of the official special surveys granted were along the Barwon River, west of Geelong, the Werribee River around Bacchus Marsh, north of Melbourne east of the Merri Creek
      • Sydney solicitor Frederic Unwin bought 5120 acres including the area of Bulleen

1842

  • William Cherry took out pasturage licences around the Kororoit Creek, Altona, calling the farm “Shandwick”
  • Robert William Wrede obtains the pastoral licence to what is believed to be Miller's Station in Altona and later successfully claimed the pre-emptive right in the district
  • Newtown renamed as Collingwood and Fitzroy
  • John Pascoe Fawkner settled in Pascoville Farm hence Pascoe Vale
  • James Sandle Ford names Portsea

1843

  • a new requirement that the grazing licences now be obtained at auction at a minimum price of £5 per 640 acre section
  • Joseph Raleigh obtained a grazing licence and in 1847 purchased considerable land in the Maribyrnong Park region.
  • land survey between the Yarra River and Westernport Bay completed by Darke.

1844

  • William Pomeroy and Anne Greene purchase 640 acres in the Parish of Yuroke which would become Woodlands Station which is now opposite Tullamarine airport
  • James Gullifer establishes a run just south of Rutherglen
  • Michael Fallon settles on the east side of Swampy Creek (Anglesea) 11)
  • Robert Cay and William Kaye leased a huge tract of land west of the Avoca River (now Charlton) 12)
  • Patrick and Agnes Reid settle in Doreen
  • the Keys family settle in what is now Keysborough
  • Andrew McCrae leased the Arthur's Seat pastoral station
  • Richard and John King establish a cattle run they called Moorabbin in mid 1840's
  • Thomas Napier purchased a substantial estate to the north of Essendon in the 1840's (Strathmore)
  • 640 acre Wonga Park Cattle Station (?date)
  • Quaker pastoralist brothers John and Robert Bakewell establish the 600 acre Yallambie Park on the Plenty River in the 1840's

1845

  • James Robertson bought Crown land in Aberfeldie
  • George and Edward Bennett occupied land on Gardiners Creek - later called Bennettswood

1846

  • John Livingstone took up the 30,000 acre Molka Pastoral Run, the station covered the remainder of the lower catchments of Creightons Creek and Pranjip–Nine Mile Creek (near Euroa)

1848

  • Govt introduces Pre-emptive Right on registered runs - the right to buy a square mile (640 acres) for one pound per acre.
  • John Herd settles area west of Airey's Inlet, T.R. Carter settles area east of Airey's inlet
  • Edward Bernard Green purchases 643 acres land (?date) in Keelbundoora, and this area later becomes Greensborough
  • Henry Hurst settles in Hurstbridge (?date)
  • John and Mary Thomas started a market garden south of Main St, hence Thomastown

1849

  • in the late 1840's, Thomas Chirnside and his brother Andrew started buying up land in Wyndham (Werribee and Point Cook) following their earlier purchases at Mt William in the Grampians, a station on the Wannon, a chain of runs in the Western District including Victoria lagoon in the Grampians, Kenilworth South, Wardy Yallock, Curnong and Carranballac. They also went on to purchase 50,000 acres at Carranballac, near Skipton, the 38,900 acre Mount Elephant station, 23,800 acres of Koort-Koortnong, near Camperdown, and in 1853 Thomas purchased 89 acres of what is now the Melbourne suburb, Kingsville (near Yarraville) and in 1874 went on to build Werribee Park Mansion
  • Francis Anderson leased between 6 & 9,000 acres (or 13 square miles) of prime grazing country in the parishes of Derrimut and Truganina. He presumably built Glengala homestead which was located off Glengala Road, Sunshine, near Kororoit Creek
  • John & Duncan McNab establishes the Arundel Farm, Keilor running cattle
  • William Taylor who had bought 13,000 acres in Keilor, builds Overnewton Castle - 1st as a colonial homestead, then in 1859 as a miniature Scottish Baronial Castle.
  • William Roadknight and his son Thomas take up land in Aire River and Cape Otway
  • Melbourne merchant James Jackson buys 108 acres and builds Toorak House hence Toorak

later runs

  • in 1853, a cattle run 1st established in Lorne (Louttit Bay) - it had been used as a timber port since 1850.
history/squatters.txt · Last modified: 2018/07/01 12:40 by gary1