EDWARD WILSON: THE FISHERMAN'S FRIEND, THE SQUATTER'S FOE. TULLAMARINE AND NEWSPAPER PIONEER.
I am often prompted to write a journal by something I read in an old newspaper on trove. The spur for this journal was an article about fly-fishing on page 15 of the Sunday Herald Sun of 12-2-2012. I quote: 'Trout were introduced into Australia in 1834 by Edward Wilson, editor of the Argus newspaper,"to provide for manly sports, which will lead Australian youth to to seek their recreation on the river's bank and mountainside rather than in the cafe and casino."
Geoffrey Searle and K.B.Keeley would have been delighted with that bit of trivia but would have been quick to point out, as I now do, that Edward did not arrive in Australia until 1841. Keeley would probably have added that the importation would have been in 1854 when Wilson was enjoying the peacefulness of "Arundel" at Tullamarine.When he was retiring as editor of the Argus, he recommended 10 or 12 mile rides to his successor; this would be the distance from the Argus office to "Arundel" via Keilor and Bertram's ford. In his A.N.U. biography of Edward Wilson, Geoffrey Searle mentions that Wilson became a model gentleman farmer at Keilor but does not name the property or explain what model farm meant. He also gives little detail about James Stewart Johnston, Wilson's original partner in The Argus.
I will not give any detail about Wilson's life story because Searle covers it all.My focus is on local history. I will paste some information from K.B.Keeley's architectural thesis on Arundel, circa 1961 and from Tony Cockram, owner of Arundel Farm, circa 1990. Wilson's squatting and newspaper partner James Stewart Johnston established the Craiglee Winery, across Sunbury Rd from the Goonawarra Winery (established by Francis, a fellow politician) and just east of the Jacksons Creek crossing, (Melway 382 H5.) The bluestone building he had erected 1865-8is shown on the Victorian Heritage Database, Heritage overlay number H.O.58.
MODEL FARM. The description "model farm" could mean good fencing and buildings, the use of modern equipment or experimentation such as H.B.Slaney's trials with superphosphate on "The Ranch" at Moorooduc. In the early days, the term was used in conjunction with acclimatisation, a movement started in Victoria by Edward Wilson. I think I can remember one of the McCracken letters referring to the zoo as the Model Farm. No doubt, as pointed out by Keeley, Edward Wilson'a aims on Arundel were those listed on the website called VICTORIAN ACCLIMATISATION SOCIETY.
EXTRACT FROM "EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF TULLAMARINE".
SECTION 1, known in early days as the Glengyle Estate, went west from the most northerly point of Annandale Rd to the river. Its northern boundary is indicated by Localiser Rd (Melway 4 K10) and the southern boundary by a western extension of Sharps Rd, except that the farm originally known as Glengyle (Guthries) and Ellengowen (Bertrams)which became the blocks in Browns Rd were also in section 1.
SECTION 1. (ARUNDEL)
This was granted to Richard Hanmer Bunbury who obtained it by selection and paid 907 pounds, one pound per acre. Bunbury, after whom streets in Gladstone Park and Williamstown are named, became harbour master and chief of water police. Later owners were Colin Campbell (1843), Donald Cameron (1851), Edward Wilson (1853), Robert McDougall (1868) and Robert Taylor (1889). Wilson, Argus editor and a leader of the acclimatisation movement, had a virtual zoo on the “model” farm as well as importing crops to trial and breeding chinchilla rabbits. He sold Ellengowen (Browns Rd area) and Turner’s (south of the e-w section of McNabs Rd). McDougall was the expert regarding the Booth strain of shorthorn cattle but had only contempt for the Bates strain of which his western neighbour (in section 23 Doutta Galla), Henry Stevenson was a devotee.
In 1904 Arundel was resumed by the Crown and, in 1910, J.B.McArthur bought lots 21, 22, 3 and 4, a total of 291 acres 3 roods 25 perches. This included 112 ½ acres north of Wallace’s Elm Grove as well as the homestead area enclosed by Arundel and McNabs Roads. Owner of Hosie’s hotel in the city, McArthur was Moonee Valley Racing Club’s first vice president from 1917 and, I believe, succeeded the first chairman, Alister Clark, following the latter’s death in 1949. He was also involved in the Oaklands Hunt Club which often enjoyed hospitality at Arundel farm. Other longtime Closer Settlement pioneers were Cock, Wallace, McFarlane, Fox, Hassed, Birch and Brown.
Later owners of Arundel Farm were: Arthur Wilson (1925), Frank Smith (1935), W.S.Robinson (1949) and W.W.Cockram (1962.) Robinson unfortunately remodelled the façade of McDougall’s graceful 1872 homestead in 1950. (K.B.Keeley’s architectural thesis C 1963 and Tony Cockram’s notes re ownership.)
The two photos below are from K.B.Keeley’s thesis. They show (a) the Arundel homestead in which Edward Wilson lived and (b) the homestead built for McDougall and shown during the ownership of J.B.McArthur, who often hosted Oakland Hunt Club members. See P.100 of “The Oaklands Hunt” by D.F.Cameron- Kennedy for a better view.
The photos could not be pasted but are in Keeley's thesis, a copy of which I put into the (safekeeping???) of the Hume Library when leaving Tullamarine.
One final point. Mornington's first motorised fire engine was provided by the EDWARD WILSON TRUST.
on 2012-02-13 22:17:15
Itellya is researching local history on the Mornington Peninsula and is willing to help family historians with information about the area between Somerville and Blairgowrie. He has extensive information about Henry Gomm of Somerville, Joseph Porta (Victoria's first bellows manufacturer) and Captain Adams of Rosebud.