HELP!!! JOHN PASCOE FAWKNER, SQUATTER.
Alistair Rosie makes repeated references to John Pascoe Fawkner being an early squatter in the Pascoe Vale area. His "run" was supposed to have been named Belle Vue Park. He certainly owned Belle Vue Park, having purchased it in 1839 but after a total of twenty hours trying to confirm or dispel this claim, including two hours this morning, I am no closer to a solution. There is no mention of depasturing licences in Port Phillip District in 1838 on trove and the only other connection I have found between Fawkner and squatting (except for his strident opposition to squatters)will be detailed later.
This morning's search was in vain but, as usual, turned up some interesting information. A website about St Kilda explained the origins of two names associated with the former shire of Broadmeadows. The aboriginal name for the St Kilda area was Yuroe Yuroke which described grinding stones found at the base of the red sandstone cliffs. Walert-gurn was the term for possum skin rugs. These were Boon-wurrung words, this clan occupying Melbourne's coastal area to Werribee as well as the Mornington Peninsula etc. I believe that Wollert (as well as Yuroke) was a parish name. Another website described how squatters erected bells on large poles and would ring them if their stations were attacked by aborigines. The bell would alert neighbours (living 10 or more miles away) to danger and also summon help. This would probably explain the name of Bell Post Hill in Geelong.
One criticism of J.P.Fawkner was that he was a hypocrite. Although his land purchases at Pascoeville and central Coburg (Jika Jika), Box Forest (Will Will Rook), sections 7, 10 and 13 (Tullamarine) and 22C (Doutta Galla) and perhaps others, were intended to provide his beloved yoeman farmers with the opportunity to obtain freeholds, he had actually been a squatter himself before the crash of 1843. Richard Broome's "Between Two Creeks", a history of Coburg, provides the information that Fawkner's Run was called Moonjettee (or something similar; I am relying on a 20 year old recall)from which the name of Monegeetta is derived.
To my knowledge, no depasturing licences were issued for the Port Phillip District before Fawkner bought Belle Vue Park but Fawkner may have squatted there illegally. I would much appreciate it if anyone can provide evidence of squatting licences being issued before 1939 or Fawkner actually occupying land at Pascoe Vale before he bought it. Just an afterthought, Governor Bourke visited John Aitken at Mt Aitken, west of Sunbury, so perhaps licences had been issued before 1839. However as he had instructed Robert Hoddle to survey from Batman's Hill (Spencer St Station site)along the moonee moonee chain of ponds very early, to enable sale of land in Jika Jika and Doutta Galla, it is unlikely that the Governor would have approved of squatting in those parishes.
on 2012-03-28 18:04:54
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.