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Journal by itellya

PENTRIDGE.--His Honor (Mr. La Trobe.) on Tuesday last, gave the name of "Pentridge" to the village on the Sydney road, about four and a half miles from Melbourne. It is truly a delightful spot, and the ground is excellent. We may, therefore, anticipate in a short time, a flourishing village, and gardens sufficient to sup-
ply our market with every description of vegetables, of which there is such a scarcity at present, although in great demand. In the immediate neighbourhood we reckoned as many as twenty-one farms, all in the occupation of gentlemen,who are busily engaged in the erection of dwelling houses and other buildings requisite for carrying on agricultural operations upon an extensive scale. There are also six families of thelabouring class, and Mr. La Trobe has promised to recommend to His Excellency that the site of a church should be reserved for the inhabitants,who are already more than sufficient in number,to entitle them, by the provisions of the church
act, to the required grant.-Port Phillip Gazette.
(P.3, in "PORT PHILLIP NEWS", Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, 20-8-1840.)

The above was found as a result of Delia asking me how Pentridge got its name. It is unknown whether Latrobe thought up the name himself or simply applied a name already used by the early residents. Charles Latrobe seems to have spent more time in Switzerland and North America/Mexico than Britain but his lively mind may have been excited by the Bokerley Dyke and Pentridge Hill (Hill of the Wild Boars) during a childhood visit to Dorset.

It was not for another decade that the stockade was built at Pentridge. About nineteen years after that,the residents (worried that the lovely name of their lovely locality had been besmirched by the prison) asked that the Royal name be used instead. This was during a royal visit. The royal name was Saxe-Coburg and Pentridge was renamed as Coburg.

Be careful what you wish for! If Pentridge residents had been given such advice in 1869, they would have claimed they were honoured by the royal name and glad to get rid of the stained name now associated with the prison. Wartime caused another clamour for a name change. Saxe-Coburg was a German name and was changed by the royal family to Windsor. Coburg residents wanted their municipality renamed as Moreland (the name of Dr Farquhar McCrae's grants stradding Moreland Rd, in turn named after his uncle's plantation in the West Indies.)
Essendon residents, thinking the name of their locality came from Essen in Germany, also wanted a new name. Neither city changed its name but Jeff Kennett eventually did it for them.

For much more information about Pentridge and the City of Coburg see Richard Broome's excellent BETWEEN TWO CREEKS.

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by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2013-01-07 09:06:32

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.

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by itellya on 2013-10-26 05:54:09

Coburg has a future, quite apart from Pentridge yet the name of Pentridge was the
first name of the district. The prison was then called "The Stockade," but, just as Yarra Bend and a lunatic asylum became synonymous terms in Victoria, so did Pent-
ridge and a prison. Captain Price, the first inspector-general of prisons, established thestockade far out on the Sydney road, on the
banks of the Merri Creek. He called the place after the place he had come from
which was Pentridge. They tell one of those stories about the changing of the name
which if not true, should be. The son of a land owner at Pentridge was on a visit to
Geelong, and somehow got astray. Two kind-hearted women found him, and asked him where his parents were, and amidst his tears the child told them "at Pent-
ridge!" The pity of it appealed to the ladies, but when Dean O'Hea, who was one
of the first chaplains of the prison, and who took a fatherly interest in the district,heard the story he was angry, and, waiting on the Chief Secretary, demanded that the name should be changed that is the stockade had assimilated the name of Captain Prices's birthplace; the stockade could keep it. So, with the Reigning House honoured by the name of Brunswick, and the fervour caused by the marriage of the late Queen to Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg still bubbling, what more natural than that the change should be to Coburg. (P.6, Argus, 23-3-1910,GREATER MELBOURNE.)

See my COBURG journal.

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