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It was only when I started transcribing my handwritten KILTS AND COW DUNG FLATS that I realised that I might have reversed two surnames which sound identical. I had tried googling the name of the author of the STRATHMORE COMMUNITY WEBSITE on several occasions,without success. I remembered his name of course. It was one of the hundreds of names in my little black book of history contacts that I circular-filed when moving to Rosebud.

The reason for my lack of success was RIGHT SOUND-WRONG SPELLING. In my mind, Bruce's surname had become Barber and Thomas Napier's son-in-law had become George Page Barbour; you'll never find an entry in Alexander Sutherland's VICTORIA AND ITS METROPOLIS, PAST AND PRESENT (1888) for George Page Barbour but you will find one for George Page BARBER (still at Warrnambool after being a partner in one of Melbourne's earliest law firms). It was when I started transcribing the index for KILTS AND COW DUNG FLATS that I suspected my memory had,in the words of Maxwell Smart,"Missed by that much!"

Bruce and I had several lengthy phone conversations but I never realised how far-ranging his interests lay as shown by his OVERSITE below. It would be interesting to know if he was a descendant of Robert the Bruce or the author of the tale. I feel privileged to have been of assistance to such a clever man.

It could be said that Bruce's OVERSITE corrected my OVERSIGHT!

A Personal View

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► Miscellaneous Ideas
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► Contact
Thank you for visiting my site.

This site contains some thoughts on a range of subjects which interest me. I will slowly add more subjects over time.

An understanding of the functioning of a society is important, particularly if you wish to address some of the social problems that are occurring, such as crime. A comprehensive theoretical understanding of social processes is necessary to ensure that any policy put in place addresses all aspects of the problem and does not have unforeseen consequences. The article "Sociology and Criminology" is part of my attempt to understand the workings of society. The approach offers a simple rational understanding of crime. It is my attempt at an over-arching theory of crime which strangely seems to be missing from crime theory. There are a lot of theories but they tend to only take account of crimes for a particular socioeconomic sector or crime type - no theory ties them together. Another thing that I noticed about current crime theory is the lack of a theory which takes account of a persons beliefs and philosophies. Some of the greatest crimes in history are due to misguided beliefs e.g. Hitler's belief in Aryan superiority and the numerous religious wars. So it is quite logical to me that belief and personal philosophy can also play a part in the lesser crimes of society.

Australia becoming a Republic is not the most pressing of issues facing the country however it will come up again in the future. It is important that Australia gets the correct model of the Republic. The Republican movement is hopelessly split. Direct Election of a President has a number of risks for Australia and is not preferred. I wrote on this at around the time of the Republican Forum. The article "The Republic" is a modified version of this.

The Internet is of course a subject of great interest. I have some concerns that the Internet will be dominated by big business and big Government, to the exclusion of community groups. It also concerns me that the Internet could be another force for the destruction of local neighbourhood community as people find it easier to communicate outside the community through the Internet. However this need not be the case if the community can realise the potential of the Internet to communicate, not just across the world but across the street. I have set up "The Strathmore Website" as an example of a community website and also written some further ideas in "Internet and the Community".

The environment should be the concern of all citizens. I have listed some practical suggestions for changing our current approach to the environment in "Green Oversite". All we need is the will to change.

The Miscellaneous Ideas Page is a holding page for short pieces I have written. Some are based on letters I have written to politicians and others when I recently found myself with a bit of extra time on my hands (some call it unemployment) and the Government at that time seemed to be calling for ideas.

The Music and Other Stuff includes some of my favourite music as found on YouTube - sorry no free downloads here. Also includes a YouTube climate change and other documentaries.

Favourite Software is my selection of the most useful free software that I have found.

I hope you find some interest in the above articles even if you do not agree with the sentiments expressed. I encourage you to Email me if you wish to comment on any of the articles.


Bruce Barbour.


The superb laminated place mat,detailing the history of the Dromana Hotel (and its competitor) that Ray Stella had printed has an error and it's all my fault. As my journal THE ORIENTAL COAST OF PORT PHILLIP BAY explains, a misreading of Colin McLear's information led me to believe that the Dromana Hotel was built in 1857. Ray used my information about the two hotels,adding that Prime Minister, John Curtin,had lived at the Dromana while his father was the manager and that the Stellas had bought the hotel in 1986. Ray, who has great interest in the hotel's history, could have included more information such as the internal wall (that Ray showed me)which was part of the original building, and that John Coleman died at the hotel after having sold it.

That the construction date was wrong was indicated by my seeing a reference to Richard Watkin leasing William Dixon Scurfield's hotel after 1857. I checked the first (1864) rates but found that both hotels were in operation:
William Dixon Scurfield, house,9 rooms, hotel,Dromana;
Richard Watkins (sic)12 roomed brick house, Hotel Dromana (nett annual value 110 pounds.)

The reference then must have been on trove. In looking for the information that I know is there (it's in the ORIENTAL COAST journal), I discovered that the competitors were actually partners in 1858.

On Port Phillip Bay, about 45 miles from Melbourne, at the foot of Arthur's Seat,parish of Kangerong, county of Mornington. Upset price, 8 per acre. Lot 3. Two roods, 28 the lot. Scurfield and Watkin.

(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Tuesday 11 May 1858 p 5.) See 10-5-1858.

This is what I was looking for.
Richard Watkin, Scurfield Hotel, Dromana. Postponed for 14 days.
(DISTRICT LICENSING COURT. (Before Septimus Martin, S.M, (chairman), P. Davis, Edward Cohen, Samuel Heaps, Walsh, Ballen, and Vaughan, Esqs., J.P.'s.)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Wednesday 21 April 1858 p 6 Article.

A new thematic display at the Dromana Museum will hopefully be ready for History Week 2013. While tourism was being discussed at a planning meeting, the consultant was unimpressed with my comment that shooting (hunting) was one of the early tourist attractions. Richard Watkin would have understood me.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 27 August 1858 p 8. SCURFIELD HOTEL, Arthur's Seat, kept by Richard Watkin. Abundance of game. Horses and dogs always ready.

Richard was also involved with the timber trade that caused Dromana's development. The timber-getters, bullockies and ship owners involved in his supply chain are discussed in my ORIENTAL COAST journal.

TO CONTRACTORS.The undersigned is prepare to supply any quantity of POSTS and RAILS Sleepers, hewn and sawn Timber. Piles, and SquS,Timber. RICHARD WATKINS, Scurfield Hotel,Dromana, Arthur's Seat.
(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Tuesday 30 November 1858 p 7.)

Richard soon had competition.
-PILES, Squared Beams, Posts and Rails, or any description of Hardwood SUPPLIED in Melbourne or Williamstown, at low rates. A large quantity prepared for delivery. Orders promptly attended to. Reference-Neil M'Lean, Esq , 11 Swanston-street; or Messrs. Musson and Co., Collins-street west. No connection with Mr. Watkins, Dromana,
Survey Bay
. Post address, Dugald M'Queen, Dromana Post-office, Survey Bay, Arthur's Seat.
(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Tuesday 7 December 1858 p 7.)

The block for which Scurfield and Watkin paid 28 pounds on the previous day, as reported on 11-5-1858, was, without dispute, crown allotment 1, section 2,township of Dromana. On the township map the grantees are recorded as W.D.Scurfield and R.Walker. (I'm not the only one who makes mistakes!) This block was on the west corner of The Esplanade and Foote St. Consisting of 2 roods, it had frontages of 50 metres to the former (halfway to McArthur St) and 40 metres to the latter. This block is now bisected by the start of Latrobe Pde.

I believe that Richard Watkin was a builder. This belief is based on his involvement in the timber trade. He may also have been a bricklayer. I have not seen one reference to a bricklayer in Dromana's history so it is possible that he built the Dromana hotel himself. Whether he got Peter Pidoto or whomever to return with bricks after carrying his timber to Melbourne or obtained them from Walter Gibson's clay pit on "Glenholm" or Captain Adams (whose son supplied the bricks for the Anglican church at Dromana) can only be guessed. Here are Colin McLear's words which I misunderstood.

P.38.Richard Watkin is credited with having had built in 1857 the first house in Dromana as distinct from Kangerong...He also constructed a store.
P.54.In the 19th Century prospecting days, miners could sell their findings to Dawes who ran a store on the corner of Foote St and Latrobe St in the first Carnarvon which then stood there. On the counter stood his gold scales in what was the first Dromana Post Office. P.82. This building was constructed of McCrae granite. Walter Gibson later built a new post office in the centre of town...

In articles from 1861, it appeared that the Hotel Dromana had been built but further examination of election meetings revealed that "hotel, Dromana" was actually Scurfield's hotel.

(Before W. B. Noel, Esq, Chief Commissioner of Insolvent Estates.)
Certificates of discharge were granted to the following insolvents, there being no Opposition ;J. A. Creelman, of Richmond, surgeon ; William Lewis Hall, of Melbourne,agent ; Joseph Davies, of the United Company, Ballarat, miner; Louis Hirschfield, of Melbourne, bird dealer ; Kingwall and Watkin, of Dromana, storekeepers (to Watkin
only) ; etc. (The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Tuesday 21 April 1863 p 6 Article.)

DROMANA HOTEL, Established 1862.- First class accommodation and sea bathing. Coach from Melbourne daily. Steamer Williams four times a week. Tho scenery around Dromana is unrivalled in the colony. Terms moderate Horses and vehicles at low rates . R. Watkin, Proprietor.
(The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Friday 16 January 1880 p 3.)


Contacting the Essendon Historical Society

Location Address:
Cnr Kellaway Ave and Mount Alexander Road, Moonee Ponds.

Mail Address:
768-770 Mt. Alexander Rd, Moonee Ponds 3039

Email: Phone:03 9370 4607

(Please remember that our members are volunteers, and may not be able to take your call due to work or other commitments. Often e-mail is the best method of contacting the Society.)

President: Judy Maddigan

Vice President: Bob Chalmers

No matter how much they love their parents, adopted children often have a desire to meet their birth parents. Probably millions of people around the world are researching their family history for, I think, the same reason; to find out where they come from. When we can recount Aunt Polly's eccentric ways, somehow it adds to the sum of "being me".

Councils spend a lot of money in an effort to produce a sense of community. Australia Day festivities attract large crowds and a shared sense of being an Aussie is evident but the level of community spirit developed is nowhere that experienced by pioneers, and as soon as a community event is finished, many people go back to their homes, fortresses with high fences that act as barriers to community engagement.

By pioneers, I don't mean a century or more ago. Personally, I have fond memories of Tullamarine in the first half of the 1970's where people were working together to establish activities for children, develop the hall, get a kindergarten and so on. The person that did not know and enjoy the company of close to a hundred fellow residents was rare indeed.

Any attempts to develop community spirit without a knowledge and appreciation of where that community has "come from" is like expecting an orphan (from birth)to develop a sense of family. The prime aim of historical societies should be to help residents know where their community has come from (as well as helping family historian tell their potential readers whey they come from,of course!)

And that's just what Alex Bragiola and Bob Chalmers of the Essendon Historical Society are doing! I have known Bob for ages, through cricket and teaching,but more about him later. I have known Alex for over a decade. He gave me great assistance when I was researching EARLY LANDOWNERS: PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA, finding items in the archives at the Court house museum and providing information about historic, but less well-known houses between Glass and Woodland Sts.

Bob, among his numerous services to the community was a long-time secretary of the Essendon (and district) Churches Cricket Competition, (which had several name changes)and the Essendon State School Sports Association.
I followed him in the latter role and had to wear three pairs of socks at once because his shoes were so big to fill; without the checklists and guides he gave me I just would not have coped. He had written several books including THE ANNALS OF ESSENDON and histories of Aberfeldie Primary School and the cricket comp.He was inspired by the titles information in my EARLY LANDOWNERS (which was mainly about farms) and set about finding title information about section 14, Doutta Galla, bounded by Lincoln Rd, Woodland St,Moonee PondsCk-Fitzgerald Rd and Buckley St.

The history walk took place last weekend and attracted 60 people. Those who missed out can conduct their own walk by obtaining a copy of the superb booklet produced by Alex and Bob. As well as having 55 illustrations (mainly photos of the houses whose history is discussed in detail), it even tells you when to cross the road!

Those pioneers discussed are listed below. As too much detail in the booklet would not have made the walk progress smoothly, I have added some information about one or two.

William Fletcher, Andrew Binns, Charles and Joseph Bradshaw, Charles Stuart Mossman, William Hoffman, Edward Byam Wight, John Watson, Harry Jennings, Alfred Nation, William Stanford, William Aitken, Alexandra Hiskens, Archibald Herbert Cox, W.S.Cox, Arthur Vaughan Hiskens, Samuel Bruce, Walter Sylvanus Melbourne Bruce, Mrs Allison, J.F.Gibbons, John McWhae, Elizabeth Henderson McWhae, George William Deighton, Augustus Jones, John Quinn, John Parry, Mrs Anne Evans, George Holmes, Thomas Hill, William Black, Daniel R.Dossetor, Muller Bros., Hillson Beasley and Little, Angel Bros., Thomas Coker, Patrick Higgins, Thomas Williams, Cunningham John McFarlane, Rev. Donald Macrae Stewart,Jessie Stewart, Robert John Fairbairn, Fiszel Kawka, Sarah Ann Barlow, John Thomas Smith, Rev. John Martin Strongman, William Jackson, William R.Morgan, Morgan&Mackintosh, Henry Byron Moore, Alexander Gillespie, Samuel Goth Cook, John Murdoch, Mary Ann Murdoch, Edward Nathaniel Abrahams, Murdoch McKenzie, Katherine Jane Anderson, Pastor James Burchett, John Little, James Rawsthorn, James Henry Davey, Elizabeth Hoffman, John Willman, Mr Drew, R.Dixon, Mary Anne Breeze, Robert Fleming and his sister Mary Ann, John and Hannah Bloomfield, Rogerson Bullen, Thomas Brunton, Stuart Dudley Brunton, G.B.Leith,John James McCully, James Currie, Taylor and Currie, Arthur Fenton, Henry Samuel Cole, Dugald Gordon McDougall, Redmond Ross Pomeroy and his wife Teresa, John and Annie Clark, John Cameron, James Buchanan,George Napier Turner, Charles Murray Puckle, Rev. Edward Puckle,John Riley, John Wren, Benjamin Nathan, William Cox.

That's 93 names and 55 photos etc in a 16 page booklet and it doesn't even look cluttered. I wrote in the title of one of my journal "names in a list ain't much good" and I can assure you that there is much detail about each name, for example, Augustus Jones was the Secretary of the Meat Preserving Company on the Saltwater River. Some of them were architect or builders of houses and bridges, others business partners of house owners.

JOHN WREN. There are an extensive biography and wikipedia entry about this Collingwood fanatic whose gifts of a fiver for a good game would have seemed like a fortune to the footballers during the depression.The wikipedia entry wrongly states that Wren was involved with the establishment of the Moonee Valley Racecourse.
Wren 's course was on the site of the Wingate Ave housing commission estate.

W.S.COX. Samuel Cox and William Samuel Cox, both butchers, the latter from Errol St, North Melbourne, leased Kensington Park, using it as the Kensington Park Racecourse for some years until the lease expired in 1882 and the land was subdivided. Cox soon leased (Feehan's?)Farm at Moonee Ponds and I have never seen any mention of an eleven year old John Wren being involved! Full titles information is available free if you request it. Buy the booklet to find out about the Secretary of the club/son-in-law.

THOMAS BRUNTON. One of the main roads of Roxburgh Park is named after Brunton, who came from Roxburgh in Scotland according to Alex and Bob.(By the way, in case you are commentating on the Essendon District Football League,Roxburgh rhymes with Edinburgh, not iceberg, you dummies!) Another main road is named after the grantee, Cameron, who named the property "Stoney Fields." (Broadmeadows Rate book 1863.)The late Donald Cameron's son John, who died aged 43 in 1882, had used this unattractive name so it must have been Charles Cameron (dead by 1895) who changed the name to Ruthvenfield. A Cameron grant just east of the Broadmeadows Railway Station was called Ruthven. There was a huge legal wrangle to sort out before the land could be sold to Thomas Brunton. (See ACTION AGAINST LAND BOOM SYNDICATE on page 10 of The Argus on 22-2-1893.)

The Kernans (see thanks for documents below) were pioneers of Somerton and John Kernan in the Pascoe Vale/Strathmore area where he named Loeman Rd after his great mate, Michael Loeman of Glenloeman on Tullamarine Island.
This comes from the Craigieburn History Interest Group's website.

Roxburgh Park Homestead as it was in 2001, photo courtesy of the National Library of Australia

Thanks to Yvonne Kernan and her family for the documents relating to the sale of Roxburgh Park in 1949

In a "Heritage Study of the Former Shire of Bulla District, 1998' Roxburgh Park was described as 'of regional historical and architectural significance' first house constructed early c.1850's and second house constructed 1895.

The first owner was Donald Cameron a Scot and he named the property 'Ruthvenfield', again reflecting its Scottish origins as Ruthvenfield is a village, in the parish of Tibbermore, county of Perth, Scotland and the bluestone and granite house built sometime after 1848. In the 1949 sale for the property it is stated 'A Granite Quarry of Monumental & Building Stone of excellent quality, a valuable asset is situate on the Southern Boundary' this is possibly where the materials for the original bluestone and granite dwelling house were extracted from.

In 1882 the dwelling was then described as 4 rooms built with stone walls and partitions of brick with a slate roof and timber cottages used for bedrooms along with various outbuildings and various family members seem to have been running the property after Cameron died.

Thomas Brunton a flour miller purchased the property in 1895. It was not long before plans were made to build a red brick house on the property and said to be the present building on the site. Brunton is attributed to being the person who named Roxburgh Park after his birthplace in Roxburgh, Scotland. It was again described in the 1949 sale as 'of brick' and built on an elevated position'. Brunton bred cattle, horses and Shropshire sheep on the property 'originally established by the late Hon. Thom Brunton, MLC as a country home and Stropshire Stud Farm'.

Brunton sold the property to a Mr. E. A. Porter who carried on a 'Lincoln Sheep and Shorthorn Cattle Stud'. The Hon. Thomas Brunton, MLC died at his Ascot Vale home in 1908 which was interestingly named 'Roxburgh'.

In 1926 the property seems to have then passed into the hands of Thomas Ellis Silvester Esq. and was advertised when auctioned in 1949, as being situated as Somerton - Broadmeadows - Greenvale District. The property was described then as situated 13 miles from Melbourne, 8 miles from Essendon and 3 miles from Broadmeadows at the end of the Melbourne - Pascoe Vale Road and you can see this demonstrated clearly by the plan of the property when auctioned.

The Roxburgh Park of old was originally located in Somerton, with Roxburgh Park only becoming its own
suburb when developed by the Urban Land Authority/Urban Rural Land Commission.

The house on his grant at the corner of Kensington and Epsom Rd was called "The Ridge", its name recalled by a street named The Ridgeway. Holy Trinity Church of England (now an eastern orthodox church) was built on part of the grant, donated by the Wight family.

Patrick was involved in the construction of the road to Mt Alexander near Keilor and bought several blocks on the north side of this road, being part of Keilor Township in section 19 Doutta Galla (west of Collinson St.)If I remember correctly, there is more detail in Angela Evans' KEILOR PIONEERS: DEAD MEN DO TELL TALES.

His Butzbach homestead was accessed by an extremely long driveway from Buckley St. It was located near Croft St (named after a later owner) and the bend in Price St, east of Hoffmans Rd.Butzbach (later called Buckley Park, hence the name of the Douttas' home ground) extended about a half mile east of Hoffmans Rd.

John Agnews Bruce (actually John Vans Agnew Bruce-see comment 1) owned the northern 1000 acres of Jamieson's Special Survey between Bruce Rd and the Martha Cove Waterway, extending east to Bulldog Ck Rd (Melway 151 K12.) He was a partner in Cornish and Bruce who built the Mt Alexander and Murray River Railway.The southern majority of the Survey was owned by Big Clarke who was supposed to have(a) given the 1000 acres to his son in law as a wedding present (A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA) or (b) sold it to him at a handsome profit (LIME LAND LEISURE.)Sam and Walter Bruce were possibly related to John, whose address was given as Essendon in a Flinders Shire ratebook (wrong-see comment 1)seen while I was researching Louis Edwin Tassell, his tenant until he died circa 1868, after whom the waterway (Tassells Creek) was named.

COKER. On the 30th ult., at his residence, 390 Latrobe-street, Thomas Coker, well known in sporting circles, aged 75 years.(P.1, Argus, 2-10-1889.) Thomas Coker may have been an early Ascot Vale resident buying 10 acres in June 1870 and subdividing the block into nine allotments. He financed the building of a number of houses in Ascot Vale Rd in the 1870's and 1880's.

Seven times Mayor of Melbourne, Essendon/Flemington and Keilor councillor, Member of Parliament, short term teacher at George Langhorne's aboriginal mission on the site of Melbourne's before launching into business, builder of Ascot House in Fenton St, Ascot Vale, grantee of the north west corner of the parish of Moorooduc which became the Ranelagh estate at Mt Eliza (plaque at entrance); not really that much to say about him!!

ARTHUR FENTON. Later owner of Ascot House. If I remember correctly he was a daring young man in a flying machine.

2 comment(s), latest 1 year, 2 months ago


Gordon Connor was born in 1899. His father was a bootmaker at Moonee Ponds and had married a daughter of Charles Nash of Tullamarine*. One of the many stories that Gordon told me was used in my book WHERE BIG BIRDS SOAR, finished just in time for the 1989 Back to Tullamarine, to illustrate how much the children walked in early days.
P.42. "One day Olive Connor and Ethel Cummins, two Moonee Ponds girls hardly out of the toddler stage, decided they'd walk up to see Grandma Nash at "Fairview" in Tullamarine (Melway 5 F6).Kidding their absence didn't cause some anxiety until their location was discovered."

After doing a fruitless trove search for Ethel Cummins, I entered Olive Connor and struck gold.
NASH. -In loving memory of our dear cousin, Percy, loved youngest son of Charles and Ellen Nash, Tullamarine, who passed away 16th July,1921.To know him was to love him.
(Inserted by his loving cousins, Ethel Kelly and Olive Connor, Moonee Ponds.)(P.13, Argus, 15-7-1922.)

It seems from the death notices below that Gordon had given Ethel's married name and that she was the daughter of Emma Nash who had become Mrs Kelly.

*CONNOR. On the 19th December, at Epworth private hospital, Amelia, beloved wife of Joseph Connor, 18 Wilson street, Moonee Ponds, mother of Olive (Mrs. Rae) and Gordon, loving mother-in-law of May and Walter, dear grandma of Betty,Colin and Gwenda Rae also Jack Connor -Passed peacefully away. (No mourning.)
CONNOR (nee Nash) -On the 19th December at Epworth private hospital, Amelia beloved wife of Mr Joseph Connor of 18 Wilson street Moonee Ponds and loving sister of Mary Ann (Mrs. Furphey, deceased) Thomas, Elizabeth (Mrs. Furphey), Ann (Mrs Gordon), Emma (Mrs. Kelly ), Charlie(deceased),Ellen (Mrs Cooper), and William, in her 65th year. Peace perfect peace.
(P.1, Argus, 21-12-1931.)


44 Sydney-road, Brunswick.
Dear Cinderella,- 30/5/17
This is the first time I have written to you. I will take for my subject Dromana, a seaside town 44 miles away. First of all we get the boat at Port Melbourne, at about 11 o'clock. Then we start off down the Bay, sometimes calling at St. Kilda and Brighton. After a couple of hours' trip we reach Mornington, and a little further on Dromana. The place I was stopping at is about 500 yards from the beach. To the back of the township there is a mountain, called Arthur's Seat, on the top there is an old lighthouse, from which you can see Melbourne on a very clear day. A little to the east and further down the mountain is the Cairn Memorial of Flinders. It is thought to be standing where he stood on the day he landed. About a mile from the Cairn, there were found three old muskets, which were thought to have been left by Flinders, but it was not so. On the road to Rosebud there is the South Channel lighthouse, and further along still, past Rosebud, there are the graves of three old pioneers, John Silkhorn and two other pioneers. Besides the graves, the site of the first house in Victoria, can also be seen. I think Dromana is one of the most interesting towns in Victoria. There is the beach, the bush, the mountains, and almost everything that can be thought of. In the gullies there are numbers of different wild flowers and ferns; the coral fern is like a piece of coral. One day, while up the mountain, we saw a fox (the first one I had ever seen) that, as soon as it saw us, turned and ran for dear life itself, but afterwards we could hear it barking. Well, Cinderella, I think I will close now, hoping to get a prize.
-I remain, your new friend,
GEORGE TOWNSEND. Age 12 years 6 months.(P.53, Leader, Melbourne, 7-7-1917.)

It was a feeling of guilt that led to the discovery of this letter. A Mr Townsend had saved the life of Henry (William Burdett Coutts) Wilson's son at about the time young George (above)was born. I gave Mr Townsend's name as John in the journal about the possible first recorded use of mouth to mouth resuscitation in Australia (maybe even the world!) I did a search for "John Townsend, Dromana" in the hope that the same incident had been reported using the savior's given name. George's letter was so interesting, I decided to make it the subject of a journal now in case I was unable to re-find it later.

Having seen Silkhorn's name before, I suspected he might have been the first person recorded as dying in Victoria, so I googled "Silkhorn, Sorrento, Collins", the first result being:
Our Great Southern Land: Trivial History October 10‎

The blogger, Jayne, makes history fun.
1803 Having an itchy foot and time on his hands, Collins decided to set up camp and call it a settlement at Sullivan Bay near Sorrento in Victoria.
This was the first attempt of Europeans parking their posteriors in Victoria.

1803 There's no show without Punch and John Silkhorne got in on the act by upping and dying to become the first bloke to pop his clogs in Victoria, at Collins' settlement camp thingie.. - See more at:

The OH NOES gremlins are back. Hopefully,a continuation later.....(One paragraph at a time, but it submitted!)

The other two graves were obviously also from the short-lived settlement at Sullivan's Bay.

Other features in the letter that intrigue me are the muskets found on Arthurs Seat and the (site of) the first house in Victoria. Was there an article about how the muskets actually did come to be there? I presume that the first house was at Collins' settlement. The following comes from:
Collins Settlement Site (Heritage Listed Location) : On My Doorstep‎

The British Government's decision to establish a settlement in southern Australia appears to have been prompted by favourable reports of Port Phillip Bay and concerns about the interest of the French in the area. The colonising party despatched from England comprised military personnel, administrative staff, a few free settlers and a majority of convicts. Some were fortunate enough to be accompanied by wives and children. Lt-Governor Collins led the party of 467 persons.

The settlement was established on an area of land between the Western Sister and Eastern Sister, prominent headlands which mark each end of Sullivan Bay. Most of the settlement was close to the Eastern Sister. Initially a tent encampment, work commenced quickly on building a jetty and other timber structures, including huts. Local limestone was apparently used to construct chimneys for the huts, and for the building of the magazine. As well as barrels set into sand to trap fresh water, wells were dug, as were privies. Land was cleared for the growing of crops, perhaps totalling several acres.

One last point.In A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA, Colin McLear said that John Townsend's house opposite the school on the south corner of Ligar St, was still standing. Sadly it has now been replaced by two home units. Being in the Dromana Township (west of McCulloch St), the house might have been a century and a half old! Ligar St is twenty eight eightieths of a mile from the beach= 28 chains=28x22= 460+24 yards=484 yards, which is fairly close to 500 yards, so John Townsend's house was most likely where young George stayed during his holidays.

From J. Townsend, Dromana, drawing attention to the state of the road and water-table fronting his property
at the corner of M'Culloch and Ligar streets. The corner of the latter was a perfect quagmire since the late rain.-Cr Shaw moved that the engineer inspect and report. Seconded by Cr Shand, and carried.
(P.5, Mornington Standard, 6-8-1904.)

BLAIR, DUFFY, SWANN in comment 1.

1 comment(s), latest 8 months, 1 week ago


I found this advertisement while researching 22E Doutta Galla re Airport West.

Aberfeldie was originally called "Spring Hill" by James Robertson Snr of "Upper Keilor". When he died, "Mar Lodge" passed to his son, Francis, a bachelor who became a politician,and "Spring Hill" to another son,James. The latter stayed at Upper Keilor to care for his mother but after her death,he built a mansion on Spring Hill and called it Aberfeldie.

TO Let by Tender, on Lease for Seven Years or more, one of the most desirable Farms in the colony of Victoria, and only five miles distant from the city, known as Springhill,
The property of James Robertson, Esq., of Keilor, situate in the parish of Doutta Galla, and consisting of 180 acres of rich agricultural land, entirely fenced in, and at present in cultivation.
A dwelling-house is already erected, and the proprietor of the property is disposed to treat liberally with a tenant who may desire to make improvements.
Entry will be given on the first of March next.
Further information may be obtained on application to G. MILLAR, Estate Factor, 32 Queen-street, Melbourne.

(P.3, Argus,21-11-1855.)

Spring Hill was the most southerly of many properties whose names referred to springs. William Foster called his grants (3 Tullamarine and 21 Doutta Galla) "Springs",probably due to a never-failing spring at Melway 5K12 in what became Edmund Dunn's "Viewpoint",feeding a creek that crossed Broadmeadows Road (now Mickleham Rd) and Macedon Road (now Melrose Drive ) and, following the east boundary of today's Leo Dineen Reserve, passed through the present right of way to meet the western branch of Spring Creeknear the end of Clyne Court. Spring Creek then joined Steeles Creek (which flows through Spring Gully)just south of the boundary between "Springs" and "Springfield" at Melway 15 F7, that point being a water reserve.Another tributary of Steeles Creek starts in Airport West and flows through "Spring Park" to join up just south of the A.J.Davis Reserve.
Wilson and James Anderson's farm on Main's Estate, west of Hoffman's Rd was called Springbank. Dugald McPhail bucked the trend and called his farm (between Rosehill rd and Buckley St)"Rose Hill".

Bookmaker Maurie died in 1918 and his residence, the Aberfeldie mansion, was advertised for sale along with part of Airport West and many farms near Bulla.

"ABERFELDIE", Essendon, the residence of the late Mr Quinlan consisting of handsome bluestone dwelling, containing 9 rooms, bathroom, pantry,scullery, and large vestibule, bluestone stable (5 stalls, loose box, feed room, harness room), man's quarters, and sheds. Land 300ft frontage west side Aberfeldie street situated within ten minutes' walk of Essendon railway station, off Buckley street, and commanding a position that is entitled to be designated as superb.
(P.3,Argus, 26-4-1919.)

Anyone wishing to know more about the mansion or the development of Aberfeldie should visit the Essendon Historical Society's Courthouse Museum at Moonee Ponds.


The purpose of this journal is to encourage people to share their knowledge of aboriginal words that have entered the English language as place names or in other ways, such as Yakka.(See Itellya's Sources journal.) No doubt the actual meaning of many words was misinterpreted by those who recorded them. I have read that aborigines used words for places that were really an expression of what happened there, such as frogs growling, water rushing and that words were repeated for emphasis. I think it was surveyor Wedge who first noted the word "Yarra" and presumed that it was the aboriginal word for the freshwater river. I believe that he and his dusky friend were standing near the waterfall near Queen St and Yarra Yarra might have been describing the water's movement.

"Maribyrnong : Action in Tranquility" states that Maribyrnong is a corruption of the aboriginal phrase for I can hear a ringtail possum. A Footscray history said that Cut Cut Paw, the parish name, meant a clump of she-oaks. Symonds says in his "Bulla Bulla" that the parish name meant two hills.I wonder if there is any connection with the fairly common "bool" suffix as in Warrnambool. Another history (Lenore Frost?)stated that Wonga (Wurundjeri) meant bronze- winged pigeon and the Bunurung ( there are a dozen versions of the spelling) used the word for Arthurs Seat, where as Colin McLear says in "A Dreamtime of Dromana", the bronze-winged pigeon kept to scrubby areas, searching for seed in small grassy clearings.

A Victorian or Australian history (The Settlers?) said that Robert Hoddle accepted 100 aboriginal words as compensation from the missionary to the aborigines, George Langhorne, who had used that number of fence posts belonging to Hoddle. (See more about Langhorne in the J.T.SMITH AND HIS ELECTORS journal, in relation to Peter Young of "Nairn", whose details I'd better add before you read it!)
I have found the origin of over 200 street names on the Peninsula, but have met a brick wall regarding seemingly aboriginal names for streets south west and north east of the Boneo/Eastbourne Rd intersection at Rosebud.They do not even resemble the vocabulary on the Bunurung website and the Shire's aboriginal consultant says that the names have been plucked from all over Australia. Perhaps somebody has come across these words.(See google map.)
I hope that many people add their comments.

11 comment(s), latest 1 year, 11 months ago


After my second last unsuccessful attempt to insert a tiny paragraph in the J.P.FAWKNER CO-OP. journal, before turning off the computer in frustration, it occurred to me that I was really just listing people's names and as I said in a journal about Bulla "Names in a list ain't much good."

Naturally the first two names that came to mind were those of David Beckinsale and Henry Langlands as I had experienced so much trouble entering the details of their purchases into the journal. They were just names to me but trove soon changed that.

David Beckinsale, a dairy farmer at Woodstock (north of Donnybrook Rd, across Plenty Rd from the Yan Yean Reservoir) was taken into custody when his wife, Elizabeth, was brutally murdered in 1863. David was more than 20 years older than Elizabeth and if the defence lawyer (for the Kiwi drifter that was convicted of the crime) had seen David's 1852 notice about Elizabeth, he might have been able to cast more suspicion on David.

My Wife, Elizabeth Beckinsale, having left her home without any provocation, I hereby give notice that I will not be accountable for any debts that she may hereafter contract .
February 10, 1852. (P.3,Argus, 13-2-1852.)

David was probably in the colony by 1850. There was a letter for him at the post office.(P.4, Argus,5-12-1850.)

In the article about the murder trial, Epping road would mean High St(now the Plenty Highway I think) and the Morang road would be Plenty Rd. These, with Pascoe Vale Rd (Old Sydney Rd)and Bulla-Broadmeadows Rd(both of which passed through Broadmeadows Township and up the Ardlie St hill) were alternate routes to Sydney before the direct route (Sydney Rd)was made.

James Barrett confessed shortly before he was executed, thus exonerating David from all blame.
(P.4, Empire, Sydney,2-12-1863.)

There are many accounts of the incident and trial, but this one seems to have more detail than most.
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Wednesday 18 November 1863 p 5 Article
... MURDER. James Barrett was Informed against for the wilful murder of Elizabeth Beckinsale at ... stock-road, a man named David Beckinsale. At the comer of the Woodstock and Epping roads there was ... Beckinsale was a dairy farmer, and lived not far from these parties. On Sunday, the 18th of October, the ... 10221 words

Henry Langlandswould have been different from most co-op. members in that he would have been able to buy land without worrying about price. I had suspected that he was just a speculator but after reading his obituary,I now suspect he had contributed to the co-op as a favour to Fawkner, because they were a few members short.

Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918) Wednesday 24 June 1863 p 3 Article
... THE LATE MR HENRY LANGLANDS. Our obituary this morning contains a name which must familiar to most of our readers. During a of nearly sixteen years. Mr Henry Langlands led a life of quiet and ... resigned his seat for the city, and Mr Langlands was elected in his place without opposition. Mr ... 603 words
Our obituary this morning contains a name which must be familiar to most of our readers. During a period of nearly sixteen years. Mr Henry Langlands led a life of quiet and unobtrusive usefulness in this
city. Born in London during tho year 1794, he was,therefore, at the time of his decease, 69 years of age.
A linendraper by trade, at the ago of 21 he changed his residence from London to Glasgow, where he continued for upwards of thirty years. He left Glasgow for the colony in 1846, and prior to his departure was entertained by a large number of hisfriends, and presented with a handsome testimonial.
He landed in this colony on tho 1st January, 1847, and immediately became connected with his brother in tho Port Phillip Foundry. During his residence in Glasgow, Mr Langlands was identified with every public measure for ameliorating the condition of his fellow-men. He, took an active part in the Catholic Emancipation Reform Bill and anti-slavery movements. In this colony his course has been the same.
He took a leading part in the anti-transportation movement, and was one of tho twelve who contributed 100 each for carrying it out to a practical result. Since that period he has been more or less associated with every movement in the city of a religious or benevolent character. The Hospital,the Benevolent Asylum, the Immigrants' Aid Society, and kindred associations, have ever found in him a steady friend ; whilo he has rendered material support to societies of a religious character, such as the City and Seamen's Missions and the Bible Society. At the first election subsequent to the inauguration of the New Constitution, Mr O'Shanassy, finding that he was elected last on the list for Melbourne, and that he had also been returned for Kilmore, resigned his seat for the city, and Mr Langlands was elected in his place withoutopposition. Mr Langlands held very decided political views, and while a member of the Legislative Assembly, he supported bills for the amendment of the Land Act and the Abolition of State Aid to Religion. As an employer, Mr Langlands has
always obtained the confidence and affection of his workmen, who have on several occasions given him
a public banquet in attestation of their esteem forhim. During the whole history of his connection with them, he has taken a warm interest in their welfare, uninterrupted by a single misunderstanding on either side. Mr Langlands died at his residence, Jolimont-square on Sunday night, shortly after eleven. His illness (bronchitis) was of very brief duration, and so late as Monday evening last he attended a public missionary meeting, addressed by the Rev.Dr Turner and others, in the Congregational Church,Richmond. He leaves behind him three sons, who have already arrived at manhood, and one daughter,married, to deplore his loss. His brother (of thePort Phillip Foundry) died some years before him. Wherever virtue is esteemed and honored, the death
of men possessod of sterling integrity and principle must be regarded as a public calamity, and we are
afraid it will be some timo before the blank which Mr Langland's death has caused will be filled up.
Age, 23rd June.(P.3, Bendigo Advertiser, 24-6-1863.)

In 1849, Edward Pope was listed as an elector in Bourke Ward, his address given as "off Little Lonsdale St".He was on the committee of St James' Visiting Society in the same year. The St Peter's Visiting Society gave its aim as being to look after people in its parish who were in need so I imagine the one associated with St James' (Old Cathedral, which was relocated to West Melbourne later)had the same aim.

Edward was before the court in 1851 and the bench reluctantly punished him.THE BUILDING ACT AGAIN. -Edward
Pope of Little Lonsdale-street was charged under the building act with not giving proper notice of a'cn tions and additions \h In lum The bench thought this a hard case, but it was necessary to make an example, tlicrcfo o, defend mt was s ntencc 1 to pay the pen iltt of 20 und'.Osts The bench advised the defendant to me
mormorialise the Council, as the provision of the act was very severe, und the pcuclties uimecsssanlv heit \ notice cf appeal tv is git cn.(P.2,Argus, 11-1-1851.)You might notice that I haven't corrected all the text!

POPE.On the 4th inst., at 205 Bourke-street east,Edward Harry, the youngest son of Edward and Sarah Pope, aged 18 months. (P.1, Argus, 7-5-1887.)

The bereaved father (above) could have been the section 10 purchaser or his son. By this time there was also Edward R. Pope at Clunes and a decade or so later, Edward Pope, a coach builder, was in East Brunswick.

John Atkyns, Esq., to be Deputy Judge of Court of Mines, Ballaarat, during the illness of Mr. Rogers ; Thomas Turner, Thomas Connor,W. S. Urquhart, Thomas Orwin, and Thomas Fraser, to be the trustees of the ground set
apart at Taradale as a site for a general ceme-tery, under the provisions of the Act 17 Vic. No. 12;
(P.5, Argus, 2-6-1858.)

Such an audience literary, artistic, and otherwise distinguishedas gathered to support Mr. Russell, on Monday, is certainly not often collected. There were present Thackeray,Douglas Jerrold, John Leech, Planche, Mark Lemon, Carter Hall, Mrs. Hall, T. P.Cooke, Clarkson Stanfield, John Oxenford, Charles Dickens, Shirley Brooks, Peter Cunningham, Sir Charles Taylor, Charles Mackay,Robert Bell, B. Lumley, Colonel Tulloch,
Gruneisen, Ella, Colonel de Bathe, Charles Dance, Thomas Fraser, J. C. Deane, F. Fladgate, Hon. Mr. and Mrs, Wrottesley, cum mults aliis- Press. (P.5, Argus, 7-7-1857.)

John Donald Coghill; Joseph Henry Elliott, Thomas Fraser, William Bennett Hull, and Henry Wrixon, to be trustees of the land set apart at Elphinstone as a site for the use of the Church of England.

Campbell's Creek School, Rev.Andrew Robertson, Thomas Kinigan,Thomas Fraser, William Reed, and G. Bien-
venue; (P.5, Argus, 9-1-1864 re school committees.)

There are not many articles about Thomas Fraser. The purchaser of the Tullamarine Island block would not be the Thomas Fraser who absconded from the Sunbury Industrial School, and if he had been the Rev. Thomas Fraser, his title would surely have been used in the title document. Therefore I believe the pioneer in the Castlemaine area was the co-op.member.

The choice of the right Thomas Collins is not so clear-cut. Relative to articles from the 1850's, he could have been a sailor who was assaulted, a cab driver or a juror at an inquest about a death at the Benevolent Asylum at Portland. The following one is my prime suspect, given Fawkner's association with Collingwood.

Family Notices
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956) Tuesday 1 March 1859 p 4 Family Notices
... son. On the 27th ult., at Gertrude-street, Collingwood, Mrs. Thomas Collins, of a daughter

The Sweetnams were prominent in the Camberwell area. I believe that Elizabeth would have been a widow at the time of her purchase. She may have been the mother of Samuel Sweetnam, who was living in Bourke Rd, Hawthorn when he was made a J.P., was involved in a tramway company which seemed to be in trouble by 1889, and was sued for divorce by his wife.

It is possible that William Pollock suffered a smelly death within a few years of buying his block.

Inquest.-An inquest was held at tho Parkside Hotel, North Melbourne, on Monday, on the body of a man named William Pollock, who was found on the same day drowned in the manure depot. The deceased was twenty-eight years of age, and was a printer in the employ of Mr. Sayers, Little Collins-street. The evidence tended to prove that he had fallen in by accident on the previous evening, and was perfectly sober at the time. The jury returned a verdict of "died from suffocation," adding a rider, suggesting the propriety of immediately fencing in the manure pits.(P.5,Argus, 9-5-1855.)

On the 16th inst., at his residence, No. 135 Little Lonsdale-street east, Melbourne, Mr. John Dwyer, sixty years, native county Tipperary, Ireland, an old colonist, much respected by a numerous circle of friends.
(P.5, Argus,19-5-1856.)


The following surnames occur in the end section of the original FRANKLINFORD journal after the section covered by FRANKLINFORD 1-4. They were listed in FRANKLINFORD 5 and FRANKLINFORD 6, which, for some unexplained reason, were "under review".

ADDITIONAL SURNAMES IN "1888 geography with the Melbourne Hunt."