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Journal by itellya

If John Batman could read the following he'd do more than turn in his grave. I don't know whether the claims for land in New Zealand, referred to below,were actually approved,but there seems to have been a huge inconsistency in the responses to his purchase of land north and west of Port Phillip Bay and similar purchases from Maoris in New Zealand.

Only one claim is detailed below. If it was approved and Andrew Murchison McCrae was Andrew McCrae, one of the partners named, there would probably be no historic McCRAE HOMESTEAD and Dromana West might have been renamed as Wannaeue. The following was found in a fruitless** search for Major Fraser of the Kangerong Estate*, mentioned by Richard Howitt in a report of his walk to Westernport in 1842/3. I have seen no reference to the occupant of the Arthur's Seat Run before Andrew McCrae and suspected that Major Fraser was that man. (**However, another reading of that article shows that " From Brighton to Major Fraser's squatting station is eight or nine miles." My misreading of the following passage had led me to Andrew McCrae's land claim in New Zealand.)

*There were a great number of squatters' stations all around Melbourne at this period. Those lying between Melbourne and Westernport at which Howitt called or to which he made reference, included Major Fraser's, the Kangerong Estate,Willoughby's cattle station, Rutherford and Blackmore's, Manton's, Merrick's***, Allen's, Barker's, and Captain Reid's-the latter at the foot of Mount Martha. (*** Maurice Meyrick's Boniyong)
The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1957) Saturday 25 December 1909 p 6 Article)

I now suspect that the Kangerong Estate was Jamieson's Special Survey. Willoughby's Cattle Station may have been the Arthurs Seat Run.
(p.s. Willoughby and Thompson bought the Cape Schanck run from Robert Jamieson and Thompson sold it to the Barkers. P. 25 A DREAMTIME OF DROMANA. The Barkers bought Boniyong at about the same time and no indication is given by the article about which run was occupied by the Barkers during Howitt's visit. So I did a WILLOUGHBY, ARTHURS SEAT search on trove. Eureka! The following does not prove that Willougby had the Arthurs Seat Run before Andrew took up the lease circa 1843. I suspect that the following had taken place: Willoughby had become insolvent and his partnership with Thompson had been dissolved. Thompson himself may have become the shepherd at Barrabung and Andrew,busy with the construction of the homestead until Georgiana's arrival on 9-6-1845, probably allowed Willoughby to act as his manager or to graze his own cattle on the run.)

CHILD STOLEN BY THE BLACKS.-Intelligence reached town a few days since that a fine little child, son of Mr
Willoughby, of Arthur's Seat, was stolen by the blacks under the following circumstances : etc.
Geelong Advertiser and Squatters' Advocate (Vic. : 1845 - 1847) Wednesday 6 May 1846 p 2 Article

I bet Andrew McCrae and partners paid a lot less for their 1.28 million acres in New Zealand than the 5280 pounds that Jamieson paid for his special survey! They certainly did!

The Sydney Herald (NSW : 1831 - 1842) Saturday 17 April 1841 p 4 Article
167. H. E. Michel, of Yass, John Johnson,M.D., of Kororarika, D. P. Okeden, of Maneroo,Andrew McCrae, of Melbourne, T. Chirmside,of Coodradigbee River, John Virtue, of London, James Wynen, of New Zealand, and Captain Guard, of New Zealand. 1,280,000 acres, being all that tract of land situated at the Pelorus River, embracing about forty miles of the sea coast, by fifty miles inland, and including Admiralty Bay and Queen Charlotte's Sound.(Boundaries not stated.) Purchased in the early part of 1839, from certain native chiefs by Messrs. Guard and Wynen, acting on behalf of themselves and other claimants. Consideration, merchandise to the amount of £500.Nature of conveyance, deed to Messrs. Guard and Wynen.

by itellya Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2015-04-05 22:33:28

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 2015-04-06 04:36:27


It would seem that Mr Willoughby whose child was reported as being abducted at Arthurs Seat married Eliza, the widow of John Batman. Marie Hansen Fels disputes that an abduction took place in footnote 26 on page 180 of I SUCCEEDED ONCE.

[PDF]I Succeeded Once - ANU Press

26 Bonwick 1856: 133. Bonwick’s informant was an eyewitness, Mr William Willoughby who purchased the Cape Schanck run from Robert Jamieson and later settled at Langwarrin. He was the father of the lost child thought, wrongly, to be taken by the Bonurong in 1846. It is still repeated in local histories that the Bonurong took her. In fact at least three children went missing in Bonurong country, the others that I know of being pound-keeper Atkinson’s child in 1846 (for whom the Native Police searched), and a child from Barker’s station at Cape Schanck in 1850 about whom Jamieson told the McCraes that a sock had been found half a mile from where the child went missing, and they were not going to tell the father of this distressing fact. The myth about Willoughby’s child being abducted probably gained credence because, as Thomas noted, Old Maria was known to be very much attached to the child.

Batman's tragic end | Ergo › Explore history › Colonial Melbourne › Pioneers

Batman's tragic end
Although it's not widely known, John Batman's final years were hardly as prosperous as the rest of his life. Battling syphilis and soaring debt, he watched his wife leave him for another man. After his death, his children were separated and stripped of their inheritance.

After he established the treaty with the Wurundjeri people, Batman built a considerable fortune through property and business ventures in Port Phillip. Aware that his life would be cut short by disease, he tried to build an inheritance for his wife, Eliza, and their eight children, yet he still showered gifts on them. His generously extravagant lifestyle slowly led to a string of debts.

To make matters worse, Eliza began a relationship with Batman's storeman, William Willoughby. Realising that his health was deteriorating and that Eliza wasn't going to stay and care for him, Batman revised his will. He left Eliza only five pounds on the event of his death, and tried to remove her legal right to his assets.

Eliza went to England in February 1839, and returned to hear that Batman had died alone in their Batman's Hill cottage on 6 May 1839. While she was away, Batman's children were separated and sent to live with friends and relatives.

In 1845, Batman's son drowned in the Yarra River while fishing. After this, Eliza disappeared, leaving Willoughby and her daughters in Melbourne. There is evidence to suggest she was murdered in Geelong in 1852.

John Batman: An Inside Story of the Birth of Melbourne
In February 1841, Eliza married William Willoughby but this was short-lived because on 11 January 1845 John's precious nine year old son, Charles, died in the Yarra Yarra at the falls. This final tragedy unhinged Eliza and she left Willoughby,turned to drink and led an obscure life. In 1849 Eliza received 100 pounds dowager rights. In 1852 she was murdered in Geelong. (Her daughters' marriages are then detailed, two of them marrying Collyer brothers as detailed in my journal about a supposed Batman grave at Toolern Vale.)

Family Group Sheet for John BATMAN/Eliza THOMPSON ...
The following was found by clicking on William Willoughby in the above website. It is of interest that William Willoughby died at only about 51 years of age.
Birth 1801 Sussex, England [1]
Gender Male
Religion 1841 [2]
member of the Church of England
Died 1854 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [1]
Person ID I3598 Victoria Pioneers
Last Modified 18 Oct 2008

Family Eliza THOMPSON, b. 1802, Clare, Munster, Ireland d. 1852, Geelong, Victoria, Australia
Married 1841 Melbourne, Victoria, Australia [2]
Last Modified 18 Oct 2008
Family ID F849 Group Sheet

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