WHO GAVE FLEMINGTON (MELBOURNE, VIC., AUST.) ITS NAME? (Also Kensington.)
An excellent history of Flemington by Marcus Breen, borrowed from the Newmarket Library when I was researching my EARLY LANDOWNERS:PARISH OF DOUTTA GALLA in the 1990's, examines the rival claims of James Watson and William Fleming to have named the Flemington area, the decision going to the former.
Post Office opened 1st January 1854
The naming of the suburb of Flemington* has been a subject for debate for over 100 years. Back in 1908 there
were differences of opinion by men, including some who had been involved in its origins; but the general
consensus was, even then, that the racecourse preceded the village.
A couple of months after a grudge match was held on the course between two men on their mares, the first
?official? race was held on a warm 3rd March, 1840, between two two-year-old colts. There were several
other races over the first three-day meet, and the marshal of the course was William ?Tulip? Wright, the first
postmaster for Bulla. (P.17, State of Victoria Early Postal Cancels (and History) Illustrated, Section III: January to August 1854.)
(*The first result on trove for Flemington, describing the locality, is the following.
Domestic Intelligence. THE ELECTIONS.
The Melbourne Argus (Vic. : 1846 - 1848) Tuesday 3 November 1846 p 2 Article
... of sheep, horses, and cattle announced by Messrs. Mickle and Lilburn, to take place at Flemington on the Salt Water River on Wednesday at twelve ... 1164 words.)
There was a previous mention of Flemington (in Scotland) in a notice regarding a wedding that took place in Keillor,but would you believe it, the paper forgot to include the name of the groom! I am 99% confident that the groom was James Watson, who was responsible for the names of both Flemington and Keilor,both of which could
have been described in early days as being at the Saltwater River.
At Port Phillip, on 31st December, at the residence of John Hawdon, Esq , Keillor, to Elizabeth, second daughter of the late James Ross, Esq, of Flemington, Morayshire, Scotland.Family Notices
(The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser (NSW : 1838 - 1841) Friday 19 February 1841 Edition: MORNING p 3)
N.B.This follows the wedding notice of Peter Young, most likely the Bulla pioneer.
In the Will of Elizabeth Watson, late wife of James Watson, of the Saltwater River, near Melbourne, in the District of Port Phillip, and Colony of New South Wales, Gentleman, deceased.
NOTICE is hereby given, to all parties interested, that after the expiration of fourteen days from the date of the publication hereof, application will be made to the Supreme Court of New South Wales for the District of Port Phillip in Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction, that Probate of the Will of the said Elizabeth Watson, deceased, may be granted to Henry Moor, of Melbourne, in the said District of Port Phillip Esquire, the sole Executor named in and appointed by the Will of the said Elizabeth Watson, deceased.
Dated this third day of June, in the year of our Lord One Thousand Eight Hundred and Forty Seven
HENRY MOOR*.(P.3, The Melbourne Argus, 4-6-1847.)
*Henry Moor was a grantee between the road to Raleigh's punt (Epsom Rd) and the Saltwater River, north of Major Newsom of "Myross"(after whom Newsom St was named.) As Elizabeth had obviously not come out with her family, Henry may have been her guardian.
James Watson had come out as a representative of the Marquis of Ailsa, hence Ailsa St in Keilor. When did he purchase his land that he called FLEMINGTON?
There are many Doutta Galla parish maps online but I have not yet found one that gives the date on which grants were issued. In 1849 James Watson obtained the part of section 13 between Lincoln Rd and the house blocks on the east side of McCracken St, Essendon, and supposedly built a woolstore on the site of the Lincolnshire Arms hotel built by Tulip Wright, a native of Lincolnshire, not long afterwards. If James Watson did name Flemington, he would have had to be on crown allotments 14 and 15 Doutta Galla by 1846,probably under an occupation licence.
OCCUPATION LICENSES. Survey Office, Melbourne, 20th April, 1847.
The Melbourne Argus (Vic. : 1846 - 1848) Tuesday 18 May 1847 p 1
Lot 23, which had been lot 30 on 27-5-1846, and had been "selected", consisted of 696 acres in the parish of Doutta Galla and its present occupier was James Watson. Lot 53 which had been lot 34 on 27-5-1846 was occupied by the executors of Elizabeth Watson and consisted of 1152 acres in the parish of Maribyrnong.
The latter was Keilor, much of which would soon come into the ownership of of William Taylor of Overnewton.
In order to establish whether James Watson's 696 acres selected in May 1846 (if not earlier)consisted of crown allotments 14 and 15 of section 4, Doutta Galla,I again consulted the parish map and this time found one that specified the dates on which grants were issued. (Not only that but also the suburban allotments west of boundary Road granted to pioneers such as George Scarborough, JOHN RANKIN and J.T.Smith after whom Smith St was obviously named.)
The Kensington area and James Watson's Flemington are shown on map 3 on the following website:
Doutta Galla, County of Bourke - Slv - Vic.gov.au
Flemington consisted of only 310 acres,bounded by the line of Racecourse Rd, Ascot Vale Rd, the line of Kent St and the Moonee Ponds Creek. C. and D.T. Kilburn were granted 139 acres in c/a 12 and 13 on 8-12-1847,the same day that James bought Flemington and it is likely that James had been occupying their grants. If so,that would make the total 449 acres. Add 131 acres (and 28 perches) for 13D west of Lincoln Rd and the total is 580 acres. That leaves (696-580=116 acres) of the leasehold to account for. The missing piece of the jigsaw is not John Watson and Edward Byam Wight's grant east of today's Kensington Rd, which became Wight's "The Ridge" (recalled by the Ridgeway)because that was only 68 acres, so it was probably the part of today's Keilor Park bounded by the river, Spence St, Collinson and Mt Alexander Rd in section 19 Doutta Galla,the part of the Keilor Village reserve east of the river.
One thing is certain; James Watson was leasing "Flemington" before 3-11-1846 when the locality name first appeared in a newspaper.
SORRY, I'VE BEEN TRYING TO ADD ONE PARAGRAPH FOR THE LAST 20 MINUTES. THIS HAD BETTER NOT HAPPEN WITH THE BULLA AND BROADY JOURNALS OR I'M DONE!!!!
See comment 1.
on 2014-01-04 17:41:10
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.