ATTEMPTED COLONISATION AT WESTERN PORT. In the year 1826 it was reported that the French had resolved to found a settlement at some Australian harbor - probably King George's Sound or Western Port. The British Government at once sent instructions to Sydney for Governor Darling to immediately take possession of these places. As a result, Colonel Stewart, Captain S. Wright, and Lieutenant
Burchell were sent in H.M.S. Fly (Captain Wetherall) and the brigs Dragon and Amity, with orders to proceed to Western Port, on Novem- ber 18, 1826. They took a number of convicts and a small force composed of detachments of the 3rd and 93rd regiments. The expedition landed at Settlement Point, on the eastern side of the bay, which was the head- quarters until the abandonment of Western Port at the instance of Governor Darling about twelve months afterwards, as unfit for civilisation, though apparently the officer did not entertain the same opinion. This expedition is mentioned as evidently some slight acquaintance was made with the shores of the Mornington Peninsula during the stay in the bay. Attached to the party was Hovell, who had travelled overland from Sydney to Port Phillip at a point about twelve miles from the present town of Geelong with Hamilton Hume the previous year. Hovell had insisted that it was Western Port, not Port Phillip they had visited on that occasion ; but on viewing the former water with the expedition under Colonel Stewart he was soon aware of his mis- take. It was found that the French had landed on the island, which has ever since borne their name, but had soon sailed away again. After in- stalling Captain Wright as com- mander, Colonel Stewart, ??? of the settlement.