MELBOURNE IN INFANCY.
SOME INTERESTING SIDELIGHTS
By A. W. GREIG.
Despite the fact that the date of its foun- dation lies within the memory of men still living, there is a haze of legend surround- ing the very early history of our city. Writers with insufficient data have drawn upon their imagination to complete a pic- ture of the period, and by mistaken infer-
BATMAN'S HOUSE, 1836.
ences have given currency to statements which are absolutely incorrect, while the unreliable reminiscences of early colonists have added to the confusion. A student of the subject therefore finds it hard to avoid the many pitfalls with which he is surrounded. Much is to be hoped for from the researches of Professor Scott into long- buried official records. But since these are confined almost entirely to matters coming under official cognisance, their scope is strictly limited, and any fresh light coming from outside sources with some claim to authenticity should be eagerly welcomed.
It might rensonably have been supposed that at this late hour all possible contribu- tions of this nature had received full pub- licity. Yet in a collection of manuscript notes and water-colour sketches recently acquired by the trustees of the Melbourne Public Library we have material which, dur- ing the 35 years which have elapsed since the author's death, seems to have escaped attention. The notes have little value as a connected narrative, and many of the sketches are palpably creatures of the
artist's imagination; but they are the work
of a man who was in the full vigour of ma- turity of mind and body when he arrived in Melbourne, and who had ample opportuni- ties to inquire into its early history. The settlement was little more than four years old when he first saw it, and nearly all the original pioneers were probably within the circle of his acquaintance.
Wilbraham rVedcncL El civ n Luirdel was himself an interesting uguie among the eailv colonists of the State Reaching Pott Phillip in the ship William Metcalfe in November, 1810, he left a portion of his funitlj encamped upon the Port Melbourne beach, and aftei a brief visit to Sjdncj, himself ictuincd lo the bime spot in fnnu niy 1840 Ueio bo soon replaced lus oiigitial tent by a more penn mont dwelling, which he Intel lui ned into an hotel, anil erecting ii small jeltj, levelling borne of the und dunes, and improving Iho track leiding luland through the scrub, ho be cuno Yvalriman ind mail conliaclot, be btdea providing a conyejance to take pas bengei» up fiom the beach lo the growing town on the banks of the Yura
In ill his imdoitakings, Liardet had the nssislmcc of a f innlj of btalvvatt son« and seems to have found lciMiic lo indulge the tastes of a dilettante in music and art J have it on the testimony of Ins ihiiightoi that lie was y et y fondjOf making sketches ind tlw 1)8 had a portfolio full of them, ana in 18tá ho piodneed i view of Mübouiin, vvInch was sent to Lnglind lo be engraved Specimens of the icsulting plate uro now rire but the unions mai tec a fine example in the Petherick Collection it the loder ii Piiliuinent House In his old ige, Liardet projected a lusloiv of Melbourne, and pic pared the senes oí piétines with which we no now concerned Internal evidence does not placo them nnj cailici than the j car
I IST1}, but it is leasonublc lo suppose that
thej vveie clabot tied fiom much oldei, ind in ininy instances contemporary, studies Bj pei mission of the ti ustecs of the Pub
lie Libiarv, t few have been selected to il-i lústrate this uticle, some expían ilorj coin monts on which may not be out of place Hie irtists on ii notes concerning them bhovi th it dilling his oarlv Australian ex. penences he wns both lnqiiniug and ob
'Hie hist buildings erected on the site of Melbourne, in August and ""eptembci, 1835, woie meio huts of turf and bt inches, hut about the end of the vcai Bitnian and lavvkaci brought the ftameyiork of their houses from Launceston and set about the constitution of moie substantial diveluu_:s Hie Batman domicile wia somcivheic about the 1 lindéis bticct end of the pre«cnt i ni
way ofiieos on the southern slopes of the vnniihcd Batman s Uill7 and as it rein lined in position up to the call} ixties, Luudct must have had man) oppoilumttcs of oh seivtng it F-wknei, on the other hand, eho°e i poition of the bite iflcrvvaids ??elected foi a Custom House, electing his coMaçc neat the south oi«t comet of lim dels lane and William «tied, and from this position he was ousted full) tvvche months before Linulets nrnial in Melbourne If we ne to believe 'Ganjoiv.cn the build
SUl.Vlà-OH'si CAMl* 0.\ l'OUT 3l_J.UOUI-Ml BEACH", 1SÜ7.
ing was io elected foi a brief space of time in Maikct «lied and hcic Hie aitist miiv hui c seen it but tb it he w is dependent upon bein sa) for a description of its ougi nal location is evident from the inaccuracy of the pietiiK, in wini h it is made to f,ice soulh eust in«tcad or due south, as was ne tiiallj the eise Ile ah<o seems lo have m traduced a I md of s. mbolicnl gioup in the forrgiound showing Hitman iltindcd b> Huckin 'Hu wild while min tondiietmg his tclcln ated nrgoli liions vv itli the biothci s lag i Jaga who rathol resemble some of the giants fiom i childs hook of fury talcs, bul; with all it? absurdities the picture ha«
a value in giving us a glimpse of tne original surroundings of the Yarri, willi the verdant knoll of ' 1 meraki Hill ' in the baekgiound It is interesting to note thal neithci of the sites chosen foi the first two permanent buildings in Melbourne has over been alien
aled fiom the Crown
1 he pilgrim fathers of lhe settlement, with the untrammelled freedom of Rquat leis in virgin count!), built their mud huts and frame houses vvhercvet it seemed good to thom, and for 12 months they were left lui undi°putcd possession Bul early in October, 1.16, there irrived fiom Sydney
[in the brig Stnhngshire a patty of Govern
nient officials, who were to bring law and
older lo the settlement Vmong the c vveie threi suive) ors-Robert Bus eil 1 ledenek lîobcrl DAicv and Willum AVed(,c Darl e~charged with Hie impottunt duty of la)ing out i town and one of the most interesting olbeinl documents con nccted with the bil til of Meiuournc is the hist map of the district piepucd by Rua «eil showing the buildings then existing and the outlines of the pioposed streets On this plan we find the surveyors tents' away in the bush, about the foot of Russell street, but the leaders of the party chose foi themselves lcsidonces closer to the contle of the settlement J. Arcy, who had Ins wife with lum, picked A «pot on the Market stieol hill, where be oftervvaids bought a couple of allotments Russell had a. cottage erected on the south side of the nvei, quite close to the lulls," while Darke camped not far away fiom lum, on the banks of the Yarra "basin." Liardet has given us a picture of Russell's "wattle and dab"' structure, in all the romance of its early surroundings, and supplies the in- formation that it was afterwards occupied by Mr. William Le Souef, whose son for some time worked a punt or ferry on the river near by - a statement which is cor-
roborated by Mr. Le Souef's grandson, the present director of the Zoological Gardens. lhe old cottage stood b) the fulls until 18o_ when )t was dismantled 01 swept aw a) by a flood-pi obably the same inundation which compelled the lcsidenls of the ongi njl ' Canvas loun ' to seek highei giound
Concerning Dall e the Hurd sunevoi, Liaidel relates u cucuiustatiec which docs not seem lo hive been eNewheic iceoided He slites that this c,eiitlcnun, who seems to hive been a bit of a Svbmte in his way
not ealing to submit to the distomfoits and insecuril) ol ii lent foi himself md the mi
plements of bl craft, biougbt u home drivvn curium with lum from Sjduc), and used it as i portable dwelling II w is a put of the loutino ot Hie Surve) dcpattmenl thal haibnurs inlets, bins uni w itei
courses should be siirvcved in the xicinil) of a new t unship ind if we luiiginc Duikc to have Deen deputed to i ury out this pail of the woik in connection with the found i lion 'of Melbourne there is notliin,, un piobiblo in lindctb stalom ni that the survcvoi camped lol some lune m Ina tu i
v in on the Poll Alelbournc beach, whete he li id the hret tuck cut tlnough the tea tice « nib mil hoisted a birrcl on ii polo to raaik the w iv to Melbourne giving Hu locality its oiiginil minc ot 'Miidndgc
in letord of which circiunstJiu.es the uitisl
IIOI! I-li T llL_.i>UI,T,>S COTTAGE AT TUB "l'AI/i-V 3S.'!T.
has given us a giaplnc but of couise wholly nnaginaiy pietme lo Dukes hot=es Lindel iscnbcs the desttuctioii of the nop of wheit sown bv 1 ivvlnet on the south side ol the "V tua in the autumn of 1830- not an mill! elv thing to happen when wo coii'-idci that the tom would be
Aoiitig and gieen at the lime of Ihcit io leisc fiom the confinement of a ben voy 11,0
C«pt tin Ijonsdilc clio e is the site of his dist olhci ii lesidencc the glassy pilli 111 lying north of Hitman 1 Hill, and bete, mi the as vet itiistuvejed block now bounded by Collins, Spencci, Bottrl c, and ixing streets, a cluster of buildings connected with the Government dcpntmcnls soon sprang into existence 'Hie c weie of no vc!) high ordei oi iiclutecttiic bung foi Hu mist pint moe w ittle 01 turf huts foi Iho ni
commodilion of soldiers, working gin¡,s of convict«, de , and among them occurred in April, 1838, Melbourne's fcreb to. ï_
growing population had necessitated thp election of a couple of cabins ns roltce oflu!. and w itch hoii«e, Hie lattir being divided into two eompaiInvents-one foi the pnsoners, and the othci for the guard On the occasion referred to this primitive house of detention contained three aboriginal of fenders, undei the chaigc of a somewhat eccentric constable know n ns^' Blatherum" Ilooson, who was nodding comfoitably ovei a fire on Ins side of the establishment--i cn eumstnnce which the dusk) inmates of the adjoining "cell" obseived through a peep hole m the dividing dooi, and determined to probt by Drawing some long reeds from the thatch of the loof they thiu«t them
tliiniigh the opening, ignited them at lloosons hie, mid willi tlic_c improvised toi the. piocceded to an act of delibeiatc in cendi.insm. llooson awoke lo lind the roof ibkire about his cat» and his pusoncis well on then ni) io ficcdom A dog is said to have succeeded in detaining one of the cul
rAWKMÎK- lIOl'-sL", 1SJIÎ.
pi'ils but the others made good their c»cnpc l.nrdet's iccount ol the episode, which til lies elosel) with Lousd lie's oflieial íepoil
iddb lint the destruction of the bulldut.; yv is lomplelnd bj a sctllci ben ng the allot
vi aids well known name of Hugh GI is,, who, pissing tint w iv with a bullock leim (ptobtlilv following the old ttack to the Siltwatei Uiver), ian the wheel of his dray
into the linns
One mipoitint institution lying propeih within the functions of the Government
seems to hive been foi some time without specific local lnbiliition Hie collection and deliveij ot leticia ippeais to hive been managed bv the settleis tlicmselvtb up to the beginning of lbl7 G ii o owen men lions Hie B itnnns John and Hem v, as Inv
mg tnken tunis at the dut) while 1 laidet speaks of its tiansfeiencc to an call) Col lins sticet met eli mt named L)le ivo ict,ulni poslmistei held oflice, how cn el, until the appointment in Match, 1S37, ot Ml 1. T lostei as eleik lo the polite niugisti ite the eharge of lctteis being idded to his othci duties Little lins been left on lccoid conceiniu_, tostéis regime as postmiistci and cleik of pell) session . but imdei Mi Benjamin BuNtci, who sue eccded lo the double olhce lu Jinuai), 1818 postal institutions seem to have ne quiicd some popul uilv At BaNloi s le
dence, in 1 lindéis stiect, i small cottage neal the comet of King sited, Aits Bjn tci soiled uni dehvcicd lctteis, making up the hist in ni bent dnect lo 1 iigland in Jumuiiv 1330 11 ib this building which Liurdct li is depu [ed lol lu is Mellion! ne s tust postofliee Aecoiding to lum it subse qucntly became the kitchen of the Ro)al Uighlundci Hotel
1 rom the foicgoing example«, )t -vxill be seen Hut Lmdct dipped with inleiest into the buof pist which was ahead) behind Melbourne when he aimed theu At i futtuo oppoituuit) some idea inn) bo given of the leeoids which he has left of cn ciimstnnces and things coming iindei his own personal obsetvation