Dispute Over Melbourne

(previous ... John Batman)

Trespassing ?

In 1835, John Pascoe Fawkner's party had not been on the river very long before Mr Wedge (one of Batman's party) in crossing from Indented Head to the Yarra, was surprised to see the masts of a vessel rising through the gum trees. On reaching the river bank, he was surprised to find a vessel almost embedded in the woods and the rocks. He could also hear the echoing of the sounds of hammer and saw. Mr Wedge informed Mr Fawkner's party that they were trespassers on land belonging to John Batman and company.

Dispute

Captain Lancey, having heard the story of the purchase from the local Geelong Aboriginal tribe, declared that such a transaction could have no value and a quarrel arose which took a long time to settle. A month or two afterwards, Mr Fawkner finally arrived (having been placed on shore due to sea sickness) and at once began to build his house upon the side of the gully which was afterwards to be known as Elizabeth Street. Great crowds of black and white cockatoos raised their incessant clamour at the first strokes of the axe, but soon the hillside was clear and the first white man had taken permanent possession of the spot (Melbourne).

(continues ...William Buckley)

 

 

History of Australia