Melbourne, Australia with a twist


Well-known member
So the hiSTORY goes like this.

The Founding of Melbourne, 1835
Aboriginal people of the Kulin nation gathered every year near the Yarra River for ceremonies, celebrations and trade. These were important social gatherings where political and family alliances were reinforced and grievances addressed.

With the arrival of Europeans, Melbourne soon became a new type of meeting place, dominated by the settlers and their interests. The settlers were attracted by the rich pastures to the west and north of Port Philip, many of the same sites that Aboriginal settlers had long inhabited. This included meeting places such as the future site of the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the hill where Government House now stands, and along the Yarra River at Burnley and Clifton Hill. Evidence of these sites was recorded by the settlers, with the assistance of Aboriginal people such as Billibellary.

Competing with white settlers for land and food caused hardship. Aboriginal people were also struck by deadly introduced diseases such as dysentery, influenza and tuberculosis. Assistant Protector William Thomas reported that within 20 years of Melbourne's settlement the number of Aboriginal people of the region had decreased to about 28.

The charge to settle Port Philip was led by businessmen from Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), including John Batman, his partner John Wedge and rival John Pascoe Fawkner. They arrived in 1835 with limited supplies but unlimited enthusiasm for making money.
In 1834 Batman was instrumental in the formation of the Port Phillip Association with John Helder Wedge, seeing an opportunity for expanding their interests into a new region.

In May 1835 the syndicate explored Port Phillip Bay, looking for suitable sites for a settlement. Batman claimed to have signed a 'treaty' or deed with Aboriginal leaders, providing them with 20 blankets, 30 tomahawks, 100 knives, 50 pairs of scissors, 30 looking glasses, 200 handkerchiefs, 100 pounds of flour and six shirts, in exchange for a tract of country at Port Philip containing about 500,000 acres. Batman then returned to Van Diemen's Land and began plans to mount a large expedition to establish a settlement on the Yarra River.

However just three months later, another syndicate of settlers, financed by John Pascoe Fawkner, entered the Yarra River aboard the Enterprize, establishing the first permanent settlement on the banks of the Yarra. When Batman and his party reached the Yarra on 2 September they were dismayed and angry to find Fawkner's people already in possession. The two groups decided that there was plenty of land for everybody and not dispute who was there first.

Aboriginal people were forced off their land and deprived of their rights to access resources and food. Although the Kulin adapted to the situation by bartering goods and artifacts, the impact of the settlement was devastating.

The Government of New South Wales, then also governing Victoria, thought that the new settlement should not exist. In August 1835 all settlers were pronounced trespassers and Batman's deed with the Aboriginal leaders declared void. Despite this, news of the settlement at Port Phillip had already spread, and more boats were crossing Bass Straight from Van Diemen's Land and dropping anchor in the Yarra River. In the chaos of the fast growing settlement, ex-convicts rubbed shoulders with free settlers and "young gentlemen", all eager for opportunity and adventure. Within twelve months 177 settlers and more than 26,000 sheep had arrived.

The New South Wales Government accepted the inevitable and hastened to establish control. They began to distribute land around Melbourne to settlers on the assumption that it belonged to the Crown. In September 1836, it sent Captain William Lonsdale to take charge of law and order. Soon the tools of authority were in place, including a court house and a police lock-up.

In March 1837, Melbourne was proclaimed a town by Governor Sir Richard Bourke during his brief visits from Sydney. Burke named the new town after Lord Melbourne, the British Prime Minister.
The Founding of Melbourne, 1835

So if the founding was 1835 and there was nothing there,not a thing so they say and this is what they say it looked like 20 years later.


Then where did all these building come from ?





Most of these buildings are gone now ( I seem to have a lot of trouble loading photos and files on to this site as you can see and it does my head in ) so here is a link to see a lot more.

Block Arcade, Melbourne - Kodak store, 1900 | Urban Melbourne | Melbourne history in 2019 | Melbourne australia, City of adelaide, Victoria australia

Did Melbourne look like any other cities that you know of back then around the planet ?

Also i knew the Dutch had called Australia New Holland back in the 1600s but wondered why they just gave it to the British without a fight. Maybe its the same reason they gave New Amsterdam (New York) over as well. They say it was a trade but who really knows. Why would the Dutch trade New York for a shitty little island ? And why would the Dutch just hand over a land mass the size that Australia is ?

So im thinking that maybe the Dutch build these cities and lost a bet or something and had to hand them to the English without a fight.


Well-known member
I haven't lived in Melbourne, but have visited numerous times. What I love about it is the quintessentially old worldly feel to the city which I do not get anywhere else in Australia, bar some parts of central Sydney, Adelaide and Hobart. A few interesting examples below.

Officially, the Royal Exhibition Building (below) was constructed over a two-year period for the Melbourne International Exhibition in 1880. Somehow I doubt that...

Royal exhib building.jpg

St Paul's Cathedral (below) is an Anglican cathedral in Melbourne. Allegedly, the cathedral was designed by the English Gothic Revival (yep!) architect William Butterfield. The foundation stone was laid in 1880 by the Governor of Victoria, John, Earl of Hopetoun (later Marquess of Linlithgow), in the presence of the Rt Revd Charles Perry, Bishop of Melbourne. On 22 January 1891 the cathedral (without the spires) was consecrated by the Rt Revd Field Flowers Goe, Bishop of Melbourne. The building work was marked by disputes between Butterfield and the church authorities in Melbourne, leading to Butterfield's resignation in 1884. The job was then awarded to a local architect, Joseph Reed, who completed the building generally faithfully to Butterfield's design and who also designed the attached chapter house in matching style in 1889. To fit the block, the cathedral is orientated in line with the central city grid, just off the north-south axis, rather than facing east, the traditional direction. The pipe organ was commissioned from the English builder T. C. Lewis, one of the most prominent organ builders of the 19th century. For nearly 40 years, without the spires, the cathedral presented as a rather solid, horizontal mass. Construction of the spires began in 1926 to a new design by John Barr of Sydney, in a more traditional Gothic Revival style and with different stone from the Sydney area. It was also much taller than Butterfield's original design. The spires reached their full height in 1932

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The Cathedral Church and Minor Basilica of Saint Patrick (colloquially St Patrick's Cathedral - below) is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne. In 1858 William Wardell was commissioned to plan the cathedral with a contract signed on 8 December 1858 and building commencing the same year. Although the nave was completed within 10 years, construction proceeded slowly, and was further delayed by the severe depression which hit Melbourne in 1891. Under the leadership of Archbishop Thomas Carr the cathedral was consecrated in 1897 and even then it was not finished. Given the size of the Catholic community at the time, the massive bluestone Gothic cathedral was an immense and very expensive undertaking, and there were long delays while funds were raised. St Patrick's was one of the two largest churches brought to substantial completion anywhere in the world in the 19th century. The other is St Patrick's Cathedral, New York, United States. Daniel Mannix, who became Archbishop of Melbourne in 1917, maintained a constant interest in the cathedral, which he was determined to see finished after the long delays during the previous 30 years. He oversaw the addition of the spires and other elements in the late 1930s. The building was officially completed in 1939.

Melb 2.jpg