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On this day, 3rd March 1837, Melbourne (now capital of Victoria), was named.
The first settlers to Australia’s southern mainland coast were Lieutenant David Collins and a group of officers, convicts and free settlers who, in 1803, first landed where Sorrento now stands. Lack of fresh water and suitable timber doomed the colony to a short-lived existence, and within a few months, Collins had transferred the entire settlement across Bass Strait to Van Diemen’s Land, and established Hobart on the Derwent River.
The next settler in the district was John Batman. On 6 June 1835, Batman signed a ‘treaty’ with the Aborigines, giving him free access to almost 250,000 hectares of land. In August that year, Governor Bourke declared Batman’s treaties invalid, and issued a proclamation warning off him and his syndicate as trespassers on crown land. Despite the attempts at government intervention, the foundling settlement of Melbourne remained, and flourished.
The new township was surveyed and named as Melbourne on 3 March 1837, in honour of the British Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne.
Photographs of Collins St, Melbourne from 1835 and c 1870.
State Library of New South Wales