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Page history last edited by Mcgooley 12 years, 4 months ago



Melbourne's First Post Office.

One of a series of watercolours produced by Wilbraham Frederick Evelyn Liardet, dedicated to Sir Redmond Barry in 1875.

Held at the State Library of Victoria.


An image of Melbourne's first canceller

In use from 1837 to 1842



Through these pages, my main aim is to focus on, and attempt to explain and catalogue, the growth of the towns in Victoria from the time of John Batman's original settlement in the latter part of 1835, up to and including the immediate Post-Federation era. The vehicle for this "Trip through Time" is the Post Office, and the methods used for delivering communications throughout the Colony. Of necessity, this must include reference to Inter-Colonial communications, both within Australia and overseas.


My primary area of interest is the postmarks of the Victorian colonial era, most particularly the Barred Numerals, and this project is the expansion of an idea which first found expression as a topic on Stampboards.com and has, over time, grown outside its original framework. My initial thought was to give a little background to the cancellations of the post offices as they appeared over time, but the more I delved into the subject, the more enmeshed I became in the rich and diverse tapestry of events and people which shaped the Colony's evolution after the coming of the Europeans.


There is already a vast array of information on European history in Victoria, freely available both on the internet and in your local library: there is even quite a lot of information available for postal historians. Historical Societies throughout the State are repositories of many interesting facets of their own Towns and Shires, but sometimes they do so in isolation.


On this site, hopefully, I can strike a balance between the centralized versions of history, and the "big" picture, which is sometimes so large that the human element gets lost. Victoria's European history is made up of real, flesh and blood, people; in every essence, exactly like people today - the good and the bad. They were the driving force who forever transformed the landscape which had been home to peoples for thousands of years, a fact which was accepted by some but disregarded, or completely ignored, by many more.


The undeniable (indeed, undenied  ) greed which prompted the 1830s land-grabs had far-reaching consequences for the Aboriginal peoples, to whom the idea of land ownership was an alien concept. The process of elimination of the clans and their cultures was implicit in the "signing" of the two 1835 documents with which the Port Phillip Association sought to legitimize its ownership of some 600,000-odd acres on the western side of Port Phillip Bay down to and including the Bellarine peninsula.


It is not within the scope of this work to explore the history of conflict, but any understanding of the growth of European settlement in the colony must take into account the destruction of the original inhabitants; whether deliberate or otherwise. During my ramblings there will be descriptions of events which are included to give a more rounded picture of the colonization of particular regions. Too much of the history of Victoria has been written from a strictly European bias, and while this, of necessity, will also be the focus of my work, I believe it is important to acknowledge the dispossession of the Clans for whom the land south of the Murray River was home.


For ease of navigation through this site, I have broken up the history into different segments. The profiles on the 15 original members of the Port Phillip Association have been included as background information. Many of those who followed in the next few years, particularly from Tasmania, were acquainted with these men to a greater or lesser degree. 


Also included is as much of the original official correspondence, regarding the Association's illegal incursion, as I have to hand. This includes George Stewart's Report after his visit to the settlement in the last week of May 1836.






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