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2-161 (Text)

Item metadata
Speaker:
author,male,Bourke, Richard,60 addressee,male
ns1:discourse_type
Letter
Word Count :
941
Plaint Text :
ns1:register
Government English
ns1:texttype
Imperial Correspondence
ns1:localityName
http://dbpedia.org/resource/New_South_Wales
Created:
1837
Identifier
2-161
Source
Clark, 1977
pages
94-97
Document metadata
Extent:
5325
Identifier
2-161-plain.txt
Title
2-161#Text
Type
Text

2-161-plain.txt — 5 KB

File contents



I have had occasion to mention incidentally in Despatches addressed to Yr. Lordship that I had thought it necessary to go from hence to Port Phillip in the month of March last for the arrangement of various matters connected with the successful occupation of that remote part of this Government. I delayed making any specific report of what I observed during my visit, or directed to be done in consequence of it, until I could forward a Map of the Country over which I travelled. By the kind assistance of Captain King of the Royal Navy, who accomnpanied me on the tour, I am now enabled to transmit a sketch of the ground adjacent of the waters of Port Phillip, extending inland in a northerly direction to Mt. Macedon, the nearest point of Major Mitchell's late survey, with which it is thus connected.  To the Country thus described, which when more accurately defined hereafter, will probably form a County of a large size, I have, at the desire of the Residents, permitted my name to be attached on the Manuscript, awaiting His Majesty's gracious allowance before publication takes place. If Your Lordship thinks well of having this Sketch added to the Map of the Colony, which I presume Major Mitchell is about to publish in London, I have to request he may be informed on the subject.
I have now to acquaint Your Lordship that I found, on my arrival on the spot selected for a settlement by Mr. Batman on the banks of the Yarra River at the head of the Inland Sea called Port Phillip, an assembled Population consisting of from sixty to seventy families. The situation appearing to be well chosen, I directed a Town to be immediately laid out, which Your Lordship will perceive by the Map has received the name of Melbourne. Conceiving it to be an object of some importance to enable the families I have mentioned to place themselves with as little delay as possible on property of their own, I directed 100 allotments to be measured and offered for sale at Melbourne on the first of this month. I also directed a few allotments to be put up in Williams Town on the shore of Hobson's Bay, where stores and Commissariat Establishments are likely to be soon formed. I have not yet received an account of the sales, but I have no doubt the allotments are readily purchased at advanced prices.
I found, at the beginning of March last, that the population in the whole district exceeded 500 souls, and, before I left Melbourne at the end of that month, the flocks, which had been sent from V.D.'s Land, numbered more than 100,000 sheep. The Country, which I traversed by the routes marked blue on the sketch, is of a varied description, but generally the pasture may be described as superior in quality to the average of the Districts of New S. Wales, which have been earlier settled. It is not for the most part well watered, but the general character of the Country is such as to render it a very desirable position for Settlers, whether Graziers or Agriculturists, and there is I think little doubt of its soon becoming the resort of Emigrants from Europe, as it is now one of those Inhabitants of Van Diemen's Land, who find it difficult to extend their possessions or to establish their families to their liking on the Land remaining for selection in the Colony. 
As there is thus but little doubt that this Settlement will increase rapidly in numbers and wealth, it becomes of some importance to consider in what way its Government can be best administered and the Inhabitants obtain the benefit of the essential Institutions of Civil Society. 
With respect to Government, I apprehend that the great distance between Sydney and Melbourne, whether the communication be by land or water, will render it extremely difficult for some time at least to keep up those frequent references upon ordinary as well as important subjects, which are required to be made to the seat of Government. The distance by land exceeds 550 miles, and the route passing for nearly 400 miles through a country as yet but little traversed or known, the time required to accomplish it on Horseback can hardly be taken at less than ten days. A passage by water may be effected in steam vessels in about four days; but the Steamers to encounter in winter the sea on the Eastern and Southern Coast of New South Wales must be of considerable size and power, and the Establishment of such will not, I imagine, be attractive to private speculation until the new settlement has made so considerable a progress as to create a commercial intercourse of some importance between the two places. But it may be further observed that the vicinity of Launceston in V.D.'s Land to Port Phillip seems to point out the former as the mart to which the Inhabitants of the latter will for some time resort. To keep up, therefore, a regular intercourse between the Districts of Port Phillip and Sydney, it would be necessary for the present to Establish Govt. Steam vessels. The expence of these would be very heavy, and it is for consideration whether to diminish the necessity for frequent intercourse by the appointment of a Military Officer as Lieut. Governor or Commandant with Civil as well as Military Authority will not be a preferable expedient. To a Functionary of this character all the officers of Government at Port Phillip and in the Sothern 

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