MELBOURNE PLACE NAMES


BRIGHTON ( named after the popular Sussex watering town ) was originally a private holding, chosen in England by Henry Dendy, farmer, of Sussex, measuring 5,120 acres for a cost of 5,120 pounds. It was described as densely timbered waste lands when Dendy entered into occupation in 1841. He named the place "Waterville", and divided it off into seaside residential lots. It would seem that he lacked the essentials for success in business for he failed to profit from this investment, and was successively a brewer, sheep farmer, flour miller and finally a gold miner at Walhalla, where he died in poverty in 1881.

CAMPBELLFIELD was settled by a family of Campbells, who gave their name to this locality. It came into prominent notice when an indictment by the fire-eating John Pascoe Fawkner was presented to the Melbourne Town Hall Council - "That Mr. Latrobe had wasted the public money in having expended 450 pounds on a private road at Campbellfield leading to the house of Mr. Lyon Campbell, a particular friend and only a paltry 50 pounds on the main Sydney Road." The term "squatter" having become a word of opprobrium by this time, William Campbell wrote repeated and wordy appeals to Parliament "that the term squatter be discontinued and that Pastoral Tenant of the Crown be substituted in its stead."

The name HAWTHORN has been mistakenly attributed to the abundant hawthorn hedges for which this district was noted. It was originally spelt with a final "e" after Lieutenant Hawthorne on "H.M.S. Phantom". He was a resident in the vicinity when it was chiefly dense stringy-bark forest.

GLEN HUNTLY received its name from the ill-fated fever ship "Glen Huntly" which had to land her shipload of stricken passengers and crew off Point Ormond ( then Red Bluff ) on 17 April 1840. Thirteen died on the voyage, four more died and were buried at the Point later. Their burial place there was marked by a publicly subscribed headstone, which eventually was removed to St. Kilda Cemetery, owing to the encroachment of the sea.

PRAHRAN was so named on Robert Hoddle's map after his official visit in the autumn of 1837 to George Langhorne, who had charge of a missionary station for the blacks on the Yarra, near the present Punt Hill. The natives called the district "Pur-ra-ran" ( signifying land almost surrounded by water, i.e. the river and swamps ). Hoddle wisely sought native names for Melbourne's arising suburbs, and offered unavailingly a number of suggestions to Governor Bourke. The Prahran - Windsor area ( in the early days part of St. Kilda ) was first called Pasley ( sometimes mis-spelt Paisley ) on plans and title deeds, after Captain Charles Pasley, an engineer engaged by the Government who was quite a conspicuous figure in the district. For many years Prahran was a storm centre among municipalities. Reported Council meetings there of old times were notable for the fiery epithets and scorching insults hurled by councillors at councillors, apparently without legal or physical reaction. Frequent appeals to successive governments for financial aid were necessary to drain the abounding swamps, hence the derisive titles of "Poor Ann" and "Swampy Poor Ann" once levelled at this city.


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