[Robert Hoddle]

Robert Hoddle
with His Omnipresent Surveying Telescope

The following are some notes on the early surveyors at Port Phillip who worked under Robert Hoddle and Robert Russell:

BUTLER, Henry (Cavendish?) Danvers (Assistant Surveyor) - Had assisted Major Thomas Mitchell over the Blue Mountains to Bathurst, New South Wales. Overlanded to Port Phillip about March-April 1838 with Granville W. C. Stapylton but returned to Sydney shortly afterwards, reportedly to attend to matters relating to the death of his brother-in-law, Lieutenant-Colonel Dumaresq.

D'ARCY, Frederick Robert (c1809-1875) (Draftsman) - Born c1809 the eldest son of Major George Pitt D'Arcy (late of 9th Regiment) and Mary (nee Le Measerier). Arrived at Sydney, New South Wales in 1828. Married 20 May 1834 at St. Phillips Church, Sydney, New South Wales to Sophia Garling. Arrived at Melbourne on 5 October 1836 per "Stirlingshire" with his wife and family. Surveyed part of Port Phillip Bay from the mouth of the Werribee River to Port Lonsdale; and the Barwon, Moorabool and Yarrowee Rivers. Left the Department in January 1838. Died in September 1875 in Queensland. Buried in Toowong Cemetery, Queensland.

DARKE, William Wedge (1810-1890) (Assistant Surveyor) - Born 20 June 1810, the son of John Darke of Hereford and Elizabeth Darke (nee Wedge). Younger brother of John Charles Darke. Arrived Hobart, Van Diemens Land 28 November 1827 per "George Home." Married 15 February 1838 in St. James, Sydney, N.S.W. to Isabella Campbell McArthur, third daughter of Captain Donald McArthur of the 2nd Royal Veteran Battalion and Elizabeth (nee Wemyss). Arrived at Melbourne on 5 October 1836 per "Stirlingshire." Employed on subdivision of Hoddle's sections in Jika Jika; skeleton plan of Melbourne and sections of streets from Sections 1 to 13. Levelled the streets of Melbourne. Commenced surveying by contract with Henry Wilson Hutchinson Smythe in May 1839. Returned to Sydney in November 1842. Living in Pitt Street, Sydney with his wife and family in 1846. Appointed as a Licensed Surveyor in April 1860. Died 20 July 1890 in The Avenue, Oakleigh, Victoria, Australia. Buried 21 July 1890 in St. Kilda Cemetery, Victoria.

KEMP, David Malcolm ( -1841) (Draftsman) - Arrived in Sydney, N.S.W. about 1837. Had a Government Commission for a position in the Customs Department. Transferred to the Surveyor's Office. Posted to Port Phillip. Arrived at Melbourne on 6 November 1838 per "Regia" from Sydney (23 October 1838). Assisted Henry W. H. Smythe. In 1840, after receiving further training from Robert Hoddle, he was promoted to Assistant Surveyor and transferred to New Zealand. Sailed on the "Regia." Drowned 15 March 1841 by the upsetting of a boat at Kororarica, Bay of Islands, New Zealand. Had been in a small yacht to travel to an island about five miles from the mainland with two companions. On the return journey they were about three-quarters of a mile from shore when a heavy squall struck the vessel which filled with water and went down. Kemp, who could not swim, and one of his companions drowned. His other companion succeeded in reaching a small rock and was saved.

[Donald Gordon McArthur]

Donald Gordon McArthur

McARTHUR, Donald Gordon (c1810-1871) - Born c1810, the son of Donald McArthur and Elizabeth (nee Wemyss). Arrived Sydney in October 1835. Married Elizabeth Kirby (or Thirley). Clerk (Third Class) in the Surveyor-General's Department. To Melbourne in early 1838. Redundant as Chief Clerk in the Survey Department in 1843. Died 1871 in Victoria. Buried in St. Kilda Cemetery, Victoria.

NUTT, Thomas Henry (c1813?-1856?) (Draftsman) - Born c1813? Arrived at Melbourne on 6 November 1838 per "Regia" from Sydney (23 October 1838). He surveyed portion of the River Yarra; the 12 1/2 acres sold to La Trobe and 10 allotments near Queen's Wharf, Melbourne. Subdivided Heidelberg and Diamond Creek. Received extra training from Robert Hoddle but was never considered fully competent. Married 12 August 1848 at St. Lawrence Church, Sydney, New South Wales to Julia Atwick Dutton? Died 1856 at Camperdown, Newtown, New South Wales?

SMYTHE, Henry Wilson Hutchinson (1815-1854) (Assistant Surveyor) - Born 1815 in Liverpool, Lancashire, England the son of Benjamin Smythe. Arrived Launceston, V.D.L. 3 March 1831 per "Kate" from the Swan River, Western Australia. Brother-in-Law of Captain William Lonsdale. Said to have arrived in Melbourne on 18 November 1837 from Launceston, possibly on the "Adelaide." To Geelong about March 1838. Commenced surveying by contract with William Wedge Darke in May 1839. Married 19 February 1841 in V.D.L. to Jessie Allan, youngest daughter of George Allan of of Allan Vale, near Launceston, V.D.L. At Gowangardee Station in the Murray District. Died about January 1854, having drowned in the Broken River, Victoria, Australia.

STAPYLTON, Granville William Chetwynd (1800-1840) (Assistant Surveyor) - Youngest son of Major-General Granville Anson Chetwynd Stapylton and Martha Stapylton, only daughter of Henry Stapylton of Wighill, Yorkshire, England. Married 1825 to Catherine Bulteel of Fleet, Hampshire, England. Had been second in command of Major Mitchell's expedition to Australia Felix. Overlanded to Port Phillip in April 1838 with Henry Danvers Butler. Did surveys of the River Plenty and of the country surrounding Port Phillip. Had a drinking problem which led Lonsdale to suspend him from duty. Returned to Headquarters in Sydney early in 1839. Sent to Moreton Bay. Killed by aboriginals on 31 May 1840 south of Brisbane.

TOWNSEND, Thomas Scott (1812-1869) (Assistant Surveyor) - Born 27 April 1812 in Medmenham, Buckinghamshire, England the son of William Townsend and his wife Ann. To New South Wales. Overlanded to Port Phillip in 1839. Laid out Wangaratta and Benalla en route. Did surveys of 857 miles of road; of the planned Town of Port Fairy; of the Town of Portland; of suburban allotments and of the Bar with soundings. Later relieved Robert Hoddle when he went on 2 months leave. Married 27 April 1853 in Canberra, Lake George, Queanbeyan, New South Wales, Australia to Frances Emily Davis. They parted soon after and were never reconciled. He provided for her but never gave recognition to their son. Was regarded as being of unsound mind. Died 26 August 1869 in England, having commited suicide by cutting his own throat.

[Robert Russell]

Robert Russell


Source of Images: State Library of Victoria Picture collections

( Contributed by Alexander Romanov-Hughes - PPPG Member No. 52 )

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