The first attempt to settle
Victoria was made in 1803. On the 7th October of that year
Lieutenant-Colonel Collins arrived from England with the
intention of founding, in Port Phillip, a convict settlement
similar to that which had been established at Sydney.
The expedition landed on the
shores of Port Phillip, near Sorrento, and several
explorations of the country were made, but in the course of
a few months the attempt at colonisation was abandoned, as
the place was believed to be unsuitable for settlement. For
twenty years thereafter the District of Port Phillip
continued to be neglected.
In 1824 Hume and Hovell
undertook exploration of the territory to the south and west
of the land then known to the settlers reaching, it is
believed, the western arm of Port Phillip, not far from the
present town of Geelong.
In 1826 another
expedition, under Captain Wright, was sent from Sydney to
form a settlement at Western Port, but returned by order of
Governor Darling after one year's trial, although the
reports of Hume and Hovell and of the officers of the
military were favourable to a continuation of the
The first permanent
settlement was made in 1834 at Portland Bay, by Edward
In May, 1835, John Batman
arrived at Port Phillip from Launceston, Tasmania, and
obtained from the aborigines tracts of land covering an area
of 600 000 acres on the shores of Port Phillip and the banks
of the Yarra, but these grants were afterwards disallowed by
the Imperial Government.
In August of the
same year another party, under the leadership of J.
P. Fawkner, also from Launceston, arrived in the
Yarra, and formed a settlement on the site now
occupied by the city of Melbourne.
In 1836 Captain
Lonsdale, who bore the title of Resident Magistrate
of the District of Port Phillip, and was accompanied
by a party of soldiers as well as the necessary
civil servants, was dispatched from Sydney by Sir
Richard Bourke, Governor of New South Wales, for the
purpose of establishing regular Government.
In 1837 the
Governor himself arrived from Sydney, and gave the
name Melbourne to the new settlement.
Port Phillip was
separated from the mother colony on the 1st July,
1851, and became an independent province under the
name of Victoria.
representative Parliament was opened on the 21st
Victoria is both
the second most populous State in Australia and the
smallest on the Australian mainland. It is also the
most densely populated State.
city, Melbourne, was the main city of the Victorian
gold rush in the middle of the nineteenth century
and soon outgrew even Sydney though this has since
Melbourne served as the National Capital until the
establishment of Canberra.