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John Batman
John Batman was born in Parramatta, New South Wales, and settled near Ben Lomond in Tasmania in 1821. He personally attempted to pacify the Tasmanian Aborigines during their hostilities with the European settlers. He also worked as a bounty hunter for the Tasmanian government, capturing Bushrangers for reward. One lady bushranger he married rather than capturing and had by her six daughters and a son.

Known as the 'father of Melbourne', Batman landed on the site that is now Melbourne in May, 1835 and noted in his diary that 'This will be the place for a village'.

John Batman was leading a party of 15 people who were disappointed with conditions in Tasmania and, making a treaty with the local Aborigines, he purchased about 600 000 acres of land for blankets, knives and tomahawks.

Some 500 000 acres were around the site of Melbourne and the rest near Geelong.

In August of that year John Pascoe Fawkner arrived with another party of disgruntled Tasmanians and came upon the Batman settlement. Fawkner, born in London, had settled in Launceston in 1819 and established the newspaper The Launceston Advertiser.

Sir Richard Bourke, the Governor of New South Wales, did not officially support this upstart colony until 1837 when he finally conceded that the settlers were there to stay.

On a visit to the settlement Bourke named it Melbourne, after the then Prime Minister of Britain, and ordered that it be laid out according to a plan by the New South Wales Surveyor General.

The plan was a square grid 'with roads being 99 feet wide and intersecting at 220 yard intervals'.

John Batman died shortly after his encounter with Fawkner and never lived to see the colony achieve self government. He died of Syphilis, allegedly contracted in the bordellos of Hobart, and was later moved from his original burial site to be interred in the John Fawkner cemetery, named after his great rival.