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Main Title: A history of the Colony of Victoria from its discovery to its absorption into the Commonwealth of Australia vol.1 1797-1854 and vol.2 1854-1900 / by Henry Gyles Turner.
Author: Turner, Henry Gyles, 1831-1920.
Imprint: London, Eng. : Longmans, Green, 1904.
Collation: 396 p. : 23 cm. hbk ;
Subject: Melbourne [Naarm] (Vic.) (Wurundjeri Woi Wurrung Country)
Victoria - General histories
H.G. Turner’s two-volume ‘History of the colony of Victoria’ is the only comprehensive work covering the entire range of Victorian history from the earliest times to the end of the nineteenth century. For students it is an essential reference tool. For the general reader it gives a valuable insight into many historic events observed by the author at first hand. Henry Gyles Turner was born in London in 1831. At 23 he emigrated to Victoria and joined the Bank of Australasia. In 1870 he was appointed general manager of the Commercial Bank of Australia, retaining that position during thirty years of economic boom and depression. During these years he wrote a large number of articles and books, helped to found the ‘Melbourne Review’ and was an active member of many public bodies. He died in Melbourne in 1920.


Preface vii. Chapter 1: Introductory – The penal laws of 1787 – Despatch of the First Fleet – The voyage – Visit to Rio Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope – Arrival in Australia – Coastal exploration by Bass – Arrival of the ‘Lady Nelson’ – Discovery of Western Port Bay – Flinders and Bass circumnavigate Van Diemen’s Land – Murray in the ‘Lady Nelson’ discovers Port Phillip – Takes formal possession of the port – The ‘Investigator’ under Captain Flinders enters Port Phillip – The ‘Cumberland’ despatched from Sydney to survey and report p1-26.

Chapter 2: The abortive settlement of 1803: A convict colony projected for Port Phillip – Voyage of the expedition under Captain Collins – Landing on the Nepean Peninsula – Difficulties in finding satisfactory water supply – Troubles in discipline – Many convicts abscond – Collins reports the situation untenable – Reports furnished to the Governor in Sydney – Feeble attempts at surveying the district – The Governor concurs in the removal of the convicts to Van Diemen’s Land – Final departure from Port Phillip p27-46.

Chapter 3: Intermediary exploration: Lieutenant Oxley ordered to form a settlement at Western Port – His visit and adverse report – Overland expedition of Hovell and Hume – The difficulties incurred at the outset – Their quarrels – Finally reach Corio Bay – Their ungenerous treatment by the Government – Government again orders a settlement at Western Port – Buildings erected at Settlement Point – Colonial Office orders it abandonment p47-67.

Chapter 4: Captain Sturt, The Hentys, Major Mitchell: Captain Sturt’s voyage on the Murray [River] – First trading vessels on Victorian coast – Mr Dutton establishes a whaling depot near Portland – The Henty family arrive at Swan River – Move to Van Diemen’s Land – Edward Henty settles at Portland Bay – Joined by his brothers – Shabby treatment of these pioneers by the Home and Colonial Governments – Major Mitchell’s explorations of the interior – His instructions from the Government – His very favourable report of ‘Australia Felix’ – Successful return to Sydney – Rewarded with a grant of 1000 pounds and the honour of knighthood p68-95.

Chapter 5: The founding of Melbourne: Competitive claims to the honour of being the ‘Founder of the Colony’ – The keen rivalry of Batman and Fawkner – John Batman’s origin and character – His work in Van Diemen’s Land – Projects for settling in the Port Phillip district – Government refuses to sanction it – Formation of the Port Phillip Association – Despatch of John Batman to inspect and report – His journal not entirely reliable – Explorations around the Barrabool Hills and the Yarra [River] – His treaty with the natives – His selection of a site on the Yarra as the place for a township – Return to Launceston – Effects of his report – The Government declines to recognise the treaty – John Pascoe Fawkner, his antecedents and life in Van Diemen’s Land – He inaugurates a party to settle Port Phillip in despite of Government objections – The voyage of the ‘Enterprise’ – They take possession of the site of Melbourne – Are warned off as trespassers by Batman’s representative – Decline to move – Discovery of William Buckley, the wild white man – Batman’s party move up to Melbourne p96-127.

Chapter 6: Fawkner joins his party on the Yarra – Controversies with the Port Phillip Association – Division of territory amongst its members – Provisions for maintaining order – Proclamation by the Governor of New South Wales – Sir Richard Bourke advises the Colonial Office that it is impracticable to evict the intruders, and recommends recognition of the settlement – Steady influx of settlers and stock – Mr Gellibrand’s report on the country – The Governor sends Mr Stewart, a police magistrate, to report on the settlement – Attempt to form a voluntary tribunal for local government – Sir Richard Bourke authorised to form a settlement at Port Phillip – Appoints Captain Lonsdale to take charge of the district p128-153.

Chapter 7: The first attempt at Government: Arrival of Captain Lonsdale – His instructions and staff – Discontent of the settlers at official delay – Unfriendly comments of Sydney press – The fate of Mr Gellibrand – Expeditions in search of him – Visit of Sir Richard Bourke – Approves of survey of town – Gives the names of Melbourne and Williamstown – Visits Geelong – Returns to Sydney – County of Bourke named in his honour – Steam communication established with Sydney – Commencement of banking facilities – The Bank of Australasia – Union Bank of Australia – The Port Phillip Bank – Failure of the Port Phillip Bank – Visit of Lady Franklin – The early ‘Overlanders’ – Pastoral occupation of the country – Foster Fyans appointed to the Geelong district – Sir George Gipps recommends a superintendent – Charles Joseph Latrobe [La Trobe] appointed – His duties as defined by his commission p154-178.

Chapter 8: The Port Phillip Association: The claims of the Port Phillip Association – Ridiculed by the Sydney press – Summary of the correspondence and deputations – Hostile attitude of the Home Government – Modification of claims – Referred to Executive Council of New South Wales – Finally awarded 7000 pounds, to be taken out in land – Harsh treatment of John Batman and his family by the Government p179-199.

Chapter 9: The land question: Prominence of the land question in Australia – Early prodigality in its alienation – Lord Ripon’s regulations – The system of special surveys – Fees fixed for pastoral occupation – First sale of town allotments in Melbourne – Instances of enormous increase in value – Second sale in November, 1837 – Third sale conducted in Sydney p200-213.

Chapter 10: The aborigines and their treatment: Characteristics of the aborigines – Mr James Dawson’s testimony – Estimate of their number – Circumstances which influenced their extinction – Infanticide, disease and drink – Murders and outrages exaggerated – Appointment by British Government of a chief and four assistant protectors of the aborigines – Outline of their duties and districts – General dissatisfaction of protectors and the Government – Complaints by the squatters of their uselessness – Sir George concurs in that opinion – Abolition of the system – Poor results of missionary effort – Summary of lives lost by outrages – One very bad case aroused Mr La Trobe’s indignation – The Superintendent’s circular to the early pioneers – Treatment of the aborigines not a disgrace to the colonists p214-239.

Chapter 11: Mr La Trobe’s early administration: Antecedents of Mr La Trobe – Appointment as Superintendent – Unjust antagonism towards him of section of the press – The condition of Melbourne when he took charge – Population – Landing and public reception of Mr La Trobe – Absorption of surplus revenue to Sydney – Great access of immigration – Preponderance of the Irish element – Deficiency of house accommodation – The original Canvas Town – The land sales of 1840 – Mr La Trobe’s Australian home purchased – The seeds of financial disaster – Mr La Trobe’s action in securing public reserves – The principal event of his administration – Branch of the Supreme Court of New South Wales opened – Eccentricities of the first resident judge – His removal by the Governor – His successors on the bench – Establishment of the Melbourne Corporation – Election of first Mayor and Councillors – Its serious financial difficulties – Establishment of the Melbourne bishopric – Arrival and reception of Bishop Perry – His industry and influence in Church matters – The transportation question – Arrival of Pentonville ‘exiles’ by the ‘Royal George’ – Meetings in opposition – Proposals of the Sydney Council – Arrival of the ‘Randolph’ in Hobson’s Bay with convicts – Ordered on to Sydney – Enthusiastic anti-transportation meetings in Melbourne -Excuses for the English Cabinet – Cessation of transportation p240-277.

Chapter 12: The Constitution of 1842: Universality of desire for separation – Provisions of the statute of 1842 – Difficulty in securing local members – Dr Lang’s intervention – Contest for the Melbourne seat – Discreditable rioting – Port Phillip members resign – Sydney residents fill their places – The firs Separation meeting, May 1840 – Subsequent meetings held and petitions adopted – Lord Stanley’s views – Dr Lang’s motion in Legislative Council – Its defeat and his action thereon – Separation petition referred by Lord Stanley to Sir George Gipps for report – Mr La Trobe’s opinion sought – Executive Council recommended separation – Discontent in Melbourne at delays – Election of Earl Grey to the Sydney Council – Indignation meetings in Melbourne, November and December, 1849 – Course of the Bill through the British Parliament – Final adoption, August 1850 – Receipt of news in Melbourne – Week’s festivities – Electoral machinery and other arrangements – Mr La Trobe sworn in as Lieutenant-Governor p278-303.

Chapter 13: The new colony: its progress and limitations: Retrospective, 1839-1851 – Growth and character of population – Cultivation – Stock and exports – Metropolitan buildings superseded – Bridge over the Yarra River – Foundation of Geelong and Portland, Belfast, Warrnambool, and Port Albert – State of the interior – Exploration of Gipps Land [Gippsland] by McMillan and Strzelecki – Wreck of the ‘Clonmel’ leading to settlement at Port Albert – The pleasant social period of 1845-51 – Causes of satisfactory immigration – Prominent men of that era – The infancy of journalism – The Press, the Pulpit and the Stage – Disadvantages – Want of better mail communication – Defective water supply – Total absence of sewerage – Liability to frequent inundations – Black Thursday – Close of the colony’s ear of romance – Character of the future annals p304-335.

Chapter 14: The first Legislative Council: the men and their measures: Effect of the gold discoveries on politics – William Westgarth – John O’Shanassy – John Thomas Smith – Henry Miller – Dr Palmer – The official Executive – First meeting in St Patrick’s Hall – Financial difficulties – Attempt to tax the diggers – Defection of civil servants and police – Great increase of crime – Robbery of the ‘Nelson’ – The Convicts’ Prevention Act – Passed in despite of opposition from the Colonial Office – Mr La Trobe deals with the claims of the squatters – Abuse of the Superintendent by the press – Tardiness of the Colonial Office in dealing with questions – Final surrender by Crown of territorial and mining rights – Enlargement of the Council – Proposed change of Constitution – Progress of the Constitution Act through British Parliament – Its merits, defects and subsequent amendments p336-363.

Chapter 15: The social, commercial and financial confusion of 1852, 1853 and 1854: Progressive increase of population – Its character – Melbourne overtaxed – Attempted provision for housing immigrants by Government and by Melbourne Corporation – Canvas Town – Extension of suburbs – Waste and loss on imports – Rag Fair – The streets of Melbourne – The amusements – Great cost of living and domestic inconveniences – Difficulties of commerce and banking – The tariff – Over-importation resulting in commercial crisis – Extensive land speculations – Bitter attack on Mr La Trobe – Melbourne Corporation obtains first loan from London – Sir Charles Hotham and the finances – Hobson’s Bay Railway Company – National schools – Melbourne University and Public Library founded – Departure of Mr La Trobe – Arrival of Sir Charles Hotham p364-390.

Appendix 1: Details of land sale, Melbourne, 1 June 1837 p391-3. Appendix 2: Melbourne lots, 1 November, 1837 p394-5. Appendix 3: Discovery of Gippsland, 1835 p396.


Chapter 1: The goldfields and their management: Summary of the gold discoveries – The Upper Yarra – Anderson’s Creek, Buninyong, Clunes, Golden Point, Ballaarat [Ballarat], Mount Alexander [Castlemaine], Forest Creek, Bendigo, Heathcote, Mount Korong, Avoca, The Ovens district, Omeo – The licence fee – Contemporary legislation and regulation – Difficulties of collection – W.H. Wright, Chief Commissioner of Goldfields – Sly grog selling, prosecution – Discontent of miners – Meeting of 2,000 miners at Bendigo – Deputation to Mr La Trobe – Unsatisfactory results – Police and military concentrated on field – Defiant attitude of miners – Government practically capitulates – The Goldfields Management Act of 1853 – Sir Charles Hotham visits the goldfields – Well received – Number and character of the mining population of 1834 – Presage of the coming storm p1-22.

Chapter 2: The revolt of the diggers: Ballarat in 1854 – Miners and officials – The Eureka Hotel – A venal magistrate – Murder of Scobie – Mob burn the hotel – Three of the crowd arrested, tried, convicted and sent to gaol – The diggers formally demand their release – Hotham refuses – Formation of the Ballaarat [Ballarat] Reform League – Its leading members – Mass meetings – Despatch of troops from Melbourne – Some of them intercepted and assaulted – Meeting of 29 November – Resolution to burn licences – Foolish order by Governor for a revival of licence hunting – Diggers’ organisation and drill – The Eureka stockade – Details of the storming – The dead, wounded and prisoners – Allegations of brutality against the police – Colonel Vern’s mock-heroics – Escape of Peter Lalor – Alarm in Melbourne – Stormy meetings to denounce the Government – Hotham’s preparations – New Radical Constitution proposed – Eureka prisoners sent to Melbourne for trial – All eventually acquitted amidst much popular applause p23-51.

Chapter 3: The transition to responsible Government: Sir Charles Hotham’s difficulties – Report of the Goldfields Commission – Denunciations of Chief Secretary Foster – His resignation – W.C. Haines succeeds him – Friction between Hotham and the Council – The transfer to the New Constitution – Ministerial claims for compensation – Attempt of Mr Nicholson to form a Ministry – Its failure – Great anxiety of the Governor – His death on 30 December 1855 – General Macarthur assumes office temporarily – The work of the Council – The Ballot Bill – The first election under New Constitution – Its results – Popular outcry for further reform – Entry of Mr Charles Gavan Duffy into Victorian politics – Assembling of the first Parliament – What it had under its control p52-71.

Chapter 4: The administration of Sir Henry Barkly, 1856-1863: Character and antecedents of new Governor – Duffy’s Bill for abolishing members’ financial qualification – His Immigration Bill – Retirement of Sir William A’Beckett – Mr Stawell appointed Chief Justice – The first O’Shanassy Ministry – The first McCulloch Ministry – Death of Lady Barkly – Manhood suffrage introduced – The Haines Land Bill – The second O’Shanassy Ministry – Increase of members – Shortening of Parliaments – Quarrel between O’Shanassy and Duffy – The Nicholson Ministry – Its Land Act – Eastern Market agitation – The Heales Ministry – Character of the leader – His Land Bill – Payment of members – The third O’Shanassy Ministry – The Duffy Land Act – McCulloch in power again – The Governor’s salary reduced – Progress of railway construction – First railway loan floated – Improved condition of Melbourne – Telegraphs – Mining industry – Nomadic habits of the digger – Rushes to Port Curtis and New Zealand – Population of the colony – Growth of inland towns – The penal department; murder of Price – Exploration of interior – The story of Burke and Wills – Departure of Sir Henry Barkly p72-111.

Chapter 5: An era of constitutional struggle, 1864-1868: Sir Charles Darling’s character and antecedents – General election of 1864 – The birth of Protection – Twenty-five years’ experience of it – The opinions of McCulloch, Higinbotham, Michie and Verdon – The Land Act of 1865 – The new tariff – The tack – McCulloch’s resolutions – Public payments suspended – Conflict with Supreme Court – Scheme for making payments – Tariff Bill rejected by Council – General election, 1865 – The Hugh George fiasco – Colonial Secretary admonishes the Governor – Appropriation Bill passed – Recall of Sir Charles Darling – Arrival of Sr J.H. Manners-Sutton – Treasurer sent to London – Mr Higinbotham’s characteristics – Darling grant allowed by Home Government – Another tack – General election, 1868 – McCulloch resigns – The Sladen Ministry unable to do business – Sir Charles Darling declines the grant – Close of the contest – Sladen’s Bill for widening franchise of the Council carried, September 1868 p112-148.

Chapter 6: Political and social survey of the early 1870s: The visit of Prince Alfred – McCulloch Ministry defeated – Brief career of McPherson Ministry – The Land Act of 1869 – McCulloch returns to power – Again displaced by Duffy as Premier – His arcadian proposals – Sir George Verdon retires from politics – Knighthood for Sir Charles Gavan Duffy – Defeated on questions of improper patronage – The Francis Ministry – The Education Act of 1878 – Its serious cost – General election of 1874 – Mr James Service returns to politics – His character and qualifications – Mr Kerferd succeeds Francis as Premier – The Local Government Act of 1874 – Mr Service’s proposals as Treasurer – Kerferd Ministry defeated by Graham Berry – Progress of the colony, 1863-75 – Departure of Sir J.H. Manners-Sutton – Arrival of Sir George Bowen – Their respective characters p149-179.

Chapter 7: The Berry influence, 1875-1882: Payment of members – Mr Graham Berry, his character and methods – His land tax – Restoration of McCulloch – His quarrel with Higinbotham – Retirement of Higinbotham – The ‘Stonewall’ party – The ‘Iron hand’ – McCulloch’s financial proposals – Expulsion of James McKean – General election 1877 – The Reform and Protection League – Defeat of McCulloch – Graham Berry’s Ministry – Sir Charles Gavan Duffy elected Speaker – The Land Tax Act, 1877 – Payment of Members Bill – Dispute with the Council – Appropriation Bill laid aside – Black Wednesday – Dismissal of Judges and other public servants – Panic in Melbourne – Sir George Bowen vindicates himself – Secretary of State misled – Payment of Members Bill passed by Council – Transfer of Sir George Bowen to Mauritius – Legislative Council submits bill for reforming its constitution – Ignored by the Assembly – The Berry Reform Bill – Rejected by Council – The Embassy to England – Denounced by the opposition and ridiculed by the press – Secretary of State tries to stop the Embassy – Reception of Graham Berry in London – His failure and return – Fails to carry a fresh Reform Bill in the Assembly – Granted a dissolution – Retirement of Sir Charles Gavan Duffy from political life – General election, 1880 – Adverse to Berry – James Service succeeded – His Reform Bill fails to pass – Another general election – Service defeated and resigns – Berry returns to power – Temporary measure for payment of members of Assembly renewed by Council – The Berry Reform Bill of 1881 – Disputes and conferences – Finally amended and passed by Council – Berry’s waning popularity – Defeated by Sir Bryan O’Loghlen and resigns – The O’Loghlen Ministry – What Berry had cost the country p180-218.

Chapter 8: ‘Peace, progress and prosperity’: The International Exhibition of 1880 and its predecessors – Suppression of bushranging in Victoria – Career of the Kelly Gang – What it cost to destroy them – Colourless character of Sir Bryan O’Loghlen’s administration – Fresh anti-Chinese legislation – What led up to it – Session of 1882 – General election of 1883 – Sir Bryan O’Loghlen and Sir John O’Shanassy rejected at the polls – Death of Sir John O’Shanassy – Mr Service called for – Resignation of O’Loghlen Ministry – The Service-Berry Coalition – Public Service Act – Railway Management Act – Mr Speight appointed – The New Guinea and New Hebrides movements – Condition of the finances – General prosperity of the country – Mr Service retires, Mr Berry becomes Agent-General, Mr Kerferd goes on the Supreme Court bench – Dissatisfaction of the Bar – Mr Service defends the appointment – Departure of the Marquis of Normanby and arrival of his successor, Sir Henry Loch – Rumours of knighthood for retiring Ministers – Departure of Sir Graham Berry for London in the same ship with Sir James McCulloch p219-252.

Chapter 9: The era of extravagance: Reconstruction of the Coalition Ministry – Acts of Parliament passed – The Irrigation Act, its reception and working – Governor’s speech on opening Parliament, June, 1886 – Decadence of mining – The Gillies budget – Increased taxation – Timber and sugar duties – Heavy cost of Civil Service – Lavish generosity of the House – Prodigal expenditure of the community – Queen Victoria’s Jubilee, 1888 – Its objects and character – Opening ceremonies – Income and expenditure – The Imperial Conference of 1887 – Mr Higinbotham refuses to take up duties of Acting Governor on existing lines – Sir William Robinson appointed – Resignation of the Speaker – Appointment of Mr M.H. Davies as his successor – New outbreak of anti-Chinese feeling in 1888 – Conference thereon in Sydney – Ah Toy versus Musgrove – Increase in number of members, December 1888 – Sir Henry Loch’s departure – Earl of Hopetoun, his successor, favourably received – The troubles of 1890 – Motions of want of confidence – The Octopus Railway Bill – The budget – Reprehensible book-keeping – The unemployed – The great maritime strike of August 1890 – Its origin and development – A fight between union and non-union labour – Mass meeting in Melbourne – A fight to the finish, stopped by withdrawal of maritime officers – Collapse of the strike – Its official report, finances and results – The fall of the Ministry – Mr James Munro succeeds – Retires in February 1892 – Mr William Shiels reforms the Cabinet – Return of Sir Graham Berry to office as Treasurer – Mr Bent elected speaker – The Shiels Government defeated by Mr J.B. Patterson, January 1893 p253-290.

Chapter 10: Days of trial – the lean years that ended the century: Gloomy opening of the last decade – The land boom of 1888 a misnomer – The seeds of disaster sown in 1885 and onwards – The antecedent causes of the crisis – Summary of total borrowings, 1885-91 – Expenditure of loan money by Government, municipalities, building societies, pastoral companies and land jobbing, credit dealing finance institutions - Building societies, perversion of the principles – Spread of bogus companies – Responsive echo from London – The scramble for deposits – Deceptive tactics – Change of names – The beginning of suspensions in 1891 – Seriousness of position in 1892 – The bank crisis of 1893 – The hopelessness of liquidation – General acquiescence in reconstruction – Enormous amount involved – Ineptitude of the Government – Comparison with Government action in New South Wales – Suspension of the great pastoral companies – The aftermath – Sir Graham Berry’s budget of 1892 – Proposals for increased customs duties – Unpopularity of the Treasurer – Mr Shiels and the Railway Commissioner – Ministry defeated by Mr J.B. Patterson – The new Cabinet – Character and antecedents of Sir James Patterson – His weakness during the financial crisis – His drastic retrenchment in the Civil Service – His Treasurer’s budget unfavourably received – Ministry defeated by Mr George Turner – The new Government and who composed it – Graham Berry made Speaker – A five years’ tenure – Restoration of the finances in 1897 – New land legislation – Bountiful harvests, 1897-9 – General election of 1897 – Rejection of ‘The people’s tribune’ – Proposals to pension him by the House – Final compromise – Change of Governors – Temporary supersession of the Turner Ministry – Restored to office, 1900 – Translation of Sir George Turner to Commonwealth Ministry p291-326.

Chapter 11: The Commonwealth – retrospect and prospect: Completion of the Federal Bond – Summary of its progressive steps from 1849 to 1899 – The sixty-five years’ annals of Port Phillip, coincident with the reign of Queen Victoria – Australian loyalty examined – Results of local self-government – Experimental legislation in connection with land – Object-lessons for English democracy – Manhood suffrage – Payment of members – Railway management – Results of Protection – Hostility to immigration – Hopeful outlook for future in development of natural productions, meat, butter, wheat, wool and wine – Inadequacy of present cultivation as compared with private holdings – Increased population the great essential p327-356. Index p357-389.

Result Collection Location Shelf No Status Notes
Non-Fiction Stacks 994.5 TUR Available volume 2
Non-Fiction Stacks 994.5 TUR Available Volume 1