Thursday, 30 August 2012

Melbourne's Birthday


August 30 is Melbourne’s birthday – the day the city was founded when settlers sailed from Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and landed on the north bank of the Yarra River from the schooner Enterprize in 1835. Here is (one of) my link(s) with early Melbourne.

Henry Condell c1860
from Libraries Australia collection
Henry CONDELL (1797-1871) was Melbourne’s first mayor, serving from 9 Dec 1842 to Nov 1844. He is my 4great grandfather.
He arrived in Hobart on 24 Dec 1822 leaving his wife Marion and daughter Jane behind in Edinburgh. Marion Condell nee VALLANGE (1789-1866) came to Van Diemen’s Land three years later and Jane CONDELL (c1821-1904) was raised by her grandparents, not coming to Australia until 1840. 
Jane was my 3great grandmother - she married a convict and was disowned by her father. That’s a story for another blog post.

Henry worked for some time on Maria Island as Commissariat Clerk and left in controversial circumstances (again another future blog post), and built the very successful Bevley Bank Brewery in North Hobart, billed in the mid-1830s as having the best pale ale in the colony.

Henry moved to Port Phillip in 1839 and set up a successful brewery in Little Collins Street.
From what I read, as a mayor he made a great brewer – his 'term of office was a time of financial distress, constant bickering and turmoil'. It is said in articles in The Argus that his ale had played a ‘conspicuous part in the riotous election campaign’.
Edward Long, Henry's great grandson, and
my great grandfather

When he left Melbourne for England in 1853 he was a very wealthy man - I wonder if all of his wealth was profit from his brewery.

His son, William Vallange CONDELL presented the Melbourne City Council with a clock for the Town Hall tower in memory of his father. That clock remains today.
There is a street in Fitzroy, a lane in Melbourne city, and a lane in North Hobart that all bear his name. The lane in North Hobart is all that remains to mark his house and brewery there.

Jane Brooks nee Condell,
Henry's daughter, and mother of Frances

Frances Eliza Long nee Brooks,
Henry's grandaughter, and mother of Edward


The plaque in North Hobart


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