Heidelberg Historical Society


Traditional Owners

The land discussed below was, of course, the home of the Wurundjeri people, and had been so for many thousands of years. Those responsible for this website acknowledge the injustice done to the traditional owners by selling land that was rightfully theirs.

The 1838 Land Sales

This information is quoted from the NSW Government Gazette, 30 May 1838.
It includes details of the first sales of land in what later became the Heidelberg area. At the same land sale, many other allotments were sold, as far west as modern day Essendon, to the north as far as present day Yan Yean and to the south west at "William's Town."

Colonial Secretary's Office,
Sydney, 29th May, 1838.

PORT PHILLIP.
SALE OF TOWN ALLOTMENTS.
AT Eleven o'clock of Thursday, the 13th day of September next, the Colonial Treasurer will put up to AUCTION, within the George-street Market Building, Letter C, the undermentioned TOWN ALLOTMENTS, upon the Conditions authorised by Government.
Further particulars respecting the Allotments may be obtained from the Surveyor General, and respecting the Conditions from the Colonial Treasurer.

VIZ:-
MELBOURNE.
Allotments Nos. 7 to 19, both inclusive, in section 6.
Allotments Nos. 10 to 19, both inclusive, in section 11.
Allotments Nos. 1 to 4 and 15 to 20 inclusive, in section 15.
Allotments Nos. 1 to 20 inclusive, in section 18.
Allotments Nos. 1 to 20 inclusive, in section 22.

WILLIAM'S TOWN
Allotments No. 1 to 9 inclusive and No. 20, in section 2.
Allotments Nos. 1 to 9 inclusive and No. 20, in section 4.
By Command of His Excellency the Governor,
E. DEAS THOMSON.

Several pages later in the same edition of the Gazette, there followed an announcement that had come out 9 days earlier; 20th May, 1838. A few things are different between the two announcements.

  • The date for the auction changed from "WEDNESDAY, the 12th day of September next" to "Thursday, the 13th day of September next".
  • The earlier description "PORTIONS OF LAND" was changed to "TOWN ALLOTMENTS".
  • In the earlier listing, William's Town allotments were not mentioned.
  • The May 20th version gives details of each of the allotments for sale; parish name, size, a description of the boundaries etc. This information is not provided with the May 29th announcement, so we do not discover here the details of the William's Town Portions.
  • The price of 5s per acre is stated. This practice is also followed for areas in NSW etc. which were advertised in Gazettes. This appears to have been a minimum or "upset" price.

The following contains the full text of the May 20th 1838 statement, but includes just the description of "Portions" in the Heidelberg area.

Colonial Secretary's Office,
Sydney, 29th May, 1838.

SALE OF LAND AT PORT PHILLIP.
AT Eleven o'clock of WEDNESDAY, the 12th day of September next, the Colonial Treasurer will put up the Auction, within the George-street Market Building, letter C, the undermentioned PORTIONS OF LAND.
All persons intending to purchase any of these Lands are requested to communicate with the Surveyor-General and the Colonial Treasurer respecting conditions of sale.

Then followed details of a number of portions (11 in all) in the "parish of Will-Will-Rook".
Items 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 and 17 in the "parish of Keelbundoora" contain details of Portion No. 1, No. 2, No. 3, No. 4, No. 6 and No. 7. Portion No. 5 was excluded from this sale and was auctioned the following year.
All of these were in the County of Bourke.
12. BOURKE, Portion No. 1 1260, One thousand two hundred and sixty acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by Yarra Yarra River; on the west by Darebin Creek; on the north by a section line forming the south boundary of Portion No. 3, containing 830 acres, bearing east 108 chains; and on the east by the section line forming the west boundary of Portion No. 2, containing 1040 acres, bearing south 130 chains. Price 5s. per acre.
13. BOURKE, Portion No. 2, 1040, One thousand and 40 acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the west by the section line forming the east boundary line of Portion No. 1, containing 1260 acres, bearing north 130 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of the Village Reserve, bearning east 95 chains; and on the east and south by Yarra Yarra River. Price 5s. per acre.
14. BOURKE, Portion No. 3, 830, Eight hundred and thirty acres, more or less. parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by the section forming the north boundary of Portion No. 1, containing 1260 acres, bearing east 108 chains; on the east by the section line formng the west boundary of the Village Reserve and of part of Portion No. 5, bearing north 80 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of Portion No. 4, containing 795 acres, bearing west 112 chains; and on the west by Darebin Creek. Price 5s. per acre.
15. BOURKE, Portion No. 4, 795, Seven hundred and ninety-five acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by the section line forming the north boundary of Portion No. 3, containing 830 acres, bearing east 112 chains; on the east by a section line forming part of the west boundary of Portion No. 5, bearing north 80 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of Portion no. 10, containing 1035 acres, bearing west 98 chains; and on the west by Darebin Creek. Price 5s. per acre.
16. BOURKE, Portion No. 6, 920, Nine hundred and twenty acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the west by the section line forming the east boundary of Portion No. 5, and of the Village Reserve, bearing north 140 chains; on the north by a section line forming part of the south boundary of Portion No. 8, containing 970 acres bearing east 80 chains; on the east by the section line forming the west boundary of Portion No. 7, containing 780 acres, bearing south 100 chains, and on the south by Yarra Yarra River. Price 5s. per acre.
17. BOURKE, Portion 7, 780, Seven hundred and eighty acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the west by the section line forming the east boundary of Portion No. 6, containing 920 acres, bearing north 100 chains; on the north by the section line forming part of the south boundary of portion No. 8, containing 970 acres; and also part of the boundary of the parish of Keelbundoora bearing east 80 chains; on the east by a section line forming part of the east boundary of the parish of Keelbundoora bearing south 107 chains; and on the south by Yarra Yarra River. Price 5s. per acre.

Secondary sources inform us that the successful bidders at the auction were Thomas Walker who purchased Portions 1, 2 and 3, George Porter who purchased Portions 4 and 7 and Richard Henry Browne who obtained Portion 6; quite a limited field. James Watson later purchased Portion 5.
Further north, more people were involved, with Thomas Wills obtaining Portion 8, Neil Campbell Portion 10. Sylvester Brown, the father of Rolf Boldrewood and later owner of Hartlands property, Heidelberg, got Portions 11 and 12.
Here follows the details of Portions 8, 10, 11 and 12 as given in the same May 20th 1838 announcement from the Colonial Secretary's Office. Note that Portion No. 9 was not offered at that time. Our records show that Neil McLean later became the owner.
Yarra Rivulet was an earlier name for the Plenty River, a tributary of the "Yarra Yarra" that formed the eastern boundary of our area of interest.
18. BOURKE, 970, portion No. 8, Nine hundred and seventy acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by the section line forming the north boundary of Portion No. 6, containing 920 acres, and part of the north boundary of portion No. 7, containing 780 acres bearing west 129 chains; on the west by a section line forming the east boundary of Portion No. 9 bearing north 80 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of Portion No. 17, containing 995 acres, bearing east 128 chains; and on the east by Yarra Rivulet. Price 5s. per acre.
19. BOURKE, Portion No. 10, 1035, One thousand and thirty-five acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by the section line forming the north boundary of Portion No. 4, containing 795 acres, bearing east 98 chains; on the east by a section line forming the west boundary of Portion No. 9 bearing north 80 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of Portion No. 15 containing 1005 acres bearing west 147 chains; and on the west by Darebin Creek. Price 5s. per acre.
20. BOURKE, Portion No. 11 886, Eight hundred and eighty-five acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by the section line forming part of the north boundary of the Parish of Jika Jika, bearing west 142 chains; on the west by a section line forming the east boundary of Portion No. 12 containing 990 acres; bearing north 80 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of Portion No. 14, containing 910 acres bearing east 80 chains; and on the east by Darebin Creek. Price 5s. per acre.
21. BOURKE, Portion No. 12, 990, Nine hundred and ninety acres, more or less, parish of Keelbundoora; bounded on the south by the sectionline forming part of the north boundary of the Parish of Jika Jika, bearing east 148 chains; on the east by a section line forming the west boundary of Portion No. 11, containing 885 acres bearing north 80 chains; on the north by the section line forming the south boundary of Portion No. 13, containing 1065 acres, bearing west 124 chains; and on the west by Merri Creek. Price 5s. per acre.

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