Naming the Original Streets - 1851

by Phillip Doherty


Charles Cornish Horrell surveyed the township of Penshurst in early 1851. He arrived in Melbourne 15 May, 1848 aboard the William Stewart (576 tons under Captain William Jamieson). Charles was one of two paying passengers - Mr W Goddard was the other. The remaining 234 passengers were bounty immigrants whose fares were paid for by the government.

The ship sailed from Gravesend, England on 14th January 1848 then Plymouth on the 15 January. Two years after arriving in Australia Charles married Helen Moyle (1829-1896). Helen had arrived with her family on the same ship as Charles and her father was the first organ maker in Victoria.

In May 1850 Chief Surveyor Robert Hoddle instructed Draftsman Surveyor Charles C Horrell to take six assistants and survey the Aboriginal Protectorate Station at Mt Rouse. Hoddle directed Charles to divide the protectorate station into four portions. In the middle of each Charles was to mark out Vi acre township allotments surrounded by small cultivation lots. Elsewhere the best land was to be divided into farms of 80-640 acres for sale by public auction.

By 1853 Charles and family were living in Yarraville Cottage, High Street Prahran which was adjacent to Ivy Cottage occupied by James Moyle (Charles' father-in-law). At that time Charles and his father-in-law were developing housing allotments in Prahran. Charles and Helen had eleven children, sadly six children died under the age of seven years. Charles worked for the Lands Survey and Agriculture Department until January 1878 and died on the 14 September 1892.

As surveyor, Charles Horrell had the privilege of naming the township and streets. After much research it is still unclear why Horrell named the township Penshurst. The first town allotments were sold on the 11 and 12 February 1852. Twenty lots were sold and the government set a reserve price of £8 per acre.


Edward Bell arrived in Sydney 1839. He quickly gained partners and they purchased a run on Lake George, NSW - solely to acquire assigned servants (which were provided to landholders by the government). Edward set out to Port Phillip, with approximately twenty staff, no experience in livestock, droving 1200 head of cattle and 30 horses. Edward met up with the Bolden Bros on the Murray River. (The Boldens settled most of the land around Warrnambool and Port Fairy). Edward arrived in Melbourne Nov 1841, where most of the cattle were immediately sold to butchers. Then with a dray and stores, he started for the Western District with the remainder of the herd, about 300 head.

At the Grange, a police magistrate, Mr French was establishing himself, and in June of that year (1842) Bell had the honour of being appointed a Magistrate to assist French on the bench. Bell and partners settled on Englefield, Glenelg River as their heifer station.

In January 1846 Bell exchanged the Englefield run with Mr Clerk for another run near Mt Rouse, which he named The Green Hills. The original station of Mumumberick (south east Mt Rouse) of which The Green Hills formed a part, was taken up in 1840 by Matthew Gibb, for Capt Swanston. It was sold in 1843 to Robert Clerk.


The Burchett Bros arrived in Port Philip in August 1839. By December they had squatted on what was to be The Gums run near Mt Rouse. The three brothers, Henry (1820-1877), Charles Gowland (1817-1856) and Frederick (1824-1861) held opposing views on the best stock for the run to carry.

In 1843 Charles started a business in Melbourne and sold his share to his brothers who retained ownership of The Gums until 1849. Although Henry had held an equal share in the property (1843-49), he relocated all his stock to "Coree", Port Fairy. The Gums was eventually sold to Henry Gottereux.


John Cox was born at Clarendon, Van Diemans Land in 1813. Cox was involved in whaling and storekeeping at Port Fairy. He took up the "Mt Rouse" run which was centred on the abundant fresh water spring in late 1839. In April 1842 he was ejected from the run so the government could integrate it into the Mt Rouse Aboriginal Protectorate Station. Cox then took up the "Weerangourt" run. By 1847 Cox was a local magistrate. He died in 1853,at sea, on a trip to England.


Named after Patrick Codd however there seems to be a spelling error in the name as CC Horrell, who surveyed the township of Penshurst in 1851, marked Patrick Codd's grave as Cobb's grave. In December 1839 Codd was acting superintendent for the Wedges run at the Grange Burn when he shot and killed the much celebrated leader of the Kolor tribe, Tunrap-Warneen. In early 1840 Codd was working as Cox's overseer at Mt Rouse. It was near the Spring that Codd was allegedly killed in retaliation by Figara Alkepurata (aka Roger).


Acheson Jeremy Sydney French was the sixth son of Robert French, Monivea (Monivae) Castle, Galway, Ireland. Acheson French was the most important person in the early years of the Hamilton district. He took out a licence for the Monivae run in 1841 then later appointed the first Police Magistrate in the district. French married Anna Watton, daughter of Dr John Watton (later of Penshurst). He died in a diving accident at the St. Kilda swimming baths 29th January 1870.


William Hutton was one of the earliest settlers of Port Philip. He held the very first licence for depasturing stock on Crown land in the Pt Philip district. He moved from the Salt River (Maribymong- Keilor) to "Gazette" in 1844. William died in 1862.

David Hutton was born 1808 and landed in Tasmania in 1836. He spent ten years in Tasmania arriving in Portland in 1846 and then to Mount Rouse. He leased "Purdeet" (later renamed Cheviot Hills after the region in southern Scotland) from the Crown in 1852. David was a Shire Councillor from 1864 to 1871. He died 1875.


Donald Kennedy was born in 1807 at Glenroy Lochaber Invernesshire and died 1864. He emigrated to NSW 1837, arriving Port Philip 1840.

Donald took up the "Croxton" run in 1842 with his brother Duncan. They also held "Linlithgow Plains". Donald was elected a Member Legislative Council in 1854 - serving until 1864. He promoted scientific agriculture and was president of the Pt Philip Farmers Society, Commissioner of the Savings Bank, Deputy Governor of the Colonial Bank and a company director.


Dr Robert Martin JP was born in Skye,1798. After arriving in Australia he overlanded from the Murrumbidgee district, down the Hume and Hovell track, before following the Major Mitchell line to Mt Sturgeon, arriving 1841. He held Mt Sturgeon station until 1859. Martin was the first medical doctor in the district - he was also First Trustee of St Johns Anglican church Heidelberg, built 1850. He lived across the Yarra river on his property "View Bank"


James Ritchie was born 1812 Blyth Scotland. Ritchie and partner James Sceales took up the "Blackwood" ran February 1842. By 1845 Ritchie had bought out his partner. He later purchased "Woodhouse" from Adolphus Sceales. When James was accidentally killed in 1857, as he was unmarried, his brothers Daniel and Simon took over the running of Blackwood and Woodhouse.

Daniel Ritchie was elected the first Mount Rouse Shire President in 1863.


James and Adolphus Sceales (Scales).

James arrived from Leith, Scotland where he had been a Chief Magistrate. He settled on Blackwood with James Ritchie 1842, selling out to Ritchie in 1845.

Adolphus held Woodhouse station from March 1848 to June 1854 He also leased the Kolor and Purdeet stations, surveyed from the Aboriginal Protectorate from September to December 1851. The runs were not stocked and he relinquished the leases, which ended up with David Hutton (Purdeet) and John and Daniel Twomey (Kolor).


Dr John Watton arrived in Melbourne in 1839. The 1841 the census recorder came first to John Walton's station, his 'address' given as Djerriwha... Weerabin'. /?/ Simon Staughton purchased the Brisbane Ranges - Exford run from Watton shortly afterwards. Of the 10 adults who were living and working at his station, 5 were shepherds, so this was clearly a substantial enterprise.

By July 1842 Charles La Trobe approved George Robinson's (Chief Protector of Aboriginals) plan for unsuccessful squatter Dr John Watton to take temporary charge of the Mount Rouse Reserve. The Government appointed Watton as a medical officer and not an assistant Protector - presumably as a financial saving. Dr Watton was still at the Protectorate when it closed in 1849.

In 1847 Dr Watton gained responsibility for some of his son-in-law's (Acheson French) police bench work.

Of the eleven people whom the original streets of Penshurst were named after, ten were squatters of whom five were appointed Magistrates. Two were also doctors and one was elected a member of the Legislative Council. The last Patrick Codd (Cobb) was either a murderer/murder victim or both.


By 1859 all the allotments encompassed by the original Cox, Scales, Ritchie and Hutton streets had been sold. With further demand for allotments the government surveyor J B P laid out three new streets excised from the town common. A land and survey map dated Feb 16th 1864 is the earliest that describes the new streets. They were named Dickens, Speke and Thackeray.

It is unclear whether the new sheets were named after the following people but as they were high profile and popular persons in the British Empire at that time it seems likely.


Writer and social critic Charles Dickens was born at Landport near Portsmouth in 1812. From the humblest beginnings he became a parliament reporter and so entered journalism. He went to America in 1842 and 1867/8 and also to Italy in 1844. He was appointed the first editor of the Daily News in 1846. Some of his works included The Pickwick papers, Oliver Twist, David Copperfield, A Tale of two cities and Great expectations. He died at Gadds Hill in Kent on the 9th June 1870 aged 58.


John Manning Speke was born on the 4th May 1827 at Orleigh Court, Bideford in Devon. At the age of 17 Speke joined the 46th Regiment of the Bengal Native infantry and served in the Punjab war. He was decorated for bravery in the Multan campaign. He then hunted and travelled in the Himalayas and mapped areas of Tibet. In 1856 Richard Burton the African explorer invited Speke to explore with him for the vast lake rumoured to exist in central Africa and discover the source of the White Nile River. Two years later while Burton stayed in camp recovering from malaria, Speke after a six week trip returned to announce the discovery of the source of the White Nile (Lake Victoria). Speke was killed in a shooting accident on the 16th Sept 1864. Spekes claim to have discovered the source of the Nile was not finally proven until Henry Stanley circumnavigated Lake Victoria in 1875.


William Makepeace Thackeray was an English novelist of the 19th century and famous for his satirical works, particularly Vanity Fair, a panoramic portrait of English society. He was born on the 18th July 1811 in Calcutta India and educated at Charterhouse and Cambridge in England. Thackery's early career included law, journalism and art before returning to journalism as his life's work. His novels enjoyed immense popularity and he conducted a successful lecture tour of the United States. Vanity Fair was published between 1847/8. Thackeray died on the 24th Dec 1863.

The next two streets to be named were Chesswas street and Boundy (sic) lane. Originally the western half of Chesswas street was known as Tannery Lane and the eastern half as Creamery Lane as it was the road that led to the creamery owned by the Hamilton and District Butter-Factory opened 1892.


James Chesswas arrived in Penshurst around 1871. His profession was listed in the rate books as a carrier. By 1875 he was leasing 5 acres and a tannery owned by John Earls, his occupation was now given as a tanner. This tannery was situated in section 25 between Cox and Dickens streets. In 1882 the tannery was moved to section 39 between Dickens and and the yet unnamed Chesswas street. The tannery operated on this site until James died in 1892. Chesswas street was declared a public highway on the 7th Feb 1896


Boundry (sic) Lane is the eastern boundary of the Penshurst township. This lane was originally known as Large's Lane. William Large built a house on allotment 85 on the then unnamed lane in 1865. The north end near the Caramut road had lots of problems with drainage which was not resolved until the water was taken through the Rec reserve. The south end of the Lane led up to the area known as the Rises.


Ti-tree (sic) Lane was named after the track that led down to the Woolly Tea-tree thicket that grew along the drain coming from the Spring. It was near Ti-tree Lane that Patrick Codd was murdered in 1840.


Underwoods Lane was named after the Underwood family. Pioneer Charles Underwood was born in Melton East Yorkshire and arrived in Penshurst in 1856 with his business partner Allan Cowan established a plant nursery at Boram Boram. His two brothers Thomas and Francis arrived in 1859. In 1909 Charles nephew Joseph bought 5 acres of land fronting the future Underwood's Lane and built the only house on the lane.


Bridget Lewis (nee Hanlon) 1821-1908 was the first Lewis to be recorded in the shire of Mt Rouse rate books in 1873. Bridget was married to Thomas Lewis and had one son John Joseph Lewis born in Port Fairy in 1858. John married Mary-Ann Cameron in 1884 and had eight children.

William John Lewis, MLA, was born 1916 and died 1991. William (Bill) was a local cartage contractor and joined the Australian Labour Party in 1944. He won the seat of Portland in May 1970 and held it until May 1973. Bill was very community minded and served on numerous local committees. The Lewis family were renowned footballers and Bill was a Life member of the Port Fairy and District Football League, the Western Border Football League and the Penshurst Football Club.


Factory Lane was named after the Penshurst Cheese and Butter Factory that opened in 1899 and built on the north side of the lane. This lane was originally part of the Caramut road that went from the Dunkeld road intersection, through the public gardens, to the Cox sheet - Hamilton-Belfast road intersection. The gardens were gazetted in 1876 and the Caramut road transecting the park was cancelled in Nov 1876. By this time the Caramut road traffic was using the Scales Street, Bell Street route as the best way to get to the centre of Penshurst.

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