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Chronicles of Early Melbourne 1835-1852

Melbourne (Port Phillip) 1841. Melbourne (Port Phillip) 1841. Artist John Adamson, Engraver J. Carmichael. State Library of Victoria

Chronicles of Early Melbourne 1835-1852

Sunday 27 August 2023
5:00pm - 6:00pm
St Kilda Army and Navy Club
88 Acland Street, St Kilda (upstairs)

This is how Melbourne would have looked when Edmund Finn arrived in 1841, from Ireland, as a young man. He worked at the Port Phillip Herald for 6 years, and then became the clerk of the Legislative Council of Victoria. However, he is best known for his unique and entertaining account of early Melbourne, which he published under the pseudonym ‘Garryowen’ in 1888: Chronicles of Early Melbourne 1835-1852.

His great-great-grandson, Professor Jon Patrick, a St Kilda resident and Society member, will take us through Finn’s family life and some notable descendants, accompanied by some of the intriguing stories and anecdotes of life in pre-separation Victoria recorded through the amusing eyes of his early antecedent.

No one was safe from Finn’s keen eye and wicked sense of humour. His numerous notes recording the daily happenings in the settlement paid special attention to the little details of people's lives and the public events around him and thus provide a surprisingly accurate and balanced chronicle of significant issues in the developing settlement of Port Phillip - from bushrangers, companies, and governments, to massacres, gold era, and executions.

Professor Patrick’s presentation will also feature some of the period illustrations scattered throughout the two volumes of the 1,000-page book, and a St Kilda story.

This free event is open to the public.  

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