John Batman

John Batman

John Batman (born 21 January 1801 - 6 May 1839) was an Australian farmer and businessman who was one of the first settlers of the Melbourne area and known for founding Victoria.


Batman was born in Rosehill, Parramatta (now a suburb of Sydney), and spent time in Tasmania (then called Van Diemen's Land) where he began farming, initially on granted land, but his holdings gradually expanded through purchases. In December 1825, or early 1826, Batman captured the notorious bushranger, Matthew Brady.cite web
authorlink=Percival Serle
title = Batman, John (1801 - 1839)
publisher =Project Gutenberg Australia
work=Dictionary of Australian Biography
url =
accessdate = 2008-03-14
] Australian Dictionary of Biography
last= Brown
first= P. L.
title= Batman, John (1801 - 1839)

Batman sought land grants in the Western Port area of Victoria, but the colonial authorities rejected this. So, in 1835, as a leading member of the Port Phillip Association he sailed for the mainland in the schooner "Rebecca" and explored much of Port Phillip Bay. Batman negotiated a treaty, now known as Batman's Treaty, with some local Aborigines to rent their land on an annual basis for 40 blankets, 30 axes, 100 knives, 50 scissors, 30 mirrors, 200 handkerchiefs, 100 pounds of flour and 6 shirts. It is unlikely that the Wurundjeri people would have understood this transfer of land or agreed to it if they had, but, as Percival Serle wrote, "No doubt the blankets, knives, tomahawks, etc., that he gave them were very welcome". In any case, the Governor of New South Wales deemed such a treaty invalid as the land was owned by the Crown rather than the Aborigines. When he found the current site of central Melbourne he noted in his diary, "This will be the place for a village."

Batman and his family settled at what became known as Batman's Hill at the western end of Collins Street, building a house at the base in April 1836, where he lived until his death. Batman's health quickly declined after 1835, and he became estranged from his wife, convict Elizabeth Callaghan. They had had seven daughters and a son. His son drowned in the Yarra River. In his last months he was cared for by the local Aborigines.Fact|date=March 2008 On his death his widow and family moved from the house at Batman's Hill and the government requisitioned the house for government offices.cite journal
author = Sid Brown
year = 2002
month = November
title = Batman's Hill to Southern Cross - via Spencer Street
journal = Newsrail
pages = 335–347


Batman was buried in the Old Melbourne Cemetery, where a memorial remains, [cite web
title=On These Days - Parliament of Victoria
] but was exhumed and re-buried in the Fawkner Cemetery, a cemetery named after his fellow colonist John Pascoe Fawkner. [cite web
title=John Batman

He is remembered by a number of statues around Melbourne, as well as a railway station in North Coburgcite book | author= Thomas O'Callaghan | title = Names of Victorian Railway Stations | publisher = Government Printer| year = 1918 | isbn =0 9580716 0 8 (2003 facsimile edition)] and bridge in Northern Tasmania are named after him.

His direct descendant is Australian sprinter Daniel Batman. [cite web
title=Brat's all folks: sprint ace Batman comes of age
work=Sydney Morning Herald
author=Jacquelin Magnay
date=March 5, 2005

ee also

*History of Melbourne


* A Pictorial History of Bushrangers, "Prior, Wannan and Nunn", 1968, Paul Hamlyn Pty Ltd, Melbourne

External links

* [ Transcript of John Batman's journal] at the State Library of Victoria.
* [ Batmania: a fun way to explore the people and events surrounding the foundation of Melbourne, images of the Batman Land Deed and other historical documents] at the National Museum of Australia.

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  • John Batman — (21 janvier 1801 6 mai 1839) était un fermier et un homme d affaires australien, qui fut parmi les premiers à coloniser la région de Melbourne, et qui est connu pour avoir fondé le Victoria. Sommaire 1 Biographie 2 Mémorial 3 Notes et références …   Wikipédia en Français

  • John Batman — (* 21. Januar 1801 in Rosehill bei Parramatta; † 6. Mai 1839 in Melbourne) war ein australischer Farmer und Geschäftsmann, der einer der ersten Siedler im Gebiet von Melbourne war. Seine Name ging in die australische Geschichte ein, weil er einen …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Batman's Treaty — was a treaty made on 6 June 1835 between John Batman, Australian farmer and businessman, and a group of Wurundjeri elders, for the rental of land around Port Phillip Bay, near the present site of the city of Melbourne. It was one of the few… …   Wikipedia

  • Batman's Hill — in Melbourne, Australia was named for the Tasmanian adventurer and grazier John Batman. Now removed, the 18 metre high [ Noè Harsel, Masters by research: The Shepherd Kings ] ] hill… …   Wikipedia

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  • John Pascoe Fawkner — (20 October 1792 – 4 September 1869) was an early pioneer, businessman and politician of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. In 1835 he financed a party of free settlers from Van Diemen s Land (now called Tasmania), to sail to the mainland in his… …   Wikipedia

  • John Collicott — John Thomas Collicott (23 September 1798 3 July 1840) was a farmer, auctioneer, postmaster of Hobart and one of the original investors in the Port Phillip Association.Collicott was born in England and emigrated to Sydney, Australia in 1819 on… …   Wikipedia

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