The march of Civilisation
Came to Port Phillip by 1849
News from Victoria, Australia
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Colour code Convict or Here before 1840 Here in 40 Here in 41 Here in 42 Here after 42
I first began this site 16 July 2007, and this revision began 18 Dec 2013 as my 76th birthday present given to you.
The Site is being rebuilt, with two indexes - ships listed per year, and people in alpha order, combining details.

Agnes Burke wed Robert Smith in 1847 at Church of England Belfast (Now Port Fairy)
Andrew Burke 23 hus (family 3) Labourer RC both Co Kilkenny, came 23 Jul 1841 on the George Fyfe
Ellen Burke 26 wife of Andrew (family 3) died during voyage on the George Fyfe
Baby Burke 0 child of Andrew stillborn (family 3) stillborn on the George Fyfe
Andrew Burke wed Judith Magrath in 1845 at Roman Catholic
A Burke Correspondence Portland Bay Limestone Ridge 15 2
Bridget Burke 18 (single woman 5) Housemaid RC reads Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
Biddy Burke / Burkes 24 (single woman 3) House Servant RC Neither Galway, came 26 Nov 1841 on the Wallace
Bridget Bourke 16 (single woman 2) House Maid RC neither Clare, came 3 Dec 1841 on the Branken Moor
Bridget Burke 22 (single woman 3) House Servant RC Reads Co. Limerick , came 24 Dec 1841 on the Gilmore
Bridget Burke, female wed John Madden 1842 #35422 Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne
Bridget Bourke arrived 19 Aug 1844 at Melbourne from Hobart Lillias, source local newspapers
Bridget Bourke wed Thomas Kelly in 1844 at Roman Catholic St Francis Melbourne
Bridget Bourke, Sponsor of William son of James Gilbey Baptised on 23 Dec 1844 by Rev PB Geoghegan at Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne - see my Chapman page for details of this event
Bridget Burke wed Henry Holland in 1847 at Roman Catholic St Marys, Geelong
Bridget Bourke Page 32 letters at Post Office 3 Feb 1847
Catherine Bourke / Burke 21 (single woman 1) House servant RC neither Limerick, came 4 Oct 1841 on the Enmore
Catherine Burke in list of unclaimed letters held at Post Office 31 March 1843
Catherine Burke wed Edwin Carroll in 1845 at Roman Catholic
Catherine Bourke wed John Feneley in 1846 at Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne
Cornelius Bourke convict came on the Clyde (2) 1838 sentenced to Life Tickets of Leave to be collected page 214 - 17 granted ticket-of-leave 9 Apr 1846 Labourer
Daniel Bourke wed Eliza Henry in 1845 at Church of England
Edward Bourke sponsor for Hannah Roberts baptised 5 Nov 1839 at St Francis Roman Catholic church
Eleanor Burke wed John Butler in 1841 at Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne
Eliza Burke 20 (single woman 4) Farm Servant RC Reads Co. Limerick , came 24 Dec 1841 on the Gilmore
Eliza Bourke 22 (single woman 04) House servant RC Reads Galway arrived 13 Jan 1842 from from London 1 Sep and Cork 21 Sep 1841, on the Himalaya source Bounty Immigrants
Ellen Rourke / Bourke 16 (single woman 22) Dressmaker, RC, both, Clonmell, came 18 July 1840 on the Theresa
Ellen Burke wed Samuel Pearcy in 1847 at Church of England Belfast (Now Port Fairy)
Henry Bourke 17 (single man 3) Shepherd,, Prot reads, Co Castorn, came 22 Jan 1840 on the John Bull
Henry Bourke Police Court Sat 4 June 1842 charged with being drunk and breaking the peace fined five shillings source Melbourne Times - Sat 4 June 1842, page 3
Henry Bourke, Licensed to cut timber at County of Bourke August 1845. Source - Melbourne Courier 29 Sep 1845
Hugh Burke 25 hus (family 2) Shepherd, RC both, Carlow, came 22 Jan 1840 on the John Bull
Elizabeth Burke 22 wife of Hugh (family 2) Dairymaid, RC both, Carlow, came 22 Jan 1840 on the John Bull

This family - Hugh and Elizabeth Burke, with brother Henry Bourke, continue in the records as Rourke.

James Burke 28 (single man 4) Farm servant, Prot both, Neuagh, came 22 Jan 1840 on the John Bull
Jane Brooks / Burk 18 (single woman 12) House maid Prot both Falkirk, came 26 July 1841 on the Brilliant
Johannah Burke 21 (single woman 3) House servant RC reads Waterford, came 21 Jan 1841 on the Sir Charles Forbes
Johanna Bourke wed William Henry Freer in 1845 at Roman Catholic
John Burke 34 hus (family 4) Gardener RC both Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
Ellen Burke 26 wife of John (family 4) Laundress RC both Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
Edmond Bourke / Burke 7 son of John (family 4) RC Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
John Burke 24 hus (family 5) Labourer RC both Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
Johanna Burke 23 wife of John (family 5) Servant RC both Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
William Burke 7 son of John and Judith (family 5) RC Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
John Batten / Bourke 27 (single man 3) Labourer RC both Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
John Bourke 22 (Single man 02) Labourer RC neither Tipperary arrived 13 Jan 1842 from from London 1 Sep and Cork 21 Sep 1841, on the Thetis source Bounty Immigrants
John Burke, male wed Elizabeth Mcmurray 1842 #35502 Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne
John Bourke, County of Grant monthly license for 1-31 August 1844 to strip Bark and cut timber. Source - Port Phillip Herald 22 Oct 1844
John Bourke, No 9, letters at Melbourne Post Office. Source - Melbourne Courier 13 Oct 1845
John Bourke farmer Campbellfield Sydney Road, Source - 1847 Directory
John Bourke shoemaker off Bourke lane, Source - 1847 Directory
John Burke mason Bourke lane, Source - 1847 Directory
John Conway Bourke, the first overland mailman, was employed 2 Jan 1838 by Joseph Hawdon, to deliver letters to Yass from Melbourne every fortnight, a 200 mile distance of uncharted terrain, on his lonesome with only his horse, a shotgun, and his mailbag for company, which according to his memoirs, “made a very comfortable pillow.” In one instance, his horse is stranded while crossing the soft clay of the River Hume, and as he swims to safety to seek help from the locals (“almost as naked as when I was born”) he is attacked by a pack of wild dogs and forced to escape up the nearest gum tree. Protesting his credentials to the farmer, who is now aiming a shotgun at Bourke, the man replies, “So you are the mailman then? Well, I don’t think much of your uniform.”
John Conway Bourke started from Melb on July 11 1839, accompanied Lieut Alfred M Mundy in a tandem and Joseph Hawdon on horseback, on an overland journey to Adelaide, They arrived there on 11th August.
He is not John Bourke, one of 240 convicts transported on the Bardaster, 07 September 1835.* Details: Sentence details: Convicted at Portsmouth Court Martial for a term of life on 06 August 1835. recorded on Page 80, as this John was still in servitude till granted a Ticket of Leave 23 Mar 1845, in Tasmanian records.
John Conroy Bourke 1813 - 1903 buried at Melbourne General cemetery - employed by Joseph Hawdon who secured a contract at Ł1200 a year to carry the overland mail fortnightly to Yass, at which point his post-boy passed it to the mailman from Sydney who transferred the south-bound mail to him. This was a pioneer service; hitherto the mail had gone by sea. Hawdon's first post-boy was John Conway Bourke; beginning on 2 Jan, in 1838 he rode 11,000 miles (17,703 km). See A personal account of the life and work of John Conway Bourke, as stockman, first mailman between Melbourne and Sydney, and instigator of the Burke and Wills expedition. The papers are a recollection of Bourke's role in the history and development of Victoria and give his impressions of the dangers of pioneering life. His reminiscences include life as a stockman at Dandenong and Ballamaring cattle stations in 1840s with particular reference to cattle sales, boundary disputes and squatters, Alfred Longhorne, William Fletcher, Samuel Webster, James Simpson, John Gardiner, Charles H. Ebden and James McAlpin; conflicts and communication with Aborigines with reference to massacre of Faithfull's party and attack at John Clarke's station; critical comments on exploration re use of camels; A. D. Gregory's search for Leichhardt party; Babbage expedition; Ambrose Kyte and Burke and Wills origins; notes and correspondence re job applications, employment at General Post Office and Bourke's case for pecuniary recognition with testimonials and letters signed by John O'Shanassy, Edward Wilson, Joseph Hawdon, Frank and Charles Gavan Duffy and Edmund Finn. Further references to role played by J. C. Bourke in history of Victoria include correspondence signed by Bourke and John Hawdon , Charles Bonney, Thomas Jennings, T. Smith and copy of letter to Sydney Morning Herald by Charles H. Ebden.
Joseph Hawdon, with Charles Bonney and other employees, was the first to drive a herd of cattle from the known area of the Goulburn River in Victoria, along the Murray River into South Australia, and then overland, arrived in Adelaide on 4 April 1838 after a ten-week journey from a station on the Hume River
John Conway Bourke wed 1847 to Winifred Lloyd at Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne and she died 1828 - 1879 #11274 aged 51, dau of Bridget Murphy and Thomas Lloyd of Tipperary, with 2 chn survived of 6 listed.



From: on Wednesday, 18 August, 2010, John Conway Bourke (JCB) or John Burke as he was known in 1835 when he was prosecuted and sentenced to transportation in the August Lancaster Assize for “coining”, is our families earliest Australian Immigrant, be it by transportation on the ‘Susan II’ arriving in Sydney on the 7th Feb 1836. We know from JCB’s diaries and a number of JCB’s letters that his father’s given name was Michael and he named his first son Michael as was the Southern Irish naming convention,
Re JCB, he was assigned to the Hawdons from late 1836, having been originally assigned to Tom Barker of Maneroo (Monaro) Plains. His first job after reassignment was to drive 300 head of cattle with the Hawdons, John Gardener and John Hepburn overland to Port Phillip crossing the Yarra River at Dight’s falls. There was another indented convict with them named Michael Hogan. The cattle were then grazed on the grass plain of what is today Prahran and on the hills of what is today Toorak. They slaughtered the cattle at what was then known as ‘The Punch Bowl’ which is immediately below Como House on the bank of the Yarra River .
JCB set of from Strahan’s Store which is today 467 Collins St (which was the unofficial Post Office at that time) on 2nd January 1838 in the company of Joseph Hawdon and another indented convict named Michael O’Brien. According to JCB it was O’Brien’s job to follow himself and Joseph Hawdon ‘blazing’ trees to for JCB to find and follow on the return journey. Again according to JCB he parted company with Hawdon, Bonney and O’Brien etc the next morning at the Goulburn river camp where Hawdon was resting his cattle for the journey to Adelaide .
Have you seen the book:- Joseph Hawdon the Overlander’ by Brian Packard, who I believe is a great grandson of Joseph Hawdon? I have a copy of it here somewhere I just can lay my hands on it at the moment to tell you who the publisher was.
In 1839 John Hawdon petitioned the government for a “Ticket of Leave” to be granted to JCB for his faithful and heroic service delivering the mail. From letters written to JCB and in support of JCB it would appear that both Hawdon brothers had a genuine affection and admiration for him and he for them. Sadly for JCB the petition was rejected by Sir George Gipps the new Governor of the Colony of NSW “on the grounds that JCB had not been in the colony sufficient time to be granted a pardon regardless of his deeds”
In July 1839 John Hawdon mounted an exploratory expedition from Melbourne to Adelaide. He was accompanied by Lieutenant Alfred Miller Mundy and JCB. They arrived safely in Adelaide mid August where they spent some time organising business affairs. I have not given an account of this trip here as it would need to be lengthy, I would recommend that you read ‘Joseph Hawdon the Overlander’ by Brian Packard, and JCB’s own account of the same trip.. From Adelaide they travelled by ship to NSW and returned to Melbourne overland arriving on 24th December 1839. During this trip Hawdon and JCB, according to JCB, talked in depth about exploring the inland area of the continent. JCB claims that “Hawdon made up his mind to organise the expedition upon their return from the current expedition”. On returning, the idea was shelved as John Hawdon was soon preoccupied with more urgent business matters, as the Colony was entering a period or economic depression!
In January or February 1840 JCB accompanied John Hawdon and Charles Fowler on an expedition to explore the area to the east of Western Port. The exact timing of this expedition is not certain however both JCB and John Hawdon record such a journey in their journals and letters. The area to be explored would later be called Gippsland after Governor George Gipps. No official record of the expedition exists for good reason. The expedition was to take approximately 14 days, JCB recounts that the expedition failed and was abandoned due to the drowning of the packhorse in the Yarra River only 15 miles, approx 22Kms from Heidelberg Howdons home.
JCB remained in the service of the Hawdons until he was granted Ticket of Leave No 41/2347 dated 30/10/1841. JCB was granted Conditional Pardon No 4/4242 dated 1/7/1842.


Joseph Burke wed Ellen Lowther in 1841 at Roman Catholic St Francis, Melbourne
Judith Burke 25 (paid 8) , came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
Laurence Burk / Burke 26 (single man 4) Labourer RC both Tipperary, came 3 Jun 1841 on the Duchess Of Northumberland
Laurence Bourke List No 2, 29 feb 1844 Unclaimed letters at Melbourne Post Office
Laurence Bourke wed Hannah Mulcahy in 1845 at Roman Catholic
Lawrence Bourke carrier Campbellfield Sydney Road, Source - 1847 Directory

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This page began on 16 July 2007
Updated 30 Aug 2012 - revised to the end of 1844
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