John Pascoe Fawkner was the leader of one of two rival parties
involved in the settlement of Melbourne. Although a small man (5 feet 2
inches) he was a larger than life character.
Garryowen tells us:
"Fawkner was sort of a spoiled child with the old colonists, and even
those who thoroughly disliked him, and often repelled his illbred
arrogance, were ever ready to concede a large latitude to the man who,
by common repute, shared with Batman
the honours surrounding the foundation of 'the settlement'. Batman was
dead, and 'Johnny' was not only alive but poking his nose into every
public movement, from anti-transportation to separation. The prestige
that would have to be divided between him and Batman, had he lived, was
not unnaturally claimed by Fawkner, and as he had a finger in every pie,
and was jumping about like a squirrel wherever there was anything astir,
either at a fire or a public meeting, an election or a street row, a
public dinner or a charity sermon, he was accorded a certain toleration
which clothed him in a privilege that fell to the lot of no other man.
He died in Melbourne on the 4th September, 1869, an honourable member
of the Legislative Council, and so much esteemed that over 200 carriages
were present at his funeral, and 15,000 persons lined the streets on his
Fawkner's funeral procession, still one one of the largest in Melbourne's
history, can be seen in the accompanying wood engraving.
It is maybe ironic Fawkner had such a grandiose funeral and burial given the
revulsion he had expressed to burial in his journal entry regarding the
first European burial in Melbourne.
printing press is held by the
Melbourne Museum. An original handwritten edition of Fawkner's first
Melbourne newspaper is on display in the Parliamentary Library at
and others are held in the manuscripts section of the
The suburbs of Fawkner and Pascoe Vale are named after him as is Fawkner
You can find a short profile of his activities as a journalist at
White Hat Guide to 7 Journalists of Melbourne.
Fawkner's tombstone is inside an impressive bluestone structure.
"A LIFE OF LABOR"
THE MORTAL REMAINS OF
JOHN PASCOE FAWKNER
WHO FOUNDED THE CITY OF MELBOURNE
BORN OCTOBER 20TH 1792, AT
DIED SEPTEMBER 4TH 1869, AT SMITH ST.
AGED 77 YEARS.
JOHN FAWKNER SENIOR
WHO DIED SEPTEMBER
AGED 84 YEARS.
AND OF HIS WIDOW
WHO DIED MAY
AGED 66 YEARS.
WIDOW OF THE ABOVE
WHO DIED JULY 8TH 1879.
This grave can be visited on White Hat Tours' highly
entertaining and informative Tour of Melbourne Cemetery. Just be sure to
tell your guide at the start of the tour that this is one of the graves you
wish to see.
Some forthcoming events related to John Fawkner:
The Melbourne Regatta and Blessing of the Fleet
is one of the few cities that can pin-point the time, date and the people
who first founded it. The Melbourne Regatta was first held on 30 August
1838, making it the first in Australia. In 2016 the Melbourne Passenger
Boating Association will deliver a magnificent waterside spectacle to
celebrate the connection between Melbourne and the sea.
Born out of a river settlement, developed through trade and immigration,
stabilised by gold and farming, the city owes much to the ships who made
that connection. The rivers and the great bay have been bountiful, providing
food, leisure, relaxation and a highway to the rest of the world. Discover
too, the land before it became Melbourne. Learn about the people and the
natural landscape that existed long before, and why this made Melbourne a
perfect place to build a village.
See a spectacle of cruising boats, dressed especially for the occasion.
Hop aboard free ferry cruises around Victoria Harbour, be part of a Welcome
to Country ceremony, and hear Father Bob bless the fleet.
You can also enjoy live entertainment with Normie Rowe, along with
reggae, calypso, and blues bands. Plus there'll be walking tours,
story-telling, roving entertainers, a mass choir and the Sunday market with
many food stalls and local cafes. Everyone is invited to join in the fun and
excitement and celebrate Melbourne's maritime and indigenous history.
Enterprize Day (Melbourne Day)
An annual event to mark the European settlement of the area that was to become the City of Melbourne.
The Life and Times of John Pascoe Fawkner by C.J.Billot
This biography covers the whole remarkable story of little Johhny
Fawkner's life from his childhood in England, transportation to Australia
with his convict father, the first Victorian settlement at Sullivan's Cove,
life and subsequent arrest in Tasmania, the Launceston publican and
newspaper proprietor, founding of Melbourne and his subsequent influence on