A guide to researching the history of Victoria's foundation and early settlement based on published and digitised sources.
Colonel David Collins, formerly judge-advocate of
Difficulties arising from lack of fresh water, poor soil and timber, together with conflict with the local Aboriginal population, led to Collins recommending that he move to the
Detail from Sullivan Bay, Port Phillip 1803, H25956
Original documents relating to the Sorrento settlement edited by Richard Cotter and published by the Friends of the Collins Settlement, Sorrento:
In 1826 concern over possible French ambitions in the region prompted the Colonial Office in England to instruct Governor Darling in NSW to establish a settlement at Western Port, with convicts to supply a labour force and pave the way for future settlers.
This resulted in the second abortive official attempt at settling the coast of Port Phillip as misleading information regarding the correct location of the proposed site meant that the surrounding area was not as favourable as first believed.
This, together with the realisation that fears concerning the intentions of the French were unfounded, led to the abandonment of the settlement soon after. For further information see:
As of June 15 2020 the Library is open with reduced spaces and services.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.