Pascoe Fawkner 1792 ~ 1869
Pascoe Fawkner is my
Great Uncle. His parents,
Faulkner & Hannah Pascoe
are 5th GreatGrandparents.
young Fawkner arrived in Port Phillip in 1803, accompanying his father
who had been transported for fourteen years for receiving stolen goods.
After a brief stay at the short lived Port Phillip settlement, near present
day Sorrento, they removed to Van Diemen's Land. Fawkner tried his hand
at several trades and prospered, despite finding himself on the wrong
side of the law on a number of occasions, the most serious being his attempt
to aid a party of escaped convicts. By the mid-1830s he was affluent enough
to be one of those entrepreneurs, John Batman being another, making plans
for the unsettled areas around Port Phillip Bay.
The documents on display here are undated, but were almost certainly written
during the period shortly before July 1835, when Fawkner's party of settlers
crossed to Port Phillip aboard the Enterprize. While John Batman was first
and last a businessman, planning nothing beyond the acquisition of enormous
tracts of pastoral land for himself and his associates, Fawkner intended
to found a settlement which could in due course become a city.
As a self-made, self-educated businessman with radical political sympathies,
Fawkner was a characteristic figure of his day. His experience of the
harshness of the convict system left him with an almost pathological hatred
of colonial authority and his g randiose plans for a community, written
before one spadeful of earth had been turned, are more a psychological
document than a consistent political philosphy.
These documents were preserved in a private collection ultimately deriving
from John Joseph Walsh, an associate of Fawkner and related to him by
marriage. They were effectively unknown until coming onto the market in
1998, and have never before been exhibited or published.
of Port Phillip Bay
sketch of Fawkner
Fawkner compiled a detailed account of the physical features of Port Phillip
Bay, particularly as they applied to navigation. He was not himself a
sailor, and evidently gathered this information from secondary sources,
such as the accounts of Lieutenant John Murray, who had discovered Port
Phillip in 1802, and Matthew Flinders, who had entered the bay a few months
"Form of Government"
Fawkner shared the contemporary belief in education and religious observance
as a means of social control, and made plans for them in his settlement.
Despite his hatred of the penal system, he was no starry-eyed idealist:
he specified for his own settlement that an imposing and prominent prison
is to be erected "as soon as possible", as much to intimidate
would-be miscreants as to house actual ones.
Fawkner retained a deep personal loathing of drunkenness despite building
his early prosperity on inn-keeping and the sale of liquor. His proposed
settlement was to be almost completely "dry": wine and beer
could be consumed in the home, but anyone attempting to import spirits
was to be punished; public houses were to be spartan and unwelcoming to
idlers; and persistent drunkards were to be banished to "the drunken
towns of Sydney, Hobart and Launceston".
The ownership of land was one of Fawkner's obsessions. The kind of society
he hoped to build was based on a wide distribution of land amongst many
small settlers, rather than the holding of huge estates by a wealthy few,
and in this history was on his side. When all his other grand plans had
evaporated, Fawkner was at least able to partly realize this goal, through
the co-operative land societies which he later formed.