The Full Wiki

More info on Edward Henty

Edward Henty: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Edward Henty (28 March 1810 – 14 August 1878)[1], was a pioneer and first permanent settler in the Port Phillip district (later Victoria), Australia.

Henty was born in Tarring, West Sussex, England, the fourth surviving son of Thomas Henty, who came of a well-known Sussex banking family, and his wife Frances Elizabeth Hopkins of Poling, West Sussex.[1]

Thomas Henty inherited £30,000 on 21 years of age and bought the property generally called the Church Farm at West Tarring, and bred merino sheep. Some of these were sent to Australia in 1821 and brought high prices. The family was a large one, eventually seven sons and one daughter grew to maturity, and it was thought that there might be better opportunities for the sons in Australia than in England. In 1829 James Henty, the eldest son, went to Western Australia with two brothers, Stephen and John. They remained for two years and then left for Tasmania. In the meanwhile Thomas Henty had sold his English property and also sailed for Tasmania. He arrived at Launceston in April 1832 with three more of his sons, Charles, Edward and Francis. It was difficult to find suitable land in Tasmania, and Edward was sent to explore the coast of the mainland. He reported that the district near Portland Bay had good possibilities, and after revisiting it with his father it was decided that the land was suitable for settlement. Edward went first on the Thistle with labourers, stock, potatoes and seed. After a voyage of 34 days the Thistle arrived at Portland Bay on 19 November 1834. Edward Henty was only 24 years old and early in December, using a plough he had made himself, he turned the first sod in Victoria. The next voyage of the Thistle brought his brother Francis with additional stock and supplies, and in a short time houses were erected and fences put up.

The British government had been keen to have land taken up in Western Australia and the Hentys had assumed no objections would be raised to their obtaining land in the Port Phillip district. Application was first made in 1834 and negotiations continued for many years. The father, Thomas Henty, died in 1839, and it was not until 1846 that the matter was finally settled, when the Hentys were allowed £348 for improvements at the port, and were granted 155 acres (0.63 km2) of land valued at £1290. The remainder of their land they had to buy at auction. The obstructive attitude of the government at Sydney to new settlers may be illustrated by an extract from a dispatch of the governor, Sir George Gipps, to Lord John Russell, dated 11 April 1840.

"The Messrs Henty, like the first settlers at Port Phillip, claim to have rendered good service to the government and to the colony of New South Wales by opening a district of country, which might otherwise have remained unoccupied for a number of years; but, so far from considering this any advantage, I look upon it as directly the reverse, not only because the dispersion of our population is increased by it, but because also we are forced prematurely to incur considerable expense in the formation of new establishments. I have already, in consequence of the proceedings of the Messrs Henty, been obliged to send two expeditions to Portland Bay, and I am now under the necessity of organizing a police force there, and of laying out a town, besides incurring expense for the protection of the aborigines."

[2] The thought that the many thousands of pounds spent by the Hentys in developing the country might eventually be of benefit to the state had apparently not entered into the minds of the authorities. Neither could they have anticipated that the first sale of crown lands which took place a few months later would yield the sum of £17,245.

Edward Henty was determined to continue with his settlement; his brother, Francis, had joined him in December 1834, and during the next five years other members of the family joined him, and gradually all of their horses, cattle and sheep were transferred from Tasmania. On 29 August 1836 the exploring party headed by Major Thomas Livingstone Mitchell reached Portland Bay and were amazed to find the country inhabited. In later years Edward Henty was fond of telling the story of Major Mitchell when he came to a hut, from which blows of a hammer rang, saying, "Where is Mr Henty, my man," and the reply of the burly blacksmith, "Here he is at your service."[2] From Major Mitchell Henty learned the character of the land to the north, and gradually he was able to acquire more land. In 1845 he had over 70,000 acres (280 km²). Sometimes the price of wool and sheep fell very low and it was impossible to sell either to advantage; but over the years the stations prospered. In 1855 Edward Henty was elected a member of the Victorian Legislative Assembly for Normanby and was re-elected in 1859. He was defeated in 1861 and did not sit again in parliament. Henty's last years were spent in retirement at his Melbourne mansion 'Offington'[1] and he died on 14 August 1878. In October 1840 he married Annie Maria Gallie who survived him. They had no children.

Edward Henty in addition to being the first permanent settler in Victoria was the founder of the wool industry in that colony. His portrait is in the historical collection at the Melbourne public library.

See also

External links


  1. ^ a b c Bassett, Marnie, 'Henty, Edward (1810 - 1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 1, MUP, 1966, pp 531-534, Retrieved 2009-09-27
  2. ^ a b Serle, Percival (1949). "Henty, Edward". Dictionary of Australian Biography. Sydney: Angus and Robertson. Retrieved 2009-09-27.  


Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address