Seabrook Streets - History

Samuel Evans Court is named for early Laverton/Truganina pioneer Samuel Evans and his family. Samuel Evans was born on 8 September 1810, in Clapham, Surrey (a district in south west London) to parents Samuel Evans and Mary Evans (nee Clarke). Samuel appears to have grown up within a large family. Samuel took up the trade of a carpenter, and on 1 August 1832, he married Marianne Payne, the daughter of William Payne and Susanna Payne (nee Mitchell). Marianne was also a native of London, being born in All Hallows London Wall. Samuel Evans arrived at the settlement of Port Phillip in 1849 and purchased land in Truganina in 1852.

To read more about Samuel Evans, please follow this link –

Research: Graeme Reilly (ALHS) 2024

Alfred Langhorne was born into a London family of merchants and stockbrokers, Alfred Langhorne longed to join his three older brothers in the new colony.
He arrived at Port Jackson in 1835 at the age of 17. He joined his brother Charles working on a rural New South Wales property, learning the skills of stockmen.
When the property was sold a year after his arrival, Alfred and Charles embarked on a career of overlanding cattle and sheep from NSW to both Melbourne and Adelaide.
Langhorne Street in Dandenong and Langhorne Creek in South Australia are named to acknowledge thedirect connections to the Langhorne brothers.
Alfred was the first person Joseph Hawdon – the first white man to settle in Dandenong – saw when he arrived in Dandenong in 1839.

While in Adelaide on one of the drives, Alfred met the young and beautiful Sarah August and they married in 1841. Mr and Mrs Alfred Langhorne were entertained for dinner by their neighbour Dr Farquhar McCrae in April 1842, indicating that Alfred stayed around the district for some time. In 1843, Alfred and Sarah moved into their homestead at Laverton and made it their principle place of residence. By this time Alfred opened an office in Bourke Street, Melbourne, and became a flour merchant.
Alfred continued to overland cattle and export sheep to Launceston, and owned various properties around Melbourne as well as property and wool stores in Williamstown.

In 1853/54, Alfred and Sarah decided to liquidate much of their assets and return to London to educate their two children, Robert and Alice. Alfred returned to Laverton Homestead in 1867 after Alice died from diphtheria at age 13, in 1861. Sarah returned the following year. Robert stayed in England to complete his schooling and start a career in the army. Sarah passed away from Parkinson’s disease in 1871 and Alfred died three years later while a resident of a private hotel in St Kilda. Sarah Langhorne is buried within the Williamstown cemetery and Alfred Langhorne is interred within the pioneers section of the Fawkner cemetery.

Research: Graeme Reilly(ALHS) 2024

Cropley Court is named to recognise members of the Cropley family, early pioneers of the Truganina and Laverton area. There were eight siblings from the Cropley family of Swaton, Lincolnshire, England that journeyed and settled within Victoria and the western plains of Melbourne. In April 1850 came John, Henry and Samuel, then in September 1851 followed Benjamin who came of the recommendations of his brothers Henry and John. In about 1853 they were joined by their brothers George, Thomas and Effield and their sister Elizabeth. It was George who established a family holding within the area as most of his siblings gradually moved to other parts of Victoria.

For more information on the life and times of the Cropley families, follow this link –

Research: Graeme Reilly (ALHS) 2024

Fawkner Way is named for John Pascoe Fawkner pioneer, newspaper owner, publican, politician, merchant and land owner.

Born in England in 1792, John Pascoe Fawkner went to Port Phillip for the first time when he was 11 years old. His father had been sentenced to 14 years transportation for receiving stolen goods, so in 1803 the family travelled to the proposed new settlement of Port Phillip Australia onboard the ship Calcutta. Due to harsh weather and poor water, the group soon left Port Phillip and founded a new settlement in Van Diemen’s Land. The Fawkner family prospered in Hobart and by 1814, John Fawkner had taken over his father’s bakery.

But in the same year, John made the mistake of helping seven convicts escape. He was caught and sentenced to 500 lashes, and three years hard labour in Newcastle. These years as a prisoner reinforced his hatred of authority and convictism. After his release, Fawkner and his new wife, Eliza Cobb, moved to Launceston to make a new start. Industrious as always, Fawkner built Launceston’s first two-storey building and pub, started a newspaper and began representing convicts and petty criminals in court.

Fawkner was interested in the reports of the southern coast of the mainland made by sealers, whalers, and bark cutters. In April 1835 he sought a vessel to take an expedition to Western Port. Although a 55-ton schooner was acquired and renamed Enterprise, several contracted voyages had to be completed before it changed hands. The day Rebecca, hired by John Batman, anchored off Indented Head, Fawkner was bound over to appear at the next General Sessions for having assaulted William Bransgrove, and was thus prevented from leaving the colony for two months. He did arrive in October 1835, and as the colony grew he wasted no time in establishing Melbourne’s first pub, hotel and newspaper.

In January 1838 he added to his trade of hotel-keeping that of newspaper proprietor. His Melbourne Advertiser was handwritten on four pages of foolscap for nine numbers until a press and type arrived from Tasmania, and it was then printed weekly until suppressed because Fawkner had no licence. In February 1839, with a licence, he began the Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser; this later became a daily, and he ran it in conjunction with a bookselling and stationery business. In 1839 Fawkner also added to his already considerable land holdings a 780-acre (316 ha) property known as Pascoe Vale.

John Fawkner was well versed with the indigenous people of the area and on one occasion he was warned of an impending attack by clan chief Derrimut (Derremart) and and another known as Billibellary. As a result, the whole settlement was ‘saved’ by the warning. In an attempt to learn more of their ways, Fawkner invited Derrimut and another, Betbanger, to stay with him for a period of time. Fawkner eventually purchased land in 1850 in the Parish of Truganina which encompassed the southern end of the country between the Kororoit and Skeleton Creeks. He also bought a small block in Deutgam Parish west of Skeleton Creek. The land was proposed to be given to the indigenous clans of the area, but this did not eventuate. By 1864 this land had been purchased by Alfred Langhorne and incorporated into his Laverton Run.

In 1851, Fawkner became one of Victoria’s first Members of Parliament. He fought tirelessly for the rights of disadvantaged people, especially in relation to the problem of squatters monopolising the land. With advancing years Fawkner’s health declined but he continued to attend every session, wearing always a velvet smoking cap and wrapped in an old-fashioned cloak. He had grown to be regarded as an institution, and became more conservative in his views. In his last parliamentary sessions he opposed manhood suffrage, the secret ballot, and payment for members, yet retained very advanced notions on the rights of married women and deserted wives, and the divorce laws. John Pascoe Fawkner died on 4 September 1869 at his home in Smith Street, Collingwood, the grand old man of contemporary Victoria. He is buried with the Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton North.

Research: Graeme Reilly (ALHS (2024)

John August Walk is named for John Samuel August (1827-1858), brother-in-law of Alfred Langhorne who was the Overseer of Alfred and Sarah’s Laverton Estate/Run.

John Samuel August was born at Belize, British Honduras, during 1827, to John Samuel August Snr (1773-1839) and Sarah August nee Maskell (1792-1844). Sarah had previously been married to Joseph Byron, who died in 1821.  In March of the same year, she married John Samuel August who was 48 years old. John and Sarah then had six children, but only four survived to adulthood and of three children to her marriage to Joseph Byron, only her daughter, Mary Byron, survived to reach adulthood.

The family left Honduras for England on March 1838 and a year later John Samuel August Snr passed away. The family already had plans to migrate to Adelaide, Australia and so in March 1840 they arrived there where they established a merchant business with Sarah’s son-in-law, William Cooke.

When John August’s sister married Alfred Langhorne, the August family moved across to Melbourne as well, Sarah August wishing to be close to her daughter and Robert August as he was Alfred’s station overseer and assisted with his cattle and sheep overlanding. On the death of his brother, Robert, the then 17-year-old John took his place as overseer of Laverton Run. He was in charge when the bushfire of February 1851 raged through the County of Truganina which destroyed fencing and pastureland on the property. John would have also assisted Alfred in converting the buildings, on Laverton, from timber to bluestone.

He married Maria Antoinette Lewens in 1853, and when Alfred and Sarah revealed their intention to travel and reside in England John sought, and gained, the position of Clerk of the Petty Sessions at Seymour. By 1857 he was Clerk to the Bench, and Receiver of Gold at Mount Blackwood (known also as Myrniong).

John died, aged 30 years, on Thursday, January 21, 1858, at The Camp, Mount Blackwood. He was survived by his wife and son. It has been quoted that his remains were interred to the Langhorne vault (GPS, 179) in the Old Cemetery, Melbourne. If this is so then he was not transferred to the new grave in Fawkner cemetery nor is his name inscribed on the gravestone.

Research: Graeme Reilly (ALHS) 2024

John Cooke Terrace was named in 1995 to recognise one of the crew members of the English survey ship HMS Rattlesnake that surveyed Port Phillip Bay, after whom the landmark, and later the suburb, of Point Cook(e) was named – John Murray Cooke. To learn more about life, times and achievements of John Murray Cooke, follow this link –

Our Society delves into the fascinating stories and personalities behind some of the city’s best-known and sometimes little known street names. John Wedge Place is so named to recognise the life and contribution of John Helder Wedge to this area of Melbourne and Hobsons Bay.

The first of the Wedge family arrived in the fledgling colony of Australia in 1824. Edward Davey Wedge (1777-1852) and John Helder Wedge (1793-1872) were the sons of a Cambridgeshire family. They sailed for Van Diemen’s Land on the Heroine, arriving in April 1824. They were accompanied by two nephews, Charles Wedge and John Charles Dark. The brothers bought with them a complete sawmill, which they intended to operate in Tasmania. However, the enterprise quickly failed for they hadn’t taken into account the hardness of the Australian timber.

John Helder Wedge was a surveyor by profession and was appointed assistant second surveyor of Van Diemen’s Land. The Wedges were with John Batman and his small party who arrived in Port Phillip and founded what is today Melbourne in 1835. It was John Helder Wedge who was responsible for allocating 40,000 acres of land to seventeen members of the Port Phillip Association. A map showing the allocation of land records the Wedge name against block number thirteen. Number one is in the name of Charles Swanston. The land of the two Wedge brothers, John and Edward, began at the mouth of the Maribyrnong River, ran south to Williamstown and round the coast to Werribee. John was one of the first to bring over sheep from Tasmania, to his station at Werribee. He also reported to Lieutenant-Governor (Sir) George Arthur on the wild white man, William Buckley, whose pardon he recommended, and on outrages against the Aboriginals, for whose hopeless condition he had much compassion.

John Wedge visited England in 1838-43. On the death of his father he returned to Tasmania to find his circumstances much reduced by economic depression. In 1843 he married Maria Medland Wills, who had been governess to Bishop Francis Nixon’s children, but within a year she died in childbirth. He was then appointed by Nixon to manage (1846-51) his farming properties.

He died on 22 November 1872 at Medlands, Tasmania, a home he had built on the River Forth back in 1865.

Research: Graeme Reilly (ALHS) 2024