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Author and Publisher of Family Histories, Social Histories and Biographies

Martin Playne' s Publications

TITLE:  Two Squatters: the lives of  George Playne and Daniel Jennings

 

GENRE: Non-fiction / Australian Social History / Historical Biography

 

KEYWORDS: Dr George Playne, Daniel Jennings, Port Phillip, Gloucestershire, Melbourne, Campaspe, squatters, Melbourne Club, medicine, Tanti

 

ISBN: 978-0-9923341-0-9 (pbk)

 

CONTENTS SUMMARY: 432 pages, including 8 pages in colour. 16 chapters, 12 appendices, 85 images and a glossary. Comprehensive end-notes, bibliography and detailed index. There are numerous plans and maps, and family charts.

 

BOOK SUMMARY:

This book, set in the 19th century, examines the lives of two men of contrasting personality. One, George Playne, was born in Gloucester in 1802 to a poor family. His father was a saddler and harness-maker and his mother was of Jamaican birth. George had six sisters and two brothers. He studied hard and gained his apothecaries qualification, and Membership of the Royal College of Surgeons of London. After some 22 years as a surgeon at Gloucester Infirmary, he immigrated to Australia in 1839. In contrast, Daniel Jennings was born in London to a wealthy family, and became a land agent and investor. On arrival, they formed a business partnership, and took up Campaspe Plains Station (around 200,000 acres, with 10,000 sheep). The partnership was dissolved in 1844. Playne set up to practice medicine again in Melbourne. He became part of the colonial establishment - with important roles in lobbying for improved tenure for squatters, in the Melbourne Club (Secretary 1844-8), and in efforts to form a new colony separate from NSW (Secretary of the Separation Committee, and Joint Treasurer to the Delegate Committee), to establish a medical association (President 1851) and a hospital, and to form a new bank. He was a magistrate from 1843 until 1854. In 1850, he built one of the finest mansions in South Fitzroy. He had a strong influence on the development of a civilised society in Victoria, and was a friend and supporter of Lieutenant-Governor La Trobe. His dream of a large city house and a country property on the Mornington Peninsula was realized, but became impractical after the gold rush started. He decided in 1854 to leave Melbourne and return to England. In 1851, Jennings sold Campaspe and left Victoria to retire to England. He died as a Chancery lunatic.

 

This book explores the different roles that these two men had on the development of Victoria, and records their achievements, which, hitherto, have not been explored. They epitomize many early settlers who made such contributions, but who have been barely recognised by historians.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS:

 

CONTENTS

List of Illustrations.................................................. vii

Preface  ................................................................. xi

Acknowledgments  ................................................xii

Author Information  ...............................................xiv

Abbreviations  ...................................................... xv

 

Part 1

1 – Introduction  ........................................................................  3

 

2 – A saddler’s son: growing up in Gloucester .........................  9

 

3 – The young apothecary and surgeon  ...............................   23

 

4 – Well-off families in Westminster, London  .........................  41

 

Part 2

5 – The Voyage on the William Metcalfe and

Arrival in Melbourne in 1839  .................................................. 55

 

6 – Squatting on the Campaspe – Living in

Australia Felix 1840-1842  ........................................ ............. 75

 

7 – The Doctor Squatter Alone 1842-44  .............................  103

 

8 – A New Wife on the Campaspe 1844-51 ........................  117

 

Part 3

 

9 – The Melbourne Club Man  ........................................... 137

 

10 – New Ventures and a New Colony  ............................. 187  

 

11 - Land Investments and Speculation  ....................... ... 219

 

12 – The Bank Cashier who couldn’t help himself  .........  229

 

Part 4

 

13 – The 1854 Voyage with the Governor  ...................... 239

 

14 – Retirement and Lunacy  .........................................  255

 

15 – A Life of Leisure  ....................................................  265

 

16 - Conclusions And Speculations  ...............................  279

 

Appendices  ..................................................................... 293

1.Conversion Tables – The Old Imperial Measurements

2.The Children of William and Margaret Playne

3.The Jennings Family

4.Purchasing power of the Pound and the Composite Price Index

5.Population of Victoria from 1836 to 1855

6.Owners and occupants of houses in Bourke Street West (between Spencer and King Sts.)

7.First Crown Grants of Lots within the area occupied by the Tanti Run

8.Additional details of land transactions by Daniel Jennings

9.Additional details of land transactions by George Playne

10.Passenger list on the Golden Age from Sydney to Panama, May 1854

11.History of recorded human settlement of Victoria before separation from NSW in 1851

12.Sequence of major events affecting George and Daniel between 1837 and 1854 in Victoria

 

Glossary  .............................................................. 351

EndNotes  ............................................................ 359

Bibliography and Sources . ...................................385

Index  ................................................................... 393

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