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A Short History of Collins Street


Europeans first settled at Port Phillip in 1835. The then Governor of New South Wales, Sir Richard Bourke came to visit in 1837. He directed that “a town be laid out,” which he named after the British Prime Minister of that time, Viscount Melbourne.

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Surveyor, Robert Hoddle submitted a City Plan, now known as the Hoddle Grid to Governor Bourke along with recommended names for the streets.

Collins Street was named after Lieutenant Governor David Collins (1754-1810).

Collins was a distinguished English Marine Officer, having fought in the American War of Independence in 1775, before sailing to Australia with Captain Arthur Phillip in the First Fleet in 1786. Collins died suddenly aged 56 on March 25, 1810.

During his short life he also served as Judge Advocate for New South Wales. In 1796 he wrote an early history of the infant colony based around Sydney. He was commissioned to “establish a settlement” in Bass Strait in 1803 and appointed to the position of Lieutenant Governor for that purpose.

Later he set up another settlement on the Derwent River in Van Diemen’s Land (now known as Tasmania) and subsequently selected the site, which became Hobart. Following his death in 1810 he was buried in Hobart, where a monument to his memory was erected in 1838.

Almost twenty decades have passed since the naming of Collins Street, with many outstanding developments occurring during those years.

Treat yourself to a copy of the book – “Collins – Australia’s Premier Street” – available at good book shops or via this website.

Collins Street, Eat, Shop, Stay Anytime

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