1861 Collins Street corner of Spring Street


Taken in 1861, looking South West over the southern part of Melbourne, and out to Port Phillip Bay. Collins Street starts at this intersection with Spring Street and heads off up slightly to the right. Spring Street runs from left to right. In the distance on the right hand side of the photograph, you can see dozens of sailing ships near Port Melbourne.

The high brick fence and garden (on the left of the photo) belonged to Dr Godfrey Howitt (1800-73), physician and natural scientist. Howitt had studied medicine at the University of Edinburgh and practised in both Leicester and Nottingham. In 1839 he emigrated with his family to Melbourne and, like Lieutenant Governor La Trobe, brought a pre-fabricated house with him. In 1845 he acquired land at the corner of Collins and Spring streets where he erected his home and established a large garden which extended to Flinders Lane. Howitt was involved with the Melbourne Hospital from its establishment and was President and Honorary Physician of the Benevolent Asylum in North Melbourne. In recognition of his contribution to the study of botany and entomology, the Government Botanist, Ferdinand von Mueller, named a native mallow flower "Howittia" after him. After Howitt's death, his land was subdivided and in 1877 the building which occupies the site today was constructed.

Just to give you an idea of the traffic up and down Port Phillip Bay, eight years earlier in 1853, The Argus of 27th June lists the following ships in Hobson's Bay:


June 26th, 1853.


H. M. S. Electra, on the station, Akbar, AllIson, Ann Cropper, Aurora, Albus, Bavaria, Benjamin R. Milam, Baltimore, Bothnia, British Queen, Calliope, Cherusker, Constant, Cowasjee Family, Clara Syrnes, Duke of Bedford, Duke of Northumberland, Digby, Derrick Castle, Earl Grey, Essex, Eagle, El Dorado, Europe, Exchange, Fanny, Formoso, Gabriel, Ganges, Glance, Homer, Indiana, John Knox, Kate, Lucia Maria, Lowell, Loch Lomond, Leodes, Lorena, Lord Metcalfe, Marlborough, Madagascar, Medusa, Mary Cannon, Marion, Mary Ann, Monteagle, Moses Wheeler, President Vercouteren, Prince Arthur, Prince Regent, Passaroeang, Panama, Propontis, Plymouth Rock, Pacific, Resolute, Superior, Seneca, South Sea, Shirley, Sea Bird, St. George, Tamerlane, Thorwaldsen, Una, Vanguard, Vau Galen, Volga, Wacousts, Woodstock, Wanderer.


Cleopatra, Clarence, Fettercairn, Juno, Pirate, Shamrock, Tasmania, Yarra Yarra.


Acacia, Ajax, Adon, Anne and Jane, Amigos, Amazon, Aurora, Argaum, Alibi, Brightman, Bright Planet, Colloony, Caroline Chisholm, Clarkstone, Chicora, Christina, Charter Oak, Duke of Norfolk, Dorothoa Henrietta, Dockenhudeu, Don Pedro, Daniel Webster, Eleanor Lancaster, Eliza Frances, Eugene, Eastern Star, E. Corning, Elizabeth, Fieda, Fortescue, Flying Cloud, Fairy Queen, Falcon, Fanny, Favorite, Francis Walker, General Wood, George Hope, Harriet Nathan, Indus, James, Jane Catherine, Janet, Jane, Kezia, Lady McNaughtan, Lady Sandys, Lucy Anne, Lucia Field, Margaretha Simmonetha, Marquard Family, Mary H. Vose, Mousam, Marchioness el Douro, Mazeppa, Mountaineer, Mathilde, Moulton, Napoleon, Nederwaard, New Forest, Nautilus, Osprey, Ochtertyre Osmanli, Port Wallace, Posthumous, Rival, Rhoderick Dhu, Royal Shepherdess, Rebecca, Sarah Hooper, Stratheden, Surrey, Sea Bird, Signet, Sir W. Molesworth, Two Anthonys, Tongataboo, Templeton, Thomas Hughes, Uncle Tom, Viligant, Walter Scott, Will Watch, William Hyde.


Amy, Anna Dixon, Australia, Cronkbane, Cosmopolite, Christina, Cybele, Dart, Exchange, Elizabeth Wilthew, Fortitude, Fair Barbadian, Franklyn, Flash, Giraffe, Guiana, Highland Lassie, Joanna, Jane, Isabella, J. A. Jesurum, Juhn Scott, Kestrel, Llzzie Webber. Louis and Miriam, Lucille, Lavinia, Montezuma, Maid of Erin, Maid of Julpha, Mercury, Maria, Margarot, Mary Clarke, Ocean, Onkaparinga, Palermo, Pot, Peri, Randolph, Rollo, Rob Roy, Susan, Swordfish, Sporting Lass, Susta, Seaton, Sisters, Triton, Wee Tottie, Wye, W. and M. Brown, Witness.


H. M. Schooner Anonyma, Empire, Apollo, Adolphus Yates, Ariel, Angostura, Australian, Apparition, Acis, Adelaide, Adah, Brilliant, Blue Bell, Burra Burra, Ceres, Crispin, Colins, Colla, Catherine Dove, Durham, Ellen and Elizabeth, Eureka, Esther Arthur, Emma, Eupheniia, Freedom, Freebridge, Flying Squirrel, Gem, Hannah, Henry and Edward, Harriet, Jessie, James Gibson, John Nussey, Lioness, Martha and Elizabeth, Margaret, Meg Morrilies, Melbourne Packet, Mount Alexander, Mary Stewart, Prince Patrick, Princess Victoria, Pearl, Picard, Reindeer, Red Rover, Rattler, Robert Clive, Rosebud, Swift, Victory, Yixoe, Vanquish, Viceroy, Vibilin.


Deborah, President, Success, (Penal bulks,) Sacramento, (Immigration depot,) J. W. Dare. (Lightship,) Sir Harry Smith, (Guardship,) Argyll, (A. S. N.Co.'s coal depot)

All text © HotPress

Photograph by Charles Nettleton.

This is a digitally retouched reproduction of the original held by the State Library of Victoria. All prints are reproduced without the HOTPRESS watermarks.

Our team of conservators have worked on a high resolution digital image in order to remove blemishes and artifacts such as stains, mould, scratches and damage caused by the handling of the original. We strive to provide authentic representations of the original work that are suitable for enlargements that retain the tones and character of the original.

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