Captain ‘Old King’ Cole: from Port Phillip Pioneer to Victorian Patriarch
Oct 16, 2018
John Botham
Captain ‘Old King’ Cole: from Port Phillip Pioneer to Victorian Patriarch

The talk provides a view of early Melbourne life through Captain George Ward Cole, who arrived in Melbourne in 1840 following a career in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, and in the merchant marine.He was prominent in early Melbourne society, controversially marrying into the McCrae family and building one of the first houses in Brighton, St Ninians. Cole built the first private wharf on the Yarra, known as Cole’s Wharf, and developed shipping facilities in Port Phillip, providing sea transport both locally and to other colonies.

He established the town of St Leonards on the Bellarine Peninsula, he was a leader in the development of Melbourne and was a respected politician, serving on the Legislative Council for 20 years.

Although he had seven children, none married and his memory died out with them. This talk provides the opportunity to rediscover this virtually forgotten patriarch of early Melbourne.

Chair: Gordon Cheyne

Photo Credit: Picture Victoria