The Late Captain Hovell

Australian Town and Country Journal

13 November 1875

Captain Hovell.

The decease of Captain William Hilton Hovell, which took place in Sydney on Tuesday last, the 9th November, reveals attention to his very long and memorable career.

He was born on the 26th April, 1786, so that he was in his 90th year, - far beyond the ordinary limit of human life.

Yet, almost, to the last day he enjoyed very good health, and, doubtless, many remember seeing him but yesterday, as it were, in the streets of this city walking with firm step and erect carriage.

He went to sea at the age of ten years, and worked his way in the mercantile marine. When about 20 years old he was mate of the Zenobia, bound to Peru.

In 1808 he was commander of the Juno on her trip to Rio Janeiro; in 1809 he commanded the Ship Letitia on a trip to Brazil. In 1810 he went out as commander of the John and Thomas to Cadiz.

He came to this colony in 1813. After some efforts in the way of taking up country for pastoral pursuits, he went, in command of the brig Trial in company with the Brothers, to New Zealand, to open up commerce with the natives.

There on the 20th October, 1815, he was attacked by the Maories. He and his men fought for their lives; and after a desperate conflict got away in safety and returned to Sydney. In 1816 he went to Tasmania.

After several other voyages in these seas, be settled down on a farm of his own at Narellan in 1819.

On the 2nd October, 1824, he set out with Mr. Hamilton Hume on an exploring tour to Port Philip.

After many difficulties and dangers they succeeded in reaching the coast about 35 miles north of the spot where Melbourne now stands.

On this trip they discovered, and named the mountains called the Australian Alps, and the Hume River.

The results of that journey have been most important for the advancement of the colony in many aspects.

In 1826 Captain Hovell was requested by the Government to accompany the party sent to form a settlement at Western Port.

He made various journeys to the eastward from Cape Patterson. For many years he has made his home at Goulburn.

During his time he has visited England and several of the cities of Europe, also Ceylon and India.

He long been a magistrate of this colony.

He was also on the Commission of the Peace for Victoria and Queensland.

He will be remembered with honour in the history of Australia.