Home City of Melbourne Melbourne CBD The Enterprize Landing Memorial

The Enterprize Landing Memorial

The Commemorative plaque at Enterprize Landing memorial situated beside Melbourne’s Queens Bridge and at the foot of William Street reads,

“In memory of those who landed here in August 1835, to begin the first settlement by Europeans on the site that would become the city of Melbourne.

The Schooner Enterprize (Captain Peter Hunter) from Launceston Tasmania reached this stretch of Yarra river on 29th August. On the following Sunday 30th August, the horse and deck cargo were unloaded.

When the Enterprize returned to Launceston, the seven who remained were: John Lancey, Master mariner; George Evans, Settler; Evan Evans, his servant; James Gilbert; Thomas Morgan and Charles Wise, servants of J.P. Fawkner, the owner of the Schooner and Mary Gilbert. Mary the only woman in the party was James Gilbert’s wife. She gave birth on 29th December 1835, to a son James, the first European child born in Melbourne.”

A brief description about the Schooner ‘Enterprize’ and its voyage to Melbourne

The Enterprize Landing Memorial commemorates the landing of the first settlers from John Fawkner’s ship Enterprize at the north bank of Yarra river on 30th August 1835.

Fawkner’s interest in the Southern Coast of the Mainland was believed to have re- ignited after hearing the accounts of John Batman’s Melbourne expedition. In April 1835, he bought 55-ton Schooner ‘Enterprize’ and took possession of it on 18th July 1835. Fawkner prepared to  sail in August 1835 after loading the stores but the Sherriff’s representatives presented a restraining order on Fawkner as he had to clear his debts before leaving. Fawkner returned to Launceston with the intention of making an adjustment of claims but was told to pay in full or remain in Launceston. Fawkner entered into a bond with the debtors to return to the town after attending some business matters. He planned to disregard the obligation and set sail on journey without confiding it to John Lancey, the master mariner. When Lancey found out, he convinced him to bring the vessel back to port and return to Launceston. Though John Lancey was a sea Captain he was also making a voyage as a settler and paid Fawkner 7 pounds for the privilege.  Considering the consequences of leaving without paying the debts, Fawkner returned to Launceston and the schooner continued its journey with the rest.

Enterprize entered Yarra on 15th August 1835 and moored at the foot of Present day William Street on 29th August 1835. On 30th August 1835, the settlers disembarked and from there, the story of the marvellous City of Melbourne began. Fawkner arrived later on 16th October 1835, on the second trip of the Enterprize.


At Flinders Street near Enterprize Wharf, Melbourne, 3000