Old Melbourne Cemetery

Old Melbourne Cemetery

Many people assume the first Melbourne cemetery was the Old Melbourne Cemetery (over Queen Victoria Market), when it was in fact Burial Hill, today's Flagstaff Gardens.

Willie, the child of James Goodman was the first person to buried in Melbourne then known as Port Phillip District. He was buried on 13th May 1836 at Burial Hill. This site was only used for about 6 burials.

Old Melbourne Cemetery (Queen Victoria Market)

Bounded by Queen Street to the east, Peel Street to the west, Franklin Street to the south, and Fulton Street (which no longer exists) to the north, the Old Melbourne Cemetery was established in 1837 in West Melbourne.

The cemetery comprised 10 acres (4 ha) vested in various church leaders in trust and allocated as follows: Church of England (Anglican) 2 acres (0.8 ha), Church of Scotland (Presbyterian) 2 acres, Roman Catholic (2 acres), Independent (Congregational) 1 acre (0.4 ha), Jews (1 acre), Society of Friends (Quakers) 1 acre, Wesleyan (Methodist) 1 acre. Half of the Society of Friends' section was later set aside for Aboriginal people.

The first person to be buried on this site was also a child. He was Frederick William Craig, the infant son of Skene Craig. As Melbourne grew, this site was recognised as being too small and the Melbourne General Cemetery (or new Cemetery), that we know today, in Carlton, was established by an act of the New South Wales parliament in 1850 and was opened on 1st June 1853.

It is not possible to visit the Old Melbourne Cemetery, because it is located UNDER the present day Queen Victoria Market.

Wikipedia says: Batman was buried in the Old Melbourne Cemetery but was exhumed and re-buried in the Fawkner Cemetery, a cemetery named after his fellow colonist John Pascoe Fawkner. A stone obelisk was constructed in 1922 which was later moved to Batman Avenue before being returned to the Queen Victoria Market site in 1992.

If you are interested in reading more about the Old Melbourne Cemetery I suggest you read Digging up the past: The Old Melbourne Cemetery written by Reading_Room on November 14, 2013.

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