Origin of Melbourne
Where did the name Melbourne come from?
John Delaney from Derbyshire, England explains the link between Victoria's great city and a small town in the English Midlands.
In 1837 a small settlement on the banks of the Yarra River in Australia needed a name. Queen Victoria, after whom the State of Victoria is named, decided that it would be named Melbourne. This was as an honour for the 2nd Viscount Melbourne, British Prime Minister and the political mentor to the young Queen.
Lord Melbourne's family name was Lamb and he took his title from the small town of Melbourne in Derbyshire where he lived at the family home of Melbourne Hall. His wife Lady Caroline Lamb became famous because of her love affair with the poet Byron.
Melbourne Hall was built in 1628 and is today owned by the Kerr family.
Melbourne, Derbyshire is still a thriving small town with a population of 6500 and a number of historical claims to fame. These include being the birthplace of Thomas Cook, founder of the world wide travel agency.
There have been cordial relations between Melbourne, Derbyshire and Melbourne, Victoria over the years with a number of visitors to Melbourne, Derbyshire from its famous antipodeans' namesake.
So next time someone asks you how our great city got its name you can tell them.
John Delaney is an accountant and part-time writer who lives and works in Derbyshire, England. His main interests are travel and writing murder mysteries with his family. A number of these games have been published and are now on sale all over the world.
Photograph shows Melbourne Hall in Derbyshire (the family home of Lord Melbourne, Queen Victoria's Prime Minister who gave his name to the city of Melbourne, Victoria.)
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