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Memorial manuscript containing the petition of John Batman to Colonel George Arthur for leave to marry convict Eliza Thompson (alias Elizabeth Callaghan), 1828

2006.0062.0002

Memorial manuscript containing the petition of John Batman to Colonel George Arthur for leave to marry convict Eliza Thompson (alias Elizabeth Callaghan), 1828

Object information

Physical description

A memorial manuscript containing the petition of John Batman to Coln. George Arthur for leave to marry convict Eliza Thompson (alias Elizabeth Callaghan), and the responses of various parties, including police, to the request. The text is handwritten in black ink on two leaves of paper, attached at one corner by a red [paper] seal. The two leaves have been folded at the sealed corner. The text of the memorial on the first page begins "To His Excellency Coln. George Arthur / Lt. Governor of Van Dieman's Land ..."; it is signed by John Batman, Derwent Hotel, Hobart Town, and dated January 10th 1828. On the second page are three handwritten responses to the memorial. The third page consists of a report on the criminal record of Eliza Thompson* transcript below*, and a crosswritten character reference for John Batman signed [G... Barnard]. The fourth page contains three notes and instructions regarding the progress of the application.

Transcript of Criminal record:
These are to Certify to His Excellency the Lieut. Governor that Elizabeth Callaghan 44/14
SS (Not sure about SS) Providence in 1821 has the following offences rendered against her - March 27th 1822 Drunk and disorderly - to be confined in H.M. Gaol one week and to wear an Iron Collar for that period, to sit in the Stocks twice two hours each time -
January 22nd 1823 Absent from her Master's premises one day and night - Bread and water one week and to sit in the Stocks 2 hours each day -

Transported for "Forgery" Character from Gaol "Bad",
Single Female
Signature illegible
Pip McNaught 24/9/09

Statement of significance

The collection consists of three documents relating to experience in the private life of John Batman and Elizabeth Batman.The first, is a statement sworn against John Batman by his servant regarding Batman's concealing of the convict Eliza Callaghan. The second is correspondence from Batman to Governor Arthur requesting permission to marry Eliza Thompson, alias Callaghan. The third is Eliza Batman's original autograph letter to her daughter, Elizabeth, announcing and describing the drowning in the Yarra River of her only son, John Charles Batman.

John Batman is famous for his attempts to settle what is now Melbourne based upon the 'purchase' of lands from resident Aboriginal owners. The acquisition was not recognised by the authorities at the time. The legality of the exchange and the subsequent debates over whether it acknowledged or voided Aboriginal ownership of land have continued till the present day. John Batman has thus become a significant public figure in Australia's history. The significance of these documents is that they provide a complementary history, illustrating select and significant moments in Batman's private life and the life of his family.

Object information

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