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HUME AND HOVELL EXPEDITION
EXAMINATION OF THE TERMINATION POINT OF THE HUME & HOVELL EXPEDITION
By Lance Pritchard
THIS REPORT CHALLENGES THE WIDELY HELD BELIEF THAT HUME & HOVELL EXPEDITION TERMINATED AT CORIO BAY PORT PHILLIP BUT IN FACT TERMINATED AT THE WERRIBEE RIVER
This document commences with a copy of a ‘powerpoint’ presentation that challenges the widely held belief that the Hume and Hovell expedition of 1824 – 1825 terminated at Hovell Creek, Corio Bay, Port Phillip, but in fact terminated at the Werribee River.
1. Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip, New South Wales, in 1824 and 1825’
by WH Hovell and H Hume, Esquires.
Compiled and edited by William Bland 1789 – 1868.
2. Hume and Hovell 1824
Edited by Alan E.J. Andrews
SLV 919.45 H88
3. Project Gutenburg Australia
William Hovell & Hamilton Hume
Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip
Summary of some of the many incongruities that are evident if the case is made for the Hume and Hovell expedition terminating at Corio Bay.
1. In the book - ‘Journey of Discovery to Port Phillip, New South Wales, in 1824 and 1825’ by WH Hovell and H Hume, Esquires, compiled and edited by William Bland 1789 – 1868, the rivers/creeks on the west side of Port Phillip are shown in very much the correct location of the Werribee River and Kororoit Creek.
2. Over the last three days the expedition is represented as covering an average of 19.2 mile but prior to crossing the range over a period of six days the expedition was only averaging 8.1 mile.
3. On the 15 December, if the cattle were fatigued, and they started around two hours late, how is it they negotiated the Maribyrnong River and still managed to travel 23 miles (37km)?
4. On the 16 December, Hovell’s Journal reports that they ‘saw the harbour’ around 4pm, but by AEJ Andrews map it is indicated that they saw the harbour in the morning.
5. From the location suggested on AEJ Andrews map, half way between the Werribee River and Little River, where they ‘Saw The Harbour’ at 4pm, it would have been impossible to travel 19 mile (30km) to Hovell Creek then on to their camp site (one mile inland) in three hours.
6. “alter their course to S.W. and travel six miles in that direction along the shore” A shore line similar to this description doesn’t exist at Corio Bay, but is a perfect description of the shore line between Point Cook and the mouth of the Werribee River.
7. Cannot travel in a SW direction for six miles from any section of the shore line of Corio Bay and arrive at Hovell Creek.
8. Map presented by AEJ Andrews is severely distorted in an effort to achieve a SW direction of travel for the six miles prior to reaching Hovell Creek.
9. By distorting the map, this has made it impossible to explain the observations made on 16 December across the bay, for the observations would have to be made from the inside of a small bay, when in fact it is stated in Hovell’s Journal “at 5 oClock we came to the point of land” .
10. If the observations were made from Pt Wilson this would necessitate an additional three miles added to their journey from 4pm. Thus making 22 miles the distance required to be travelled from 4pm when they first sighted the bay, until 7pm when they stopped for the night on the 16 December.
11. If the observations were made from Pt Wilson, to observe the perceived gap in the southern end of the Australian Alps, the observer would have to be standing 10 metres above sea level to observe the horizon at 50 km. The overall distance to the ‘gap’ that the observer would need to be able to distinguish, would be in excess of 80km and would need to be observed from a height of 10 metres above sea level.
12. Observations of the bay made at around 4pm on 16 December, are not compatible with what would be observed from Pt Wilson but match perfectly with what would be seen from Point Cook.
13. From Pt Wilson one continuous shore line is seen stretching from the west, through the south to the east, and is around 5.5 mile distant. This does not match Hovell’s description. Hovell reported that the shore line to the W and E was not less than 8 to 10 mile. Hovell does not mention any shore line directly to the South.
14. If the expedition camped at Hovell Creek, about one mile inland, on the night of 16 December, and there was no fresh water in the creek, why would they dare to venture further inland to find water?
Conclusion - The Werribee River was the termination point of the Hume & Hovell Expedition of 1824 – 1825.