Captain ‘Old King’ Cole: from Port Phillip pioneer to Victorian patriarch

2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
Mueller Hall, Herbarium, Royal Botanic Gardens

Captain ‘Old King’ Cole: from Port Phillip Pioneer to Victorian Patriarch
Presented by:  John Botham, early Melbourne researcher.


Captain George Ward Cole arrived in Melbourne in 1840 following a career in the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic Wars, including the sacking of Washington, and in the merchant marine. He was prominent in early Melbourne society, marrying into the McCrae family and building one of the first houses in Brighton, St Ninian’s, where Edward La Trobe Bateman worked on the garden. Cole built the first private wharf on the bank of the Yarra, known as Cole’s Wharf and developed shipping facilities in Port Phillip, providing sea transport both locally and to other colonies. He served on the Legislative Council for 20 years. The talk will tell the story of the building of Cole’s Wharf, his Napoleonic War exploits, his life in early Melbourne, his entrepreneurial activities and work as a respected politician.

Cost: $5, payable at the door, includes a delicious afternoon tea.

Bookings essential to,, or phone 9592 5616 (please leave a message).

C J La Trobe Society/Friends of La Trobe’s Cottage event. All welcome. If driving, leave ample time to park.

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