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Print - The Batman Deed, circa 1966 Object Reg. No: HT 11036

Summary:
Framed print of the Batman Deed, dated 1835. This is a printed copy of the Batman Deed, made in 1966 from the 'original' once held by Dame Mabel Brookes and now held by the National Museum of Australia.

In 1835 an Association was formed in Tasmania for the purpose of colonizing Port Phillip. John Batman left Launceston in the interests of this Association in May 1835, and crossed over to Port Phillip, where he arranged with eight aboriginal elders to purchase some 600,000 acres of land, including the sites of Melbourne and Geelong. Formal deeds, executed in triplicate, were then 'signed, sealed and delivered", the so-called signatures of the aboriginal elders being private marks of the tribe. The signing and delivery of these documents took place, on the banks of a tributary of the Yarra, on 6th June 1835. Unfortunately for Batman and his party, these interesting relics of the foundation of the Colony were not held valid as legal documents.

The original Batman Deed is of enormous significance to the history of the European settlement of Victoria. The three 'original' copies, made in 1835, are in public collections, the British Museum, the National Museum of Australia, and the State Library of Victoria.

Dame Mabel Brookes became a collector of Australiana in the 1930s, and 'discovered' a third copy of the Batman Deed in the papers of the Port Phillip Association, held in the offices of a Geelong lawyer. She acquired this copy, framed it and kept in on display in her home. In 1968 she sold the deed and it ended up in the National Museum of Australia. However before it was sold, she had 30 copies made, which she presented to friends and people she thought might be interested. This copy was given to John Nathan, a hairdresser at Myers, who did Dame Mabel's hair for many years. Mr Nathan had it framed, offered it to the Museum.
Description:
Framed print of the Batman Deed, dated 1835. The document consists of handwritten text in black ink with eight signatures in the lower right hand side and three signatures in the lower left hand corner. Signed by John Batman beneath the eight signatures.
Statement Of Significance:
The original Batman Deed is of enormous significance to the history of the European settlement of Victoria. The three "original" copies, made in 1835, are in public collections: the British Museum, the National Museum of Australia, and the State Library of Victoria. The copy made by Dame Mabel Brookes is worth acquiring for its quirky history alone, and allows us to make comparisons between the history of both documents.
Acquisition Information:
Donation from Mr John Nathan, 2002
Discipline: Technology
Dimensions: 32.0 cm (Height), 60 cm (Width)

More information

Tagged with: immigration, prints, settlement, land rights, hello
Themes this item is part of: Migration Collection, Public Life & Institutions Collection, John Batman, Pastoralist & Melbourne Pioneer (1801-1839), The Founding of Melbourne, 1835
Primary Classification: GOVERNANCE
Secondary Classification: Colonial Governments
Tertiary Classification: treaties
Inscriptions: Label on back of print: "13 Valhalla Village / 274 Mullaway Rd / Chain Valley Bay Nth / 2259"
Label on back of print: "J. KOSNAR PTY LTD / GILDERS AND PICTURE FRAMERS / MELBOURNE / 05 84"
Place & Date Created: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1966

Date print was made
Other Association (See Comments): Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1835

Place & Date Original Document Made
Other Association (See Comments): John Batman, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1835

Signatory on Original Document

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