Moving Beyond
Port Phillip District

Squatters and Runs

First Land Sales

Railway Township

Dairy Farming

and Businesses

The Railway At Clyde

Clyde Churches Time Line

Clubs and Organisatons

How Clyde Got Its Name

Clyde's Meteorites


History for Students

Stories and Inquests

Settlement History
Squatters and Land Runs 1830’s-1852

By 1838 others began moving towards the east into Gippsland and the Mornington Peninsula. John Highett was the first to cross the Dandenong Creek in 1836 and was soon followed by the Ruffy Brothers and Terence O'Connor. The five Ruffy Brothers took up their Tomaque run between Dandenong and Cranbourne (to the west of Cranbourne) while Terence O'Connor does not appear to have taken up his extensive Cardinia Creek run until September, 1838. 

The squatting  run of Cardinia Creek stretched from an arm of the Carrum Swamp near the Eumemmerring Creek to the upper reaches of the Cardinia Creek an area of 30 square miles. It appears that O'Connor may have worked as an overseer for Captain John Gardiner (one of three enterprising men who became the first overlanders to arrive at Dutigalla from the outskirts of the N.S.W, settlement, driving cattle) John Gardiner laid vague claims to grazing land in the direction towards Dandenong and this would have forced Highett, O'Connor and Ruffy to move further out. By 1838 all lands east of Tomaque and south of 0'Connors run were unsettled.

The large squatting runs were soon sub-divided and With many new-comers taking up land; new runs were formed and reformed throughout the 1840's. South of O'Connors were the runs of Garem Gam (Dr. J. Bathe and T.J. Perry, 1840), and
Greenmount, (C. Dodds, 1840) ; Broadhurst and King, (1843)

Cardinia Creek and St Germains (Clyde)

In 1842 Robert Henry occupied part of Greenmount to form Cardinia Creek One1 while James Buchanan formed yet another station (St. Germains) further south in 1845. The Ruffy Brothers took up the Mayune run in the 1840's with the lease for a reduced run passing in the family to Fred Ruffy in 1845. Garem Gam had also been sub-divided in that year and part of the run (Ravenshurst) was occupied by John Crewe who also acquired Mayune shortly before his death in 1850. John Crewe's widow, Eliza transferred the Mayune lease to Alexander Cameron in 1851 roughly about the same time that O'Connor took over Henry's Cardinia Creek 1. O'Connor further added Greenmount to his run in 1853.

Along the coast other squatting runs were quickly taken up following the lead given by Robert Jamieson (Yallock), Balla Balla (Robert Innes Allen, 1839; C.J. Haslewood, 1848; and later Henry Foley, 1850; Henry Jennings, 1852; J.S. Adams, 1854; A. Hunter, 1872), Bourbinadera (Thomas Rutherford, 1842; and later as 'Kilmore' Richard Corbett, 1847,) and Toorodan (Manton's Old Station) covered most of the choice land in the area.
"Yallambee", Thomas Field's property.   In 1844 Thomas Field took up the remaining crown land and formed the run known as Big Plains.

This is significant to the people of Clyde because it is within Field's Big Plains Run that the major part of modern day Clyde is situated.Most of the other areas considered to be part of Clyde seem to fall into Mayune (leased by Cameron in 1851), Cardinia Creek One (0'Connor, 1851) and
St. Germains.

Big Plains
stretched between Toorodan (Manton's) and the Cardinia Creek Runs with its north-west boundary meeting Mayune

.The Mayune run of 8 square miles had two boundaries described on the lease as "on the S.E. by mark tree line bearing N.E. 2 1/2 miles" and "on the N.E. by the Clyde Watercourse general bearing N.W. 2 1/2 miles".
The Clyde Watercourse should not be confused with the Clyde bank (the highest point reached by the railway line) which is also part of the Westernport and Port Phillip Bays watershed.

Squatters and Pre-emptive Rights
Throughout the years 1831-39 a squatter could take up a selection of land upon payment of a £10 license fee to the Crown Lands Commissioner. This allowed 12 month tenure with an option to buy initially at 5/-an acre and then at 12/-per acre from 1839 to 1842. After that all Crown Land was to be sold at auction at a minimum price of £1 an acre.

It was in 1847 under the Waste Lands Act that regulations known as Orders-in-Council directed that New South Wales (which included Victoria until 1851) was to be divided into three classes of land - Settled Districts, Intermediate Districts and Unsettled Districts.

In settled districts squatters were given 12 months (the term of their lease) to exercise their pre-emptive right. Most squatters took advantage of this to purchase their homestead blocks upon which they had usually made many improvements.

Alexander Cameron (1852), Terence O'Connor (1854), Alexander Patterson (1854)H. Jennings (1854), R. Corbett (1856) and the partners Mickle, Lyall and Bakewell (1855), all exercised their pre-emptive right as the settled area was expanded throughout the years of the 1850's.

1. The Good Country Chapters 2, 3