Melbourne, the capital of the Australian state of Victoria, was almost called ‘Batmania’ because of one of its founders, John Batman. In fact, for two years (from 1835 until 1837), the newly found settlement was actually named ‘Batmania’ before changing to its current Melbourne.
Here’s the story.
In June 1835, John Batman, an Australian entrepreneur and explorer, sailed to explore the Port Phillip Bay area on the Australian mainland. When he got there, he claimed to have signed a deed with the men of the local Dutigullar tribe at Port Phillip, purchasing 500,000 acres of land – land on which to found a new colony. He specifically selected the site on the northern bank of the Yarra River, as “this was the perfect place for a village”. (the article continues after the ad)
In just one year, in 1836, the city was declared the administrative capital of the Port Phillip District of New South Wales, and Governor Bourke commissioned the first plan for the city. The settlement was named Batmania after Batman. However, one year later, the colony was named ‘Victoria’ after the English monarch Queen Victoria and the town ‘Melbourne’ after William Lamb, 2nd Viscount Melbourne who was Queen Victoria’s most dedicated Prime Minister.
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Sources: Happy 180th birthday, Melbourne: Remembering Batmania, the city that never was, Melbourne called ‘Batmania’
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