Norman McVicker OAM
Norman McVicker


By Mudgee’s Local Historian and Writer

Norman McVicker OAM

First published in the Mudgee Guardian, Tales from along the Wallaby Track , No 777.

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EARLY SETTLEMENT: Mudgee's Greatest Myth: Who Designed Mudgee?, P.8

Hoddle spent the next twelve years surveying country districts of New South Wales, including the sites of Berrima and Goulburn, but not Mudgee.


Robert Hoddle first arrived at Bathurst on February 1, 1825 and left there for Mudgee on April 14, where he surveyed land holdings by drawing a ‘Surveyor’s Line’ for William Lawson’s 1000 acres at Bombira, Lawrence Dulhunty’s 2000 acres at Putta Bucca and the holdings of George Cox, James King and others.
Hoddle soon left the Mudgee district, returning to Bathurst in early June. His report dated June 19, 1825 contains a great deal of information about the country over which he travelled.


In 1826 Hoddle was engaged in road survey work around Sydney. In 1827 he was in the County of Cumberland and surveyed the towns of Campbelltown and Liverpool, and the village of Narellan. He moved to the Illawarra and in January 1828 reported having traced the Shoalhaven to its source. In 1828 the position of Deputy Surveyor-General became vacant and his appointment by Governor Darling was criticized by John Oxley’s successor, Major T.L.Mitchell, who thought he was incompetent and could not spell.


In February, 1837 Governor Bourke proposed Major Mitchell accompany  him on a trip to Melbourne. Mitchell declined, as he was about to leave the colony. Instead Robert Hoddle accompanied the Governor and they arrived at Port Phillip on March 4, 1837.
Hoddle was appointed senor surveyor over Robert Russell and his assistants who had been doing survey work at Port Phillip since 1836. At this point controversy seems to arise as to who did design Melbourne. Using the survey work already carried out as a basis for design, Hoddle produced a plan for Melbourne approved by the Governor.
When the new colony of Victoria was established in 1851 he was appointed Victoria’s first Surveyor-General only to be eased out in 1853 as unsuitable on an annuity of 1000 pounds. Later he was appointed  auctioneer of the first sale of crown land.

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