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Sir Charles Hotham
Sir Charles Hotham

Photographs supplied by Kent Watson / Graeme Saunders

The granite column over the grave commemorates Governor of Victoria, Sir Charles Hotham who died in December 1855. The Legislative Council contributed to the cost of the monument. 

He was received with great enthusiasm when he landed at Melbourne on 22 June 1854, and there appeared to be every prospect of his being a popular governor. He found, however, that the finances of the colony were in great disorder, there was a prospective deficiency of over £1,000,000, and a bad system had grown up of advances being made to the various departments under the title of "imprests".

Hotham was wise in appointing a committee of two bankers and the auditor-general to inquire into the position, and this committee promptly advised the abolition of the "imprest" system. It was eventually found that under this system a sum of £280,000 could not be accounted for. His efforts at retrenchment brought Hotham much unpopularity, but on questions of finance he was always sound and great improvements in this regard were made during his short term of office.

Happy to escape from the eternal wrangles of factious politicians, and for a while to leave behind the 'smoke and stir' of Melbourne streets, we paid a visit the other afternoon to the New Cemetery, and were much struck with the tasteful manner in which it is laid out. The walks are in many places overshaded by trees in full verdure, and round most of the graves kind hands have planted flowers which at this season are in full bloom. By far the most conspicuous amongst the monuments, both for size and beauty, is the column lately erected to the memory of Sir Charles Hotham. It consists of two parts—a large tomb, built of granite, and mounted by granite steps of proportionate magnitude, and a pillar of the same material. Two kinds of stone have been employed—the Peterhead and Aberdeen granites. The upper portion of the tomb, which is in the form of a cross, is very highly polished, and affords a strong contrast to the sober grey of the remainder. Upon the side is the following simple inscription : — Here rests the body of Charles Hotham. He died December 3lst, 1856, aged 49. The attached column surmounted by a cross very beautifully carved in freestone, is fifty feet in height, and also built in granite. A wreath wrought in white stone encircles the centre, and very pleasingly breaks the otherwise disproportionate height of the structure. On the capital are four niches, in which figures of Wisdom, Fortitude, Justice, and Mercy are placed, each
exquisitively chiselled out of a very fine freestone. Two small pillars in granite flank the figures on each side, presenting a very tasteful appearance, while below are carved, also out of freestone, allegorical groups descriptive of the above attributes.

A large white cross most elaborately wrought crowns the whole structure, which for harmonious proportion and elegance of design, is very far superior to anything we have yet seen in the colony. The architect is Mr. George Gilbert Scott, of London, to whom the highest praise is due for the production of such a handsome work of art. Messrs. Knight & Kerr, architects, of Melbourne, were entrusted with the erection of the monument by Lady Hotham, and these gentlemen have merited encomium for the perfect manner in which they have adapted all the parts, many of which, we understand, required reworking, and others considerable manipulation, before they could be finally adjusted. The whole monument rests upon a bed of solid masonry, and is bolted from top to bottom with iron— the various stones composing the column and tomb being fastened by Portland cement. We understand that the total cost has been about £3,000, £1,000 of which was voted by the Legislative Council, the remainder being furnished by Lady Hotham herself. A particularly elegant iron railing, wrought in appropriate mortuary fashion surrounds the monument.
South Australian Weekly Chronicle (Adelaide), 1 January 1859.


Address:College Crescent , Melbourne General Cemetery, Carlton North, 3054
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -37.7915
Long: 144.964111
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Grave
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Government - Colonial
Designer:Mr George Gibert Scott (London, England), architect
Monument Manufacturer:Knight & Kerr, architects (Melbourne, VIC)


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1858
Front Inscription

[ On Column ]

To the memory of Sir Charles Hotham

Captain in the Royal Navy and one of Her Majesty’s Naval Aides De Camp
Knight Commander of the Most Honourable Military Order of The Bath
And the first Captain General and Governor in Chief of Victoria

Voted by the Legislative Council Jan 10 1856.  

[ On Tomb ]

Here rests the body of Charles Hotham. 

He died December 3lst, 1856, Aged 49. 


Source: MA,VMR,ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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