Henry Fyshe Gisborne
Henry Fyshe Gisborne was the first Commissioner for Crown Lands of the Port Phillip District
Port Phillip District
The Port Phillip District was an historical administrative division of the Colony of New South Wales, existing from September 1836 until 1 July 1851, when it was separated from New South Wales and became the Colony of Victoria....

, founder of Flemington Racecourse
Flemington Racecourse
Flemington Racecourse is a major horse racing venue located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is most notable for hosting the Melbourne Cup, which is Australia's richest horse race. The racecourse is situated on low alluvial flats, next to the Maribyrnong River...

 and petitioner for Victoria
Victoria (Australia)
Victoria is the second most populous state in Australia. Geographically the smallest mainland state, Victoria is bordered by New South Wales, South Australia, and Tasmania on Boundary Islet to the north, west and south respectively....

's separation from New South Wales
New South Wales
New South Wales is a state of :Australia, located in the east of the country. It is bordered by Queensland, Victoria and South Australia to the north, south and west respectively. To the east, the state is bordered by the Tasman Sea, which forms part of the Pacific Ocean. New South Wales...


Early career

Henry Fyshe Gisborne was the son of Thomas Gisborne the Younger
Thomas Gisborne the Younger
Thomas Gisborne was an English Whig and Liberal politician who sat in the House of Commons variously between 1830 and 1852....

 and Elizabeth Fysche Palmer, daughter of John Palmer. He was educated at Harrow
Harrow School
Harrow School, commonly known simply as "Harrow", is an English independent school for boys situated in the town of Harrow, in north-west London.. The school is of worldwide renown. There is some evidence that there has been a school on the site since 1243 but the Harrow School we know today was...

, Eton
Eton College
Eton College, often referred to simply as Eton, is a British independent school for boys aged 13 to 18. It was founded in 1440 by King Henry VI as "The King's College of Our Lady of Eton besides Wyndsor"....

 and Trinity College
Trinity College, Cambridge
Trinity College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. Trinity has more members than any other college in Cambridge or Oxford, with around 700 undergraduates, 430 graduates, and over 170 Fellows...

, Cambridge
The city of Cambridge is a university town and the administrative centre of the county of Cambridgeshire, England. It lies in East Anglia about north of London. Cambridge is at the heart of the high-technology centre known as Silicon Fen – a play on Silicon Valley and the fens surrounding the...

, which he left without obtaining a degree. He left England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 due to ill health and travelled to Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, landing in Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 in 1834. In 1837 Gisborne was dispatched by Governor Bourke
Richard Bourke
General Sir Richard Bourke, KCB was Governor of the Colony of New South Wales, Australia between 1831 and 1837.-Early life and career:...

 as police magistrate to Wellington
Wellington, New South Wales
Wellington is a town in inland New South Wales, Australia located at the junction of the Macquarie and Bell Rivers. The town is the administrative centre of the Wellington Shire Local Government Area. The town is 362 kilometres from Sydney on the Great Western Highway and Mitchell Highway...

, in the recently colonised Australian hinterland beyond the Blue Mountains where he attempted to keep the peace among early settlers and the native Wiradjuri
The Wiradjuri are an Indigenous Australian group of central New South Wales.In the 21st century, major Wiradjuri groups live in Condobolin, Peak Hill, Narrandera and Griffith...


In Victoria

In 1839 Governor Gipps
George Gipps
Sir George Gipps was Governor of the colony of New South Wales, Australia, for eight years, between 1838 and 1846. His governorship was during a period of great change for New South Wales and Australia, as well as for New Zealand, which was administered as part of New South Wales for much of this...

 appointed Gisborne Commissioner for Crown Lands of the Port Phillip District. Gisborne's official activities included scouting the hitherto little explored areas of central Victoria. He fought the 'Battle of Yering
Battle of Yering
The Battle of Yering was a conflict between Indigenous Australians of the Wurundjeri nation and the Border Police which occurred on 13 January 1840, on the outskirts of Melbourne-Frontier Conflict:...

' (no white lives were lost) at which the Wurundjeri
The Wurundjeri are a people of the Indigenous Australian nation of the Woiwurrung language group, in the Kulin alliance, who occupy the Birrarung Valley, its tributaries and the present location of Melbourne, Australia...

 chief Jaga Jaga (also known as Jackie Jackie) was captured, only to be rescued following the diversionary tactics of his colleagues.

When not out on expedition Gisborne's contribution to early Melbourne society included penning articles for local paper and patronising the Melbourne Club
Melbourne Club
The Melbourne Club is a male only club, established in 1839 and located at 36-50 Collins Street, Melbourne; adjacent to the women-only Lyceum Club. The club is made up of approximately 1500 members; admission being by invitation only...

. His social activities attracted unfavourable notices from Governor Gipps, but this displeasure was overlooked by Gisborne's immediate superior, Superintendent (later Governor) Charles La Trobe
Charles La Trobe
Charles Joseph La Trobe was the first lieutenant-governor of the colony of Victoria .-Early life:La Trobe was born in London, the son of Christian Ignatius Latrobe, a family of Huguenot origin...

. Gisborne's most notable contributions to the fledgeling city were moving the site of Melbourne's turf meetings to their current location by the Maribyrnong River
Maribyrnong river
The Maribyrnong River rises about 50 km north of Melbourne, Victoria , near Mount Macedon. It flows generally southward and combines with the Yarra River to flow into Port Phillip....

 at Flemington Racecourse
Flemington Racecourse
Flemington Racecourse is a major horse racing venue located in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. It is most notable for hosting the Melbourne Cup, which is Australia's richest horse race. The racecourse is situated on low alluvial flats, next to the Maribyrnong River...

, donating the first books to the Mechanics' Institute (now the Athenaeum
Athenaeum, Melbourne
The Athenaeum or Melbourne Athenaeum is one of the oldest public institutions in Victoria, Australia, founded in 1839. The first President was Captain William Lonsdale, the first Patron was the Superintendent of Port Philip, Charles La Trobe and the first books were donated by Vice-President Henry...

 Library) and drafting and delivering the first petition for the separation of the Port Phillip District to Governor Gipps. In 1841, in ill health, Gisborne sailed from Sydney for England. He died between the Cape of Good Hope
Cape of Good Hope
The Cape of Good Hope is a rocky headland on the Atlantic coast of the Cape Peninsula, South Africa.There is a misconception that the Cape of Good Hope is the southern tip of Africa, because it was once believed to be the dividing point between the Atlantic and Indian Oceans. In fact, the...

 and Saint Helena
Saint Helena
Saint Helena , named after St Helena of Constantinople, is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British overseas territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha which also includes Ascension Island and the islands of Tristan da Cunha...

 on 21 April 1841 at the age of twenty-seven.

Places Named after Gisborne

Gisborne, Victoria
Gisborne, Victoria
Gisborne is a town located approximately northwest of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. As it is close to Melbourne, but in attractive countryside, it is proving an increasingly popular place to settle. The town was named after Henry Fyshe Gisborne , the first Commissioner for Crown Lands of the...

 - named by Governor La Trobe

Gisborne Street - behind Parliament House, Melbourne
Parliament House, Melbourne
Parliament House in Melbourne, located at Spring Street in East Melbourne at the edge of the Melbourne city centre, has been the seat of the Parliament of Victoria, Australia, since 1855 .- History :In 1851, even before the colony of Victoria acquired full parliamentary self-government, Governor...

, in recognition of the first petition for Victorian separation
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