Melbourne, a city of S. E. Australia, capital of the colony of Victoria, on the banks of the Yarra-Yarra river, about 9 m. from its mouth, at the upper end of the large estuary of Port Phillip, 450 m. S. W. of Sydney; lat. 37° 48' S., Ion. 144° 58'E.; pop. in 1841, about 4,000; in 1846, 10,000; in 1851, 23,000; in 1854, 76,000; in 1857, 100,000; in 1869, 170,-000; in 1871, 191,254. The principal part of the town is on the N. side of the river, but some wards lie on the south, where South Melbourne, Sandridge, St. Kilda, and the W. part of South Yarra are comprised within the city boundary. North and South Melbourne are connected by a bridge. On the N. side the chief part of the town lies in a valley with its extremities carried over two hills. The S. side is flat and swampy, excepting the sandy margin of Hobson's bay, where Sandridge stands. The streets of Melbourne are mostly laid out at right angles, wide, straight, and running the whole length or breadth of the town. They are macadamized in the middle, well drained, mostly flagged at the sides, and lighted with gas.
In the original plan of the city lanes alternating with the main streets were left, to afford back entrances to the houses; but as the value of property increased these lanes were occupied by merchants and tradesmen, became independent streets, and now form a very unsightly feature in the older part of Melbourne. The town is generally well built of brick and stone. Melbourne became the seat of a Roman Catholic bishop in 1847. and of an Anglican bishop in 1848; in April, 1874. the Catholic diocese was erected into an archbishopric. The most numerous churches are those of the church of England, Wesleyans, and Roman Catholics, and there are also places of worship for Independents, Lutherans, Baptists, and other Protestant denominations, as well as for Jews. The Wes-leyan church opened in August, 1858, is said to be one of the handsomest church edifices belonging to that denomination in the world. Among the prominent buildings are the two houses of parliament, the custom house, the treasury, the post office, the free library with a museum of art and a reading room, several theatres, and an elegant club house. The university of Melbourne was opened in April, 1855. It occupies a beautiful site N". of the city, and has 40 acres of land, which form part of extensive pleasure grounds.
The buildings are arranged in a parallelogram. The institution has departments of law, civil engineering, and arts, and enjoys an annual government appropriation of £9,000. A public museum of natural history, manufactures, and mining is attached to it, and also a gallery of fine arts, a botanic garden, and a bureau of statistics, with a fine observatory. The city has a well appointed public library, and there are numerous scientific and literary institutions. The Yan Yean water works, opened Dec. 31, 1857, supply the city from an artificial lake formed in tin- valley of the Plentey river, 18 m. distant. There are several pleasure grounds in the immediate neighborhood of the city, the chief of which are the royal park and the Carlton and Fitzroy gardens. Collingwood, Brighton, Richmond, St. Kilda, and other suburbs of Melbourne are studded with beautiful villas and terraces. Melbourne has regular steam mail service with England via the isthmus of Suez, and there are steamers to all the neighboring ports. Four railways radiate from the city, besides a short one connecting it with the harbor, and there are good roads to all the principal gold fields.
The climate is on the whole cooler than is generally experienced in the same latitude N. The mean temperature of January (midsummer) is 66°, the highest 101°, and the lowest 48°; while the average daily variation of the month is 19°. There is a great proportion of dry sunny weather. The annual fall of rain, taken from the mean of five years, gives 32.63 inches. The wettest months are from April to November inclusive. - In commerce Melbourne ranks as the first port in the British colonies, an importance due to the gold discoveries in 1851. Besides gold, the chief exports are wool, tallow, hides, and other kinds of raw produce. The imports in 1872 amounted to $66,628,819 and the exports to $67,504,170, the latter including $25,000,000 gold and $21,000,000 wool. The principal trade is with England, and that with the United States is not inconsiderable. The customs duties in 1872 amounted to $6,913,183. The Melbourne manufactories of mining machinery and other articles are steadily increasing. Ships drawing 24 ft. of water can come up Port Phillip as far as Hobson's bay at the mouth of the Yarra-Yarra; but vessels requiring more than 9 ft. cannot get over the bars.
Although the distance to the bay by the course of the river is 9 m., it is not quite 2 m. by land, and a railway with an extensive jetty at its lower terminus has been made, connecting Melbourne with Port Phillip at Sandridge. There is another railway to Williamstown, on the opposite side of Hobson's bay, which, though considerably longer, has the advantage of better shelter for ships lying at the jetty. A ship railway has been constructed here capable of taking up very large vessels. From the anchorage in Hobson's bay to the Heads of Port Phillip the distance is about 35 m., and the channels are obstructed part of the way by sand banks which render the assistance of experienced pilots necessary. The Heads, or the opening connecting Port Phillip with Bass strait, is about 2 m. across, but this is occupied by foul ground on either side, which leaves a channel little more than a mile broad. Through this narrow passage the ebb and flood tides sweep over the uneven bottom with great force, and raise a sea which, when there is a strong wind from the opposite direction, is often fatal to small craft. Strong fortifications occupy the points of land at either side of the entrance. The rise and fall of the tide is about 3 ft.
Melbourne has steam flour mills, tallow-boiling and meat-preserving establishments, brass and iron founderies, breweries, distilleries, and manufactories of clothing and woollen blankets. - The site of Melbourne was selected and occupied by a small colonizing party from Tasmania in 1835. Two years afterward the town was officially recognized and named in honor of Lord Melbourne, the British prime minister, by the government of New South Wales, to which Melbourne, together with the surrounding country, then called the Port Phillip district, belonged until the formation of a separate colony in 1851 under the name of Victoria.
The Post Office, Melbourne.
William Lamb, viscount, a British statesman, born in London in 1779, died there, Nov. 24, 1848. He was the eldest son of the first Viscount Melbourne, and after an education at Trinity college, Cambridge, and the university of Glasgow, was in 1804 called to the bar at Lincoln's Inn. In 1805 he entered parliament as a supporter of Fox and the wiiigs, but later he served under Canning as secretary for Ireland. In 1828 he succeeded to his title, and two years later he entered the cabinet of Earl Grey as home secretary. Upon the retirement of the latter in 1834 he became first lord of the treasury and prime minister, in which office he remained, with the exception of a brief period in 1834-'5, when Sir Robert Peel temporarily assumed the premiership, till 1841, when he was again succeeded by Peel. His administration was distinguished by no important political event, but was rendered popular by the tact and personal qualities of the premier.
Caroline (Ponsonby), known as Lady Caroline Lamb, wife of the preceding, born Nov. 13, 1785, died in London, Jan. 20, 1828. She was the only daughter of the third earl of Bessbor-ough, and at 20 years of age was married to the future premier. Having tastes congenial with those of her husband, she shared with him the classical studies in which they were both proficient, and also made herself mistress of several of the modern languages. In 1810 she published "Glenarvon," a novel of which the hero was supposed to shadow forth the character and sentiments of Lord Byron, for whom about 1813 she had conceived a romantic attachment. Byron severed his relations with her in the well known lines to her written a short time before his departure from England; notwithstanding which she still cherished a regard for him, and it is related that, coming suddenly upon the hearse which was conveying the remains of Byron to the grave, she fainted and was for some time prostrated by a severe illness. For many years she lived in seclusion in Brocket hall and three years before her death was separated from her husband.
She published.two other novels, "Graham Hamilton" and "Ada Reis "