Fremantle Stuff > places >


The road district received the name Melville in 1901. It became the Shire of Melville in 1961, and City in 1968. As it includes the suburbs of Bicton and Attadale, which are on Melville Water, I assume it got its name from that. James Stirling had bestowed this name in 1827 after Robert Dundas, the second Viscount Melville and First Lord of the Admiralty 1812-1827. The Melville coat-of-arms is incorporated into that of the City.

Cooper & McDonald:
The first land grants in the present-day City of Melville were made in 1830, to relative latecomers among the first wave of 1,800 immigrants who had arrived in the Swan River Colony. The limited area of good soils along the Swan and Canning Rivers having already been taken, they had to resign themselves to occupying small blocks on the southern shores of Melville Water and along the west bank of the Canning near its mouth.
Among the first Melville settlers to arrive in the colony was John Adams who, with his wife, two children and four indentured servants, reached Fremantle in the Nancy on January 9 1830. The 30-year-old Lieutenant Henry Bull R.N. was in the same ship. Eight days later the Skerne dropped anchor, bearing John Butler's party of immigrants, his younger brother Archibald and an ex-Cape Town resident, Alfred Waylen. In mid-February Lionel Lukin, a former officer in the Imperial Russian Army, arrived in the 359-ton East Indiaman Egyptian. The following month the wheelwright Joseph Cooper, his wife Elizabeth and their children disembarked from the Warrior. The builder John Hole Duffield was a passenger on the same ship. They were followed in May by Thomas and Hannah Middleton and their family in the Britannia. A subsequent voyage of the Egyptian toward the end of 1831 brought Duffield’s wife Charlotte and their four children, and the 17-year-old Robert Mace Habgood, who came to join his brother William, who had arrived a year earlier. Cooper & McDonald: 6.

Melville was originally established on 14 December 1900 as the East Fremantle Road District under the Roads Boards Act 1871. It was renamed the Melville Road District six months later on 14 June 1901. On 20 July 1923, it received a large amount of land from Jandakot Road District when that entity was abolished.
On 1 July 1961, it became the Shire of Melville following the enactment of the Local Government Act 1960, which reformed all remaining road districts into shires. It was granted town status as the Town of Melville on 28 September 1962, and assumed its current name when it was granted city status on 3 May 1968.

References and Links

Cooper, W.S. [William] & G. [Gil] McDonald 1989, A City for All Seasons: The Story of Melville, City of Melville.

My happy snaps of the Melville riverfront.

Garry Gillard | New: 16 May, 2021 | Now: 14 February, 2023