Advertisement

A Golden Opportunity: Mayor Smith and Melbourne’s Emergence as a Global City

  • Sarah HayesEmail author
Article

Abstract

In the earliest decades of the settlement of Melbourne, people’s backgrounds and origins were hazy and unknown, allowing a golden opportunity to reinvent and reprise not just individual wealth and success but also, consequently, the nature of society. At the same time, Melbourne was emerging as a truly global colonial city. Within this context, John Thomas Smith was making a rapid progression from son of a convict shoemaker to middle-class mayor of Melbourne. Such dramatic social mobility was a uniquely colonial phenomenon and material culture had a vital role to play in the renegotiation of Melbourne’s middle class.

Keywords

Middle class Social mobility Comparative analysis Modern cities Melbourne 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This paper is based on research conducted as part of the Australian Research Council-funded Suburban Archaeology: Approaching an archaeology of the middle class in 19th-century Melbourne project (DP1093001) held jointly by La Trobe University, Deakin University and University of Melbourne. Chief investigators on this project are Tim Murray, Susan Lawrence, Andrew Brown-May and Linda Young. My research was conducted at La Trobe University and benefitted from the intellectual and technical support offered by the Department of Archaeology and History. Thank you to Charlotte Smith at Museum Victoria for access to the collection, support and use of museum facilities. A heartfelt thanks to historian Barbara Minchinton who conducted research into the lives of the Smiths for this project and Noriaki Sato for his input on the theoretical aspects of this paper. Finally, thank you to Edwina Kay for providing feedback on early drafts and two anonymous reviewers for their input.

References

  1. Bourdieu, P. (1984). Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgment of Taste. Nice, R., trans. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, MA.Google Scholar
  2. Boyce, J. (2011). 1835: The Founding of Melbourne and the Conquest of Australia. Black, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  3. Briggs, A. (1963). Victorian Cities. Penguin, Middlesex.Google Scholar
  4. Cannon, M. (1975). Australia in the Victorian Age 3: Life in the Cities. Thomas Nelson Australia, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  5. Colligan, M. (2005). Queen’s theatre. In Brown-May, A., and Swain, S., eds., The Encyclopedia of Melbourne. Cambridge University Press, Port Melbourne, p. 583.Google Scholar
  6. Crook, P. (2005). Quality, cost and value: key concepts for an interpretive assemblage analysis. Australasian Historical Archaeology 23: 15–24.Google Scholar
  7. Crook, P. (2011). Rethinking assemblage analysis: new approaches to the archaeology of working-class neighborhoods. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 15: 582–593.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Crook, P., Ellmoos, L., and Murray, T. (2005). Keeping Up With the McNamaras: A Historical Archaeological Study of the Cumberland and Gloucester Streets Site, the Rocks, Sydney. Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales, Sydney.Google Scholar
  9. De Serville, P. (1991). Pounds and Pedigrees: The Upper Class in Victoria 1850–1880. Oxford University Press, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  10. Eastwood, J. (1976). Smith, John Thomas (1816–1879). In Serle, G., ed., Australian Dictionary of Biography, Vol. 6. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne, pp. 150–151.Google Scholar
  11. Fitts, R. (1999). The archaeology of middle-class domesticity and gentility in Victorian Brooklyn. Historical Archaeology 33(1): 39–62.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Giddens, A. (1984). The Constitution of Society: Outline of the Theory of Structuration. Polity, Cambridge.Google Scholar
  13. Goodwin, L. (1999). An Archaeology of Manners: The Polite World of the Merchant Elite of Colonial Massachusetts. Kluwer Academic/Plenum, New York.Google Scholar
  14. Hayes, S. (2007). Consumer practice at Viewbank homestead. Australasian Historical Archaeology 25: 87–103.Google Scholar
  15. Hayes, S. (2008). Being Middle Class: An Archaeology of Gentility in Nineteenth-Century Australia. Doctoral dissertation, La Trobe University, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  16. Hayes, S. (2011). Gentility in the dining and tea service practices of early colonial Melbourne’s “established middle class”. Australasian Historical Archaeology 29: 33–44.Google Scholar
  17. Hayes, S. (2014). Good Taste, Fashion, Luxury: A Genteel Melbourne Family and Their Rubbish. Sydney University Press, Sydney.Google Scholar
  18. Hayes, S. (forthcoming). A Colonial Eccentric: Mayor Smith’s Quest for Success at 300 Queen Street, Melbourne. Sydney University Press, Sydney.Google Scholar
  19. Hayes, S., and Minchinton, B. (2016). Melbourne’s waste management history and cesspit formation processes: evidence from little Lon. Australian Archaeology 82(1): 12–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hetherington, J. (1964). Witness to Things Past: Stone, Brick, Wood and Men in Early Victoria, F.W. Cheshire, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  21. Karskens, G. (1999). Inside the Rocks: The Archaeology of a Neighbourhood, Hale and Iremonger, Sydney.Google Scholar
  22. Karskens, G., and Lawrence, S. (2003). The archaeology of cities: what is it we want to know? In: Murray, T., ed., Exploring the Modern City: Recent Approaches to Urban History and Archaeology. Historic Houses Trust of New South Wales in association with La Trobe University, Sydney, pp. 89–111.Google Scholar
  23. Lampard, S. (2004). Urban Living: The Respectable of Jane Street, Port Adelaide, In: Arthur, D., Paterson, A., eds., National Archaeology Students Conference: Explorations, Investigations and New Directions. National Archaeology Students Conference, Adelaide, pp. 26–32.Google Scholar
  24. Lampard, S., and Staniforth, M. (2011). The demon drink: working-class attitudes to alcohol in nineteenth-century Port Adelaide. Australasian Historical Archaeology 29: 5–12.Google Scholar
  25. Lawrence, S. (1998). The role of material culture in Australasian archaeology. Australasian Historical Archaeology 16: 8–15.Google Scholar
  26. Lawrence, S. (2000). Dolly's Creek: An Archaeology of a Victorian Goldfields Community. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  27. Lawrence, S. (2005). Colonisation in the industrial age: the landscape of the Australian gold rush. In Casella, E. C., and Symonds, J., eds., Industrial Archaeology: Future Directions. Springer, New York, pp. 279–300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lawrence, S., Brooks, A., and Lennon, J. (2009). Ceramics and status in regional Australia. Australasian Historical Archaeology 27: 67–78.Google Scholar
  29. Lewis, N., and Associates (1982). Former Smith Residence, 300 Queen Street: A Report on its Architectural and Historical Significance. Department of Housing and Construction Victoria/Tasmania Region, Melbourne, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  30. Lydon, J. (1993). Archaeology in the Rocks, Sydney, 1979-1993: from old Sydney gaol to Mrs Lewis' boarding-house. Australasian Historical Archaeology 11: 33–42.Google Scholar
  31. Marsden, G. (1998). Introduction. In Marsden, G., ed., Victorian Values: Personalities and Perspectives in Nineteenth-Century Society. Longman, London.Google Scholar
  32. Mayne, A., and Murray, T. (2001). The archaeology of urban landscapes: explorations in slumland. In Mayne, A., and Murray, T., eds., The Archaeology of Urban Landscapes: Explorations in Slumland. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, pp. 1–7.Google Scholar
  33. Mitchell, S. (2009). Daily Life in Victorian England. Greenwood, London.Google Scholar
  34. Murray, T. (2011). Poverty in the modern city: retrospects and prospects. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 15(4): 572–581.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Praetzellis, A., and Praetzellis, M. (2001). Mangling symbols of gentility in the wild west: case studies in interpretive archaeology. American Anthropologist 103: 645–654.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Prossor, L., Lawrence, S., Brooks, A., and Lennon, J. (2012). Household archaeology, lifecycles and status in a nineteenth-century Australian coastal community. International Journal of Historical Archaeology 16: 809–827.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Quirk, K. (2008a). The colonial goldfields: visions and revisions. Australasian Historical Archaeology 26: 13–20.Google Scholar
  38. Quirk, K. (2008b). The Victorians in “Paradise”: Gentility as Social Strategy in the Archaeology of Colonial Australia. Doctoral dissertation, University of Queensland, Brisbane.Google Scholar
  39. Russell, P. (1994). A Wish of Distinction: Colonial Gentility and Femininity, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  40. Russell, P. (2002). The brash colonial: class and comportment in nineteenth-century Australia. Transactions of the Royal Historical Society 12: 431–453.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Russell, P. (2010). Savage or Civilised? Manners in Colonial Australia. New South, Sydney.Google Scholar
  42. Sato, N., and Hayes, S. (in press). Gentility and respectability: an historical archaeological analysis of the 19th-century Australian middle class.Google Scholar
  43. Scott Virtue, L. (1984a). 300 Queen Street Archaeological Report: Part I, Summary Report on the Archaeological Investigation, Report to the Department of Housing and Construction, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  44. Scott Virtue, L. (1984b). 300 Queen Street Archaeological Report: Part II, Detailed Report on the Site Investigations and Excavations, Report to the Department of Housing and Construction, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  45. Serle, G. (1963). The Golden Age: A History of the Colony of Victoria 1851–1861. Melbourne University Press, Melbourne.Google Scholar
  46. Wall, D.D. (1987). At Home in New York: The Redefinition of Gender Among the Middle Class and Elite, 1783–1840. PhD thesis, New York University, New York.Google Scholar
  47. Wall, D. D. (1992). Sacred dinners and secular teas: constructing domesticity in mid-19th-century New York. Historical Archaeology 25: 69–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Wall, D. D. (1994). The Archaeology of Gender: Separating the Spheres in Urban America, Plenum, New York.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Webb, J., Schirato, T., and Danaher, G. (2002). Understanding Bourdieu. Allen and Unwin, Sydney.Google Scholar
  50. Young, L. (2003). Middle-Class Culture in the Nineteenth Century: America, Australia and Britain. Palgrave Macmillan, Hampshire.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Young, L. (2010). Gentility: a historical context for the material culture of the table in the “Long 19th Century”. In Symonds, J., ed., Table Settings: The Material Culture and Social Context of Dining AD 1700–1900, Oxbow, Oxford, pp. 133–143.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Archaeology and HistoryLa Trobe UniversityBundooraAustralia

Personalised recommendations