Peter Manifold

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Peter Manifold (1817-1885) was an English pastoralist and politician of western Victoria.

Early life[edit]

Born in 1817 to William and Mary Manifold in Bromborough, Cheshire, England.

Emigrated to Tasmania.

Pastoral activities[edit]

He arrived in Geelong from Tasmania in July 1836 after his brother Thomas was the first to land sheep at Point Henry in Feb 1836.[1]

Peter Manifold and his brothers took up a sheep run around Batesford, occupying land both side of the Moorabool River.[2] But after a few years looked to Victoria's western district for pasture.

The Purrumbete property consisted of 100,000 acres, taking in the areas of Camperdown and Mount Leura.[3] The Manifold Brothers (Thomas, John and Peter) bred sheep, cattle and horses. During the nineteenth century they were among the largest landholders in Victoria.

In 1857-60 The Purrembeet homestead was constructed.[4]

Conflict with Aboriginals[edit]

Conflict between the Manifold brothers and the Djargurd Wurrung people occurred.

“Situated on the banks of Lake Purrumbete, the setting of the homestead—originally chosen for its defensive position against the blacks—is one of great loveliness. The first house or slab-hut was built about three-quarters of a mile from the present site, but it had to be abandoned, because of trouble with the blacks, with whom these pioneers had many adventures.[5]

In 1840, Peter Manifold along with another pastoral squatter Arthur Lloyd presented to the Geelong police magistrate the following signed deposition of aboriginal sheep stealing and subsequent shootings.

"Before N A Fenwick Esq. One of her Majesty's justices of the peace for the said colony this 12th day of September 1840 appears Mr Arthur Lloyd who states "that about the 21st of August last I was at Corio when I returned home I found that the natives had driven away about 100 of my sheep from my station during my absence, I [resolved] to have endeavoured to rescue my sheep, but before I could go after them, I heard that Mr Manifold had had 84 of his sheep also driven away. Mr Manifold, his brother and myself had pursued the natives and rescued 56 of Mr Manifold's sheep, {?} they had all destroyed. On coming up with the natives they presented their spears and showed signs of resistance in which we fired on them. I have no doubt many of them were wounded. There were between 40 & 50 natives. " [6]

Later life[edit]

Peter Manifold became a member of the Hampden and Heytesbury Road Board in 1859.

He was then elected a member of the Hampdenshire Council and remained a member until 1866.[7]

Personal life[edit]

Peter Manifold was unmarried.[5]


Peter Manifold died aged 68, on the 31 July 1885 after several months of ill health.[7]


  1. ^ "DISCOVERY OF CAMPERDOWN". Camperdown Chronicle. LX (5665). Victoria, Australia. 30 August 1934. p. 4. Retrieved 30 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  2. ^ Manifold, W. G., "Manifold, Peter (1817–1885)", Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, retrieved 2019-03-30
  3. ^ "IN SEARCH OF VICTORIA". The Age (25, 793). Victoria, Australia. 16 December 1937. p. 17. Retrieved 30 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  4. ^ "VHD". Retrieved 2019-03-30.
  5. ^ a b "A Century at Purrumbete". Camperdown Chronicle. LXIII (7152). Victoria, Australia. 4 May 1939. p. 6. Retrieved 30 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.
  6. ^ Fenwick, N.A. (1838–1841). Police Depositions - Geelong. Geelong. pp. Microfilm. Box 27.
  7. ^ a b "Death of Mr. Peter Manifold". Camperdown Chronicle. XI (1127). Victoria, Australia. 5 August 1885. p. 3. Retrieved 30 March 2019 – via National Library of Australia.