Historical information

Henry Dendy (1800-1881) was an early settler of Eltham where he operated a flour mill. He donated land for the construction of St Margaret's Anglican Church.

EDHS Newsletter No. 168 May 2006
Dendy is best known as the founder of Brighton, but it is not so well known that years later he lived at Eltham for far longer than he lived at Brighton.

In 1840 while still in England he bought eight square miles of unspecified land in the Port Phillip District. This entitled him to bring a number of other persons to the colony and in 1841 he arrived at Williamstown in the "York" with his family and 139 others. He took up his land entitlement at what is now Brighton and most of the emigrants settled there. He encountered financial problems and lost his interest in the estate in 1844. He left Brighton in 1847. He successively but not always successfully became a brewer at Geelong, a sheep farmer at Christmas Hills and Upper Moira, a flour miller at Eltham; a sheep farmer again at Werribee and finally a copper miner at Walhalla.
Dendy came to Eltham in 1856 after having spent a year in England. The total of the two parcels of land that he bought was about 5 acres (2 hectares) and it included the steam flour mill. . He became prominent in local affairs, serving for a time on the Eltham District Road Board, including one year as President.
Dendy' s wife Sarah died at Eltham in 1860 and also in that year he was appointed chairman of a committee to establish a Church of England in Eltham. He donated one of his Pitt Street lots for this purpose and St Margaret's was opened in 1861.

In 1867 Dendy sold his mill to W. F. Ford and moved to Werribee and then Walhalla where he remained until his death. He is buried in the Walhalla cemetery.

No sign of Dendy's house or mill remain on the Community Centre site but some of the old trees running along the former boundary through the centre of the site could well have been planted in Dendy' s time.

Much of this information was obtained from the book ''Henry Dendy and his Emigrants" by L.A. Schumer (Sallas Books 1975). The Society has an extensive file of Dendy information, much of it provided by the late Leslie Schumer.

Physical description

Manilla folder of information. Includes Folder 88 from Harry Gilham Collection which includes EDHS tour notes of St Margaret's Anglican Church, Eltham, 2012, copy of newspaper article, Diamond Valley News, December 15, 1981, copy of newspaper article, The Advertiser, September 2, 1932, photocopy of photograph of graves at Walhalla Cemetery and Warringal Cemetery, photocopies, 6 pages from an unsourced book.