Essendon Land, Tramway & Investment Company Limited Scrip issued to John Brown of Geelong, Victoria, Australia
[Registered Office not listed]
2 October 1889
Capital: 1,000,000 Pounds in 200,000 Shares of 5 Pounds each
Certificate No. 1109

Obverse Description

Printed on white stock, black printed lettering and black, handwritten text. Elaborate cartouche at left side of page bears company seal.


The scrip is significant as an example of the extensive land speculation that occurred in Melbourne in the 1880s.

The Essendon Land, Tramway & Investment Company was formed by landboomer by James Mirams, newsagent owner in Collingwood, and its elected member of parliament from 1876-86; Mirams was a deacon of the Congregational Church and early member of the YMCA. He was a close friend and business associate of James Munro, member for Carlton, and subsequently Premier, 1890-92, whose speculative businesses also collapsed. With a board that included 6 members of parliament, and Mirams as company secretary, the Essendon Land, Tramway & Investment Company was formed in July 1888 to build a tramway from Essendon railway station westwards along Buckley Street to the municipal boundary with Keilor, a distance of 1.5 miles; Mirams owned land along Keilor Road.

From money raised with investors, the company paid Mirams more than 200,000 pounds for his otherwise useless land. In 1891 a new company, the Essendon Land & Finance Association, was formed to purchase the assets of the first company, allowing the original company's promoters to avoid paying calls on their shares. The tramway was never built, and the public investors lost their money. [R. Gillespie, 12 Jan 2006; from Michael Cannon, The Land Boomers, 1972]

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