Glen Hollister was not the most ambitious man to settle in the Melbourne region, but beyond any shadow of a doubt, he was the most vainglorious Melbournian of the 19th century, and runs second only to Jeff Kennett in the overall listings. Hollister and his family originally came to Melbourne in the late 1830s, and laid claim to a large allotment to the north of the city, which he named (with what would in time be seen as characteristic humility) Glenroy – the kingdom of Glen. (He also purchased other allotments around the city – one for his wife, Iris; another for hunting; and a third apparently for the Hell of it.)

The Kingdom of Glen was a vast area covering all the land between the Moonee Ponds creek and the Merri creek, with its northern and southern borders being set roughly at the alignments of present day Somerton and Moreland Roads, respectively. It was far too great a region for any one man to successfully maintain (and yet small enough that even by the standards of its contemporary principalities of Germany and Italy, it was barely large enough to be worthy of the title ‘kingdom’). As such, it is hardly surprising that bits and pieces of the territory would be nibbled away – claimed by other settlers, or sold by the Hollister family to cover one debt or another. And although the main area would remain known as Glenroy for many years to come, only a small, irregularly shaped region today remains to be called that area. The Hollisters today are largely forgotten, and even the date on which they founded the original Glenroy Farm has been lost – the suburb celebrated its centenary more than twenty years later that it should have.

Suburbs near Glenroy:

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