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There is also a town in Australia named Portsea, Victoriamarker after this island.


Portsea is an area of the English city of Portsmouthmarker, located on Portsea Islandmarker, within the ceremonial county of Hampshire.

The area was originally known as the Common and lay between the town of Portsmouth and the nearby Dockyardmarker. The Common started to be developed at the end of the seventeenth century, as a response to the overcrowding in the walled town of Portsmouthmarker. This development worried the governor of the dockyard as he feared the new buildings would provide cover for any forces attempting to attack the dockyard. In 1703, he threatened to demolish any buildings within range of the cannons mounted on the dockyard walls. However, after a petition to King George, royal consent for the development was granted in 1704. In 1792 the name of the area was changed from the Common to Portsea. By then it was home to a mixed, dockside population.

William Tucker, baptised there in 1784 was convicted of shoplifting from a Portsea Tailor, William Wilday, in 1798 and transported to New South Wales on the "death ship" Hillsborough which took convicts and typhus with it from Portsmouth. Tucker escaped and got all the way back to Britain in 1803 only to be taken to Portsmouth for re-embarkation to Australia. If not Portsea's most distinguished son he was certainly one of its more colourful and enterprising ones. He was later a sealer (seal hunter), established the retail trade in preserved Maori heads and settled in Otago, New Zealandmarker where he became that country's first art dealer before falling victim to his hosts in 1817 and being eaten.

By the start of the twentieth century Portsmouth council had started to clear much of the slum housing in Portsea. The city's first council houses were built in the district in 1911.

The area's proximity to the dockyard resulted in its taking massive bomb damage during World War II. After the war the area was redeveloped as all council housing, in a mixture of houses, maisonettes and tower blocks.

The Church of England parish of Portsea covers a wider area than the district of Portsea, but does not include the entirety of Portsea Island.

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