Daniel Brophy (1832-1895)

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Daniel Brophy, c1894.



Daniel Brophy was born on 13 November 1832 at Castlecomer (County Kilkenny, Ireland)[1] to farmer William Brophy and Margaret nee Purcell.[2] Daniel Brophy left Ireland in 1847 on board the Abbotsford.[3]. [4]

A senior partner in Brophy, Dowling & Co., auctineers and finance agents.[5]

Daniel Brophy was a Director of the Phoenix Foundry. He was chairman of the board of directors for a period, at least, encompassing 1883 to 1889.[6] He was also a Mining Manager, Mining Investor and hotel keeper.[7] In 1882 he advertised Brophy's Hotel.

Brophy was Mayor of the City of Ballarat from 1875-6 and as such was the ex-officio member of the Ballarat School of Mines Council. He was involved in the establishment of the Ballarat City Rowing Club, along with J. W. Graham, Henry R. Caselli and Peter Cazaly.[8]

He was a Knight of the Order of St. Gregory the Great and a Count of the Holy Roman Empire,[9] and a member of the Old Colonists' Association, Ballarat.

Daniel Brophy was a member of the Ballarat Water Commission, president of the Ballarat Hospital and Ballarat Orphan Asylum, Director of the Band of Hope and Albion Consols Co., and Director of the Phoenix Foundry and Ballarat Woollen Mill.

Daniel Brophy died on 10 May 1895 in his home "Comer Villa" on Sturt Street, Ballarat. He is buried in the Ballaarat Old Cemetery - Area E2, Section 18, Row 1, Grave 1.


The funeral of the late Mrs. Daniel Brophy, which took place this afternoon, was attended by representatives of every institution in the district. The cortege was over a mile long, and the wreaths sent covered the grave several feet deep. A requiem mass was celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral, and at the grave the Rev. Dr. Delaney officiated. The Bishop of Ballarat, Dr. Moore, would have been present but for the fact that he was administering the rite of confirmation in another part of the diocese.[10]

Mr. Daniel Brophy, senior partner in the firm of Brophy, Foley, Dowling, and Co., auctioneers, died to-day. He had been suffering for some time, and his end was not unexpected. The funeral will take place on Sunday from St. Patrick's Cathedral.[11]

Mr. Daniel Brophy, J.P., for many years closely associated with public affairs in Ballarat, died to-day shortly after 12 o'clock. The deceased gentleman, who had been ill for nearly two months, suffered from tumor on the liver, but the immediate cause of death was dropsy. Mr. Brophy for some years represented Ballarat East in the Legislative Assembly. During his illness he underwent five operations for the removal of dropsical water, but in each instance the relief afforded was only of a temporary character. Mr. Brophy was unconscious since Friday last, and he passed quietly away surrounded by the members of his family. Subsequently flags were, as a tribute of respect to his memory, hoisted at half-mast at the city hall, town hall, hospital, public offices, Old Colonists' Club Rooms, Orphan and Benevolent Asylums, Band and Albion Consols and other mines and elsewhere throughout the city and town. The news of the death of Mr. Brophy will cause regret not only in the Ballarat district, but also in various centres of the colony. A requiem mass for the repose of his soul is to be celebrated at St. Patrick's Cathedral, where the remains are to be placed on a catafalque. The funeral, which will move from the cathedral on Sunday, is expected to be the largest ever seen in the district.[12]

We regret to record the death of Mr Daniel Brophy, which occurred at Ballarat, May 10. Mr Brophy, who was born in Castlecomer, sailed for Australia in 1847 in one of those fever ships, called "floating coffins." Of the 350 souls on board when the anchor was weighed only ninety-five lived to see the new country, one of these was young Brophy in his 18th year. The young emigrant worked his way to the gold fields, and by perseverance and industry, built up a huge fortune. His well-known ability and undoubted integrity won respect and honour for him everywhere. In the course of time he became Mayor of Ballarat, filling the position with such dignity, honour and satisfaction to the ratepayers that they presented him with a piece of silver worth £300. He was afterwards elected to Parliament, where "Honest Dan," as the Castlecomer man was deservedly styled, redeemed his pledges and distinguished himself by much practical work. His visit to his native land a few years ago is well remembered. On his return voyage he had an audience with Pope Leo XIII., who conversed with him for an hour and a half, and conferred upon him the Order of St Gregory the Great. It would be difficult, indeed, to describe the sorrow that is felt at his death by people of every rank and class in Ballarat.[13]

Plan of the Black Hill Company [detail]. Dan Brophy's Shaft is shown to the left of the letter 'C' in 'Black Hill',University of Ballarat Historical Collection (Cat. No. 2532)



William Brophy married Margaret Purcell

--1 Daniel Brophy (1832-1895)[14] married[15] Ellen Mary Berkery (c1834-1892)[16]

--.--2 William Purcell Brophy (1861-1887)

--.--2 Maria Catherine Brophy (1863-1933) married James Joseph Fitzgerald

--.--2 Margaret Ellen Brophy (1864-1913) married Michael Joseph Mongovan (?-1912)

--.--.--3 Eileen Mary Mongovan (1888-?) married Thomas James Daly

--.--.--3 Mary Brophy Mongovan (1890-?) married John Bernard Willis

--.--.--3 Kathleen Imelda Mongovan (1892-?) married Harry Patterson Smith

--.--.--3 Margaret Brophy Mongovan (1895-1970)

--.--2 Bartholomew Patrick Brophy (1865-1865)

--.--2 Daniel Patrick Brophy (1867-1875)

--.--2 Ellen Maria Brophy (1868-1869)

--.--2 James Henry Brophy (1869-1871)

--.--2 Thomas Edward Brophy (1870-1872)

--.--2 Ellen Agnes Brophy (1872-1950)

--.--2 Kathleen Anastasia Brophy (1873-1951) married Godfrey Sylvester O'Malley

See also


Ballarat Woollen Mill

Band of Hope & Albion Consols Gold Mining Co.

Old Colonists' Association

Phoenix Foundry


Thursday, 12th March, 1857.
Brophy v. Everingham.-For balance due.
No appearance of defendant.
Daniel Brophy, defendant, deposed, that he had lost his miner's right that morning from his pocket. He had transferred to defendant a sleeping half-share, in September last, on Frenchman's, for £1 10s. per week till gold was found. Defendant had paid £10 only, and a balance was due, which plaintiff now sued for.
The Court ordered payment of £8 17s. and costs.[17]
DANIEL BROPHY having opened the Atlantic Hotel (late Prince Charlie) Sebastopol road, solicits a call from all old friends.[18]
A special meeting of the shareholders in the Kossuth Company, Snake Valley, was held at Brophy's Atlantic Hotel, Ballarat, on Tuesday evening. About twenty shareholders were present. Mr James Lowe occupied the chair. Messrs [illegible], Wm. Fern, James Lowe, Daniel Brophy, and Jungwirth were appointed directors. The lease was duly executed, and the premium stipulated was paid in bills at two, three, and four months. Tenders were opened and considered for sinking the shaft [illegible]ft 6in by 3ft 6in in the clear. The offer of Robert Wallace and party was accepted at 40s per foor, and 20s per foot extra where puddling was required. The manager (Mr Osborne) was directed to invite tenders for timber, and to advertise also for an engineer and a manager; applications to be considered on Monday next. The depth of sinking is estimated at about 110 feet, with about 40 feet of [illegible] rock. Mr Surveyor Lynch has reported the [illegible] to be about 600 feet wide, and the workings of the Magnum Bonum Company adjoining verify the report, and show a depth of washdirt three to five feet. The dividends for the past six months are shown to have averaged about £7 per man per week. The shareholders in the Kossuth Company expressed themselves well pleased with their prospects, and are determined to press forward their works with all possible vicor.[19]
A CURIOUS gathering took place the other day at the Unicorn Hotel, Ballarat, when four gentlemen casually met together who had, twenty-eight years ago, worked as miners on the ground over which they then stood. The gentlemen named were Messrs Fitzpathrick, J.P., Daniel Brophy, Thomas Colgan, and Simon Jackson, who, in 1856, were mates in the Green Harp claim, the shaft of which was situate behind the Unicorn Hotel. The four veterans were all looking as hearty as possible, and seemed as if they were good for twenty-eight years more of this life.[20]
On Friday 5 April 1889 a conference was held at City Hall, relative to the Phoenix Foundry strike. In attendance were: Mr D. Brophy, chairman of the foundry directors, Messrs Hickman and Cowley, proprietors of other iron working establishment in Ballarat, and Messrs Shelton and Robertson, president and secretary of the local branch of the Ironworkers’ Union, together with Messrs W. Brown, W. Carter, J. Mosson, W. Pawson and James Searll, members of the union.[21]
The friends of Mr. Daniel Brophy, J.P., ex-M.L.A., tendered him a farewell banquet in the City-hall this evening, on the eve of his departure for England. There were about 150 gentlemen present, including Mr. Henry Cuthbert, Minister of Justice, and Lieutenant-Colonel Smith, M.L.A., Mr. R. Ford, Railway Commissioner, Messrs. Murphy, Forrest, Butterly, M.L.A.'s, Mr. W. Anderson ex M.L.A., Mr. G. G. Morton, the members of the city and town councils, &c. Mr. C. B. Finlayson was in the chair.
The CHAIRMAN proposed the toast of the guest of the evening, and presented Mr. Brophy with a diamond ring for Mrs. Brophy and one for himself, the gold in which had been obtained from the Band and Albion mine. Mr. Whelan also presented to the guest a gold goblet, on behalf of his fellow directors of the Band of Hope and Albion Consols Company, of which he is chairman.
Mr. BROPHY, in reply, stated that his health had not lately been of the best, and this was partly the reason for his taking the trip.
Various other toasts were given, and the proceedings lasted until a late hour.[22]
The Phoenix Foundry Company to-day refused to accept Mr. Brophy’s resignation, and gave him 12 months leave of absence.
The several societies interested in the Phoenix Foundry strike held meetings this evening, to consider the proposals brought from the conference last night, and decided in favour of accepting them. The ironworkers assistants did not meet until 10 o’clock this evening, and were late in arriving at a decision. At about half-past 11 they announced to the conciliation committee that they had decided to accept the terms offered. And the committee then held a meeting, and appointed the president, Mr. Anderson, and Mr. Porter to represent the Trades’ Council in drafting the agreement. They will probably meet and deal with the business to-morrow, and the men will resume work on Thursday morning.
Great satisfaction was expressed on all hands, and ringing cheers were given by a large crowd outside the Trades-hall when the result was made known.[23]

Our respected townsman, Mr. D. Brophy, K.G.G., returned to Ballarat after a visit of ten months to the home country. The trip appears to have benefited him very much, as he looks hale and hearty. He was warmly welcomed by his friends, prominent among whom were his Worship the Mayor of the town, Mr. Edward Murphy, M.L.A., and Mr J. J. Fitzgerald, J.P. He was interviewed by a reporter of the Star, who gives a very interesting report of same. Mr. Brophy, during- his visit, had an interview with his Holiness the Pope, who received him very kindly, and asked him many questions about Australia, a part of the globe in which his Holiness evinces a deep interest. While Mr. Brophy was in the home country he had an opportunity of being present at two byelections — Elgin and Nairne, and Peterborough—where he found the farmers and artisans in favour of Home Rule for Ireland. He attended several radical meetings in London, at which all the speakers agreed that every other question should be left aside until this question was decided. Mr. Brophy is of opinion that if there was a general election to-morrow the Unionist-Liberals would be " wiped out." He also was presentat a meeting of the Great Liberal Club in London, where the question was put as to how the move for Home Bule would be affected by the death or retirement of either Mr. Gladstone or Mr. Parnell, or both? The answer was given that the question now was not one of leaders or of men, but of doing justice to Ireland. Mr. Brophy had an interview with Cardinal Manning with reference to the dockers' strike, but his Eminence did not express any decided opinion in respect to it— his sole aim was to make peace, that the working men very very poor, and that what they were fighting for was not too much. The Cardinal said that Mr. Burns and the other leaders were honourable and good men. Before leaving, his Eminence, who evinced a great interest in Australia, presented Mr. Brophy with a copy of a little work by himself, " Confidence in God," with his autograph. While in Dublin he attended a Land League meeting, where he was called upon to speak. He also was present at a conference at Thurles, where the first organisation of the new Tenants' Defence Fund took place. It was orderly and enthusiastic. Everywhere he went he found the Irish people quiet and contented, and full of confidence in the Liberal party in England getting them what they wanted. He went through Luggercurren, County Tipperary, where is the Smith-Barry estate, in which evictions had lately been carried out. He also was present at the trial of Fr. Dwyer and others at Middleton. At this place he saw a young man, who had apparently done nothing, jostled against by two constables, and pitched into the street on his hands and knees. Down in Tipperary, where all the evictions had recently taken place, he never saw anything approaching to rowdyism. On many estates there, as well as elsewhere, be saw houses built and in course of erection for the evicted tenants out of the funds which were collected by Mr. Dillon on his late visit to Australia. During his visit Mr. Brophy Baw Mr. William O'Brien in the Galway prison, whom he describes as a very quiet, gentlemanly man. He also had the pleasure of seeing that true patriot, Michael Davitt, who presented him with a copy of his latest work.[24]


  1. Warren Perry, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, p53; GoIreland.com http://www.goireland.com/genealogy/family.htm?FamilyId=457 accessed 25 January 2012.
  2. Dianne Campbell, Anglo-Irish Lawyers in Post Goldrush Ballarat, Masters theses, 2002, p.183.
  3. EKate Elliott, The Boys From the Rush Beds SP, 2004.
  4. http://www.corkpastandpresent.ie/places/strattensdublincorkandsouthofireland/commercialcork/Strattens_Cork_Midleton_pp235-236.pdf
  5. Dianne Campbell, Anglo-Irish Lawyers in Post Goldrush Ballarat, Masters theses, 2002, p.183.
  6. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Saturday 14 April 1883, page 12. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  7. Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, p53.
  8. http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/AUS-VIC-GOLDFIELDS/2003-08/1061943145 accessed 25 January 2013.
  9. http://www.corkpastandpresent.ie/places/strattensdublincorkandsouthofireland/commercialcork/Strattens_Cork_Midleton_pp235-236.pdf
  10. The Argus (Melbourne,Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Thursday 24 November 1892, page 6. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  11. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Saturday 11 May 1895, page 8. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  12. The Age, 11 May 1895, page 5. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  13. New Zealand Tablet, Rōrahi XXII, Putanga 23, 4 Whiringa-ā-nuku 1895, Page 11. Digital copy accessed via Papers Past.
  14. born 1832 County Kilkenny, Ireland; died 10/05/1895 Victoria, Australia Reg#4163; buried 12/05/1895 Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Area E2, Section 18, Row 1, Grave 1
  15. 1860 Victoria, Australia Reg#1432
  16. daughter of Patrick Berkery and Mary Ryan born c1834; died 21/11/1892 "Comer Villa", Sturt Street, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#12528; buried 23/11/1892 Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Area E2, Section 18, Row 1, Grave 1
  17. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Friday 13 March 1857, page 5. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  18. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Saturday 2 July 1864, page 3. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  19. The Star (Ballarat, Vic. : 1855 - 1864), Thursday 3 November 1864, page 3. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  20. Colonist, Rōrahi XXVII, Putanga 3836, 22 Haratua 1884, Page 3. Digital copy accessed via Papers Past.
  21. Camperdown Chronicle (Vic. : 1877 - 1954), Tuesday 9 April 1889, page 4. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  22. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Wednesday 8 May 1889, page 6. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  23. The Argus (Melbourne, Vic. : 1848 - 1956), Wednesday 8 May 1889, page 6. Digital copy accessed via Trove.
  24. Melbourne Advocate, 29 March 1890.

Further Reading

External links

Australian Dictionary of Biography


--C.K.Gervasoni 12:26, 25 January 2013 (EST); --Beth Kicinski 15:34, 25 January 2013 (EST); --C.K.Gervasoni 12:23, 31 July 2014 (EST); --Clare K.Gervasoni 10:37, 28 September 2015 (AEST)

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