William E. Stanbridge

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William E. Stanbridge photorgraphed by Thomas Foster Chuck. State Library of Victoria (H5056/576)
Plaque in the Daylesford Hospital, 2019. Ballarat Heritage Services



William Edward Stanbridge was born on 01 December 1816 in the village of Astley, near the city of Coventry, in Warwickshire, England to Edward and Anne (nee Crofts). In November 1841, Stanbridge arrived in Port Phillip, Victoria. [1]

William Edward Stanbridge was a squatter of Wombat Estate ([Daylesford]). He served as Mayor on the Daylesford Council.

In 1852 William E. Stanbridge bought the Wombat Run and had it surveyed at the same time as the township of Wombat (later renamed Daylesford); he built the first cottage at Wombat Park in 1854. It still stands on Spring Creek, below the present homestead. By 1860 Stanbridge had built the substantial brick stable and coach house complex and by 1872 a second homestead (relocated to Daylesford in the 1930s). He had also laid out a garden in the rich red volcanic soil. In what is now known as the ‘old garden’, the Mackenzies uncovered beds surrounded by quartz gravel paths and box hedges. Above them stood various conifers, including a rare Mexican pine nut (Pinus quadrifolia var. parryana) that is on the National Trust’s Significant Tree Register); Spanish firs (Abies pinsapo); and an avenue of cedars. Stanbridge became a Member of the Legislative Assembly[2]

Stanbridge died a wealthy man in Daylesford on 5 April 1894 at the age of 77 and was buried in a family vault at the Daylesford cemetery.[3]


Stanbridge left an indelible mark on education, philanthropy, womens suffrage, and Aboriginal knowledge.[4]

He was one of the first people to write in depth about Aboriginal astronomical traditions. His significant contribution to colonial knowledge of Aboriginal culture was in the form of 'On the astronomy and mythology of the Aborigines of Victoria' (1857)[5] and Some particulars of the general characteristics, astronomy, and mythology of the tribes in the central part of Victoria, southern Australia (1861)[6] He also collected elaborate bark etchings from Lake Tyrell which he gave to R. Brough Smyth who later donated them in 1874 to Museum Victoria. [7]


The will of the late Mr. William Edward Stanbridge, ex-M.L.C, of Wombat, Daylesford Victoria, was proved to-day. The estate was sworn at £57,013, on which stamp duty to be amount of £2,852 has been paid. The testator bequeaths the properties to his daughter Florence Colles Stanbridge, but in the event of her death or marriage before the age of 21 the whole of the real estate devised to her passes to William Egbert Brunt, now of Trinity College, Melbourne. In the event of the latter predeceasing his daughter the testator directs the trustees to stand possessed of the real estate for his cousin, Edith Mary Stanbridge, sister of John William Stanbridge, fellow of St. John's College, Oxford, England, bachelor, of divinity. the residue of the real and personal estate he bequeathed to trustees to let, sell or dispose of thor the purpose of paying leagcies varying from 100 to 1000 to Mrs Frances Ann Colles, his late wife's mother, Amy Chipperton of Prahran, John Chipperton her brother, E M Stanbridge, John William Stanbridge, Annie Marsden Colles, Elizabeth Cotton, wife of the manager of the Daylesford branch of the Colonial Bank, James Grice of Finders Street, Melbourne, Kathleen Chipperton, Mrs Ellis Rowan, wife of Captain Rowan, the Church of England, Daylesford; and the Daylesford Hospital; and to each of his grandchildren, Thomas Frederick Doveton, Margaret Susan Tilley, child of Cecil Burnston, and Percy Rumley; to his sister, Edith Stanbridge, Hastings, England. Of the residuary estate, the trustees are to stand possessed of 6,000 upon trust for William e Brunt to be paid to him on his attaining the profession of either barrister, solicitor, or doctor of medicine. The sum of 5,000 is to be lest in trust for Sibyl May Hennessy, Caroline Street, South Yarra, to be paid to her on her attaining 21 years of age. A like sum is bequeathed for the purpose of founding a scholarship in connection with the Women's Hostel, Trinity College, Melbourne, to be called the Frances Colles Stanbridge Scholarship. The income arising from the balance of the estate to go to the testator's daughter and after her marriage is to be held free from the control or influence of her husband. Further legacies are provided for as follows: - Trinity College, Melbourne 5000 ; Church of England Cathedral Fund 5000; various charitable institutions in the city of Melbourne, 5000, to be devoted as the trustees may decide.[8]

See also




  1. file:///Users/bhs/Downloads/The_Life_and_Legacy_of_William_E._Stanbr.pdf, accessed 19 June 2017.
  2. http://www.homelife.com.au/lifestyle/travel/wombat-park-daylesford-article, accessed 19 June 2016.
  3. file:///Users/bhs/Downloads/The_Life_and_Legacy_of_William_E._Stanbr.pdf, accessed 19 June 2017.
  4. file:///Users/bhs/Downloads/The_Life_and_Legacy_of_William_E._Stanbr.pdf, accessed 19 June 2017.
  5. Stanbridge, William Edward. "On the astronomy and mythology of the Aborigines of Victoria." Proceedings of the Philosophical Institute of Victoria, Transactions, Vol. 2, pp. 137-140 2 (1857): 137-140.
  6. Stanbridge, William Edward. "Some particulars of the general characteristics, astronomy, and mythology of the tribes in the central part of Victoria, southern Australia." Transactions of the Ethnological Society of London 1 (1861): 286-304.
  7. La Comb, Michelle; Lakic, Mira and Sculthorpe, Gaye. Guide to Victorian Aboriginal collections in the Museum of Victoria. Museum, 1990. P.54-5
  8. Argus, 26 February 1897/

Further Reading

External links


Portrait - https://www.parliament.vic.gov.au/component/fabrik/details/24/870

--Clare K.Gervasoni 18:49, 18 June 2016 (AEST); --Clare K.Gervasoni 19:32, 29 June 2020 (AEST)

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