William Edward Burbidge (1859-1927)

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In 1880 William Edward Burbidge obtained a Certificate of Competency in Chemistry from the Ballarat School of Mines[1] in 1880.[2]

Famed Ballarat School of Mines lecturer, Professor Alfred Mica Smith, became seriously in in 1890 and was unable to present publicised weekly lectures. Assistant lecturer and demonstrator William E. Burbidge stepped in and gave a short course of lectures on practical Metallurgy.[3]

The duties of William E. Burbridge at the Ballarat School of Mines included teaching at the School's branch at Clunes.[4] In 1891 an advertisement for the School at Clunes School of Mines included:

....Metallurgy and Assaying - Fee per term, 10s 6d, by Mr W.E. Burbridge, S.M.B., on Wednesdays, from 7 to 10pm.[5]

At the opening of the Clunes School of Mines Mr Burbidge, after a few preliminary remarks, then delivered a lecture on Metallurgy, illustrated with typical samples. He adverted to the principles upon which a knowledge of science was applied; dealt with the antiquity of the same, its rise and progress; introduced a variety of instances of the benefits attaching thereto, together with allusions to the various processes of treatment for the extraction of metals from the ores, &c; the whole being interspersed with appropriate references to the desirability, especially in a mining community, of gaining such practical knowledge as was available by all joining the classes of the School of Mines. The remarks of the lecturer were frequently interrupted with applause, which was very pronounces on its conclusion.[6]

On 23 September 1893, at the end of third term, William Burbidge resigned his position at the Ballarat School of Mines to take up an appointment in Queensland. It is thought the reality of his resignation was due to excessive retrenchments at the Ballarat School of Mines and because 'good men cannot be got for bad salaries'. On the eve of his departure the Council of the Ballarat School of Mines presented William E. Burbidge with a testimonial expressing the Council's regret at losing the services of such a capable teacher. [7] The School Council minuted Mr W.E. Burbidge, Lecturer and Demonstrator in Metallurgy and Assaying (employed since 1873) commended and farewelled on occasion of his resignation.[8]



William Burbidge married Ann Campbell

--1 William Campbell Burbidge (c1832-1908)[9] married[10] Parthenia Emma Little (c1865-1924)[11]

--.--2 William Edward Burbidge (1859-1927)[12] married[13] Marie Esther Wardle (1859-?)[14]

--.--.--3 Violet Esther Wardle Burbidge (1886-1967)[15] married[16] Archdale George Bolingbroke

--.--.--3 Millicent Rose Burbidge (1887-1964)[17]

--.--.--3 Hubert Warrington Burbidge (1889-1890)[18]

--.--.--3 Percy Oddie William Burbidge (1891-1987[19]married Marie Welsh

--.--.--.--4 Anne-Maree Burbidge (1952-?)[20]

--.--.--.--4 Ross William Burbidge (1955-?)[21] married[22] Maki Ishiwata

........3 Percy Oddie William Burbidge (1891-1987[23] married Madeline Esther Emmeline Le Francois

--.--.--3 Sylvia Maria Burbidge (1891-?)[24] married[25] Ross Outram

--.--.--3 Eustace Wardle Burbidge (1892-1974)[26] married[27] Amelia Anderson

--.--.--.--4 Hugh Edward Burbidge (1922-1943)[28]

--.--.--.--4 Eunice Burbidge (1922-2006)[29] married[30] Donald Black

--.--.--3 Harold Campbell Burbidge (1894-1978)[31] married[32] Evelyn Jane Carrigan

--.--.--3 Roy Henry William Burbidge (1897-1967)[33]

--.--.--3 Beryl Emma Burbidge (1902.-1988)[34]

--.--2 Arnold Samuel Burbidge (c1861-1905)[35] married[36] Mary Ann Clemence (1858-1942)[37]

--.--.--3 Arnold George Cecil Burbidge (1887-1967)[38]

--.--.--3 Claud Campbell Burbidge (1888-?)[39]

--.--.--3 Frances Ermyntrude Burbidge (1890-?)[40]

--.--.--3 Alisen Webb Burbidge (1891-?)[41]

--.--.--3 Adrian Hay Burbidge (1896-1929)[42]

--.--2 Jane Maria Burbidge (1863-?)[43] married[44] Robert Henry Grey

--.--2 Emily Sophia Burbidge (1865-1866)[45]

--.--2 Beatrice Parthenia Burbidge (1867-1953)[46] married Norman Colliver

--.--2 Edward Alfred Burbidge (1870-1871)[47]

--.--2 Charles Wilberforce Burbidge (1872-1892)[48]

--.--2 Ethel May Burbidge (1876-1929)[49]

See also

Ballarat Amateur Photographic Association

Ballarat School of Mines

Clunes School of Mines

William C. Burbidge

Henry Sutton

William Wooster


Mr W. E. Burbidge, who for the past 20 years has been connected with the local School of Mines, was last night, at the meeting of the council of the institution, made the recipient of an illuminated address. In making the presentation the chairman (vice president F. J. Martell) said the council as a body regretted that Mr Burbidge found it neces sary to sever his connection with the school. His services had been of the most valuable character, and he (the speaker) trusted that his future would be as successful and pleasant as his engagement at the school had proved. He was a young fellow who would turn his qualifications to good account, and would always give satisfaction to any institution with which he might connect himself. His con duct and disposition were in keeping with his abilities, and he felt sure the local school authorities would always feel proud of having turned out such a practical man. In his special branches he had proved himself an expert, and to him many students owed much. He had always applied himself diligently to everything he took in hand with a single eye to the credit and advancement of the school. It was such men as he who popularised the school, and showed to the world at large that the institution was of use nationally, as well as locally. In conclusion, he, on behalf of the council, asked Mr Burbidge to accept a pretty illuminated address, executed by Mr W. N. Laneley. The following is a copy of the text:— " Mr William E. Burbidge, lecturer and demonstrator in Metallurgy and Assaying, his been in the employ of the council the School of Mines, Ballarat, from 8th September, 1873, up to the present time. In consequence of his intended removal to the colony of Queensland Mr Burbidge’s tendered resignation has been accepted by the council with unanimous expressions of regret at losing a zealous and capable an instructor. Recognising the long and faithful services rendered by him to the school, the council resolved — ‘That Mr Burbidge be presented with a testimonial certifying to the satisfactory manner in which his duties have been invariably per formed during his connection with this institution.’ I have much pleasure in testifying to the above, and desire to add my best wishes for his future prosperity and happi ness. '— Andrew Anderson, President; Andrew Berry,- Registrar. August, 1893." The seal of the institution was attached. In acknowledging the compliment, Mr Burbidge said the council must accept his heart felt but unspoken thanks, as he was unable to express his gratitude sufficiently. He was convinced that the council would attach no blame to him for making an effort to improve his position. That, and that only, was his intention, though some people might regard his severance, which he, too, regretted, from another point of view. He would much rather have left at some other time, but circumstances prevented him so doing. He could leave the school without a single regret as far as his duty was concerned. He had ever tried to do that with - which he had been entrusted, faithfully and honestly. Although leaving he would do all in his power to assist the school, and he would assure the council, if assurance were necessary, that he would do nothing to cause them to regret his con nection with the school, (Applause.)[50]

Mr W. E. Burbidge, who is leaving Ballarat to take an important position in Queensland, was last evening, at Craig’s hotel, tendered a farewell banquet by the members of the Ballarat Amateur Photographic Association, of which organisation he was one of the founders. There was a very large attendance of members and friends, who sat at tables prepared by host Bentley in his customary excellent manner.
The chair was occupied by Mr Wooster, president of the association, who had on his right the guest of the evening, and on his left Mr F. J. Martell, vice-president of the council of the School of Mines. Supper over the loyal toasts were honored after which the chairman proposed “ The guest,” and in doing so said he recognised in him one of the founders of the association, and founders of any society always deserved recognition. He regarded Photography and the photographic association as important. He wished Mr Burbidge prosperity, and trusted he would soon be back in Ballarat again, and he would like to see him installed Professor of the school or association. (Applause)
The toast was drunk with musical honors. Mr Burbidge, in responding, said his feelings were at that time decidedly mixed. He felt that his cup was flowing over, and while appearances and surroundings were so jolly he felt sad. (Applause.) He would have liked to say many things, but felt quite unable to do so. If his future was half as prosperous as his friends wished, he would, indeed, be successful. He was going away to a distant place, and he would lose no opportunity of doing, or at least saying, something about Ballarat, where he had spent so many years of his life, where he had heard, seen, and learned so much. He was going because he felt that he was going to improve his position. He was still ambitious and desired to advance in his studies. (Applause.)
Mr Crisp then proposed the health of Mr Lennox who is also leaving Ballarat. He, the speaker, did not know until the previous day that Mr Lennox was leaving, but he wished him in his new venture nothing but health, happiness, and prosperity.
In responding, Mr Lennox said he appreciated the kindness of those present in drinking his health. He regretted leaving Ballarat, which was a matter of necessity not of choice. He was going to the country, but while there he would use his camera, and would take views of the scenery, which was as lovely as anything he had ever seen. He was going to curve out a home for himself, but would not forget the many happy and profitable hour's he had spent in this city amongst the members of the Photographic Association. (Applause).
The chairman then said the association desired that Mr Burbidge should carry with him some tangible evidence of their hearty good wishes. He, therefore, requested Mr F. W. Niven to present Mr Burbidge with one of the newest makes in magic lantern instruments. Mr Niven said the association was not unknown even in Europe. Mr Sutton, Mr Crisp, Zr Wooster, and others had spoken of it at home, and its fame was one indeed of which they might feel pardonably proud. Mr Burbidge would, wherever he went, be a credit both to the association and to Ballarat. By such young men taking positions throughout Australia, they bore testimony to the fact that the institutions of this centre were of the highest order. (Applause.)
Mr Burbidge heartily thanked the givers for their kindness. He was one of the founders of the organisation, for which he was glad, because while he had had lots of trouble, he had also experienced much real enjoyment. The society flourished, and he believed that because of the success and proficiency gained by them the professional photographers of Ballarat had been urged on to excel their previous efforts. (Applause.)
He would endeavor to obtain a number of views of Ballarat and show them, and praise the originals to the people to whom he might be speaking. (Applause.)
The toasts of “ The Chairman’’ and “ The Press” were then honored. Before the gathering broke up Mr James Oddie attended. He apologised for his lateness, which was owing to an engagement at the Fine Art Gallery. He desired to testify to Mr Burbidge’s good qualities, and he expressed regret at his removal from Ballarat.
During the evening songs were well rendered by Messrs J. Shepherd, J. T. Vercoe, and S. E. Figgis.[51]


  1. Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, 9. p5.
  2. Ballarat School of Mines Calendar, 1911.
  3. Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, p. 89.
  4. Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, 9. p5.
  5. Clunes Gazette, 07 April 1891.
  6. Clunes Gazette, 09 February 1892.
  7. Perry, Warren, The School of Mines and Industries, Ballarat, Ballarat School of Mines, Ballarat, 1984, 9. p5.
  8. Ballarat School of Mines Council Minutes, 25 August 1893, p243.
  9. born c1832; died 1908 Bacchus Marsh, Victoria, Australia Reg#228; buried 24/02/1908 Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Avenue, Section 6, Row 1, Grave 9
  10. 1858 Victoria, Australia Reg#1057
  11. daughter of Edward Little and Jane Sophie Manning born c8135; christened 19/04/1835 St George the Martyr, Southwark, England; died 1924 Victoria, Australia Reg#3974; buried 23/04/1924 Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Avenue, Section 6, Row 1, Grave 9
  12. born 10/01/1859 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#2238; died 21/04/1927 Gympie, Queensland, Australia
  13. 11/12/1884 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia
  14. known as Ettie and Esther; daughter of Henry William Wardle (1823-1915) and Priscilla Bryan (1836-1926) born 1859 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; died Queensland, Australia
  15. born 16/03/1886 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#7678; died 1967
  16. 1919
  17. born 06/09/1887 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#25659; died 01/12/1964
  18. born 04/07/1889 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#18463; died 19/12/1890 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; buried 20/12/1890 Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Area Avenue, Section 6, Row 1, Grave 9
  19. born 19/03/1890 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#19234; died 20/03/1987
  20. born 09/03/1952
  21. born 24/04/1955 Wyndamere Private Hospital, Malvern, Victoria, Australia
  22. 1998
  23. born 19/03/1890 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#19234; died 20/03/1987
  24. born 19/03/1891 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#19235
  25. 1919
  26. born 23/07/1892 145 Armstrong Street South, Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; died April 1974
  27. 15/05/1920
  28. born 26/11/1922; WWII Service; died 18/08/1943
  29. born 26/11/1922; died 18/08/2006
  30. 1945
  31. born 20/07/1894 Gympie, Queensland, Australia; died 1978
  32. 1928
  33. born 13/02/1897 Gympie, Queensland, Australia; died 16/04/1968
  34. born 04/03/1902 Gympie, Queensland, Australia; died 26/02/1988
  35. born c1861 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; died 1905 Brighton, Victoria, Australia Reg#8071
  36. 1885
  37. daughter of George Clemence (c1829-?) and Mary Anne Julian Webb (1828-?) born 1858 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; died 1942 Victoria, Australia Reg#13580
  38. born 1887 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#339; died 1967 Victoria, Australia Reg#13406
  39. born 188 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#415; WWI Service
  40. born 1890 Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia Reg#13671
  41. born 1891 Hawthorn, Victoria, Australia Reg#33865
  42. born 1896 Brighton, Victoria, Australia Reg#25829; died 1929 Seymour, Victoria, Australia Reg#3184
  43. born 1863 Victoria, Australia Reg#6025
  44. 1891 Victoria, Australia Reg#8102
  45. born 1865 Victoria, Australia Reg#13236; died 12 months old 1866 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; buried 08/08/1866 [[Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Area B, Section 8, Row 1, Grave 5
  46. born 1867 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#19735; died 1953 Mooroopna, Victoria, Australia Reg#17171
  47. born 1870 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#21095; died 1871 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#3051; buried 17/04/1871 Ballaarat Old Cemetery, Area B, Section 8, Row 1, Grave 5
  48. born 1872 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia Reg#585; died 20 years 9 months old of typhoid fever 24/10/1896 Adelaide, South Australia
  49. born 1876 Ballarat, Victoria, Australia; died 1929 Shepparton, Victoria, Australia Reg#16285
  50. Ballarat Star, 26 August 1893.
  51. Ballarat Star, 02 September 1893.

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--Clare K.Gervasoni 11:01, 5 February 2016 (AEDT)--Clare K.Gervasoni 11:01, 5 February 2016 (AEDT)

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