Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

George Lynch

c. 1829-1898

Deputy sheriff

The Lynch family lived in Abbotsford for around seventy years. George arrived in Victoria in the 1850s and was an accountant in the Sheriff's department before being appointed deputy sheriff of Victoria, a position he kept until his retirement at the age of 60. Anne Morton came to Australia in 1855, following her brother George Morton whose letters home about life in the colony must have proved enticing. Some of Anne’s letters to England have also been preserved. She was living in Richmond when she met and married George Lynch and bore their first child. The young couple soon moved into a wooden cottage in Victoria Street, Abbotsford and later added a brick villa on their large block. 

Their home Wilara made the most of its site. With a frontage to Victoria Street of approximately 66 feet, the house looked northwards with a return veranda facing the Yarra. George was a keen amateur horticulturalist and a committee member of the Royal Horticultural Society of Victoria, with what was described as a ‘well-known genial face’. With his horticultural interests we can assume that the long sloping garden was well planted. Anne’s interests were literary and artistic and she became a life member of the Austral Salon, founded in 1890 as a meeting place for women writers, and subsequently developing into a club for artistic and intelligent women.  Several of her daughters also joined, and eldest daughter Annette later became vice-president. The family were on friendly terms with other Abbotsford notables such as Peter and Mary Ann Nettleton, the Crespin family, and Thomas and Mrs Baker (of Austral Kodak).

Second daughter Frances married in 1888 and the youngest, Rose, in 1892 but the other daughters and both sons were living at Wilara with their widowed mother in the early twentieth century. Mrs Lynch lived long enough to see her son Henry marry Charlotte, the daughter of Victoria Street pharmacist Joseph Gabriel, in April 1914. He moved to Kew, and George moved to Hawthorn, but Annette and Amelia (Amy) never married and after their mother’s death in 1914 remained in the family home until the late 1920s. Frances’s daughter Stella came to live with them while studying at the Conservatorium, and her wedding reception was held at Wilara. Annette seems to have always occupied herself with domestic duties but Amelia (Amy) was a photographic employee.

In 1928 the sisters moved to Kew when the Lynches sold land at 655 Victoria Street, and the brick house at 653 Victoria Street, to Handley and Tilley Pty Ltd, metal-workers. The company built a brick factory on the land in 1929. The house survived a bit longer, divided into two flats, with the basement used for storage by the Pyramid Plate and Aluminium Co., a Handley and Tilley subsidiary. Members of the Handley family lived on the upper level. In 1931 the company purchased an adjacent wooden house (the original Lynch house at number 651, which had been let for many years and had included among its tenants the artist Sigismondo Zacutti). It was demolished to make way for a new brick factory.

Although Wilara with all its memories is gone, the site accommodates an outstanding example of Moderne industrial architecture, the former Handley and Tilley building at number 655, built in 1929 and the former Crusader Plate building, number 651-653 which was built in 1937 as an extension to number 655 and designed in sympathy with it. 

Life Summary

Birth Date Birth Place
c. 1829
Spouse Name Date of Marriage Children
Anne Morton (c. 1825-1914) 11 September 1856 Annette 1857, Frances Elizabeth 1859, George Herbert 1861-1928, Henry 1863, Amelia 1865, Rose 1867
Home Addresses
Home Street Home City Status of Building
651 Victoria Street Abbotsford Demolished
653 Victoria Street Abbotsford Demolished
Church Lodge
St Stephen's Anglican, Richmond
Death Date Death Place Cemetery
15 August 1898 Abbotsford Boroondara

The Argus, Table Talk, Letters (RHSV MS1028 and 1030), Vines, Northern Suburbs Factory Study, Collingwood Conservation Study.

MMBW Detail Plan No. 1302

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