Collingwood Notables Database
Charles Henry Tolhurst
Charles was one of the sons of Henry E Tolhurst, Collingwood city surveyor and engineer. The family lived in Frankfurt House, a two-storey bluestone house in Clarke St with a tennis court and large garden. By 1888 Charles was regularly advertising his Queen Street practice in partnership with McFarlane in the local paper. This was the same year he was initiated into the Masonic Earl of Carnarvon Lodge. In 1896 the firm became Tolhurst and Druce (which still exists in 2016 under the name Tolhurst Druce and Emerson).
The Tolhursts were a well-connected family. Mr Tolhurst senior was well-known both for his architectural practice and his council work; Charles’s brother William became city surveyor after his father’s resignation; and his sister was governess to the young children of prominent architect, councillor and member of Parliament William Pitt. Charles was a popular member of the Collingwood Bowling Club, and a Freemason. It is no surprise that so many Collingwood residents turned to the firm of Tolhurst and Druce for their legal work.
In 1903 Charles married Lena Edeson, daughter of the distinguished professor of music and Scots Church organist John Robert Edeson, and herself an artist of some promise who had studied at the National Gallery after her schooling at Presbyterian Ladies College. The Tolhursts moved to South Terrace Clifton Hill where they rented Verona, the house earlier occupied by one of his legal confrères, Harold Petherick. They were to remain there until Charles’s death, although there is some evidence that he spent his last days in an asylum. Both approaching 40 at the time of their marriage, they had no children.
The photo below shows Lady Peacock, the governor’s wife, planting a tree in the Darling Gardens in 1907. Tolhurst and his wife may well have attended, but we do not know what they looked like; however, their house can be seen in the background. It is the easterly one of the two-storey pair to the right of the photo, partially obscured by a tree.
Darling Gardens and South Terrace
|Birth Date||Birth Place|
|Spouse Name||Date of Marriage||Children|
|Caroline (Lena) Edeson||18 December 1903, St Philip's Anglican||None|
|Home Street||Home City||Status of Building|
|10 South Terrace||Clifton Hill||Demolished|
|St Philip's Anglican, Abbotsford||Earl of Carnarvon Lodge (Collingwood Lodge No 727)|
|Death Date||Death Place||Cemetery|
|20 March 1924||Clifton Hill||Heidelberg|
Mercury and Weekly Courier; The Argus; Fitzroy City Press; Table Talk; Fitzroy City Press; Leader; VPRS 7591, Wills; VPRS 28, Probate files.