The house does not appear to be under threat but appears on this website due to its cultural and historical significance to Box Hill and Whitehorse.
The European history of the land on which the house was built started around 1851 with the first sale of Crown land in the Nunawading district and the Fulton, Sargood and Mackinnon families were involved with this early subdivision and development.
The legacy of Isaac Hall Snr who built and named the house Tyneholm also contributed to the built architectural heritage of Box Hill South, Whitehorse and to Australia generally.
His sons were very successful in local government, community activities and business:
The two-storey house Tyneholm at 310 Elgar Rd has been a historic feature in Box Hill South and Whitehorse for 132 years, was built in the late Victorian Italianate style and is representative of the early development of this part of Box Hill South. It should be valued for these reasons but also because it is a rare example of the lifestyle, culture and historical environment in which the people who developed our area lived.
There is no other building dating from 1891 of this architectural style, size, heritage and cultural significance in this part of Box Hill South.
The Fulton family
Thomas Fulton was born in Dundee in Scotland in 1813; he was the son of Thomas and Isabella Fulton (nee Wheelwright).
In 1835 Thomas Fulton and Elizabeth Black were married in Dundee in Scotland. Elizabeth was born in Scotland in 1809 and was the daughter of James and Agnes Black (nee Inglis).
In 1841 Thomas and Elizabeth and their daughters Ann and Agnes travelled from Liverpool onboard the sailing ship William Nichol arriving in Melbourne in February 1842. In Melbourne they had five more children – Alexander, William (b.1844), James, Jessie and William (b.1849 but presumably died very young).
Before leaving Scotland, Thomas Fulton and Robert Langlands created a partnership called Langlands Foundry Co. Thomas Fulton had been an apprentice machine maker and had become an ‘Ironmaster’ and Robert Langlands was the son of a baker - both were born in Dundee, Scotland. Thomas’ son William was given the middle name of ‘Langlands’, so Thomas Fulton and Robert Langlands must have been very close friends.
Arriving in Melbourne only seven years after it was established, they built their foundry on the banks of the Yarra River in what had been the garden of John Batman. This was an ideal location for bringing in materials from boats and also for shipping them out. Originally named the Port Phillip Foundry (and later known as Langlands Foundry) it was the first foundry and iron shipbuilder to be established in Melbourne and laid the basis for the metal industry in the colony of Victoria. The firm manufactured a wide range of marine, civil engineering, mining and railway components.
In an article titled ‘Langlands Iron Foundry, Flinders Street, Melbourne’ that was published in the International Journal of Historical Archaeology in 2017 by Sarah Miles, Sarah Miram and Tom Mallett it mentions:
‘When Langlands and Fulton opened for business in 1842, their only piece of machinery was a small foot-operated slide rest lathe (Weickhardt 1983: 37). Despite this, during their first year of operation the firm assembled an iron paddle steamer, the Vesta, from imported sections. This was the first iron vessel to be built in Victoria and only the second in Australia’.
They also made the first locomotive boiler to be made in the colony.
Around 1844 Thomas Fulton entered into another partnership with George Annand and Robert Smith to establish the firm of Fulton and Smith –Millers and Engineers.
It was in 1846 that the firm of Langlands, Fulton and Co. dissolved by mutual consent and Robert and his sister Margaret Langlands became the sole partners in the new firm of Robert Langlands and Co.
By 1846 they were running a flour milling business and Thomas was also operating as a licensed insurance agent and as a merchant.
In 1847 Thomas and his family were living in Flinders Street, Melbourne.
In 1851 gold was discovered in Ballarat leading to an increase in immigration which resulted in an increase in demand for food, housing and land. On the website eGold by Cate Elkner (author and Senior Researcher in the School of Historical Studies at the University of Melbourne) it is mentioned:
‘The population of Victoria rapidly tripled as a result of the gold rushes, growing from 77,000 in 1851 to 237,000 in 1854. During 1852, the peak year of the rushes, 90,000 people arrived in Melbourne. Victoria had a population of 411,000 by 1857’.
This resulted in a boom in land sales, lead mainly by speculators who were looking to make a quick profit from the increase in the price of land.
The first sales of Crown land in the Nunawading District began in 1851 and many allotments were bought by land speculators.
In 1853 Thomas Fulton, Frederick J Sargood and Lachlan Mackinnon formed the Victoria Freehold Land Society. Their Land Society purchased a number of blocks of land in the Nunawading, Gardiner and Malvern Districts. The land they purchased in the Nunawading District was located on the south eastern corner of Elgar and Canterbury Rd’s (two lots, where Tyneholm would be built) and the other (one lot) was located approximately between Alexander, Cambridge and Station St’s in Box Hill.
In 1854 Thomas Fulton and Robert Smith won two prizes at the Melbourne Exhibition. One was for the flour they produced at their Campbellfield Steam Mills and another prize for the steam engine which operated at their Mill - which was also the first steam engine to be built in Melbourne. Also in the same year he was elected as Melbourne City Councillor and a ‘magistrate’ serving until 1859.
In 1857 Thomas and his family had moved and were now living in Dorcas Street, South Melbourne.
By 1858 his businesses had expanded and were employing approximately 150 men.
Thomas Fulton died on 18 February 1859 when he fell down a mine-shaft in Bendigo while checking one of his machinery installations. A headstone commemorating Thomas Fulton was erected by his employees. His brothers William, James and Robert inherited his estate; Robert continued to operate the foundry.
A little about Thomas Fulton’s business partners:
Firstly, Robert Langlands in their ‘Foundry’ and then Frederick J Sargood and Lauchlan Mackinnon in their ‘Victorian Freehold Land Society’.
Robert Langlands was born in Dundee in Scotland in 1811. In 1842 Robert travelled to Sydney and married Agnes Roy under a ‘Special License’. Agnes Roy was born in Alloa in Scotland in 1807, she was the daughter of Ebenezer and Margaret Roy (nee Wilson). They had a son named Ebenezer in Sydney in 1843.
On 17 September 1838 Agnes Roy was convicted and sentenced in Stirling, Scotland to be transported for 7 years. In 1839 an Agnes Roy (alias Dewar) appears on the passenger list of the convict ship Planter sailing to Sydney.
Robert Langlands was obviously very successful in his ventures in Melbourne as all of his four siblings left Scotland came to Melbourne:
His sister Margaret (born 1804) arrived in Melbourne in 1844. In 1880 she died in St. Kilda, Melbourne aged 76 years. In 1846 the firm of Langlands, Fulton and Co dissolved by mutual consent and Robert and Margaret Langlands became the sole partners in the new firm of Robert Langlands and Co.
His brother Henry (born 1795) came to Melbourne in 1846 to join his brother’s business and after Robert retired, Henry became its sole proprietor. Henry lived at Jolimont Square, Melbourne and was described as an ‘Iron Founder’ and a Politician (elected in 1846 to the Legislative Assembly). He died in 1863.
His brother George (born 1802) left St. Andrews, Scotland in 1848 with his wife Betsy (nee Ritchie) and their four children to come to Melbourne from London on the Lady Kennaway. He had been a highly respected ‘Master Draper’ and city ‘Magistrate’. In 1849 they travelled to Horsham to establish the towns first store and post office. George died of a stroke in 1861, but his son took over and the business continued to be run by the family until sold to a chain store in 1974.
His brother William (born in 1808) was mentioned in the Government Gazette of NSW in a List of Unclaimed Letters in Sydney in 1843 and arrived in Melbourne in 1853. William died at his brother Henry’s house on Wellington Parade in Melbourne in 1858.
In 1845 the Port Phillip Gazette reported the Robert Langlands from Langlands, Fulton &Co was present at an anniversary meeting of the Port Phillip Bible Society. Around 1848-9 Robert and Agnes were living in Flinders Lane, Melbourne.
1846 was a very busy year for Robert Langlands in that a ceremony was held to lay the foundation stone for the Melbourne Total Abstinence Society Hall of which he was the President and Trustee. It was also noted that the ceremony was officiated by Brother William Kerr of the Australasian Kilwinning Lodge. To read about William Kerr you can visit Glendale on this website.
The firm of Langlands, Fulton and Co dissolved by mutual consent and Robert and Margaret Langlands became the sole partners in the new firm of Robert Langlands and Co.
Robert also donated a large amount of money to the Baptist Church to purchase the former house of Dr McArthur to convert it into a school for Aboriginal children. The house/school was located near Dight’s Mills close to the junction of the Merri Creek and Yarra River.
From 1845 to 1852 the Potato Blight had destroyed the potato harvest in Ireland and Scotland which caused mass starvation and immigration to countries such as Australia, America and Canada. In 1847 a committee which included Robert was formed to raise money to assist immigrants from Ireland and Scotland to travel to Melbourne.
In 1848 the Australia Felix Benefit Investment and Building Society was formed by a group of local businessmen - Robert Langlands was a Trustee of the Society.
In 1849 Robert was one of the first to contribute to the establishment of a Benevolent Asylum in Melbourne by private subscription.
Robert and Agnes left Melbourne in 1859 on the Yorkshire for London. By 1861 they were living in Blythswood, Glasgow, Scotland and then moved to the town of Millport on the island of Great Cumbrae in the Firth of Clyde off the coast of mainland Scotland.
Robert Langlands died in Millport in 1863 and Agnes died in 1878 in Glasgow.
Frederick J Sargood
Frederick J Sargood was born in London in 1805 to John and Diana Sargood (nee Weldy).
In 1830 Frederick married Emma Rippon. Emma Rippon was the daughter of Thomas and Rebecca Rippon (nee Bradney). Her father Thomas Rippon was a Chief Cashier of the Bank of England. The Chief Cashier of the Bank of England is the person responsible for issuing banknotes and is the director of the divisions which provide the Bank of England's banking infrastructure.
Frederick and Emma had six children – Frederick Jnr, Emma Jnr , Rebecca, Louisa, Caroline and Guiliema.
In 1849 the family travelled on board the sailing ship S.S. Chifton to Melbourne.
In 1850 Frederick bought a drapery business in Collins St.
In 1851 Frederick Sargood formed a syndicate with Henry Butler, Robert Nichol and J. A. Ewen to establish the firm of Sargood, Butler, Nichol and Ewen - Wholesale Importers of Clothing and Textiles. That same year their firm also purchased a wholesale wool business which was located at 31 Flinders St East.
In 1852 Frederick Sargood partnered with John King to form another drapery firm called Sargood, King and Co.
In 1853 Frederick was elected to the unicameral Victorian Legislative Council for City of Melbourne until it was abolished in 1856. In an article in the Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser newspaper published in June 1853 it is mentioned ‘ The most noticeable incident in these elections was that Mr. Sargood was supposed at first to be elected the third new member for Melbourne, having headed Mr. Langlands by 15 votes, but in the interval between taking of the poll and the official declaration of it by the Returning Officer, the Mayor of Melbourne, the voting papers were sorted over by a self-selected committee consisting of the Mayor, Mr Kerr (the Town Clerk), Alderman Cosgrove, and the Councillor Rawling, and they rejected as informally filled up a number of the papers, ending with placing Mr. Sargood 5 votes below Mr. Langlands’. The Mr. Kerr who is referred to in the article is William Kerr (see Glendale on this website) who was Melbourne Town Clerk at the time Frederick Sargood ran for election.
In 1856 Frederick became a member of the inaugural Victorian Legislative Assembly for St Kilda in November, but he resigned the next year in December 1857.
His drapery business must have been going well, as in 1858 Sargood, King and Co established an office in London and then in 1863 the company opened its first warehouse in New Zealand - where it was known as Sargood and Sons and Ewen.
In 1867 Frederick J Sargood returned to England where he died 6 years later in Croydon in 1873.
In an interesting aside in 1868 his son Sir Frederick T Sargood built the famous Melbourne mansion Rippon Lea in Elsternwick. The house is named after his mother’s maiden-name, ‘Rippon’ and ‘Lea’ which is an English word for meadow.
The Hall family
The Hall family bought the land and built Tyneholm in what was then known as Surrey Hills (now Box Hill South).
Family patriarch Isaac Jones Hall Snr was born in Cork in Ireland in 1830; he was the son of John and Frances Hall (nee Jones).
At the age of 15 in 1845 in England Isaac Snr was indentured as an apprentice in the British Merchant Navy and served on the sailing ship No Return.
In 1851 Isaac Snr received a Certificate of Service from the British Board of Trade in London for his service as an ‘Apprentice Seaman and Mate’ for 6 years in the ‘British merchant Service in Foreign Trade’.
In that same year Isaac Snr travelled alone from Liverpool onboard the sailing ship William and Mary arriving in Sydney in January 1852. On the ships passenger list his occupation is listed as ‘labourer’.
In 1854 Isaac Snr received a ‘Certificate of Competence as Master ' from the Board of Trade in London in England.
In Isaac Snr’s obituary published in The Reporter Box Hill newspaper in 1915 mentions his early career ‘starting his seamanship at the age of 14, he served as a young man in the Crimean war as an officer engaged in the mercantile marine transport service’. It also mentioned that ‘subsequently in the 50’s he was in command of an immigrant ship trading between England and Victoria’.
In Melbourne on March 13, 1857 Isaac Hall Snr. married Eleanor Fisher at St Marks Church in Collingwood. Eleanor was born in Manchester in England in 1831 and was the daughter of Peter and Mary Ann Fisher (nee Quick). In November 1856 Eleanor travelled alone from Liverpool onboard the sailing ship Tudor arriving in Melbourne in January 1857. The sailing ship Tudor transported immigrants from Southampton and Liverpool to Melbourne and Sydney and from Sydney to Canterbury in New Zealand. Isaac Hall Snr was part of the crew.
According to Isaac and Eleanor’s 1857 Marriage certificate, Isaac’s ‘usual residence’was ‘On Board ship Tudor’ and Eleanor’s ‘usual residence’ after arriving in Melbourne was in ‘Collingwood’. This was three months after both arrived in Melbourne, so it is highly likely that they first met onboard the Tudor coming to Melbourne and the friendship developed. Together they had seven children: James, Isaac Jnr, Henry, Robert, Eleanor Jnr, Louisa and Frances.
By 1858 the family were living on Melbourne Rd in Williamstown as their first child Frances was born there but she did not live past infancy.
Around this time Isaac Snr joined the Department of Trade and Customs in Melbourne as a ‘tide surveyor’ and worked in Williamstown. A ‘tide surveyor’ is a customs officer who worked in a port and collected taxes and checked for smuggled goods.
From approximately 1867 to 1875 Isaac Snr worked as ‘assistant pier master’ in Williamstown eventually gaining the position of ‘pier master’. From c.1875 he worked as a ‘station master’ at various railway stations around Melbourne and finally worked at Spencer Street Railway Station until he retired in 1891.
In 1891 Isaac Hall Snr built a two storey house near the intersection of Canterbury and Elgar Rd’s in Box Hill South and named it Tyneholm.
In the 'City of Box Hill Heritage and Conservation Study 1990’ that was in the ‘City of Whitehorse Heritage Review: Building Citations’. It uses ‘Andrew C Ward & Associates’ report as a source and mentions ‘in 1888 James Hall, gentleman and solicitor, owned land in the Victoria Park Estate in Box Hill, comprising Lots 4,5,21 to 27 and 36A. Three years later, his father, Captain Isaac James Hall, built a brick house on Lot 4’. But in the 1888 Victoria Park subdivision there is no lot 36A listed. The reference to 36A is most likely to Section 36A of the Nunawading Parish, County of Bourke survey map where the Victoria Park Estate subdivision was made.
The 'City of Box Hill Heritage and Conservation Study 1990’ mentions ‘Three years later, his father, Captain Isaac James Hall, built a brick house on Lot 4’. Accoring to the sales pamphlet for the Victoria Park Estate subdivision Lot 4 is shown on Canterbury Rd but the house was built on Lot 27 which is its current location on Elgar Rd in Box Hill South.
The family continued to live at Tyneholm from 1891. In 1911 Eleanor Hall died at Tyneholm and was buried in the Box Hill cemetery. That same year Tyneholm was put up for sale, but it did not sell until 1913 when Tyneholm and its two and half acres was sold to the Salvation Army.
Later in 1913 the Salvation Army opened the site as a residential home for boys and named it the Box Hill Boys Home. The Salvation Army made substantial developments to the site over the years including accommodation, kitchens and training buildings, assembly quadrangle, swimming pool, gardens, orchards and areas for livestock until it closed in 1984.
Isaac Snr then moved to Brighton in Melbourne close to where his son Henry Hall lived.
Isaac Snr sailed to England twice, once whilst still living at Tyneholm in 1912 aged 81 and again in 1914 aged 83 whilst living in Brighton; on each occasion he spent around five month’s most likely visiting his family and friends.
Isaac Hall Snr died in 1915 in Brighton in Melbourne and was buried with his wife Eleanor in the Box Hill cemetery.
THE SONS OF ISAAC SNR AND ELEANOR HALL:
Eldest son - Henry E Hall was born in Collingwood in 1860 and became a tea broker and politician.
In 1877 at the age of 17 Henry joined the firm of James Henty and Co exporters of wool, wheat, whale oil and other merchandise to England.
In 1880 Henry left James Henty and Co and joined the firm of James Balfour and Co merchants.
In 1884 he created the firm of Henry E Hall - tea broker and commission agent and was located at 17 Phoenix Chambers in Market St, by 1890 he had moved the business to 375 Flinders Lane in Melbourne.
In 1885 Henry Hall married Isabella Darling the daughter of John and Isabella Darling (nee Ferguson). They were married at John Darling’s estate Ridge Park in South Australia. Mary’s father, John Darling was a member of the South Australian Parliament and became known as the ‘Grain King’, the largest exporter of Australian wheat to England and Europe. The firm of John Darling & Son also had interests in flour-milling and shipping with offices in Adelaide, Melbourne and London.
In Melbourne Henry and Isabella had four children – Frederick, John, Henry Jnr and Florence.
By 1886 Henry and his family were living at Carlowrie on Dandenong Rd (now 553 Dandenong Rd) in Armadale as their first child Henry Jnr was born there. This house was sold in April 2021 and was subsequently demolished.
From 1887 to 1900 the family were living at Carlowrie on Prospect Hill in Camberwell as Frederick, John and Florence was born there - the house is still there.
By 1900 Henry and his family moved to Essendon where he served as a councillor in the Melbourne North Province.
It is interesting to note that in 1907 Henry ran for re- election as a representative of the Melbourne North Province in the Victorian Legislative Council. It was reported in The Argus newspaper on May 28, 1907 that ‘A meeting of the state Cabinet was held yesterday afternoon to consider the request made on behalf of three of the candidates for the Melbourne North Province – Councillor Hall, Councillor Showers, and Mr J. H. Maddock – that the Ministers should arbitrate between them so as to prevent the splitting of votes, which might enable the labour candidate to win with a minority vote’.
Sir Alexander Peacock, Mr. Mackay, Mr. Cameron, Mr. Sachse, Mr. Mackinnon, and Mr. Boyd were present at the Cabinet meeting, and it was decided after a short discussion that, as it had been the invariable custom of the Ministries not to interfere in Legislative Council elections, the request could not be acceded to’. It appears that Henry Hall was not elected.
By 1912 Henry and his family had moved to Brighton where he served for over 32 years as a Brighton Councillor and was twice made Mayor. He also served as a Justice of the Peace.
In 1928 Henry ran as a candidate in the Brighton By-Election for the Victorian Legislative Assembly, but he was not elected.
In 1934 Henry ran as a candidate in the South Eastern Province for the Victorian Legislative Council, but he was not elected.
Henry was also involved in a number of social clubs and boards including Honorary treasurer since its formation of the Alfred Hospital Auxiliary; committee member of the Melbourne Orphanage, Dendy St, Brighton; vice-president of the Brighton branch of the R.S.L., the Soldiers' Fathers’ Association, Brighton Scottish Society, and of the Brighton Beach Life Saving Club; president Brighton Football Club, vice-president Brighton Second Eighteen - the Middle Brighton Football Club, R.A.C. (member of committee and a vice-president) and a member of the Executive of the Associated Clubs of Victoria.
He was also a keen yachtsman and owned the famous Idler a 21-foot ‘restricted class’ yacht. He was twice commodore of the Royal Yacht Club of Victoria, twice commodore of the Brighton Yacht Club, and a vice-president of the Royal St. Kilda Yacht Club.
Isabella Hall died in Kew in 1939 and Henry Hall died four years later in Brighton in 1943.
Another son - James Hall - was born in Williamstown in Victoria in 1862 and became a Solicitor.
James Hall attended Scotch College in Melbourne until 1877. After leaving school he entered the Civil Service but later left it and worked for Moore and Company – merchants.
In 1881 James was working as ‘secretary’ to Matthew Davies later known as Sir Matthew Davies.
In 1883 James enrolled at the Melbourne Law School as an Articled Law Clerk and completed his studies in 1884.
Around 1884 James Hall was working for the firm of Messrs Davies, Price and Wighton Solicitors in the position of ‘clerk’.
In 1888 Matthew Davies, Charles Price and James Wighton formed a syndicate and created the Victoria Park subdivision on the corner of Elgar and Canterbury Rd’s Surrey Hills (Box Hill South).
On the sales flyer for the subdivision states ‘Apply to James Hall at the offices Messrs Davies, Price and Wighton Solicitors’. In the same year James passed the Bar examination and was admitted as a ‘solicitor’ of the Supreme Court.
The City of Whitehorse Heritage Review: Building Citations uses Andrew C Ward & Associates City of Box Hill Heritage and Conservation Study 1990 as a source and mentions:
‘In 1888 James Hall, gentleman and solicitor, owned land in the Victoria Park Estate in Box Hill, comprising Lots 4,5,21 to 27 and 36A. Three years later, his father, Captain Isaac James Hall, built a brick house on Lot 4. It may have been designed by Frederick Smart, of distinguished architectural firm of Reed, Smart and Tappin’.
This brick house was Tyneholm.
Rate records from 1890 to 1913 show that Lots 4,5,21 to 27 were owned by brothers ‘James Hall Solicitor of 17 Queen St, Melbourne’ and ‘Isaac Hall gentleman of Whitehorse Rd, Box Hill’.
In 1889 James started his own law practice at the City Chambers on Elizabeth St in Melbourne with offices in Nicholson St in Footscray and Pier House in Morris St in Williamstown. In that same year he was elected to the position as Secretary of the Victorian Law Institute and served until 1895.
In 1890 James Hall married Ellen Fox. Ellen was born in 1866 in Maldon in Victoria to John and Mary Fox (nee Hart). James and Ellen Hall had three children – Ronald, James Jnr and Dorothy.
In 1895 James was appointed to the position as ‘Commissioner of the Supreme Court of Victoria’.
From 1899 to 1905 James Hall served as Councillor and Mayor of Williamstown.
As mentioned previously James Hall worked for Sir Matthew Davies as a clerk. Sir Matthew Davies’s brother John Mark Davies who married Emily Scales. Emily was the sister of Amy Jacobs (nee Scales) who used to live at Spenceycroft in Surrey Hills and can be found on the Spenceycroft page on this website.
A little about Sir Matthew Davies -
Matthew Davies was born at Geelong in 1850, and educated at the Geelong College. In 1869 he matriculated at the University of Melbourne. In 1876 he was admitted a ‘solicitor’ of the Supreme Court of Victoria.
In 1875 Matthew Davies married Elizabeth Locke Mercer, eldest daughter of the Rev. Peter Mercer, D.D., of Melbourne, a Presbyterian minister. They had seven children - Arnold, Marion, Henry, Beatrice, Muriel, Olive and Cecil.
By 1877 Matthew had become a major land speculator, taking advantage of the huge increase in land values in Victoria in the decades following the Gold Rush in the 1850s. By the early 1860s Matthew controlled a network of 40 companies, in which Victorian and overseas interests had invested millions of pounds.
In 1882 Matthew formed the Freehold Investment Company Limited and in the mid-1880s created the Windsor Park Estate in Surrey Hills. Windsor Crescent was named after this subdivision.
The layout of this estate and many of the houses built at that time still exist in Surrey Hills and their historical significance has been recognised by the City of Whitehorse by classifying the area the Windsor Park Heritage Precinct.
Matthew was honorary secretary of the Council of the Law Institute of Victoria for five years and was a Justice of the Peace for the Central Bailiwick. He was ‘mayor’ of the City of Prahran from 1881 to 1882. He represented St Kilda in the Victorian Legislative Assembly from 1883 to 1889.
In 1885 Matthew Davies was a member of the Royal Commission on Transfer of Land and Titles to Land and, from 1886 to 1887, held a portfolio in the Gillies–Deakin Government as a minister without office.
In 1886 Matthew visited London to attend the Indian and Colonial Exhibition ‘and was presented at Court’ by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, and enjoyed the hospitality of the Prince and Princess of Wales in connection with the exhibition’. While in London Mathew Davies set up the English & Australian Mortgage Bank Limited to raise capital.
In 1887 Matthew Davies returned to Melbourne and sat on several committees of enquiry and was chairman of the Royal Commission on Banking. The primary recommendation of this enquiry was to allow all banks to participate in the buying and selling of land.
In 1890 Matthew’s contribution to public life was acknowledged with a knighthood.
In 1892 Matthews companies were caught in the property crash and his company’s suspended payments. Matthew Davies resigned from Parliament and travelled to London to try to arrange finance to rescue his business’s, but he was unsuccessful. He returned to Melbourne to face insolvency.
The Freehold Investment Company Limited went into liquidation in 1893 amidst acrimony, public outrage and threats of criminal proceedings against the directors.
In 1893 he was committed for trial on charges of conspiracy to defraud by means of a false balance sheet. The trial was delayed until May, at which point the charges were withdrawn. Matthew again travelled to London but, on the orders of the Attorney-general he was arrested in Colombo and brought back to Melbourne. After several trials, he was acquitted of the charges, but was declared bankrupt in 1894, with personal debts of £280,000 (equivalent to $50,453,333 as of 2021). The losses of his companies totaled over £4, 000,000 (equivalent to $720,761,904 as of 2021) — one of the largest corporate defaults in Australian history.
Matthew Davies returned to his legal practice, and gradually restored his reputation through community service. His health deteriorated and he died at his home Marbernoulin Mentone in 1912.
Back to James Hall
In May 1911 James’s mother Eleanor died and in October of the same year the house and subdivision of 23 Lots was put up for sale, the house Tyneholm did not sell. On the land subdivision sales-flyer a street was shown called ‘James St’ after James Hall (to the east of Tyneholm), but the road was never built.
Between 1920 and 1925 James Hall founded the firm of James Hall and Sons Solicitors with his son’s Ronald Fox Hall and James Geoffrey Hall and the firm only ceased operating around 1965.
James was also involved in a number of social clubs including as President of the Williamstown Football Club from 1894 to 1902, President of the Victorian Football Association(V.F.A) from 1901 to 1903, President of the Williamstown Cricket Club 1904 to 1912, Commodore of the Hobson’s Bay Yacht Club and the Williamstown Bowling Club in 1903-04 and 1911-12.
Around 1902 James was elected as Vice President of the National Citizens Reform League. In his thesis ‘From Servants to Citizens: A History of Victorian Public Service Unionism 1885-1946’ Dustin Raffaele Halse mentions the following in regards to the National Citizens Reform League:
‘In the Goulburn Valley town of Kyabram, a group of prominent residents met to discuss the evils of excessive State expenditure. Ostensibly, the National Citizens Reform League was organised by rural voters as a means to address metropolitan economic complacency. It contended that in the aftermath of federation, State governments would have fewer functions to perform and accordingly should be downsized. Its targets were public servants and politicians. The concerns were hardly novel. By 1902 the movement boasted a membership of 15,555 and had won the support of both the Age and the Argus’.
In 1904 James resigned from the National Citizens Reform League as he was running as a candidate for the seat of Williamstown in the Victorian State elections - he was not elected. In the same year James was elected to the executive committee of the Municipal Association of Victoria.
James Hall died at the Hermannsburg Mission in the Northern Territory while on tour in 1930 and was buried with his parents in the Box Hill cemetery.
Another son - Robert Hall
He became a renowned Australian Ornithologist and was born in Lal Lal in Victoria in 1867.
Robert was educated at Scotch College in Melbourne. After leaving school Robert started a business when he created the firm of Robert and Co - tea merchants (like his brother Henry did) and a cartage contractor business.
In the 1895 Sands and McDougall directory Robert’s ‘private residence’ is listed as ‘Elgar Rd, Box Hill’. This was at the family home Tyneholm.
Robert’s real passion lay in ‘ornithology’ and in 1897 after being at the University of Melbourne he accompanied a Norwegian expedition to the Kerguelen Islands in the sub - Antarctic as a naturalist.
In 1899 Robert made a bird-collecting trip to the Houtman Abrolhos Islands off the coast of Western Australia.
In 1901 Robert was a foundation member of the (Royal) Australasian Ornithologists' Union.
In 1903 Robert embarked on his first major expedition outside of Australia with naturalist Richard E. Trebilcock to Siberia, via Japan and Korea. The expedition was organised to collect specimens and eggs of Siberian birds known to migrate to Australia in particular the Sharp Tailed Sandpiper which spent the summer in Werribee in Victoria. After reaching Vladivostok in May their first stop was Irkutsk on Lake Baikal. While they were in Vladivostok Robert was presented with a mounted Stag’s head trophy by the Governor.
They travelled by horse and cart and boat to the Lena River, and then travelled 3000 miles (4828 km) along the Lena River to its mouth reaching the delta in July 1903. They spent almost two months on the Lena River collecting specimens on an island in the mouth of the river. This was some 50 years before Russian ornithologist K.A. Vorobiev officially identified this area as a breeding ground for waders. During their time on the Lena River, they collected 90 species totaling 401 specimens - Robert shot the birds and Richard was the taxidermist and photographer.
In December they returned to Australia, both Robert and Richard gave many lectures about their expedition. Reports of their journey appeared in Melbourne and Geelong newspapers and in ornithological publications.
After his return Robert became an influential advocate of nature studies being included in school curriculums: 'Nature is the true foundation of the finest education' he is quoted as saying.
Robert also authored a number of books including AKey to the Birds of Australia and Tasmania (1899) and Insectivorous Birds of Victoria (1900) - the latter a standard Victorian Department of Education issue to state schools; he and William Gillies wrote, Nature Studies in Australia (1903) – the introduction to this book was written by Frank Tate, resident of Box Hill and a leading Victorian education reformer (who is mentioned in this website on the page titled St Elmo). He also wrote Some useful Birds of Southern Australia(1907).
In 1908 Robert married Edith Giblin at St David’s Cathedral in Hobart; they did not have any children.
Edith was the daughter of William Giblin. William was Premier of Tasmania, attorney general, treasurer and judge. In 1864 William founded the Hobart Working Men's Club, the first of its kind in Australia, and was its president until 1887. He was also a founder and teacher of the Congregational Sunday school and helped in forming a number of football teams.
Edith’s brother was Lyndhurst Giblin who from 1898 to 1904 travelled the world and unsuccessfully tried gold mining in northern British Columbia and during the Klondike gold rushes in north western Canada.
In their book ‘Giblin’s Platoon -The trials and triumph of the economist in Australian public life’ by William Coleman, Selwyn Cornish and Alf Hagger they mention one of Williams experiences in Canada’s north accompanied by friend and fellow Australian Martin Grainger:
‘The pair reached Canada on a cattle boat; ‘an experience which gives those who undergo it a fairly close acquaintance with many things not learned in books’. Once there Giblin did not find gold, and perhaps never much sought to. He did, however, seek to find survivors. In their search for wealth, many miners had been reduced to total destitution. The Canadian ‘North Country’ where they sought riches is cruel and relentless country. Devil’s Gorge, Hell’s Gate, Rapid of the Drowned: these are its features. Of the thousands who set out for the Klondike by the overland route beginning at Edmonton, only 20 per cent finished the journey. Not one of the 4000 horses they took with them did. And in winter the countryside was almost totally impassable. The sporadic supply trails of summer ceased. To survive was to kill whatever was still living: moose, wolf, porcupine, squirrel. And if you did not – by inexperience, exhaustion, or folly – you died. In early spring of 1899, in a tale worthy of King Croesus, gold miners along the banks of the Dease and Liard rivers were snowed in, trapped and starving. The government of British Columbia dispatched a rescue party, with Giblin second in command. Travelling by dog teams, the rescue party successfully negotiated frozen lakes, located the survivors and provided an ambulance for those too weak to walk. On the return journey, with Giblin now in command, their food supplies gave out. A moose hunt preserved them from death and disaster’.
In 1906 William Giblin returned to Tasmania and took up fruit growing and farming. Between 1913 and 1915 was a member of the Tasmanian House of Assembly, but only held the seat for three years.
In 1907 William was a member of Colonel W.V. Legge's survey party that explored the northern aspect of the Ben Lomond Mountain range. Consequently, Giblin Peak, a mountain in north eastern Tasmania, is named in honour of his father.
In 1916 William joined the Australian Imperial Force and served in the 40th Infantry Battalion in France in the First World War/ He finished with the rank of Major having been awarded the Distinguished Service Order and the Military Cross and was ‘mentioned in dispatches’.
Between 1919 and 1928 he was the Government Statistician of Tasmania.
In 1929 he was made Ritchie Professor of Economics at the University of Melbourne and held that post until 1940, studying State and Federal financial relations, the concept of taxable capacity, and the measurement of tariff costs and their distribution. Giblin has been credited by some with being a precursor of Richard Kahn in the development of the concept of the multiplier.
From 1922 and 1936 William was a member of the Commonwealth Grants Commission, 1935 and 1942 a director of the Commonwealth Bank and chairman of the Commonwealth Financial and Economic Committee from 1939 until 1946.
In 1937 William was made a Supernumerary Fellow by King's College, Cambridge and established in his memory a Giblin studentship which was open to an Australian graduate.
The Giblin Eunson library in the University of Melbourne's Faculty of Business and Economics building is also named after William.
Back to Robert Hall:
In 1908 Robert was appointed as curator of the Tasmanian Museum and Botanical Gardens but he resigned in 1912 after disagreeing with the museum trustees over the possible purchase of a number of Tasmanian Aboriginal skulls; he also resigned his position as Secretary of the Royal Society of Tasmania.
After resigning from his positions Robert became an orchardist at Bellerive, then at Cygnet and later at Sandy Bay. He remained always helpful to students and until the 1920s continued as a prolific contributor to nature journals.
In 1922 Robert Hall published the Australian Bird Maps. In an article titled Nature and Man that published in The Herald newspaper in 1927 mentions ‘Years ago a notable series of articles on the ‘’Birds of Box Hill” written by Mr Robert Hall another noted ornithologist was widely read’.
Robert was a foundation member of the (Royal) Australasian Ornithologists' Union(1901) and president in 1913; he was also a corresponding member of the Zoological Society of London (1903), a fellow of the Linnean Society (1903) and a colonial member of the British Ornithologists' Union (1908).
Robert died in 1949 at New Norfolk in Tasmania. Parts of his private bird and egg collections are held at the Tasmanian Museum and the National Museum in Melbourne.
While Robert was in Vladivostok in 1903, he was presented with a mounted Stag’s head trophy by the Governor. Two years before his death the Wellington Rover Crew Scouts had done some work for him around his property and refused payment but were given afternoon tea and a tour of his collections. During the tour a number of the Rovers stated that the Stag head trophy ‘would look good in the Rovers den’. It was Roberts wish that after his death that the Stag’s head trophy was to be given to the Wellington Rover Crew Scouts. The stag’s head was subsequently given by Robert’s wife Edith after his death to the Wellington Rovers and was placed on the wall of the Rovers Den in Macquarie St, Hobart.
Youngest son - Isaac Jones Hall Jnr – solicitor
Isaac Hall Jnr was born in Romsey, Victoria in 1872.
In 1890 Isaac Jnr passed his matriculation examination for entry into Melbourne University as an ‘articled clerk’ to study law and in 1893 he completed his studies.
Isaac lived with his parents at Tyneholm from approximately 1894 and worked as a solicitor and barrister at the Prell Building at 60 Queen St in Melbourne.
In 1904 Isaac Hall Jnr, Milton Davey and Arthur Daly formed the law firm of Daly, Hall and Davey. The firm operated from the Nicholson’s Chambers in Swanston St in Melbourne. Isaac Jnr. also worked from his home at 120 Whitehorse Rd (on the corner of Court St and Whitehorse Rd - now 1031 Whitehorse Rd) in Box Hill.
In 1911 Isaac Hall Jnr married Louisa Holland who was the daughter of John and Mary Ann Holland (nee Goodman). Isaac and Louisa had one child Robert.
In 1912 Isaac and Louisa Hall are listed as living in Bank St in Box Hill and by 1914 they are listed as living on the corner of Court St and Whitehorse Rd in Box Hill.
In October 1915 a notice in The Box Hill reporter newspaper mentioned ‘The partnership has been dissolved of the firm of Messrs. Daly, Hall and Davey, solicitors, and in future Mr. I. J. Hall, of Whitehorse road, Box Hill will continue his practices at Box Hill, and also at Albany Chambers, 230 Collins street, Melbourne’.
In February 1918 Isaac Jnr was admitted to the Royal Park Insane Hospital. Later that month his brother James Hall placed advertisements in various newspapers around Melbourne stating ‘During Mr. Hall’s illness, Mr. JAMES HALL, Solicitor, of Queen Street, Melbourne, will attend to his Clients’.
In March 1918 Louisa Hall operated the family home as a private hotel and named it Tyneholm after the Hall family home on Elgar Rd in Box Hill south. At the time Isaac was admitted to Royal Park Insane Hospital there was a £550 ($52,030 as of 2021) mortgage on the house that was held by William Morley, Thomas Bend and Thomas Lockwood. Louisa may have operated the house as a private hotel in order to pay off the mortgage and other bills.
A little about the second Tyneholm
Records show that the previous residents of the house was William and Maria Young (nee Gatter) who lived in the house from 1905 to 1914. William operated a coach building business on the site and later served as Nunawading Shire Councillor and then as Box Hill Councillor and Mayor from 1917 to 1938. In 1928 their daughter Doris Young married David Rodgerson who was a member of the locally prominent Box Hill family who built and lived at Upton House in Thames St in Box Hill.
In an interesting aside Maria Young’s father was George Gatter who opened the London Nursery in Box Hill. In Andrew Lemons book Box Hill mentions ‘George Gatter, who established a small nursery in 1859 on part of the Murphy estate had gained praise for superior strains of Rhubarb’. It may have been the first nursery to open in the Nunawading District and requires further investigation. The Gatter and later the Young family used to live at Gowanlea on the western side of the Dorking and Whitehorse Rd’s intersection in Box Hill.
The single storey weatherboard house that Isacc Jnr and Louisa lived in appears to have been built in the Federation style and consisted of eight rooms. There was also a two-storey building on the northern side, a garage/stables in the north eastern corner and a driveway that ran from Whitehorse Rd to the garage/stables.
Back to Louisa Hall (wife of Isaac Jnr)
In November 1918 Louisa placed an advertisement in the Camberwell and Hawthorn Advertiser ‘Wanted. – Capable, trustworthy MAN for a couple of days, help removal to another house. Mrs. I.J.Hall, ‘Tyneholm’, Box Hill.
In December 1918 Isaac Jnr died at the Royal Park Insane Hospital, in his Will he appointed his wife Louisa as Executrix and left her his personal estate. It appears that Tyneholm hotel closed at the end of December 1918 as Louisa and her son Robert were now living at Pacific House on the Esplanade in St Kilda.
By 1920 the house had been sold to a Dr Robert Richards who ran a medical practice from the house until c1929.
Around 1931 Dr Arthur Booth bought the house and also ran a medical practice from it until c1960, he sold the house which was subsequently demolished between 1960 and 1963 and a National Tyre Centre was built on the site (until the current shops were built in the 1980’s).
Edward Wilson and Tyneholm on Elgar Road.
Edward Wilson was unmarried, died in 1878 and in his Will he made twenty-six legacies of £100 a year to female friends in the colonies, but the bulk of his estate was used to form the Edward Wilson Trust. Since his death the Trust has distributed millions of dollars to Victorian charities, in particular to Hospitals including the Melbourne (later the Royal Melbourne Hospital), the Alfred, the Royal Women’s and Children's Hospitals, the Bush Nursing Hospital in Broadford and the Victorian Association of Braille Writers.
In 1907 the Edward Wilson Trust donated £100,000 (equivalent to $16,800,000 as of 2022) for the rebuilding of the Queen Victoria Women’s Hospital.
Edward Wilson’s legacy
In 1927 the Edward Wilson Trust funded the construction of a new building at the Salvation Army’s Box Hill facility (on the site where Tyneholm is) and it was named ‘The Edward Wilson Trust Cottage’ - it became known as No 4 Home and was later demolished when the current Retirement Village was built - leaving Tyneholm still standing.
By 1928 the Edward Wilson Trust had distributed £1,000,000 (equivalent to $90,900,000 in 2022) to charities in Victoria.
Current beneficiaries of the Edward Wilson Trust include Basscare, Club Respect, Hope Street Youth and Family Services and the Edward Wilson Trust Award for Most Outstanding Regional Journalist.
A bust of Edward Wilson by Thomas Woolner is in the State Library of Victoria.
TYNEHOLM - THE HOUSE
The City of Whitehorse Heritage Review: Building Citations uses Andrew C Ward & Associates City of Box Hill Heritage and Conservation Study 1990 as a source and states in regards to the architect of the house ‘It may have been designed by Frederick Smart, of distinguished architectural firm of Reed, Smart and Tappin’.
I was curious to confirm who was the designer/architect of Tyneholm as it was designed in the late Victorian Italianate style which was a design favoured around this time by renowned Melbourne architect John Beswicke. I found in The Argus newspaper for Sat 27 September 1890 an advertisement for Tenders to build a two-storey brick villa residence on Elgar Road, Surrey Hills placed by Beswicke and Coote, Architects. This is the only two storey brick villa building built on this part of Elgar Road at that time. I consulted the Professor of Architecture at Melbourne University Miles Lewis and he was in no doubt that the house was designed by John Beswicke in the Italianate style.
This is the second house that I have discovered in Whitehorse that was designed by John Beswicke the other being Banff at 29 Albion Rd, Box Hill South.
A little about the celebrated Australian architect John Beswicke.
John Beswicke was a renowned Melbourne architect during the Victorian and Edwardian eras and commenced practice as an architect in Melbourne around 1866.
The majority of John Beswicke’s designs were built before Federation in 1901 and much of his work is still standing today. This is a testament to both his skills as a designer and draughtsman and the high standard of the craftsmanship and materials used in the buildings he designed. He designed a number of houses and public buildings in and around Melbourne.
Among the houses which have been designed by John Beswicke and placed on the Victorian Heritage Register are ‘Talana’ in Hawthorn and ‘Rotha’ in Hawthorn East. He also designed Tourmont which is currently part of Fintona Girls’ School near the intersection of Balwyn and Whitehorse Rd’s in Balwyn. He also designed for his family and others a number of houses in Harcourt St, Hawthorn, which now constitutes a significant streetscape of Heritage Victoria registered houses.
The City of Whitehorse Heritage Review: Building Citations uses Andrew C Ward & Associates City of Box Hill Heritage and Conservation Study 1990 as a source and states:
‘Tyneholm is a double-storey asymmetrical rendered brick Italianate mansion. The facade has a canted bay window with semi-circular arched-head windows with moulded rendered dressings and a moulded string at both levels. There is a three-bay arcaded verandah at both levels, supported by Corinthian columns on pedestal bases. The hipped slate roof has bracketed eaves and is penetrated by barrel-topped chimney stacks. The double frogged body bricks are marked ‘Frisch Holzer’, ‘Standard’ and ‘Box Hill’.
A 1911 sales brochure for the house mentions in regards to the number of rooms and the gardens:
“Tyneholm’’ containing 9 large rooms, kitchen, bathroom, scullery, etc with stables and other out houses, standing in grounds comprising a lovely fruit and flower garden, grass paddocks, etc.’, covering nearly 2’1/4 acres’’.
The house is covered by a Council Heritage Overlay (HO108) and is on the Register of the National Estate. Since I discovered that the house was designed by nationally recognised architect John Beswicke it is of even more significance and should be considered for registration with Heritage Victoria and the National Trust as this would provide more protection.
The future for Whitehorse
I am hopeful that the house will be around for another 132 years so that current and future generations can learn from and enjoy this significant historic house.
You are welcome to use the information on this website, but please acknowledge its source and the author.
In September 2023 a developer lodged an application (WH/2023/768) to demolish and build three dwellings at 25 Thames St, Box Hill North.
This house was lived in and may have been built by William H Elsum, a well-known Melbourne poet, historian, editor, newspaper founder and printer.
Please email the Councillors of the Whitehorse Heritage Steerage Committee requesting that an assessment be undertaken of this house by a heritage consultant to ascertain its local &/or state heritage significance.