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Lynch, William (1839–1901)

By the death of Mr. William Lynch, of Messrs. Lynch and McDonald, solicitors, which occurred suddenly yesterday at the Australian Club, the legal profession of Melbourne and, the whole community have sustained a notable loss. The deceased gentleman, who had attended to his business as usual in the morning, became ill shortly after lunch, and died at half-past 3 in the afternoon, the cause of death being the rupture of a blood vessel in the brain.

Mr Lynch's decease will be felt as a deep personal grief by a wide circle of intimate friends and by the great number of people who have come under the kind and genial influence that he constantly exercised during his long career as a solicitor.

Mr Lynch arrived in Port Phillip in 1842 with his parents, being then a child of 3 years of age, and the early growth of this city, with its rapid development at the period of the discovery of gold, were all within his recollection. Educated at Lyndhurst College, in Sydney, he returned to Melbourne, and was articled to Mr Edward Murphy, a leading solicitor here, entering upon practice for himself in 1861. Subsequently he also took over the late Mr Clayton's practice on that gentleman's return to England. From the first Mr Lynch's reputation steadily grew, until he occupied the first rank as a lawyer, and attained so high a position that even in the best informed legal circles in London his opinion had great influence. But to his clients Mr Lynch was more than a lawyer. A sympathetic, generous spirit and a high sense of honour and fair dealing imbued all his counsels, and, added to these was the power of impressing his own broad and charitable views upon those who sought his advice.

A natural artistic instinct, encouraged by training received in youth and further developed by occasional visits to Europe had given him a great knowledge of pictures and at his home at Brighton he had gathered together one of the most interesting collections of paintings to be seen in this part of the world. His gallery contains fine examples of Reynolds and Romney's portraiture; of J. M. W. Turner, Webb, Wimperis and other early and later masters of landscape; of Cuyp and Morland, and of many other artists whose works best illustrate the periods and countries to which they belong.

Mr Lynch was several times mayor of Brighton and at the time of his death was chairman of the Land Mortgage Bank and of the North Mount Lyell Company. His wife who survives him is a daughter of the late Mr W. B. Ochiltree of Park Hill near Castlemaine.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lynch, William (1839–1901)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/lynch-william-27634/text35072, accessed 16 December 2019.

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