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Moule, Frederick George (1821–1891)

The members of both branches of the legal profession in Victoria, and a very large proportion of the mercantile community and of those who have taken an interest in public and social movements intended to advance the interests of Melbourne and this colony generally, will leam with regret that Mr F. G. Moule, solicitor, died yesterday at his residence, Seacombe, Brighton, after a rather long and painful illness. The deceased gentleman, who was 67 years of age, enjoyed excellent health until about 18 months ago, when he was attacked by an inward complaint which gradually reduced his constitution, and confined him to his house for eight months before he succumbed to it yesterday.

Mr Frederick George Moule was born in 1821, at Melksham, in Wiltshire, England, where his father, who was a private banker, resided. He was educated for the legal profession, and early in life was admitted as a solicitor, and practised his profession during four or five years in London. In 1852 he and his wife came out to this colony on the ship City of Poonah, a vessel which was afterwards wrecked. Although he was offered a good Government appointment on his arrival, he, like most of the young men who landed in Victoria about that time, resolved to make a trial of the gold diggings, and he went off to them in company with several other young men who were friends. He was not successful on the goldfields and, after trying them for about three months, returned to Melbourne, and commenced the practice of his profession. When he had done so for a little while he entered into partnership with Mr Thomas Clarke. The firm thus formed existed for several years and the partnership was then dissolved, and Mr Moule practised solely on his account for some time afterwards in Furnival's Inn Chambers, Chancery Lane. About the year 1865 he entered into partnership with Mr Samuel B. Vaughan and Mr Arthur Seddon, and the firm of Vaughan, Moule, and Seddon was then established. That firm carried on a leading and most successful business until 1878, when Mr Vaughan retired from it, and the business has since been continued equally successfully under the title of Moule and Seddon, up to the present time. Mr Seddon retired from the firm a few years ago, and just prior to Mr Moule's death it consisted of himself, his eldest son, Mr F. A. Moule, and Mr H. C. Hamilton. Mr F. G. Moule was especially known as a banking solicitor, and was considered a high authority on banking law. For very many years he was solicitor for the Bank of Victoria, the English, Scottish, and Australian Chartered Bank and the Colonial Bank and he acted in that capacity for all those banks until his decease. The business of his firm, however, was not confined to banking law, as they had a large practice in the other ordinary branches of their profession, especially in conveyancing. Mr Moule was very zealous in maintaining the integrity and usefulness of his profession, and was one of the most active members of the Law Institute of Victoria. He was president of that institute for several years. The annual dinner of the members of the institute was appointed to be held last evening, but when it became known during yesterday that Mr Moule was dead the dinner was postponed by the members as a tribute of respect to the memory of their former president.

Mr Moule did not at any time associate himself with political or municipal movements in this colony, but he was exceedingly active in the promotion of many public and social matters. He and Sir George Verdon and a few other friends were mainly instrumental in initiating the volunteer movement in this colony. He was one of the first officers of the Brighton Artillery corps, and when the old volunteer force was disbanded he retired with the title of major, and held the same title on the retired list at the time of his death. Another important movement with which Mr Moule was connected in the earlier history of this colony was the establishment of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society, which was started by himself and a few others with small beginnings but which has since acquired the magnificent zoological collection now located in the Royal Park. The Church of England in this colony will lose a valuable member through his death, as he always took a most active part in its affairs. He was a member of the diocesan council of the church and of the Cathedral building committee and was one of the trustees of the Church of England Trust Corporation. From 1855, when he went to reside in Brighton, he was closely connected with local church affairs and he assisted to build both the old and the new part of St Andrews Church and was a churchwarden of the parish for over 20 years He was also a member of the council of the Church of England Grammar school for about 25 years. One feature of the deceased gentleman's career, of which he was himself proud, was the fact that up to within a few months of his death he had been continuously for 55 years a singing member of a Church of England choir. He was a member of the committee of the Melbourne Orphan Asylum and manifested great interest in its affairs, and was very serviceable to it on account of the advice which he willingly gave to the committee whenever it was needed. Amongst the other public institutions in the management of which Mr Moule took a leading part were the Royal Horticultural Society and the Brighton Horticultural Society, and he was in a great measure instrumental in bringing the latter society to its present prominent position. He was an ardent lover of open air sports, and was an excellent field sportsman and angler. He was also a great admirer of cricket. As early as the year 1853 he was a member of the Melbourne Cricket Club, and for many years past he was a vice president of that club. He was also a playing member of a Brighton club, known as the Coast club, which, in its day, was able to contest matches with most of the leading clubs of the colony.

Mr Moule leaves a widow and three sons and two daughters to mourn their loss through his death. The sons are Mr F. A. Moule, solicitor, Mr W. H. Moule, barrister, and Mr Gerald Moule, pastorialist. The remains of the deceased will be interred in the Brighton Cemetery on Saturday afternoon, and the funeral procession will move from St Andrew's Church about a quarter to 3 o' clock in the afternoon.

Original publication

Citation details

'Moule, Frederick George (1821–1891)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/moule-frederick-george-1121/text1116, accessed 12 December 2019.

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