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Murphy, John Robert (1806–1888)

The granting of probate to the will and codicil of the late John Robert Murphy, of Victoria House, St Kilda Road, on Thursday last, recalls the fact of the death of another of the early pioneers of Victoria. The deceased gentleman had attained the ripe age of 84. He was born in Dublin in the year 1807, and brought up to the business of a brewer. He emigrated to Tasmania in the year 1828, taking with him a not inconsiderable amount of capital, which enabled him under the then existing laws of that colony, to select an acre of land for every pound sterling he possessed. He availed himself of this right, and settled on the banks of the Tamar. In 1838 he crossed Bass's Straits, and on his arrival in what is now Victoria, but was then part of the colony of New South Wales he took up a run in the neighbourhood of Warrnambool, and stocked it with sheep. A pastoral life, however, did not long content him, and in 1839 he came up to Melbourne, where he built a brewery, and established a business which ultimately became the leading brewing business of the colony. He was a most liberal employer of labour, and his relations with those who were engaged with him were always of a cordial character, and his business turned out most successful. With great foresight and a strong reliance on the growing prosperity of Victoria he invested most of his savings in the purchase of city and suburban lands, which all proved to be investments of the first class. In 1850 he practically retired from business and went to Europe with the object of educating his family. He returned to the colony in 1870, and has since resided principally at Victoria House where he died on the 4th August last. He left three sons and four daughters surviving him as well as many grandchildren. Mr Murphy was a member of the Church of England, to the funds of which, as well as to those of several of the charities of the colony, he was a very liberal contributor, and almost in every case anonymously.

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'Murphy, John Robert (1806–1888)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/murphy-john-robert-17073/text34855, accessed 25 November 2017.

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