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Were, Francis Wellington (1853–1946)

Few men have had as colourful a business career as Mr Francis Wellington Were, who died yesterday at the age of 93.

A former chairman of Melbourne Stock Exchange and a member of Hobart Stock Exchange, he was a partner for 31 years of the sharebroking firm of J. B. Were and Son, founded by his father. He was Vice Consul for Denmark in 1875 and Consul-General in 1891. For his services to Denmark he received a knighthood of the Order of Danneborg.

On his father's death in 1885 control of the firm was left in his hands. With his brother, the late Mr Arthur Bonville Were, a partner in the firm, he embarked on one of the most hectic periods in the history of Victoria's stock exchange. The land boom was under way, the Broken Hill silver lead field had been discovered, and the eyes of investors were turning towards gold discoveries in other states.

In 1888 the firm put through the largest single transaction ever effected in the call room of the Melbourne Stock Exchange when a block of 15,000 Melbourne Tramway shares were sold to George W. Staples at £8/15/6 a share—a total sum of £131,625. In one day transactions of all members on the exchange exceeded £2,000,000.

In 1887 Mr Were was elected a member of the committee of Melbourne Stock Exchange, and became chairman in 1891. He retired in 1916 and became a pastoralist.

During the last 15 years he lived quietly in retirement, first at Greensborough and latterly at Heidelberg. His wife, formerly Miss Anne McVean, of Cressy, died in 1921. He leaves four daughters and two sons.

The funeral will leave Mr Were's late residence, 579,Upper Heidelberg rd, Heidelberg, today at 3pm for St Kilda Cemetery.

Original publication

Citation details

'Were, Francis Wellington (1853–1946)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/were-francis-wellington-20536/text31431, accessed 22 July 2018.

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