Obituaries Australia

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: use double quotes to search for a phrase
  • Tip: lists of awards, schools, organisations etc

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

William Byrnes (1809–1891)

Another old, widely known, and highly respected colonist is dead. The Hon. William Byrnes, M.L.C., died yesterday at his residence, George-street, Parramatta, from influenza, an attack of which came upon a constitution enfeebled by age, with fatal results. The hon. gentleman was born in Sydney in 1807, and was thus 84 years of age. He and his brother, the late Hon. James Byrnes, carried on an extensive trade as general merchants at Parramatta. A considerable sum of money was expended by the brothers in the erection of woollen and flour mills, the latter at the bottom of George-street (since converted into an asylum for infirm and destitute old men), and the former on the banks of the Smith-street (long since passed into desuetude). Mr. William Byrnes was the oldest member of the Legislative Council, having been appointed by the Cowper Ministry in 1857. Up to late years he was a constant attendant at the Chamber. He was one of the oldest Freemasons in the colony, and at one time a magistrate of the territory. He leaves a family of six sons and five daughters. Mr. James Byrnes, his eldest son, is an alderman and magistrate at Wilcannia. Mr. C. J. Byrnes (for many years Mayor of Parramatta), and Mr. Henry Byrnes J.P., are nephews of the deceased gentleman.

Original publication

Citation details

'Byrnes, William (1809–1891)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


2 June, 1809
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


25 October, 1891 (aged 82)
Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations