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Mary Fairchild (c. 1825–1907)

from Prahran Telegraph

On Saturday last, at the Esplanade Hotel, there passed away one of the oldest residents of St Kilda in Mrs. Mary Fairchild, relict of the late Mr. Jesse Fairchild, who himself was one of the earliest settlers in this State. The deceased lady's benevolence had for many years won her the esteem of the community, and her death, though not wholly unexpected—owing to her advanced age (85 years) — will be very generally regretted. Among her benefactions was a gift of £500 to the Old Colonists' Home, this sum to be devoted to the erection and endowment of a cottage, while £1ooo was provided for the endowment to two more. As far back as 1840 Mr. Fairchild arrived in Victoria, and at once entered pastoral pursuits. He bought a station near Benalla, which he stocked with sheep, so disadvantageously as regarded values that he lost a considerable sum; in fact, all that he had. Being a man of spirit and perseverance, however, he was not daunted by this reverse, but came to Melbourne, where he obtained work at the fellmongery of Messrs. Jackson, Ray, and Co. After some years his push and business acumen asserted itself, and certain changes taking place in the business, he took over the whole concern. In this venture he was highly successful, being energetically and practically assisted by his wife. During the land boom fever of the eighties, however, Mr. Fairchild lost considerable money, and he himself frequently subsequently remarked that he might possibly have been disastrously reduced in circumstances but for the foresight and business tact of his helpmate. When Mr. Fairchild died his widow erected the imposing drinking fountain that still stands on the St. Kilda Esplanade. The deceased lady only returned from England in November last, and had been residing at the Esplanade Hotel for some time past. An interesting record of travel is that she had been to England and the Continent no fewer than fourteen times. The remains were interred in the Boroondara Cemetery on Sunday, the funeral arrangements being most satisfactorily carried out by Mr. B. Matthews.

Original publication

Other Obituaries for Mary Fairchild

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Fairchild, Mary (c. 1825–1907)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Fenelly, Mary
  • Fennelly, Mary
  • Finlay, Mary
  • Finley, Mary
  • Farrar, Mary

c. 1825
Waterford, Ireland


6 April, 1907 (aged ~ 82)
St Kilda, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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.

Passenger Ship
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft (house)
Sentence: 10 years
Court: Lancashire
Trial Date: 21 October 1839


Occupation: domestic servant


Children: Yes (1)