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William Piggott Firebrace (1832–1908)

The funeral of the late Mr William Piggott Firebrace whose sudden death last Thursday at his residence in Ivy Street Prahran was the occasion of deep regret to a large circle of attached friends, took place on Saturday afternoon. The pre-interment service was held it All Saints Church, East St Kilda, and was conducted by archdeacon Crossley, who also read the burial service at his grave in the St Kilda Cemetery, there being a representative gathering of the relatives of the deceased and friends of the family. The pall-bearers were Messrs Edward Miller MLC, Henry A. Darlot, Philip F. Darlot, Harry P. Stephen, Hibbert H. G. Newton, and Harold J. Dickson. At the service at St Paul’s Cathedral yesterday evening Archdeacon Hindley referred in sympathetic terms to Mr Firebrace’s death and at the close of the service Mr Ernest Wood played Chopin’s Funeral March. Mr Firebrace was born at New Amsterdam, Berbice, British Guiana, and was the eldest son of Judge Firebrace, of Demerara, a division of British Guiana. He was educated in Great Britain, and came to Melbourne in March 1850. In the following year he entered the service of the Victorian Government as a clerk in the office of the registrar of the Supreme Court under Mr J. D. Pinnock and subsequently became chief clerk. On the death of the prothonotary (Mr J. Alfred Carter) he carried on the duties of the department until 1883, when he received the appointment of prothonotary–a position he held until his retirement from active duty about 12 years ago. Besides being a great reader and collector of books, Mr Firebrace was an enthusiastic musician. For many years he was a leading member of the choirs at St Peter’s Eastern hill, and All Saints’, East St Kilda. Latterly he was a constant attendant in St Paul’s Cathedral, and a generous contributor to its musical library, his gifts being always representative of the soundest school of English church music. Through a regrettable misprint in the advertised announcement on Saturday of Mr Firebrace’s death, the name of Judge Ferchan was inserted in place of Judge Firebrace, of Demera.

Original publication

Citation details

'Firebrace, William Piggott (1832–1908)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


24 January, 1832
New Amsterdam, Guyana


25 June, 1908 (aged 76)
Prahran, 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.

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