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William Lipscomb (1811–1873)

On Sunday night, or rather Monday morning, another of the old Maitland residents died, Mr William Lipscomb For some years past Mr Lipscomb had been a martyr in infirmities, which carme on him earlier in life than his vigour in manhood would have led people to anticipate. Some few years back he met with a slight accident which caused him a broken leg, and the fracture proving a rather bad one, he was laid up for many months almost as helpless as a child. He had always been of stout build, and while he lay thus from day to day, all his food seemed to turn into making him fatter, so that when he was eventually able to get about again he was from this cause crippled from taking any active exertion. Humanly speaking, this early laying up of a man who had been always one of the most vigorous and able of Maitland public men, completely changed his constitutional habits, and he became subject to occasional fits, and just lately the torpor crept over his mental faculties also. Latterly, at different occasions, Mr Lipscomb was more frequently attacked with fits (usually epileptic, we believe), causing great anxiety to his family and friends, though very little to himself, for he was more firmly of opinion than any other person that they must soon end in death. And at last a series of these fits seized the sufferer on Saturday afternoon last, although everything was done that Dr Morsou's skill and the anxious efforts of his family could devise, he died early on Monday morning, having only partly recovered mental consciousness. Mr Lipscomb had been one of the most useful of all the many public men we have known in and about Maitland. He was to all appearance absolutely devoid of selfishness never on any occasion trying to turn to his own honor or advantage any public movement he took part in. He was a man of most straightforward and strict integrity, not only in pecuniary matter, but in all other things. He was one of the most genial and reliable of friends, very hospitable, and retaining old friendships with all alike, years after year—never quarrelling with any. And while he was a good public speaker, easily roused to the enthusiastic style of speaking which carries an audience with the speaker, he was brimming over with rich natural humour, very rarely sarcastically witty, but always full of fun. One other characteristic we may note—he was a man easily roused to indignation and speech by anything like tyranny, or even overbearing conduct, and then remarkably outspoken. With such a character, our younger readers can readily imagine that when the Maitland Mercury was started, in January, 1843, Mr Lipscomb was one of the three most influential public men here, and a man who was certain to be consulted in all public movements. At that time, and for many years after, while everybody, of all ranks and denominations, consulted him freely and fully, we never heard of one person who hated him. It would be impossible for as to enumerate, or even to remember, all the public movements Mr Lipscomb vigorously aided, with speech, labour, and money.

Original publication

Citation details

'Lipscomb, William (1811–1873)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


April, 1811
Reading, Berkshire, England


7 July, 1873 (aged 62)
Maitland, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

epileptic fit

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