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Charles Toby (1810–1884)

We have to announce the death at au advanced age of a very much respected citizen of Hobart–Mr. Charles Toby–who died early on Saturday morning at his residence, St. George's-terrace, Battery Point, aged 74 years. Mr. Toby's career has been almost confined to Tasmania–and, indeed, to Hobart–and his business tact, energy, and probity have won him the esteem and confidence of everyone with whom he has been brought in contact. He was a native of London, having been born in the world's metropolis on the 1st June, 1810. He arrived at Hobart in 1832, having taken his passage in the brig Waterloo, Captain Goldsmith commander. Mr. Toby commenced life on the Press, his first position after his arrival in the colony being the combination of accountant and reporter in the office of the Colonial Times, then the property of Mr. Henry Melville. He remained in the Times office for several years, and when he terminated his engagement he did so to commence business on his own account as an agent. His success in that capacity was not commensurate with his expectations, and he accordingly relinquished it to take the position of book-keeper in the mercantile establishment of which the late Hon. R. Cleburne was the head, and with whom he remained 14 years. When he left Mr. Cleburne he commenced business for himself once more, and this time as a produce broker, exporting largely to the other colonies, in conjunction with Mr. James Park. This business, lucrative as it was, he abandoned to take a prominent part in the inception of the Tasmanian Steam Navigation Co. He accepted the post of secretary, and succeeded with others in establishing the project on a firm financial basis, the two pioneer steamers Tasmania and City of Hobart being ordered by him. He was subsequently appointed manager of the company, and was a witness of its early struggles. For the last 25 years of his life, the deceased has had a profitable business as a sharebroker and estate agent, next to the telegraph office, in Elizabeth-street, and about five years since he was joined in partnership by Mr. H. W. Bayley. About two years ago his health began to fail, his eyesight being impaired, and he also suffered severely from bronchitis. He succumbed to the latter disease, passing away quietly about 1 o'clock on Saturday morning. Mr. Toby leaves a widow and two sons (the eldest of whom is in the firm's office) and four daughters to mourn his loss. He was a prominent member of the Masonic fraternity, and was wont to boast of having initiated the present Australasian Grand Master, Sir William Clarke, into its mysteries in the olden days in Hobart, Mr. Toby was himself a Freemason for a period of over 40 years, and had passed through all the Chairs of Lodges and the Royal Arch Chapter. He was for a number of years hon. secretary to the Tasmanian Masonic Benevolent Fund, and was one of the prime movers in the formation of the Freemason's Hall Co., who erected the handsome building in Murray-street, which bears the name of the Craft. He was also the first District Grand Secretary under the English Constitution in Tasmania, until failing eyesight forced him to resign the office, and he was always indefatigable in promoting the interests of the Order.

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Citation details

'Toby, Charles (1810–1884)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 April 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


1 June, 1810
London, Middlesex, England


16 August, 1884 (aged 74)
Battery Point, Hobart, Tasmania, 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.

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