My great great grandfather Philip Champion de Crespigny (1850-1927) worked for the Bank of Victoria. His obituary in the Argus (Melbourne), on 12 March 1927, outlines his career:
[Crespigny] joined the service of the Bank of Victoria in June, 1866, as a junior clerk. After spending a few years in country districts in service of the bank he was promoted to the position of manager at Epsom, and he filled a similar position at other country towns. Subsequently he was placed in charge of the South Melbourne branch of the bank. At the end of 1892 he was appointed assistant inspector, and he continued to act in that capacity until 1908, when he took the office of chief inspector. In 1916 he became general manager of the bank in succession to Mr George Stewart.
As a branch manager Philip was entitled to accommodation provided by the bank. In 1887 he moved from the Elmore to the South Melbourne Branch. In 1888 he was appointed Assistant Inspector of the Bank of Victoria. This position no longer came with a house.
The 1889 rate books for the City of Brighton record Philip C Crespigny, Banker, renting a 9-room brick house on the Esplanade.
The household comprised Philip, who had been widowed since 1883, his two sons Philip and Constantine Trent (known as Con when young) who were aged aged 10 and 7 in 1889. Philip’s mother Charlotte had been widowed in September 1889. She probably spent time helping Philip raise the two boys but at some stage seems to have moved to live with her married daughter Rose at Eurambeen near Beaufort. Viola, one of her two unmarried daughters, was also living there. Charlotte’s second unmarried daughter, Ada, probably lived with her brother Philip.
After only a year or two Philip was renting “Wyndcote”, a 7-room weatherboard house on Tennyson Street in Brighton.
In June 1891 Ada lost a bracelet and advertised for its return in The Age:
LOST, lady's Bracelet, Brighton, between St. Andrew's Church and Tennison sts., Sunday. Reward. Miss De Crespigny, Tennison st, Brighton.
Philip married for a second time on 2 November 1891 to Sophia Beggs .
CRESPIGNY—BEGGS.—On the 2nd inst., at Holy Trinity Church, Balaclava, by the Rev. Dr. Torrance, Philip, only surviving son of the late Philip Robert Champion Crespigny, police magistrate, to Sophia Gratton Montgomery Beggs, fourth daughter of the late Hugh Lyons Montgomery Beggs, of Bushy Creek Station, Glenthompson.
Philip and Sophia’s son Frank was born in September 1892. From The Argus 27 September 1892:
CRESPIGNY. —At Wyndcote, Tennyson-street, Brighton, the wife of Philip Champion Crespigny—a son.
In July 1892 Mrs Crespigny advertised in The Age newspaper for a general servant:
SERVANT, general, wanted, must be good cook. Mrs Crespigny, Wyncote, Tennyson-st. Brighton Beach.
NURSEGIRL, young, wanted. Mrs. Crespigny, Wyncote, Tennyson-st., Brighton Beach.
Less than a year later, in June 1893, Mrs Crespigny advertised again in The Age newspaper for a general servant:
SERVANT, general, must be good cook. With references, Mrs. Crespigny, Wyndcote, Tennyson-st., Brighton Beach.
In 1894 Philip and his family moved to ‘Ottawa’, a 10-room brick house at 16 – 18 Gladstone Parade, Elsternwick, leased from Alfred Felton, a wealthy businessman, remembered for his philanthropy. The villa was built between 1890 – 3; Philip Crespigny was the first recorded occupant.
NURSEGIRL wanted. With references, Mrs. Crespigny, Ottawa. Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.
The Crespigny family seems to have been a little careless about its portable property, scarcely able to venture abroad without losing something. In 1896 there was a reward offered in The Age for a lost brooch:
LOST, between Elsternwick station and Gladstone-par., gold Brooch. Return to Ottawa, Gladstone-par. Reward.
In 1897 Con lost a bicycle cape:
LOST, on Saturday, Boy's Bicycle CAPE, on Mornington-rd. Apply C. Crespigney, Gladstone-parade, Elsternwick
In 1901 a puppy went missing:
LOST, Sunday, between Regent-st., Elsternwick, and Balaclava, Black Cocker Spaniel Puppy. Reward. Ottawa, Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.
In July 1906 another brooch was lost and a reward offered in The Age:
LOST, in St. Mary's Church, Caulfield, or between it and Gladstone-par., Elsternwick. Gold Brooch, with diamond in centre. Finder rewarded on returning to Mrs. de Crespigny, Ottawa, Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.
LOST, Eyeglasses, Elsternwick, between Gladstone-par. and station. Return Ottawa, Gladstone-par
I wonder if any of the advertisements produced results and the items were returned?
In 1907 more staff were sought through The Age:
SERVANT, general; also Nursery House Maid. Crespigny, Ottawa, Gladstone-par., Elsternwick.
Philip and Sophia had two more sons in Elsternwick: Hugh Vivian on 8 April 1897 and Royalieu Dana on 11 November 1905. On 15 March 1908 their youngest son, Claude Montgomery, was born in “Vierville”, 20 Black Street.
Philip had been promoted to Chief Inspector at the Bank of Victoria in 1908, and perhaps on the strength of this, he purchased a house in Black Street, which remembering the family origins in France, he named “Vierville”. Philip lived in the house until his death in 1927.
“Ottawa” is still standing. It was sold in 2014; the real estate advertisement described it as:
'Ottawa' Circa 1885 - A Grand Victorian Mansion Home Unlike Any Other
The unique romance and whimsical character of this 14-room home will appeal to families requiring versatile accommodation in a prize position.
Set amongst quality homes within easy walking distance of the best schools, Glenhuntly Road, Martin Street, parkland and bayside.
The property is sited on 915m2 with a broad frontage of 24.4m, charming gardens and views of the bay.
The house was converted into flats and altered in the 1930s, given what the Heritage report describes as ‘an eclectic make-over’.
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- Q is for Queenscliff in 1882
- de Crespigny – Beggs 1891 wedding
- The Bank of Victoria in Collins Street