William Irving Winter-Irving

William Irving Winter-Irving (1840-1901)

Pastoralist, Politician & Councillor

Location: CofE*B*14 (crypt)

Born at Edinburgh, Scotland on 20 February 1840, the son of John Winter and Janet née Irving; in 1888 he changed his surname by royal letters patent to “Winter-Irving”. John Winter brought the family to Australia in 1841 arriving on the William Mitchell and settled near Ballarat where after his education at Scotch College, Melbourne Winter-Irving assisted his father in managing the Bonshaw Estate.  

In 1857 the family moved to the lower Goulburn Valley where the four Winter brothers – John, James (1834-85), William and Irving (q.v.) – entered into partnership purchasing a number of stations; by 1870 the Winter family had spent some £200,000 to acquire over 250,000 acres including Corop, Caragarac, Toolamba, Colbinabbin (192,000 acres) near Bendigo, Stanhope and Dhurringile. When the partnership dissolved in 1868, Winter-Irving was left with Stanhope near Rushworth on which he spent some £40,000 in improvements and retained an interest in Colbinabbin. He then went on to purchase Tirrengower near Colac and Noorilim on the Goulburn River near Murchison, the later costing £72,000 to erect an Victorian Italianate style mansion in 1877; he also held properties in Queensland.

A Waranga Shire councillor (1865-74), Winter-Irving went on to represent the district in state politics having been returned unopposed to the Legislative Council seat of Northern Province (1884-1901) which he held at the time of his death. Described as “silent and unobtrusive…universally esteemed as a shrewd man of thoroughly sound judgment”, in 1889 he moved to Melbourne and in 1893 bought Noorlim – Dandenong Road, Armadale which housed his collection of fine arts.  

Winter-Irving died on 28 June 1901 aged 61 survived by his wife Frances née Taylor (1847-1918) whom he married on 30 June 1868 and bore him eleven children; John (married Helen née Petley and Brigid née Keogh), William (married Eleanor née Chapman), Oliver (married Flora née Robertson), Cyril, Stanhope (married Ada née Cumming), Frances (married Henry Powell), Margaret (married George Robertson), Amy (married James Robertson), Elsie (married Arthur Staughton), Laura (married Freiherr von Ompteda and Clifford Stringer) and Florence (married Hussein Muftyzade). Among those to attend his funeral were Sir Henry Wrixon (Boroondara Cemetery), Sir Frederick Sargood (St. Kilda Cemetery), (Sir) Simon Fraser (q.v.), Sir John Forrest (Karrakatta Cemetery), Sir Malcolm McEacharn (1852-1910), Colonel Tom Price (Melbourne General Cemetery), and fellow MLCs Nicholas Fitzgerald (1829-1908), Frederick Grimwade (St. Kilda Cemetery) and William McCulloch (1832-1909).

ADB Volume 6 1851-90 (R-Z).
The Argus 29 June 1901 & 1 July 1901.
The Age 29 June 1901.
The Herald 28 June 1901.
The Pastoralists’ Review 15 July 1901.
Thomson, K & Serle, G., “A Biographical Register of the Victorian Legislature 1851-1900” (1972).
De Serville, P., “Pounds and Pedigrees. The Upper Class in Victoria 1850-80” (1991).