U is for Uncle Phillip

My grandmother Kay writes:

Uncle Phillip Lock and wife toured the world and were presented at Court and also were presented to the Pope personally at the Vatican which is one of the greatest honours a Protestant could have bestowed on them.  Ethel had rosary beads twisted around her arm under the sleeves of her frock from shoulder to wrist to be blessed by the Pope – from people who knew she was to be received by the Pope she considered that would be the quickest and easiest way to get the business over – just roll the sleeves up.

So who was Phillip Lock and how did he get to be so successful?  I found in his obituary that like his younger brother Reuben Benjamin Lock he started work as a fish dealer.  His life must have taken a dramatically different turn because at one stage he was the owner of the magnificent Werribee Park.  He also resided at The Manor, Werribee for many years. The manor is described thus:

The … house ‘with its elegant interior and beautifully laid-out gardens became one of the show places of the district – the centre of entertainments, picnics and garden parties, as well as being the head of a farming and grazing property’.

Werribee Manor 1
The Manor, Werribee

The Manor, built in 1889, was the home of Captain Percy Chirnside.  It was sold to grazier Philip Lock in 1923 and later bought by Mr Galvin who left it to his niece, Mrs Hayes.  The Manor burnt down on 25 July 1966.  City of Wyndham Heritage Study 1997

Mr Lock was regarded as one of the best judges of horseflesh in Australia and while at Werribee, established a stud at which he bred many useful horses. He was associated with the horse racing trade to South Africa and India.  Weekly Times Melbourne Sat 7 May 1938 Mr Phillip Lock Dead

After having six children, his wife Annie died at the age of 48.  Phillip married Ethel Robertson in 1920 so she is the person who supposedly wrapped the rosary beads around her arm.  Shipping records show they attended the wedding of one of Phillip’s sons in the USA in 1924, sailing from Southampton to New York.  Presumably they sailed from Melbourne to Southampton and may have stopped off in Rome.

The only connection I can make with the Catholic Church is the fact that when he bought Werribee Park in 1921 he subdivided the land and sold the building on to the the Catholic Church to establish the Corpus Christi College.

Werribee Park Mansion

His eldest son George must have had a fearsome  argument with him because in March 1829 Phillip signed an agreement  to allow George £43 6/8 a month if he took up his residence outside Victoria and not in NSW within 100 miles of the border. The contract was broken in July 1930 and so the two were battling it out in court.  Phillip had ceased paying George because George was spending more than the specified 43 days in one year in Victoria.  This was four years before Phillip’s death and must have been a terrible strain on his health.

I think my great grandmother Christina married the wrong brother but then if she hadn’t married Reuben I wouldn’t exist!

4 thoughts on “U is for Uncle Phillip

  1. Wow. What a beautiful and rather opulent residence, and what a pity it burned down. I’d move in in a flash.
    Lads of ups and downs in my family too and I’m hoping my run isn’t over yet. I was poised to head back to work before the Coronavirus hit and that’s been canned for awhile although I’m still beavering away on my research and writing and working towards a grant.
    Best wishes,

    Liked by 1 person

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