James McGillicuddy Long

M, #7895, b. 1846, d. 1906
Birth*1846 Cork, Ireland. 
Land-UBeac*b 1879James McGillicuddy Long selected land from the Crown. GEM-C-26. 19a 2r 3p - No Land File. Selected by J. McG. LONG, but crown grant to W. M. FORSTER on 18 May 1880. SALE 5333 18/5/1880, upset £1/ac, value £65. 
Land-UBeac*a Jul 1879 GEM-C-26. Transfer from James McGillicuddy Long to William Mark Forster. 19a 2r 3p - No Land File. Selected by J. McG. LONG, but crown grant to W. M. FORSTER on 18 May 1880. SALE 5333 18/5/1880, upset £1/ac, value £65.1 
Marriage*1885 Spouse: Isabella Bruce. VIC, Australia, #M113.2
Death*1906 Carlton North, VIC, Australia, #D4764 (Age 60) [par William LONG & Annie McGILLICUDDY].3 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
1903729 Nicholson Street, North Carlton, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: draper. With Isabella Long.4


  • 18 Apr 1879: Hearings against Forfeiture of Licenses5
  • 31 May 1879: J. M'G. Long, to show cause against forfeiture of his 49th section holding in the parish of Pakenham.6
  • 4 Jul 1879: License 511/49 cancelled because of non-compliance of conditions. Land open for selection, under Part III7


  1. [S185] Property Titles ; PROV (Public Records Office Victoria), C/T 1194-619 - William Mark Forster of Toorak.
  2. [S1] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888.
  3. [S22] Victorian Government. BDM Index Victoria (online).
  4. [S103] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1903.
  5. [S194] Newspaper - Victoria Government Gazette 18 Apr 1879, p861.
  6. [S16] Newspaper - The Age (Melbourne, Vic.), 31 May 1879, p3.
  7. [S194] Newspaper - Victoria Government Gazette 4 Jul 1879, p1708 (listed as Parish of Pakenham).
Last Edited12 Jan 2016

Sir John Bowser

M, #7904, b. 2 Sep 1856, d. 10 Jun 1936
Father*John Bowser b. 1822, d. 1892
Mother*Marion Hunter b. 1832, d. 15 Dec 1924
Birth*2 Sep 1856 Islington, London, England.1 
Marriage*11 Oct 1914 Spouse: Frances Rogers.
Widower19 Jun 1934Sir John Bowser became a widower upon the death of his wife Frances Rogers.2 
Death*10 Jun 1936 Wangaratta, VIC, Australia, #D16262 (Age 79.)2 


  • 18 Jun 1936: NOTICE is hereby given that after the expiration of fourteen days from the publication hereof application will be made to the Supreme Court of the State of Victoria, in the Probate Jurisdiction that PROBATE of the LAST WILL and TESTAMENT dated the twenty ninth day of November one thousand nine hundred and thirty five of JOHN BOWSER late of Wangaratta, in the State of Victoria, retired Journalist deceased may be granted to Jessie Agnes Bowser, spinster and Alfred Ernest Bowser, retired railway accountant, both formerly of "Lincluden," St Georges road, Beaconsfield Upper, In the said State now of Number 850 Canterbury road Box Hill in the said State a sister and brother respectively of the said deceased and the executors named in and appointed by the said will.
    Dated this seventeenth day of June 1936
    MURDOCH and LIVING of Reid street Wangaratta, proctors for the applicants. Alfred Ernest Albert Bowser Jessie Agnes Bowser3
  • 25 Jul 1936: Estate comprising £207 realty and £10,282 personalty was left by Sir John Bowser, late of Wangaratta, retired journalist and former Premier of Victoria. He died on June 10, and, by will dated November 29, 1935, he left his property to his sisters, Jessie Agnes Bowser and Marian Elizabeth McDonald, equally, subject to gifts to a number of relatives, £100 to the Presbyterian Church at Wangaratta, £100 to Wangaratta District Base Hospital, £50 to Wangaratta branch of the Returned Soldiers' League, and £100 each to five former members of the staff of the Wangaratta Chronicle. Jessie Agnes Bowser4

Australian Dictionary of Biography

Sir John Bowser (1856-1936), politician and journalist, was born on 2 September 1856 at Islington, London, son of John Henry Bowser, Indian Army veteran, and his wife Marian, née Hunter. The family migrated to Victoria when John was 3 and settled at Bacchus Marsh, where he attended the local school. He gained his first experience of printing and journalism at 14, working for the Bacchus Marsh Express under Christopher Crisp. He had moved to printers McCarron, Bird & Co. of Melbourne, heading their poster section, when eye trouble necessitated a sea voyage to Scotland; there he worked for his uncle on the Dumfries and Galloway Standard. His sight improved; he studied journalism and English literature, and gained his first political experience as a shorthand writer for the commission into the condition of the Skye crofters.
About 1880 Bowser returned to Victoria and settled at Wangaratta. In 1884 he became editor and part-owner, with George Maxwell, of the Wangaratta Chronicle. He travelled extensively in the district and established himself in community life; he later pioneered the local rifle and tennis clubs and the library committee, and acquired a small farm on the Ovens River.
In 1894 a meeting of residents at Milawa convinced him it was his duty to represent them in parliament. On 20 November he won the Wangaratta and Rutherglen seat in the Legislative Assembly by only thirteen votes, and his enthusiastic supporters celebrated by pulling his carriage through the streets; he held the seat more comfortably thereafter. In parliament Bowser associated himself with the Kyabram movement and the rural groups which demanded economical government and balanced budgets. He had represented the Citizens' Reform League in the 1902 election, and supported (Sir) William Irvine's ministry as a 'country liberal' to these ends. In 1908 he was a leader of the 'country' faction of twenty-six members, and held the public instruction portfolio briefly in Sir Thomas Bent's cabinet from October to January 1909. Late in 1916 he founded a new parliamentary group, the Economy Party, as a response to the Peacock government's accumulating deficits; during 1917 his group forced three supplementary budget statements, all reductions in expenditure. Contemporaries, such as the Nationalist J. Hume Cook, defined it as 'essentially a country party'. When Peacock raised railway freights and fares later in 1917, Bowser's party challenged him in parliament, failing to defeat him by only two votes; in the election in November they campaigned as the 'Liberals' and defeated Peacock, who resigned.
Bowser then became premier, chief secretary and minister of labour. He was the rare politician who had never sought office for himself and had hoped his party would chose (Sir) John Mackey as premier; he later made no effort to retain the leadership. His ministry won the support of the Victorian Farmers' Union, and held office from 29 November 1917 to 21 March 1918. It was defeated unexpectedly on the issue of railway estimates by a combination of the Labor Party and the sixteen-strong 'corner' group of Nationalists led by Peacock and (Sir) Harry Lawson. A coalition was then formed between the Economy Party and the Nationalists, under Lawson; Bowser became, until 27 June 1919, chief secretary and minister of public health. He resigned after a dispute with Lawson over the sharing of cabinet posts between the parties.
In June 1920 Bowser joined the V.F.U. with some of his associates, and in that party he was influential at a time when it held the balance of power in parliament. On 30 April 1924 he was elected Speaker, on the combined votes of Labor and the V.F.U. When the Prendergast Labor government held office later that year, he occasionally used his casting vote to save it. His most difficult task came in 1926, in the standing orders debate, when Labor members walked out in protest at his rulings. Within his own party he was working to heal the breach with the breakaway Country Progressives of A. A. Dunstan, which was fully achieved only in 1930.
Bowser was knighted in January 1927. He did not seek re-election as Speaker when his term ended in May and retired from politics in 1929. His services to his electorate included his work for the establishment of Wangaratta High and Technical schools. He had become sole owner of the Wangaratta Chronicle in 1905, and only relinquished full control, due to ill health, in the eighteen months before his death. He was a founder, and for many years president, of the Country Press Co-operative Co. Ltd.
Noted for 'an absurd shyness' with women, Bowser had married late, on 11 October 1914, Frances Rogers, aged 51, who died in 1934. He died of cancer at his home on 10 June 1936 and was buried in Wangaratta cemetery with Presbyterian rites. His estate was valued for probate at £10,490. Contemporary assessments of him referred to his courtesy, sensitivity, kindliness, sense of fair play, and lack of self-interest, rare in a political figure.1


  1. [S55] Adb online, online http://adbonline.anu.edu.au/adbonline.htm, Margaret Vines, 'Bowser, Sir John (1856–1936)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/bowser-sir-john-5316/…, accessed 17 July 2013.
  2. [S5] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Death Index Victoria 1921-1985.
  3. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 18 Jun 1936, p16.
  4. [S14] Newspaper - Weekly Times (Melbourne, Vic.), Sat 25 Jul 1936, p6
Last Edited5 Jun 2020

George James Bowser

M, #7905, b. 1870, d. 14 Jun 1947
Father*John Bowser b. 1822, d. 1892
Mother*Marion Hunter b. 1832, d. 15 Dec 1924
Birth*1870 Bacchus Marsh, VIC, Australia, #B13014.1 
Death*14 Jun 1947 Kew, VIC, Australia, #D7745 (Age 77.)2 
Death-Notice*16 Jun 1947BOWSER-On June 14 at a private hospital Kew, George James, son of the late J. H. and Mrs. Bowser, beloved brother of Jessie and Alfred, of 90 Roslyn street Burwood (Private interment. Remains at Sleight's Funeral Home, St Kilda road, Melbourne.)3 

Electoral Rolls (Australia) and Census (UK/IRL)

DateAddressOccupation and other people at same address
1931Eltham Road, Heidelberg, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: independent means. With Jessie Agnes Bowser Rene Jessie Bowser.4
1934Lincluden, Upper Beaconsfield, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: retired. With Alfred Ernest Albert Bowser.5
1937850 Canterbury Road, Box Hill, VIC, AustraliaOccupation: retured public servant. With Rene Jessie Bowser Alfred Ernest Albert Bowser.6


  • Box Hill Cemetery, Box Hill, VIC, Australia7


  1. [S1] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Pioneer Index Victoria 1836-1888.
  2. [S5] Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages Death Index Victoria 1921-1985.
  3. [S11] Newspaper - The Argus (Melbourne, Vic.), 16 Jun 1947, p19.
  4. [S131] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1931.
  5. [S134] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1934.
  6. [S137] Electoral Roll for Australia, 1937.
  7. [S38] Index of burials in the cemetery of http://www.australiancemeteries.com/vic/whitehorse/…
    bh5/2582 Bowser Alfred Ernest      1952                  
    bh5/2582 Bowser George James      1947                  
    bh5/2582 Bowser Jessie Agnes      1957
Last Edited5 Jun 2020


Some family sections show only the children who were associated with Upper Beaconsfield.

Some individuals may be featured because members of their family were associated with the Upper Beaconsfield area, even though they themselves never lived here.