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See also: the page for Webster's fig tree.

Philip Webster

Philip Cranworth Webster (1829-1893) was the owner of the Esplanade Hotel, an auditor, and a nurseryman. He is remembered for his house, Cranworth Villa, and for the trees that he planted: the one below; the Proclamation Tree (1890); those in St John's churchyard/Kings Square; and the ones in Fremantle Park.

webster house

Webster's house, Cranworth Villa, at 195 High St, with large ficus macrophylla; my photo 2018. As Webster acquired the land in 1885 and the house was built in 1886, the Moreton Bay fig was probably planted then, and is over 135 years old. The arborist consulted by the Council in 2024 found that it was a healthy tree. It was under threat when in February 2024 Council voted to take if off the Register of Significant Trees. FCC has since rescinded that decision, and the tree is back on that Register.

Heritage Council:
Records indicate that the Moreton Bay Fig Tree (Ficus macrophylia [sic: should be macrophylla]) was planted in the late 1880s by Webster in the grounds of his large house. This particular tree is purported to be the progenitor of many of the Moreton Bay Fig trees in Fremantle, including the Proclamation Tree (which was planted in 1890). Webster is also credited with planting the Moreton Bay Fig trees around Kings Square and St John's Church grounds.
Following Webster's death in 1893, the property passed to his Trustees. His son, Philip Cranworth Webster, and a Duffield relative were the executors of the will, which left the house to his housekeeper in trust during her lifetime. According to local legend, the will specified that one of the conditions of the will was that the housekeeper preserve the tree. (It should be noted that this speculation does not appear to have been verified against Webster's will.)

In 1896, the house was occupied by Frank Connor and Henry Stubbs, a butcher. Maud Morris, a boarding house keeper, was listed as the occupant in 1900. The following year, the house was used as the club rooms for the German Club, which had been formed in 1901 after a meeting in the Park Hotel. Mr L. Ratzzi, the German Consul, was the chairman and meetings were held in Manhattan House (195 High Street).
By 1904/05, Bunning Bros had purchased or leased the land to the north and rear of the house for use as a timber yard. A 1908 PWD plan shows a large brick house with full a length front verandah wrapping around the north-east elevation; a brick addition to the rear (not shown on a 1902 diagram), galvanised iron outbuildings (shown on 1898 plan).
In 1914/15, the property was listed in the Rate records as Buchholz Hall and Bunning Bros (club rooms and timber yard). In this year, title passed to Philip Cranworth Webster (1867-1948). The German Club closed in August 1914 due to World War I. Many of its members were interned.

By 1940, Bunning Brothers' timber yard had gone and there was a tennis court on the old yard site. By this time, the street numbers had changed and the Webster house was designated no. 195 High Street. Philip Webster junior died in 1948, and title to the property passed to his estate. By 1951/52, the house was occupied by Jean Mortimer and was used as an (unregistered) boarding house. Heritage Council.

J.K. Hitchcock:
On October 1, 1890, the anniversary of Trafalgar Day, the Moreton Bay fig tree in the triangle of Adelaide-street and Edward-street was planted by His Excellency the Governor, Sir William Robinson, in commemoration of responsible government being granted to the colony. The tree was provided by Phillip Webster, one of the auditors of the Fremantle Municipal Council, who, with the mayor and councillors, attended the Governor and handed to him a gold-painted spade with which he performed the ceremony. It was intended that the spade should be placed with the municipal treasures, but it disappeared. Webster, it should be recorded, planted most of the trees growing in St John's Church grounds. Hitchcock: 70.

John Dowson:
Philip Cranworth Webster collapsed while walking through one of his favourite places, Fremantle Park. He was taken to his home nearby at 195 High Street, a few doors away from Victoria Hall, and died soon afterwards sitting on his verandah. That was September, 1893, but Philip Webster's legacy lives on. His house is still there, and it is the first house in High Street when travelling from the beginning of High Street at the Round House. Webster built his two-storey ten room house in 1885 and besides his insistence on a verandah all round, he had constructed a conservatory for the raising of plants. While having various careers and interests, including building the Federal Coffee Palace, now Lance Holt School in Henry Street, his passion was plants and trees. The West Australian (22/8/1885) noted that 'many gardens now in Fremantle were in emulation of Mr Webster, who formerly had perhaps the finest collection of flowers in the colony.' In fact the area between his former house in Adelaide Street and the front fence was described as 'a panorama of multiflorous loveliness'.
Following Webster's death the High Street house had many uses, including being the German Club after 1901 and the timber yard for Bunnings from 1907. In his will Webster stipulated that the Moreton Bay fig tree in the front yard was not to be touched, and 107 years later it survives as the largest tree in High Street. He is also responsible for planting the huge Moreton Bay fig trees in Kings Square, and the Proclamation Tree opposite St Patrick's Basilica in 1890.
We need more Philip Websters out there planting trees. What is not commonly appreciated is that the Moreton Bay trees have a value of over one million dollars. John Dowson, personal communication.

Webster was born in the parish of Cranworth near Norwich, and died in his house in High Street. He was married three times, the third marriage to a daughter of A.A. Davies.

Erickson:
WEBSTER, Philip Cranworth, b. 1829 d. 26.9.1893 (Frem), m. 1st [1863 Frem] Maria Elizabeth b. 10.10.1825 d. 9.9.1862 (Frem), m. 2nd 17.12.1863 (Frem) Emily Caroline DUFFlELD b. 1845 d. 21.6.1868 (Frem), dtr. of John Hole Duffield the younger, m. 3rd 8.1869 (Congr. Perth) Emma Elizabeth DAVIES b. 27.6.1844 d. 15.5.1905, dtr. of Alfred Alex[ander] & Hannah. Chd. Frederick b. 1846 d. at sea, Elizabeth b. 1853, Minnie b. 1854 d. 1862, Francis B. b. 1855 & twin Emma Louisa Kate, Charles b. 1857, Philip Cranworth b. 1867 (to Eng. for educ). ?Visited Vic. 10.11.1858 per Thomas Ann Cole. Proprietor "Esplanade Hotel" Frem. 1865 & conducted a salesroom &warehouse at South Beach. Rent collector 1870s & also a nurseryman.

The gravestone (see below) of first wife Maria states that she was born in Norwich, the daughter of a solicitor, W. J. Murray. Although the Dictionary of Western Australians might give a first impression that she bore six children from her union with Philip, a page published by the SLWA and researched by a descendant states that Maria arrived (with Philip and) her children 17 July 1861 per Oryx, and that the five children all had the surname Murray, Maria's maiden name: Frederick William Henry MURRAY (14), Francis MURRAY (12), Maria MURRAY (7), Kate MURRAY (5) and Charles MURRAY (4). These five (and there was one more) were all born before she married Webster in 1863, and were born out of wedlock.

Maria and her daughter Minnie (Maria?) both died of the same (typhoid) fever within days of each other.

There was one child from the marriage of Philip and Emily: another Philip Cranworth b. 1867.

After Philip Webster died in 1893 he was buried in the Skinner Street graveyard. After the cemetery on Carrington Street opened in 1899, his memorial was removed there, though probably not his remains, as the memorial is along the Heritage Trail, where there are no reinterments.

The second Philip Cranworth Webster was married in Albany in 1895 with Annie Ellen Webster who was born at Stoke Holycross Norfolk. She died at 195 High Street in 1940, before the death of her husband.

Heritage Council:
Philip Webster owned the house at 195 High Street (originally 241 High Street) which was built for him in 1886, having purchased the block a year earlier. In 1886, the property was listed in the Rate records as a dwelling house, garden and sheds.

memorial

Webster's modest memorial along the Fremantle Cemetery Heritage Trail.

Heritage Council:
Philip Webster was born in 1829 and died on 26 September 1893. He married twice [no, thrice], first to Maria Elizabeth (1825-1862) and then to Emily Caroline [or Catherine - church records] Duffield (1845-1868 [died of typhoid fever]). [See below for the third wife, Emma.] Webster owned Fremantle's Esplanade Hotel in the 1860s and 1870s, and was listed as a nurseryman in the 1876. During the 1890s he was an auditor for the Fremantle Municipal Council. He has been remembered as 'a great lover of flowers'.

maria

Memorial to Webster's first wife, Maria, not far along the same Heritage Trail in Fremantle Cemetery from Webster's own small memorial.

Gravestone of Emma Elizabeth Webster, d. 1905, in Fremantle Cemetery. The Heritage Council notes (above) that nurseryman Philip Webster had two wives, but not this third one. The Daily News obit (immediately above) notes that he left a widow, referring to Emma. Webster himself was buried in the Skinner Street Cemetery, as the current one didn't open until 1898. His gravestone, but not his remains, was brought to the Heritage Trail in the Fremantle Cemetery (which is in Palmyra).

Clips from newspapers

The Herald (Fremantle) Saturday 5 January 1884, p. 3.

MR. WEBSTER'S MEETING
Mr. Philip Webster's meeting was held on Thursday evening last, 3rd inst., pursuant to arrangement, at the Oddfellows' Hall, Fremantle. Prominence had been given to the proposed meeting by advertisement and poster, the bellman's services were called into requisition, and as there were indicatsions of a storm there were many portonians present ready to be tossed upon the wave of indignation that threatened to tide in and swamp the Fremantle Corporation. The elements, however, were not boisterous, the Fates were propitious, and there was calm and quiet; the surrounding atmosphere although charged with electric clouds was but occasionally relieved by one or two flashes of light which emanated from the Jupiter of the night, who held in his hand the thunderbolt of Jove in the form of the written address of the chairman. Mr. Webster was supported on the platform by the promoters ot the movement, Messrs. E. H. Higham, M.L.C., J. J. Harwood, Fordham and Leach; Mr. Horton Bateman acting as secretary.
The Chairman opened the proceedings by wishing each and all a happy new year on this the first occasion of their meeting together in 1884. The meeting being an important one he thought it would be more acceptable if his speech were written, his clerk therefore suceeded to read an address in which Mr. Webster said he was not quite convalescent, a long and protracted illness having almost annihilated him. The present Municipal Act was a cumbersome piece of machinery, requiring a practical engineer to comprehend it, whilst the leading lawyers of the country were mystified in their attempts to unravel its meaning. Why should this be? The want of an experienced hand at the helm, he believed, was the cause of most of their present dissatisfaction. He would urge upon the members for for Fremantle to put forth their endeavours in the Legislative Council to sweep from the Statute Book such an ugly piece of work. The one great grievance they labored under was disproportionate rating; another was members of the Council becoming their own and other ratepayers valuators. Could any thing be more absurd ? Could any scheme be more unsatisfactory ? He had obtained high legal opinion upon questions that seriously affeted. them as ratepayers, A councillor could not fairly value his own estate; practical, intelligent men, independent of the Council should be their valuators. If not, abuses, disparities, and injustice would creep in, not out of malice, but as a natural sequence of the duty being wrong shouldered. The Mayor and Councillors were their chosen representatives and elected friends, their own selves in fact, condensed into a small compass. He blamed the rotten system they writhed under and would prove how extremely hard and disproportionate had been the levy for the year 1884. (The clerk then read extracts from the rate book shewing the disproportionate assessments made, those of the councillors being lower than anyother ratepayers, He afterwards read Mr. Burt's legal opinion, which was published in our supplement.) If he, Mr. Webster could obtain justice for only one of them, or one of his humble tenants he would be amply rewarded for his toil. He thought the objects of the meeting would be met by the resolutions it was proposed to submit. "There never was a wrong but that law and equity could put right." It was to be hoped the Legislature would soon be employed in framing a Municipal Act so simple that every ratepayer might understand it clearly without the aid of counsel to interpret its clauses. If they found that their present Mayor and Council as a "matter of fact" could not see their way to dispose of the widespread dissatisfaction that now existed, he would recommend that a Committee or "syndicate" be formed to meet the Corporation on amicable terms to test the question on its merits before the Supreme Court. Mr. Webster then said he would be glad to hear anyone present speak on the object of the meeting.
Mr. E. Higham said that in the main he concurred with what he had heard from the chairman. As one who had been in Municipal office he could not help sympathising with the difficulties the Council had to contend against, but he believed the ratepayers would be quite prepared to help the Council out of their difficulty by sanctioning the employment and payment by them of a competent valuator. There had been errors in his own term of office and there were still greater mistakes now; their duty was to bring legitimate pressure to bear on the Council, and he would regret their being disinclined to meet the ratepayers in the spirit they wished to approach the Council. Mr. Higham then read the resolution. He thought the difficulty would be reached by the appointment, outside the Council, of some one as valuator, although he did not think any councillor would wilfully under rate his own property.
Mr. Harwood seconded the resolution; in his opinion it was an illegal act on the part of the Council to make up the rate book themselves; it should have been done by some one outside the conncil, but he would wish the Mayor and council to understand that they did not wish to meet them in a spirit of opposition; they only asked a rectification of the mistakes that had been made in the assessments and they wished to work with the Council as their representatives. The resolution, which appears in our supplement, to the effect that a deputation be formed to wait upon the Mayor with a view to a re-arrangement of the basis of valuation and the satisfactory adjustment of the appeals at present lodged with the Mayor, was carried nem con.
Mr. Higham then proposed, and Mr. Duffield seconded, that the committee consist of Messrs Webster. J. J. Harwood, Flindell, Fordham, Leach and the mover. The following names were also added– Messrs. W, S, Pearse and H.Smith. Mr. Harwood proposed a vote of thanks to the chairman who deserved them for the trouble he had taken in sifting their grievance, which few independent persons would have the spirit to do. Mr. Flindell seconded, and the proceedings were brought to a close.

webster3

West Australian 22 August 1885

From Fremantle a correspondent writes: The building trade here has considerably brightened, and good hands get employment readily. Mr. Jarvis, who has been in trade for over twenty years, is the successful tenderer for two five-roomed cottages for Capt. Shaw, to be erected facing the railway near the parsonage. He has also entered into a contract with Mr. Philip Webster to build a ten-roomed house in the upper part of High street. It is to be of two stories with verandah all round, and will combine all the most recent improvements in house building. There will be a conservatory with 40 feet of sashes, attached, which Mr. Webster intends for the raising of plants. As a florist this gentlemen worked very successfully some years ago, and many gardens now in Fremantle were established in emulation of Mr. Webster, who formerly had perhaps the finest collection of flowers in the colony.”

webster1

Daily News 1 July 1885

A CONSIGNMENT OF 600 FRUIT, FLORIST TREES, ETC.,
JUST arrived per s.s. "PENOLA.”
EARLY APPLICATION NECESSARY
Choice New Fruit Trees, consisting of 100 varieties of Apples on Majetin (blight proof) including the Queen, Dr Hogg, the Prince, Lady Henniker Bramley and others, and a beautiful collection of the following fruits:—Pear (on Pear), Apricots, Nectarines, Peach, Plums, Cherries, (Black and Red), English Gooseberries and Currants, Raspberries, Walnuts, Chestnuts, Filberts, Red and White Cob and Cosford Nuts, Almonds, Locquats, Medlars, Guavas, Figs, Quince, Pomegranates, Olive, Black Mulberry, Orange Trees.
The above Fruit Trees are true to name, and have been raised and grafted by one of the most celebrated Nurserymen in Australasia, and offer a very rare opportunity for securing choice Fruit Trees true to name.
100 varieties of Rose Bushes, in choice kinds, nicely assorted, Norfolk Island Pines, Morton Bay Pines, Pittosporum, Ficus (Morton Bay Fig), &c., &c.
Orders will be attended to in rotation.
Apply to
PHILIP WEBSTER, Fremantle.
June 2nd.
idn

webster4

Western Mail, obit, Saturday 30 September 1893

Wstern Mail, 1893:
We regret to announce the death of Mr. Philip Webster, of Fremantle. Mr. Webster died shortly after 4 o'clock yesterday, at his residence, High-street, from an apoplectic seizure. About ten years ago the deceased gentleman was prostrated with a similar attack, but he recovered his activity, and up till yesterday morning was apparently in his usual health. In the afternoon, he took a walk, and while passing through the Fremantle Park was seen to fall suddenly. As he did not again rise to his feet the attention of some bystanders was attracted, and it was found that Mr. Webster was in a fit. He was at once conveyed to his residence, which is only a short distance from the Park, and Dr. Lotz, who was passing through High-street, was called in attendance. Death, however, took place when the deceased was placed within the verandah of his house. Mr. Webster, who was 65 years of age, came to the colony about 35 years ago, and his first principal occupation was as manager of Carter & Co.'s drapery establishment. He was subsequently engaged in auctioneering and was afterwards in partnership with Mr. Marmion. He then entered into the wine trade, and for about twenty years carried on the business now conducted by Mr. George A. Davies in High street, Fremantle. Latterly he devoted himself to the business of a nurseryman, and he was also interested in town property and station investments to some extent. Last year, Mr. Webster built the fine building in Henry-street now known as the Federal Coffee Palace. The deceased leaves a widow and one son, and very general regret is expressed at his sudden death. Daily News, Wednesday 27 September 1893: 4 (News and Notes)

webster2

Daily News 14 October 1893; text:

TO LET.—Large and commodious two-storied DWELLING-HOUSE situated in High-street East, Fremantle, lately occupied by Mr Philip Webster, containing ten rooms and two large halls, each 10ft. x 14ft., balcony and verandah on North and East sides, 10ft. wide, large glass house and iron sheds at back of premises, fruit garden contiguous, containing upwards of 130 trees and 120 vines, all fruit bearing. Windmill and Tanks. Rent nominal. Possession about November 1st, 1803.
Apply to
GEO. A. DAVIES,
High-street,
Fremantle.

Correspondence

Daily News, Friday 25 January 1884, p. 2.

REPLY TO "RATEPAYER, SENEX & Co." VIDE "MORNING HERALD,"
JANUARY 24th, 1884

SIR,—Though the proprietors, Editors, and paragraph men of the "Morning Herald" may flaunt their bona-fides by inserting their scurrilous and disgustingly personal communications in the columns of "Correspondence," and say " We wish it to be distinctly understood that we in no way identify ourselves with the communications of our Correspondents;" yet no unbiassed mind, no ratepayer, or sensible man, either in Fremantle or Perth, but divines the hand that writes !
The ratepayers seeing "Reform" are noticeable as men who openly and plainly speak what they mean; men who are not ashamed to sign their names to their Correspondence, that their fellow citizens, may know who they are. In sober contrast the " Herald " men are trying to subvert this under a variety of nom-de-plumes. Echo asks, Why?
The wily policy of this paper and the servile contortions of its stout sub-Ed. are too well known in both townships to need much reference to their taticts from me. It has become almost a household word, the 'degeneracy' of the "Herald," in honest counterbalance to the " Inquirer" and the " West Australian." And sore indeed seems this degenerate one, that the 'Reform Party' should seek to ventilate grievances in other publications. What can possibly be done? The "Herald" runs with the hare, but takes uncommon fine care to hang with the hounds also!! We are driven out of our town to secure fair play. Can the "Herald" truckle to the Reform Party and the discomforted corporation at one and the same time, without being clean bowled out?
One might smile in anger even at the wavering policy of a man, and do nothing further than think what a 'dreadfully good hat' he wears, considering the number of faces it has to surmount daily, and then pass by the characteristic. Not so, however; when these wily gentlemen, at first the suggesters; secondly, most certainly, the supporter and propounders of measures to effect a reform acknowledged by 99 out of every 100 of my fairspeaking fellow-townsmen as urgently necessary; — turn tail, and, like the fourfooted domesticated animal, we are so well acquainted with, return to his 'old ' policy — to his vomit again !
Fresh wholesome food, such as ratepayers' grievances, is incompatible with minds sourced by continual wavering, and beating about of the bush. I ask, Has it lately been the forte of the "Herald" proper, or its bantling, to walk a straight line ? speaking as a Military Sergeant of the night guard would. Are they of late years fairly sober enough to repeat the words "truly rural" without reproof ? In this dead-and-alive place no one would be complaining about either of the publications changing front, making capital of certain political or parochial questions. These things are looked for from such as he; but when the proprietor allows, to serve his ends (which speaks weakness), his people to indulge in private animosity, in personalities (its outcome), as mean as they are contemptible, more sensible people get disgusted with the cause, and his publication to boot.
Is it fair or manly to rake up and thrust forward in print a man's late afflictions or infirmity — the purchase of a book — call his honest endeavours abuse, rake into ridicule a flower being placed on a table, a piece of land bought, a house to be built, or a wall erected — even if I am represented as wanting to drive my carriage-and-pair on top of it ; and a number of other small things to rate a man's policy with, such as the number of nobblers or glasses of ale his clerk may take during the day, or how many gloves I wear as indicative of my brain power. And with the ex-angel's tactics to veil, to smother in fact what is right, just, and equitable. In passing over certain allusions to dress — some insinuations to Bismarkian policy, Jupiter, Jove, beer jugs, &c., I do hope that I may not—through sheer force of conduct alone — become infected with the nausea, my "Senex," and his other hidden-named companion gives vent to. Yet who can enter the fever-chamber without carrying away some germ?
I wish I could say, as Disraeli once did, but in other words — I know nothing of parochial matters !
I regret to say that some of my astute relatives and friends (?) are busying themselves in a most cruel and ungenerous manner. I hope not to further their own private and personal interests — or with the expectation of already feathering an already too-well feathered nest ! Or from parochial policy ! One thing I shall strive to do, as hard as ever they work (even with one of my own household) to make them 'foul' their comfortable nook. It is no romance to say that many instances have occurred before to-day, of "quiet medical removals" of generous-hearted hale men; for both, or either, family and political purposes.
My protection lies mainly in the narrow limits of our population at present, and my conscience; and I have confidence in stating that while they shall find no paltry manners in me, my better-disposed fellow-townsmen 'will' ever guard the right and expose wrong.

Whether I have been writing now personally or parochially, it will, I know (D.V.) be all the same.— Yours faithfully,
PHILIP WEBSTER
Chairman Reform Committee.

The West Australian, Monday 11 May 1885, p. 3.

AT LAST SHE MOVES.
To the Editor of the West Australian.
Sir,–Kindly allow me a small space in your valuable paper to say a few words on the above phrase and other matters interesting to Fremantle Ratepayers.
It is many years ago when these words were first sounded in our ears by Governor Weld, at the early part of his reign in Swan River, and I fancy many thoughts darted through his mind at the same words uttered by our present Governor at the Colonial Institute, London, before the Prince of Wales and other noblemen, including Governor Weld and others. Many thanks are due to our Governor for his pains and exertions, in furthering the interests of our Colony. I think however there was little too much sauce applied to the chicken in the pot, &c. On the whole it is only fair to say Governor Broome has made matters dovetail very well indeed, aud we can only hope that good may result from his visit to the home Government. Although Governor Weld used this phrase, 'At last she moves' and although the word, "Paullatim" was engraved on the silver trowel presented to him in laying the foundation stone of Perth Town Hall, I am afraid he is much disappointed at the very slow pace we have been crawling along during the last 16 years. At that time our population throughout the colony was approaching 30,000 inhabitants, and when Governor Broome stated that the present population was only 32,000, I think, notwithstanding the attractions put forth in the papers received by many in this colony, our old Governor must have been somewhat puzzled and may have come to the conclusion that the people of Western Australia are still only babies confined to their go-carts and to their mother's apronstrings, tethered.
But what says the rising generation of Fremantle : " We have nice streets and roads, 'Odd Fellows Hall,' 'Masonic Hall,' 'Literary Institute,' 'Grammar School' now rising on the top of Monument Hill, a 'lovely church,' and three Parks, 'The Peoples Park, ' Wrenfordsley Park' and the 'Mayors Park,' the latter although least, is the last, and only just finished, now awaiting the opening day that the Mayor's name may be engraven in Red, White and Blue, facing ' Adelaide Street,' ' Edward Street ' and ' Parry Street.' The first of June is not far distant when the good people of the port are longing to enjoy this gala day. "Besides all this we intend to build a beautiful, elaborate, and costly Town Hall on credit, and to our credit for £11,000, some people say even £13,000 and we are going to borrow £12,000 on Loans at 6 per cent. per annum. I will now tell the whole truth as to how matters stand with regard to ways and means.
Our Corporation has an income on an assessment of £28,000 which produce a revenue of £1400 par annum, and to make matters very plain that there may be no misunderstanding hereafter, here is a statement of facts :

REVENUE.
Rate 7 3/4 in the £ ample for all purposes—904 3 4
Interest on fixed deposits £240 Sinking fund at 5 per cent. for 10 years averaging yearly—54 0 0
Deficit 49 16 8
£1008 0 0
EXPENDITURE.
Interest on £12,000 at 6 per cent—720 0 0
2 per cent. on Sinking fund as the acct. provides—240 0 0
Collectors Commission 5 per cent 48 0 0
£1008 0 0

The above is a correct statement of account showing our position so far as revenue is concerned, we are not particular about expenditure on little deficit. The expenses of Town Hall, caretaker, printing and advertising, keeping up roads (when they are made) and a thousand other things. We mean to have our Town Hall, and we mean to raise the wind by new loans up to £3,000 more, making a total of £15,000. With all our borrowing powers we shall borrow of Peter to pay Paul. This a new idea of our Mayor's on the principle of perpetual motion. We intend to engrave on our silver trowel not Paullatim but "Ne sutor ultra crepidam." Although this phase is applicable to the shoemaker, it is equally good for the Fremantle ratepayers.
I am
yours faithfully,
Phillip [sic] Webster.
May 8,1885.

References and Links

Hitchcock, JK 1929, The History of Fremantle, The Front Gate of Australia 1829-1929, Fremantle City Council.

Heritage Council entry

John Dowson, personal communication (above)

Thanks to Margaret Ker for much information, including two of the newspaper clips above.

Entry for Webster's house.

Page on Webster's 'Reform Committee'.


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