Frederick Ropier Robinson (1815-1899) Ironmonger and for 38 years a member of Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution
Ellis Frederick Leathwick Robinson (1839-1905) for 41 years Secretary of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution
Frederick and Ellis Robinson were both devoted members of the governing committee of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution for nearly forty years from its founding and into the twentieth century. Their tireless work helped provide invaluable assistance in the commencement, maintenance and growth of an organisation that was to become the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC). The story of the Robinson family in Australia begins with Thomas Leathwick Robinson, Frederick’s father and Elllis’ grandfather. It is his life and his descendants’ success in business that forms the backdrop that enabled Frederick and Ellis to contribute philanthropically to the RIDBC.
According to the narrative supplied to the author of the 1888 article on FR Robinson in Australian Men of Mark, Robinson arrived in the colony of NSW in the early part 1829 with his parents who were ‘determined to come to Australia in order to enable them to better their fortunes in that distant and little known land’. This account of his arrival was less than candid and was aimed more at protecting the respectability that the Robison family had attained rather than giving an accurate account of his origins in NSW. The arrival of the Robinson family in NSW was in fact, as with so many, due to a conviction at the Old Bailey. Thomas Leathwick Robinson was convicted of selling four silver bottle labels with forged and counterfeit hall-marks. He had, as a silversmith, also forged these silver hallmarks but because he provided information that was helpful to His Majesty’s Stamp Office this second charge was dropped. He was 40 years of age and was sentenced to fourteen years transportation arriving in Hobart on board the Competitor on August 2, 1823. He must have been an educated man as he was employed, in 1824, as a school master using the Madras system at the Public School, Campbelltown NSW. He gained his ticket of leave for the Airds area south of Sydney on December 29, 1829 and his certificate of freedom in 1836. Thomas was followed to NSW five years after his transportation by his wife Mary Jane and their three children, Susannah, Lucy and Frederick who arrived in Sydney in December, 1828 on the Borneo. The family lived together at Campbelltown and Mrs Robinson from 1829, as was common for the master’s wife, assisted in the teaching of needlework. For this work Thomas was paid £40pa and Mary £10pa. After 1838 he acquired leases in the Maneroo area adjacent to the Snowy River and ran stock on these pastures, eventually taking up residence in the Eden Monaro area where he died in 1864 at the age of 85.
Thomas’ son Frederick Ropier Robinson did not go on the land with his father but after spending two years on the dairy farm of a relative went to Sydney where he ‘acquired a full and complete knowledge of working in metals’. Aged 23 in 1838 he married Caroline Jemima Phillips (1807-1891) and went into business in Sydney in October of that year as a Tin–Plate worker producing dish covers and various articles. The business did well and diversified from its simple beginnings and within nine years was offering to the public, though manufacture or importation, brass lamps, bell and flat weights, pumps, chemical and scientific apparatus, shower baths, wine warmers, binnacles for ships and various other items of manufactured ironmongery. After ten years in business Robinson reminded customers that the business could manufacture every article in the various branches of Tin, Iron, Brass and Japan Ware which indicated that Robinson, in order to remain profitable, had expanded into the manufacture and distribution of a wide range of products to meet the increasing aspirations of colony of NSW. He also advertised his business as licensed plumbers and gas fitters which was an essential service required by customers of their manufactured products. From 1884 to 1895 he was the Marine Board’s Inspector of Lights which required him to periodically visit light houses up and down the NSW coast to check and repair lighthouses and pilot lights.
Ellis was made a partner in 1876 and the firm’s name changed to FR Robinson and Son. The business closed its’ shop front to concentrate on importation and manufacturing and while they produced a wide range of goods they began to concentrate on the production and importation of stoves, both domestic and commercial, cooking and heating, gas or coal or wood. Around this time the firm was employing some 24 hands and as a manufacturer and importer Robinson was very interested in the current issue of free trade vs protectionism. Frederick was a free trader and was confident that his business could compete without the benefit of tariff protection saying of protectionism that ‘it is the gain of the few by the robbery of the many’. By 1879 the other sons were admitted as partners, though Frederick no doubt maintained effective control, and the business became FR Robinson and Sons. In 1885 due to the increased prosperity of the business, land was purchased and new and larger premises were constructed in Castlereagh Street which then became the centre of the business.
Frederick had the ironmongery as his sole business interest Ellis, however, became involved as a director in the Operative’s Building Society later to be known as the National Permanent Building, Land and Investment Society. The purpose of the Society was to provide a rate of interest in advance of the banks on money loaned to it by depositors. With these funds the Society purchased and then sold land on such terms as would enable working men and others of limited means to become possessors of their own freeholds on which on build their own homes. The society was formed in April 1877 and Ellis was involved from its commencement until 1886. By 1887 it had been decided to make the Society a limited liability company with the provision that directors each increase their shareholding from 5 shares at £20 a share to 12 ½ shares thus increasing their outlay by £150. It is at this point that Ellis, possibly for financial reasons, discontinued his directorship. This proved a wise move as in 1892 during the deepening depression enveloping the Sydney commercial scene there was a ‘run’ on the funds of the Society and with deposits drying up and a drop in land values it eventually ceased trading. Ellis’ early exit before the difficulties hit the society allowed his commercial reputation and that of FR Robinson and Sons to be preserved. The 1890’s would, however, prove a difficult time in the retail and manufacturing business scene of Sydney.
When Frederick Robinson died in 1899 he was in considerable debt and had been so for some time. His largest creditor, just prior to this death, was pressing for a progress payment of £1,000 towards clearing an account for stock provided to the firm. The depression of the 1890’s was a challenging time for the FR Robinson and Sons who advised its largest creditor that ‘ever since the crisis set in, businesses all around have shrunk, and ours is no exception’. While Robinson owned his business properties they were expensive to maintain. He was effectively paying a rent for they were mortgaged with high interest payments as they were purchased and built in the mid 1880’s when the land was very expensive to purchase. In his will Frederick had bound his three sons to continue the business and they attempted to do so but it would seem they were not able to trade their way out of difficulty. When the estate was finalised Robinson owed a total of £14, 298 ($1.9 million) which exceeded his assets by £2,185 ($300K). The biggest creditor was Smith and Wellstood Ltd, stove makers of Glasgow to whom Robinson owed £2,987 ($405K) and it is clear that they had been for some years been providing credit, to FR Robinson and Sons, no doubt hoping that they would return to profitability and repay their debts. The death of Frederick had brought the matter to a head and by 1902 FR Robinson and Sons became a limited liability company largely owned by Smith and Wellstood Ltd, Glasgow, however, the restructure of the company was not successful and by 1916 FR Robinson and Sons Ltd had gone out of business. The retailers Anthony Hordens, Sydney announced that they had acquired the whole stock of FR Robinson and Sons and that they had placed it on sale at bargain prices. This would the last Sydney would hear of this company that had traded in for 80 years. These events would impact Ellis Robertson’s ability to continue his service to the DDBI.
Ellis Frederick Leathwick Robinson was born in 1839 in Sydney the eldest child of Frederick and Caroline who were married for over 50 years and had ten children. Ellis, by contrast, was married three times; in 1868 to Margaret Jane Yeend (1848-1876), in 1877 to Sophia Jane Markwell (1848-1879) and lastly in 1888 to Jeannie Gilbert (1860-1897). Tragically each of Ellis’ three wives died as a result of complications from child birth and Ellis himself died in 1905 some six years after his father. Ellis was the father of ten children eight of whom survived him and at the time of his death ranged in age from 36 to 8 years of age.
The Robinsons were devout Anglicans initially at St Andrews Temporary Cathedral, Sydney where the Rev George King was the incumbent. Frederick in particular, who was a warden of the church and a representative to the first Synod established by Bishop Barker, was supportive of King in his disagreement with his bishop and which lead to King leaving the Cathedral. Frederick also left and associated himself with St Mary’s Balmain, serving as Warden in 1867-1868. When it was decided, in 1873, that an additional church was needed for Balmain Frederick was the founding secretary of the committee, churchwarden and trustee of St Thomas’ Balmain West from its commencement for some twenty six years. Ellis was a member of St John’s Balmain and the Trustees Warden from at least 1887-1896.
It is in connection with George King and St Andrews that the Robinsons became involved with the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution (DDBI). At St Andrews Robinson met George Lentz
who had several deaf and dumb children, and whose constant grievance was that there was not any institution for the instruction of deaf mutes. Mr Robinson was at once alive to the importance of having such an institution, and he brought the matter under the notice of his brother churchwardens, and the Rev George King.
After Thomas Pattison, with the support of the Lentz family and the support and encouragement of the minster and wardens of the St Andrews Temporary Cathedral, had laid the foundation DDBI as a private institution from October 1860 – October 1861 a move was made to turn it into a public institution. A group of ‘gentleman … initiated this undertaking in a more practical way’ and ‘they were the Rev George King MA, Mr H Selby, Mr E S Wilson, Mr G A F Lentz and Mr F R Robinson’. All were associated with St Andrews Cathedral, King as the minister, Selby and Robinson as Church Wardens and Lentz and Wilson as members. King became the chairman of the DDBI, Selby the treasurer, Wilson the secretary and Lentz and Robinson committee members.
Frederick was to serve the Institute from its foundation until his death in 1899 and his wife Caroline was to work on the Ladies Visiting Committee from its formation in 1864 until her death in 1891. For 38 years Frederick had been very regular in his attendance at board meetings and attended his last annual meeting less than two weeks before his death. Financially Frederick was a regular subscriber to the Institute giving a guinea almost every year from 1861 until his death and this practice was continued by his executors and later by the company that bore his name. This was not great sum of money for Frederick was a governance philanthropist, giving his time to the board of the DDBI, rather than a financial philanthropist who would give significant sums of money.
According to the jubilee annual report in 1910, ES Wilson was first Honorary Secretary and he held office for only 12 months and in the second year of operation of the DDBI Ellis Robertson became Honorary Secretary a position he held for 41 years until 1904.  This not quite correct as Wilson was the founding Secretary in October 1861 and held the position for two years. Ellis was appointed Honorary Secretary DDBI on October 9, 1863. Ellis like his father was not a financial philanthropist as he appears not to have given money to the DDBI but he was a governance philanthropist. As Honorary Secretary of the governing committee he was the one who did most of the board’s administrative work. Over the years, with the growth of the DDBI the volume of work that Ellis undertook increased substantially. His efficient administrative labours were a significant factor in the smooth running of the Institute. His contribution in this way was far more valuable than any financial support he might have been able to give.
From 1871 to 1879 Ellis was paid a gratuity of £50 per annum but for 1873 this gratuity was increased to £100 in the light of his ten years’ service and ‘especially for his arduous labours during the erection of the new building’. Also in 1873 it the Board decided to create the honourific position of Life Director of the DDBI. One could become a Life Director by various means. FR Robinson was appointed as a ‘founder of the Institution having been a continuous member of the Committee since the foundation’. The provision, of continuous membership, saved the Committee from appointing George Lentz, whom the Committee wished to have nothing to do with, to the position of a Life Director. At the same time Ellis was appointed under the provision of having given five years continuous service as the Honorary Secretary of the Institution.
Ellis’ work on the committee of the DDBI was highly regarded and only on one occasion did Ellis receive significant public criticism for his work. In 1880 it was discovered that a collector had short changed the Institute some £200. The chairman, George King, was absent from Sydney for an extended period of time and the board, on legal advice, dealt with the matter in his absence and a repayment plan was organised for the contrite collector. King at the annual meeting, without consulting the board and contrary to its understanding of the situation, accused Ellis of ‘great carelessness’ over the matter and called for his resignation and suggested the appointment of a paid secretary to replace him. Ellis was justifiably annoyed and pointed out that King, as chairman did little but go to the Governor to ask him to preside at the annual meeting, whereas he ‘had worked so hard on its [the Institution’s] behalf that his sight had been injured in consequence. For seventeen years he had worked and never sought assistance; and he was quite content to keep at it the same as ever’.  The board members defended Ellis and the matter was dropped.
At Ellis’ death he was praised as one ‘who devoted, perhaps, the best service of his life in order that it [the Institution] might attain its present high standard’ he was, it was said, ‘saturated… with the desire of making the Institution progress… he sacrificed his nights and his days to this work.’ While charitable organisations tended to be lavish in their praise in such circumstances on this occasion the words of commendation were appropriate.
In June of 1904 Ellis missed his first meeting for many years and was absent because of ‘severe illness’ and he never returned to the Committee. Ellis wrote to the Committee stating that ‘owing to altered circumstances he could not possibly continue to perform the duties of Hon. Sec’ and in the same letter asked to be appointed to a ‘position of paid Secretary’. The committee regretfully accepted the resignation but declined to appoint him to a position as paid Secretary.  What were these ‘altered circumstances’ that would not permit him to be the Honorary Secretary but would allow him to be the paid Secretary? He had been unwell but his comments point to a financial aspect to his situation. The family business had already been taken over and Ellis no longer had employment. When the business came under Scottish management in 1902, he and his brother Charles retained general oversight of its Sydney business. By 1903, however, they had been replaced and were no longer involved. The 1,000 shares in the company that they were issued had a 10/- per share call to be paid by the 30th June 1903. The payment was not made by the Robinsons and they were given a deadline of 16th September 1904 to meet their obligations. This deadline too was missed and the shares were forfeited and any connection with the company was thereby terminated. Ellis was by 1904, 65 years old and unwell and would have had considerable difficulty in obtaining employment. Ellis had been widowed again in 1897 and had the care of four children ranging from 7 to 15 years he was clearly in need of income to support them. So he had sought to earn his living by being a paid employee of the DDBI.
In response to this application the chairman Dr Renwick, in view of the
long –continued and valuable services of Mr Ellis Robinson, drew up a proposal to employ Ellis as a Collector to be paid £2 per week with a commission of 5% on old subscriptions usually received in the past and 15% on new subscriptions for the first year only.
Ellis commenced as the paid Collector for the DDBI on October 24, 1904. In his work as a Collector for the DDBI Ellis, who was a devoted and well known Mason and Protestant churchman suggested that a circular be sent out to the Masonic and Orange Lodges with his name attached to it.  Ellis knew that his name carried weight in both these circles and was happy to use his influence to help raise funds for the Institution.
Ellis was a prominent Freemason, being member of the Balmain Lodge No 868 EC and its Worshipful Master in 1886 and a member of the Grand Lodge of NSW being Junior Grand Warden (JGW) in 1895 and Grand Senior Warden (GSW) in 1896. He served in various offices in the Freemasons Benevolent Institution and was from 1895 to 1900 the honorary treasurer, chairman of the Committee in 1902 and a Vice President from 1902 to 1905. The Freemasons Benevolent Institution existed for the ‘permanent relief of the aged, distressed, and infirm Freemasons and their wives or widows.’ When Ellis died he was buried in accord with rites of the Anglican Church conducted by the former minister Rev WA Charlton assisted by the current minister of St Johns’ Balmain the Rev JC Remington and also with full Masonic funeral honours and his polished cedar coffin was adorned with Masonic emblems. By contrast his father Frederick does not appear to have been a Freemason, his funeral was only conducted by Anglican clergy, six in all, and his coffin had on it, by his request, only a silver name plate.
The Robinsons were community minded and involved themselves in various community based activities. In 1879 Frederick Robinson was appointed a Magistrate and Ellis in 1903. Frederick lived in Balmain for at least 36 years and was an Alderman of the Balmain Council and Mayor in 1869. He was involved in public agitation over the construction of the Marsfield tramline, was a member of Balmain West Public School Board. Caroline Robinson (Mrs FR Robinson) was, from 1890 to 1891, president of the St Thomas’ Benevolent Society Balmain. 
Ellis also lived in the suburb of Balmain and was also involved in community affairs being, a member of the Balmain Regatta Committee, treasurer of the Balmain Juvenile Industrial Exhibition, convener of a meeting of rate payers concerning the ferry service, a member of the Balmain Cottage Hospital Committee, vice president of the Birchgrove Literary and Debating Society, part of a deputation to the Minister of Public Instruction seeking the establishment of a school at Snail’s Bay. In 1898, probably as a result of the financial difficulties of FR Robinson and Sons Ltd he moved to Guilford where he lived until his death in 1905.
The Robinsons, Frederick and Ellis were remarkable for the longevity and devotion of their service to the cause of the DDBI. Their contribution to the governance of the Institute from the time of its formation and for over 40 years assisted in no small measure in placing the work on a firm and solid foundation so that children who were deaf and blind might be educated and equipped for adulthood.
© Dr Paul F Cooper, June 2014
The appropriate way to cite this article is as follows:
Paul F Cooper. Frederick Ropier Robinson (1815-1899) Ironmonger and for 38 years a member of Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution and Ellis Frederick Leathwick Robinson (1839-1905) for 41 years Secretary of the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution. Philanthropy and Philanthropists in Australian Colonial History, August 27, 2014. Available at https://phinaucohi.wordpress.com/2014/08/27/frederick-ellis-robinson/
DDBI Annual Reports.
Frederick R Robinson, Probate Papers, SC000811, 19785 NSW State Records, Kingswood NSW.
FR Robinson and Sons to Messes Smith and Wellstood, Glasgow Falkirk Community Trust Museum and Archive Collections A1419.005
Minutes FR Robinson and Sons Limited, Falkirk Community Trust Museum and Archive Collections A1419.144
NSW Muster 1825.
NSW Police Gazette.
NSW Unassisted Immigrant Passengers, 1828.
Returns of the Colony NSW, 1824, 1833 & 1843.
Thomas Robinson, Certificate of Freedom 36/1256, 4/4336 http://srwww.records.nsw.gov.au/
Sands Directory 1863, 1898.
Illustrated Sydney News.
Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser.
Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (TAS).
Monaro Mercury and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser.
Sydney Morning Herald (SMH).
The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW).
The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate.
The Morning Post (London, England).
The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser.
The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser.
Windsor and Richmond Gazette.
Australian Bureau of Statistics Year Book Australia 2012.
Cable K. J. and Hazel King, ‘King, George (1813–1899)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/king-george-3952/text6229, published in hardcopy 1974, accessed online March 20, 2014.
Cooper, Paul F. George Augustus Frederick Lentz. (Unpublished paper, 2014).
Digby Everard (Ed), ‘Frederick R Robinson’, Australian Men of Mark 1889, Vol 2 Archive Books Australia CD Version, 222.
 The current name of this organisation is the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children (RIDBC) and this more appropriate name has evolved over time. The organisation in 1860 was called the Deaf and Dumb Institution and in 1869 it became the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution. In 1954 the Queen conferred the title Royal upon the Institution and the name was changed to The Royal New South Wales Institution for Deaf and Blind Children with the word ‘dumb’ being deleted. In 1973 there was a further name change with “Institution” being replaced by “Institute” thus gaining its present name the Royal Institute for Deaf and Blind Children. For the period of this study the organisation will be was called the Deaf and Dumb and Blind Institution.
 Everard Digby (Ed), ‘Frederick R Robinson’, Australian Men of Mark 1889, Vol 2 Archive Books Australia CD Version, 219.
 The Morning Post (London, England), September 12, 1822.
 Hobart Town Gazette and Van Diemen’s Land Advertiser (TAS), August 9, 1823.
 The method was based on the abler pupils being used as ‘helpers’ to the teacher, passing on the information they had learned to other students. The system was found very useful by 19th-century educators as it made it possible to increase the average class size.
 NSW Muster 1825; his appointment dated January 1, 1824; Returns of the Colony NSW, 1824. Initially it is said he was appointed by the Committee of the Orphan Schools but later by Sir Thomas Brisbane, Governor.
 The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser, December 29, 1829.
 NSW Unassisted Immigrant Passengers, 1828.
 Returns of the Colony NSW, 1833.
 Returns of the Colony NSW, 1838.
 SMH, October 28, 1841.
 ‘Frederick R Robinson’, Australian Men of Mark 1889, 220.
 The Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, October 8, 1838.
 SMH, December 6, 1845.
 SMH, November 2, 1849.
 SMH, August 26, 1880.
 SMH, April 26, 1884. In 1862 he also manufactured and erected under the supervision of the colonial architect the harbour light at Twofold Bay. ‘Frederick R Robinson’, Australian Men of Mark 1889, 221. SMH, May 24, 1862.
 The Argus, July 4, 1877.
 SMH, February 2, 1876.
 Monaro Mercury and Cooma and Bombala Advertiser, August 16, 1879 first advertised FR Robinson and Sons. The sons were Francis William (1841-1912) and Charles Henry Robinson (1858-1929).
 ‘Frederick R Robinson’, Australian Men of Mark 1889, 221.
 SMH, March 16, 1885. The George Street premises were closed on March 16, 1885.
 It was paying 7% on fixed deposits of 12 months. SMH, July 2, 1887.
 Illustrated Sydney News, March 15, 1887.
 Illustrated Sydney News, March 15, 1887; SMH, April 7, 1877; December 1, 1881; February 16, 1886.
 By 1893 it was in serious trouble but the exact date of it halting trading in not known, SMH, February 21, 1893.
 Letter FR Robinson and Sons to Messes Smith and Wellstood, Glasgow Falkirk Community Trust Museum and Archive Collections (FCTAC) A1419.005
 Letter FR Robinson and Sons to Messes Smith and Wellstood, Glasgow (FCTAC) A1419.005
 Letter FR Robinson and Sons to Messes Smith and Wellstood, Glasgow (FCTAC) A1419.005
 All Australian dollar figures are the equivalent value in 2011 using the Consumer Price Index Numbers supplied by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Year Book Australia 2012.
 Frederick R Robinson, Probate Papers, SC000811, 19785 NSW State Records, Kingswood NSW.
 Evening News, December 24, 1902 is the first time they are advertised as FR Robinson and Sons Ltd but it became a limited liability company incorporated in the United Kingdom with its Directors in Glasgow on January 28, 1902. (FCTAC) entry for F.R. Robinson & Sons Ltd.
 SMH, January 27, 1916. The company was taken over by Smith & Wellstood Ltd. The directors were resident in Scotland and were George Reid Ure, Allan Gillespie and George Albert Ure, and as these were also the Directors of Smith and Wellstood Ltd, a Scottish company that produced stoves, it would seem that FR Robinson and Sons Ltd became a company owned by Robertson’s principal creditor. (FCTAC) A1419.144 and A1419.005.
 Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, April 21, 1888.
 SMH, March 19, 1861.
 SMH, April 26, 1867; April 20, 1868.
 SMH, December 16, 1899; December 22, 1873.
 Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, February 11, 1905; Evening News, April 9, 1896; SMH, April 14, 1887.
 Everard Digby (Ed), ‘Frederick R Robinson’, Australian Men of Mark 1889, Vol 2 Archive Books Australia CD Version, 220.
 K. J. Cable and Hazel King, ‘King, George (1813–1899)’, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/king-george-3952/text6229, published in hardcopy 1974, accessed online March 20, 2014.
 SMH, October 22, 1866. F.R. Robinson’s son Ellis joined the DDBI Committee in 1863 and was its secretary from 1863 – 1904.
 DDBI 50th Annual Report, 1911 page 26.
 DDBI 50th Annual Report, 1911 page 25.
 He was also, according to George King, secretary in the initial twelve month period when the DDBI was a private organisation. SMH, October 19, 1880.
 DDBI Minutes, October 9, 1863.
 SMH, October 19, 1880 from then on Ellis, believing his expenses had decreased due to the appointment of an assistant Henry Cook, did not accept any future gratuity.
 DDBI Minutes, May 12, 1873.
 DDBI Minutes, May 12, 1873.
 SMH, October 19, 1880.
 SMH, October 19, 1880.
 DDBI 44th Annual Report 1905.
 DDBI Minutes, September 12, 1904.
 DDBI Minutes, September 12, 1904.
 I am indebted to the research of Jean Jamieson, Archives Assistant, Falkirk Community Trust Museum and Archive Collections much of the information that follows on FR Robinson and Sons.
 Minutes FR Robinson and Sons Limited, July 20, 1904, 57-8. (FCTAC) A1419.144.
 Ellis’ third wife, Jeanie (nee Gilbert) had served on the Ladies Visiting Committee from 1892 until her death in 1987. DDBI 50th Annual Report, 1911 page 26.
 DDBI Minutes, October 14, 1904
 DDBI Minutes, October 14, 1904
 DDBI Minutes, November 11, 1904
 DDBI Minutes, December 12, 1904.
 Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, 16 July 1887.
 Windsor and Richmond Gazette, March 23, 1895.
 The Cumberland Argus and Fruitgrowers Advocate (Parramatta, NSW), May 30 1896.
 Evening News May 28, 1895; SMH, May 28, 1895; Evening News, May 19, 1896; SMH, May 25, 1898; May 6, 1902.
 Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, February 11, 1905.
 Though it should be noted that AH Bray the Grand Secretary of UGL of Masonry of NSW attended but this may have been for the benefit of Ellis. SMH, November 7, 1899.
 NSW Police Gazette, October 22, 1879.
 SMH, November 17, 1903.
 The Dubbo Liberal and Macquarie Advocate, November 8, 1899 said 50 years but all his children were born in their George Street, Sydney residence, the last in 1861. He is living in Balmain from 1863. Sands Directory for 1863.
 SMH, May 18, 1869. His obituary incorrectly gave the date as 1867. SMH, November 6, 1899.
 Evening News, August 14, 1888.
 SMH, November 4, 1878.
 SMH, January 24, 1890; January 9, 1891.
 SMH, November 9, 1878.
 SMH, October 25, 1881.
 SMH, May 12, 1884.
 Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, February 6, 1886.
 Balmain Observer and Western Suburbs Advertiser, July 2, 1887.
 SMH, April 5, 1884.
 Sands Directory 1898.