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George MARCHANT

Male 1857 - 1941  (83 years)


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  • Name George MARCHANT 
    Born 25 Nov 1857  Brasted. Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender Male 
    Immigration 9 Jun 1874  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    aboard the Ship "Ramsey" 
    Died 5 Sep 1941  Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Notes 
    • (1) England & Wales, Civil Registration Birth Index, 1837-1915 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2006:

      Name: George Marchant
      Registration Year: 1857
      Registration Quarter: Oct-Nov-Dec
      Registration district: Sevenoaks
      Parishes for this Registration District include Brasted
      Inferred County: Kent
      Volume: 2a
      Page: 377

      (2) Queensland, Australia, Passenger Lists, 1848-1912 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010:

      Name: George Marchant
      Age: 17
      Birth Year: abt 1857
      Ship Name: Ramsey
      Port of Departure: London, England
      Port of Arrival: Brisbane
      Arrival Date: 9 Jun 1874

      (3) Australian Dictionary of Biography <http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/marchant-george-7481>:

      Marchant, George (1857-1941)
      by Helen Gregory

      [This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 10, (MUP), 1986]

      George Marchant (1857-1941), manufacturer and philanthropist, was born on 25 November 1857 at Brasted, Kent, England, son of Richard Marchant, licensed victualler, and his wife Sarah, née Mills. George, a farm labourer, arrived in Brisbane in the Ramsey on 9 June 1874. 'Friendless and practically penniless', he worked in the country as a gardener and station-hand and, on returning to Brisbane, as a carter for an aerated waters factory. He married Mary Jane Dwyer, a dressmaker, on 1 September 1877 with Presbyterian forms.

      Marchant bought the ginger beer manufacturing business of John R. Palmer in Elizabeth Street, Brisbane, before building his own factory in Bowen Street, Spring Hill, in 1886. With his wife he expanded his hop beer, soft drink and cordial business to include factories in Sydney, Newcastle, Melbourne and Adelaide. He invented and patented a bottling machine which came to be used all over the world. Marchant retired from his Brisbane business on 10 May 1913 and was succeeded as managing director by his adopted son Christopher John, who ran the company until its registration was abandoned in October 1917. However, Marchant retained remote control over the Sydney company.

      He built a large fortune from these undertakings. Originally a staunch anti-unionist, he later believed in social equality and fraternized with labour thinkers including William Lane. Saved by Edward Bellamy's Utopian novel Looking Backward 2000-1887 (1888) from 'hopeless scepticism', Marchant in 1890 founded a Bellamy Society. During the 1890 shipping strike he chaired several public meetings which raised funds to support the strikers. Though described by the Labor press as 'one of the smartest profitmongers in Queensland', he practised profit-sharing. He took an annual dividend of 10 per cent on a capital of £18,000 and remaining profits were distributed among his employees. Women workers in his factory earned more than the average female wage in the food industry.

      His religious leanings were unconventional. A follower of the theology of the eighteenth-century philosopher Swedenborg, who held that Scripture should be interpreted spiritually, Marchant conducted services for the New Church in Brisbane and donated money to establish Swedenborgian churches in all Australian capitals and to ministerial training colleges in England and America. He had long been an opponent of the liquor trade. He donated £41,000 of the cost of the Queensland Prohibition League's Canberra Hotel (opened 1929) in Brisbane and became a director; the building houses his portrait. He was treasurer of the league during the 1920s and was its patron after 1931.

      Marchant's wide-ranging philanthropy during his life included the gift of his home, Montrose, at Taringa to the Queensland Society for Crippled Children, which became his chief beneficiary. These premises became the Kingshome centre for the care of ex-servicemen and Marchant bought another house for a new Montrose Home at Corinda. Other benefactions included another children's home, a kindergarten, the Garden Settlement for the aged, Chermside, and the donation of 100 acres (40 ha) of nearby land, known as Marchant Park, to the Kedron Local Authority. His estate of £48,660 was divided between these and other charities.

      Predeceased by his wife, Marchant died childless from heart disease on 5 September 1941 and was cremated after a New Church service.

      (4) Australia, Death Index, 1787-1985 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010:

      Name: George Marchant
      Death Date: 05 Sep 1941
      Death Place: Queensland
      Father's name: Richard
      Mother's name: Sarah Mills
      Registration Year: 1941
      Registration Place: Queensland
      Registration Number: B053623
      Page Number: 1450

      (5) www.findagrave.com:

      George Marchant
      Birth: 25 Nov 1857, Brasted, Sevenoaks District, Kent, England
      Death: 5 Sep 1941 (aged 83), Brisbane City, Queensland, Australia
      Burial: Cremated, Specifically: Whereabouts of Ashes Unknown

      Was a soft-drink manufacturer and philanthropist in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

      Family Members: Spouse: Mary Jane Dwyer Marchant (Unknown-1925)

      Created by: Shane
      Added: 6 Aug 2019
      Find A Grave Memorial: 201868420
    Person ID I46730  Frost, Gilchrist and Related Families
    Last Modified 18 Feb 2020 

    Father Richard MARCHANT,   b. Bef 9 May 1819, Sevenoaks, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Between 1 Oct and 31 Dec 1883, Brasted, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Relationship natural 
    Mother Sarah MILLS,   b. Bef 21 Mar 1826, Westerham, Kent, England Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Aft 31 Mar 1901  (Age > 75 years) 
    Relationship natural 
    Family ID F9730  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

    Family Mary Jane DWYER,   d. 14 Dec 1925, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married 1 Sep 1877  Queensland, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Last Modified 18 Feb 2020 09:55:40 
    Family ID F27148  Group Sheet  |  Family Chart

  • Photos
    Marchant, George
    Marchant, George
    Marchant Lemonade
    Marchant Lemonade

  • Sources 
    1. Citation Text: (1) Australia, Marriage Index, 1788-1950 [database online], Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2010: Name: George Marchant Spouse Name: Mary Jane Dwyer Marriage Date: 01 Sep 1877 Marriage Place: Queensland Registration Place: Queensland Registration Year: 1877 Registration Number: B005754 Page Number: 4201.