Phillip Johnson (1814-1869)
Jessie Harriett Maria Beacall (1815-1871)

Phiilip Johnson was the ninth of thirteen children born to Richard Johnson & Elizabeth Phillips. He was baptised in St James Church, Clerkenwell on 12 Sep 1814:

He married Jessie Harriett Maria Beacall on 10 Feb 1838 in St James, Clerkenwell, England.

Both marriage and the 1841 census records show the couple living at 25 Garnault Place, London, as did Sophie’s brother George. It would appear from the census that Phillip was a solicitor:

.Phillip and Jessie had four children by the time of the 1951 census, one of whom had died, aged 2. By then the family had moved to Godalming, Surrey. George was listed as a solicitors’ clerk:

The family had migrated to Melbourne by 1856, as Phillip, a notary, is listed on Clifton St, Richmond, Melbourne in the 1856 census. There is a Johnson family who arrived as unassisted immigrants on board the Nile in Feb 1854:

It is clear from Phillip’s obituary below that he had been on Richmond Council in Melbourne at some stage. There are several newspaper references that prove this to be the case.

From The Age, Thu 09 Oct 1856:

The Richmond Election. – A meeting of the supporters of Dr. Evans and Mr. Phillip Johnson at the late election for Richmond was held on Monday evening last, at the Assembly Rooms, Swan street, Richmond, for the purpose of raising subscriptions to defray the election expenses of these gentlemen. Resolutions affirming the principle that the election expenses of liberal candidates should be defrayed by the liberal portion of the constituency were agreed to, and a committee appointed to carry the object of the meeting into effect. It was announced by the chairman, that the expenses of the two candidates, in this case, amounted to £77, of which £30 had been already subscribed, in sums ranging from five pounds to one; but when it was ascertained that the entire amount was be small, it was considered desirable to collect the residue required in smaller sums to enable a greater number of the liberal electors to contribute to the fund.

The Age,Tue 21 Apr 1857:

RICHMOND MUNICIPALITY. The places of the three out-going members of the Municipal Council of Richmond, were yesterday filled by the re-election of Messrs Phillip and Henry Johnson, and the election of Mr Lambert. The polling commenced at 8 a.m., and continued unto 4p.m. Shortly after which hour the result of the poll was announced as follows:-

Phillip Johnson … 396
Henry Johnson … 392
Lambert … … … …  308
Clarke … … … … … 227
Britten … … … … … 239
Sheedy … … … …   203

As usual, on such occasions, considerable interest was taken in the polling by the friends of the several candidates. The municipality was enlivened by the driving hither and thither of the election cars. Groups surrounded the Town Hall and the Committee-rooms all day long, more or less concerned in what was going on; and the result of the election was hailed with cheers by the friends of the successful candidates. After a vote of thanks to H. Miller, Esq., M.P., President of the Municipal Body, the proceedings of the day terminated.

We strongly suspect that Henry Johnson was Phillip’s oldest brother, but have yet to prove this.

Phillip served several years as Mayor; from The Age, Fri 20 Nov 1863:

RICHMOND. — The ordinary weekly meeting of the council of the borough of Richmond was held last evening, at the Town Hall, Phillip Johnson, Esq., the mayor, presiding. The councillors present were Messrs Oddy, Heaton, McDermott, Mitchell and Bosisto. In opening the proceedings the mayor stated that the first business before the council was the election of the mayor for the ensuing year, and the presentation of the accounts. The business had reverted to that meeting in consequence of the annual meeting appointed for Wednesday having lapsed for want of a quorum. As there were no accounts to be presented, they would proceed at once to tho election of the mayor, though it was a disputed point whether the Act required an annual meeting for the current year, or the formal election of a mayor. A difficulty might hereafter arise in connection with this question, and it would be brought before the Supreme Court and adjudicated upon. Cr. Bosisto moved the election of Cr. Johnson to the office of mayor, and Cr. Mitchell seconded tho motion. After some discussion on the provisions of the Act, Cr. Johnson was unanimously elected mayor without opposition. He expressed his sense of the honor they had done him, for which he had no particular desire; but, as the onerous duties of the office had been imposed upon him, he should, as hitherto, do his best to promote the interests of tho borough. ..

Phillip became a solicitor in Victoria several years earlier; from The Argus, Fri 08 Jul 1859:

The following gentlemen wore admitted to the roll of Attorneys of the colony of Victoria. :

Phillip Johnson, on the motion of Mr. A Wood

Phillip was active in other walks of life. He was Chairman of the Richmond Cricket Club (Bell’s Life in Victoria and Sporting Chronicle, Sat 28 Sep 1867) and Chairman of the Melbourne and Suburban Railway Company (The Age, Tue 01 Nov 1859 and The Herald, Wed 17 Jul 1861)

Phillip died on [24] Jul 1869

His Cemetery record states:

In memory of Philip JOHNSON died 24 Jul 1869, age 55 years also his wife Jessie Harriet Maria (nee BEACALL) died 23 Oct 1871, age 54 years and her sister Clarissa Frances BEACALL died 16 Jan 1882, age 75 years.

The Age reported on his funeral on Tue Jul 27 1869:

The funeral of the late Mr Philip Johnson, of Richmond, took place yesterday, and the number of gentlemen who followed his remains to the grave evinced the esteem in which he was held. The funeral cortege proceeded from his late residence, Clifton-street, to St Stephen’s Church, where the service was performed by the Rev. G. O. Vance, with choral accompaniments. Upon the coffin being removed from teh church, teh “Dead March in Saul” was played on the splendid new organ by Mr Plainted, organist of the church. The procession, upon leaving the church, consisted of twenty-four vehicles, but before reaching the cemetery the number greatly increased, and upon reaching the grave the remainder of the funeral service was also performed by the Rev. Mr Vance. The pall-bearers were Mr D. S. Campbell, Mr Alfred Woolley and the members of the Richmond Borough Council, of which the deceased was for some time a member.


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