[Home] [Membership Application] [Search] [Contents] [Biographies Index]

IFHAA Biographies Library

Henry Phillips & Eliza Dove
Pioneer in the Canberra Region Henry was Postmaster at Uriarra for many years
Submitted by Scott Brown

Henry Phillips arrived in Australia on 5 July, 1853 on board the 'Meteor'

OBITUARY - Henry Phillips died 28 January 1913

One of the district's grand old men was Henry Phillips of Sherwood, Uriarra, who at the patriarchal age of 90 years passed suddenly away on Wednesday morning last. He was fairly strong and active for his advanced years and, old as he was, his end came not of senile decay. Dr Richardson was called for on the day named, to come out to the old man, and he hastened with full speed of a motor cars best, and he arrived only to find his patient recovering from an attack of angina pectoris. While yet ministering to his relief the symptoms of a second attack appeared, this time not to be staved off by medical skill, for to this attack he succumbed.
Mr Henry Phillips was a very old resident of the district and was for many years postmaster of Uriarra. The post office was, at the time of his control, located at the homestead of Uriarra, where he resided. Having, however, selected land at Sherwood he continued to walk daily to and fro to attend to his postal duties until only a few years ago, when he felt the task too arduous, and consequently resigned his office. While at Uriarra he acted also in the capacity of school teacher and bookkeeper for the establishment.
Mr Phillips was a gentleman of superior intellect and of wide and varied information. He was keen on politics and took a keen interest in parliamentary procedure. He was one of natures gentlemen of a decidedly religious turn of mind and lived in the profound respect of all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. He leaves a widow, one son and two daughters to mourn their loss of a wise counselor and father, and a good husband. Mr H Lazarus was the undertaker. (From the Queanbeyan Observer, 31 January 1913)

Both Henry Phillips and his wife Eliza (nee Dove) are buried on Sherwood property at Uriarra.

Henry was the Uriarra postmaster from 1878 to 1903

Canberra's First Hundred Years by Fredk W. Robinson - printed in 1924 by WC Penfold & Co
Directory of Canberra and the Federal Territory in 1867 - Phillips, Henry - Sawyer, Uriarra

Eliza Dove arrived in Australia on 24 September 1858 on board the 'David McIvor'

Death Notice - Eliza Phillips

Eliza Phillips 84 years of age 14 December 1922. Daughter of Thomas Dove, born Nottinghamshire, England. 65 years in NSW. Married Henry Phillips at 25 years of age. She was buried at CofE cemetery at Sherwood. (Henry and Eliza together with an infant babe are buried at Roper's Hill, which overlooked their home) Thomas was 53, Hannah 46, Alice 43, deceased one male George (accidentally shot). Reverend FC Ward officiated.

Ida and I used to go out to Sherwood, Uriarra, to stay with the Phillipses and we reached there with one of them who drove two horses in a buggy. They got to know us through Mrs Wainwright (who had a bedroom and sitting room at our place at the Union Club) as they were friends of hers and they used to come in there to see her; Hannah Phillips once came to stay with her. When we moved to 56 Macquoid Street, George Phillips, who used to drive the mail out to Uriarra, always came to sleep at our place and then he would drive the mail out. On our holidays we went with him.
People used to come along the roadside and get their mail, and at the Yarralumla gates, Archie McInnes would meet the buggy to collect and deliver the mail bag for the homestead. Afterwards old John Blundell had that contract. He could not read or write, but he knew where to put the mail. There was a blacksmith's shop along the way and they used to stop there too, but I don't know who had it.
A punt across the Murrumbidgee (River) was worked by old Duncan McInnes, father of Mrs Goiser, who had a house right there. The punt was turned by hand with a wheel, I think, but I was only little and I did not take much notice.
Phillipses' place was five miles up from McDonald's place, Uriarra House. George Phillips unloaded the mail at Uriarra House and old Mr Phillips, who was postmaster, used to walk up to McDonald's was the Post Office business was carried on. Phillipses had a slab house and when I first knew it it had a bark room. Later they put an iron roof on it. I think the internal partitions were slab, papered over.
Mrs Phillips had been a servant at Rev. P.G. Smith's. The children were George, Tom and two girls. George was shot dead in the bush, not far from their house, and Tom used to drive a team of bullocks for someone. Hannah, the elder girl, never married and the other one, Alice, married a man named Smith and went to West Australia where she lived at Meekatharra for years. Then she came back and lived at Sherwood. They are both dead now. Alice separated from Smith and married another man, also named Smith, and went to Adelong to live. She died at Adelong not so very long ago.
There was no burial place that I know of at Sherwood, but I believe the two old people are buried there. I haven't been out there for many years, but Ray Morton and a party of people went out for some ceremony in connection with history and I was in some of the photographs that were shown at the time. Someone said "There's Miss Walker". I spent some very happy, lovely holidays out there; it was a lovely old place.
For years we made the holiday trip to Sherwood. After I was grown up I continued it and I used to teach the grandchildren of Mr and Mrs Harry Phillips under a huge willow tree near the house. Those were some of the very happiest days of my life.
There was a delightful flower garden, fruit trees laden with cherries, apples, walnuts, raspberry bushes, red currants ... watching the process of home made bread, candles made of fat from beasts killed on the property, cheese making, butter churning in a small wooden churn, then made into various floral shapes with a wooden stamp carved for the purpose. I can clearly remember that one was a spray of acorns - leaves and nuts.
At times we used to go and bring the cows in for milking and go for a ride on a home made sled to gather wood from the adjoining hill, "Paddy Two-sticks". During harvest time a ride on top of the hay load was a sheer delight. I don't remember how they threshed the wheat, but we used to have boiled wheat for breakfast quite often and it was delicious.

1998 - 2000 Copyright Notice: All files on this site are copyrighted by the Internet Family History Association of Australia (IFHAA) and/or their creator. They may be linked to but may not be reproduced on another site without specific permission from the IFHAA Coordinator. Although public information is not in and of itself copyrightable, the format in which they are presented, the notes and comments, etc., are. It is however, quite permissible to print or save the files to a personal computer for PERSONAL USE ONLY.

Last modified: March 20, 2006