Frederick Jamison Gibbes was born at ‘Regentville’ in Penrith on 31 October 1839. His mother was Harriett Eliza Jamison, daughter of Sir John Jamison MLC (1776-1844) who owned ‘Regentville’. His father was William John Gibbes, the son of Colonel John George Nathaniel Gibbes MLC (1787-1874), Collector of Customs, whose house ‘Wotonga’ at Kirribilli Point was later resumed as Admiralty House, the Sydney residence for the Governor-General. Frederick Jamison Gibbes grew up at ‘Beulah’ at Kirribilli, before moving to ‘Camden Terrace’ near Station Street, Newtown, in the 1850s.
On 18 April 1883, Frederick J. Gibbes married Mary Gill, the eldest daughter of wealthy Tamworth landowner John Gill of ‘Moonbi’, New England. They had two children. Frederick Gibbes died unexpectedly on 17 January 1888 at the home of his wife’s family at ‘Moonbi’, New England, aged 49, from inflammation of the bowels.
Occupation & interests
Frederick Jamison Gibbes attended Sydney College and graduated from the University of Sydney in 1860, entering the Ministerial Branch of the Lands Office after his studies. He left the Civil Service in 1865 to study law, however, he did not finish and instead devoted his time to literature, cricket and cycling.
He was also known as one of the best chess players in the colony. Gibbes had sufficient means and time to be an active and useful alderman. In February 1882 when he ran for Newtown Council, he was listed as having ‘no occupation’, and living at Station Street, Newtown.
In 1884, Gibbes was a Trustee of University Park, now Victoria Park alongside Joshua Frey Josephson, William Montagu Manning, a young Edmund Barton, and Charles Moore from the Botanic Gardens.
During the 1880s he was chairman and/or director of two companies which played a part in Newtown’s subdivision: the Universal Land & Investment Co and the Mercantile Building Land & Investment Co. He was also Director of the St George’s Hall Company which was established to build St George’s Hall as an unofficial municipal hall. The building was completed in 1888.
Frederick Jamison Gibbes was a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly for Newtown from 1882 to 1888.
Local government service
Frederick J. Gibbes was an alderman on Newtown Council in 1882-85, representing Enmore Ward.
Biographical information for this alderman was originally researched by Mark Matheson for the Newtown Project Website. Additional research was carried out by Dr Martina Muller in November 2022.
‘Advertising’, Evening News, 27 January 1882, 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article107992547
‘Mr. F. J. Gibbes, M.L.A. for Newtown’, Australian Town and Country Journal, 26 March 1887, 10, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71678942
‘Death of Mr. Gibbes, M.P.’, The Daily Telegraph, 18 January 1888, 18, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article239329019
‘Death of Mr. Gibbes, M.L.A.’, Australian Town and Country Journal, 21 January 1888, 18, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71093500