EDWARD LATHAM OF GATEACRE circa 1860 and AUSTRALIA 1863-1905
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The above assumptions have been loosely based on some aspects of Latham's later life. He certainly appears to have enough funds to have travelled as a 'gentleman' in Australia for two years, to have possibly purchased some property during this time and made an advantageous marriage at the end of this period. I originally suspected that the brothers may have been involved in some form of commercial fraud but after discovering the Belle Vale farm listing in the 1861 Census it seems most likely that his source of income was inherited. Fraud was suspect because of Latham's ruthlessness as a businessman and his involvement in a number of distinctly 'shady' land deals in the Melbourne land boom of the 1880s. One example of this was his purchasing of blocks of land as a 'dummy' in an Estate in which he had a substantial share holding, and which was controlled by his son-in-law, to force up the price of sale. The mystery surrounding the Liverpool and Gateacre years is enhanced by his brief dismissal of his early life and his apparent failure to return there during his world trip of 1883-4.

Two legacies of Latham's early life later include his repeated naming of many of the buildings owned and purchased by him and his family 'Knowsley' and 'Sefton' and his strong and loyal attachment to the Church of England. This latter feature would indicate that his early life in orphanages or boarding schools run by the Church were relatively happy ones. Latham died in Melbourne in 1905. The Carlton Brewery which he put on a firm financial footing is now the famous multi national Carlton & United Breweries and many of the stone mansions and buildings he built remain including 'Raheen'
in Kew and 'Lathamstowe' in Queenscliff.

* The author, P.D. Gardner, is a regional historian residing in Gippsland Australia and studying the coal capital of that district and the associated land boom in Melbourne in 1880s. He is especially interested in Latham's early career in Liverpool and Gateacre and hopes to establish with some certainty how Latham funded his voyage to Australia and his early years of residence there.
He can be contacted by email

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Page created 18 June 2007 by MRC, last updated 9 Jul 2013