SYMONS, George (1824-1860)

In 1853 George Symons purchased the pastoral licence for View Hill (Tarrawarra) from William Ryrie. This pastoral licence covered approximately 12,000 acres north of the Yarra in the region now known as Tarrawarra. In a document in the Melbourne University Archives it states that "Mr Ryrie sold his station to Messrs. Symond & Perry for 13,500 pounds". Only the name Geo. Symons appears on the land maps. In 1854 and again in 1856 Andrew Ross noted in his role as electoral officer that Symons was occupying Mr Ryries residence at Yarra Flats as a cattle station.

In June 1858 George Symons bought 140 acres of land referred to as Portion 7 County Evelyn, Parish Burgoyne. It is now bounded by Yarraview Rd, Symons St, Glenview Rd and the undeveloped extension of Anzac Avenue. He paid £224/8/6. Symons Street was named after him by Thomas Armstrong  (1818-1892)

George Symons was born in Devonshire, England in November 1824, the son of Philip and Ann Symons (nee Harris). He married Elizabeth Bickford Henley in 1849 and shortly afterwards they sailed for Australia. In October 1851 Melbourne newspapers carried an advertisement for Symons and Perry, Auctioneers. Their newly erected premises in Bourke Street included a place for the deposit of gold in anticipation of business from the newly established goldfields. 

Elizabeth and George had five children. Symons died on 16 September 1860 at his residence 37 George Street, Collingwood. The cause of his death was pulmonary consumption. By1871 Elizabeth had returned to England with four of her children. Charles remained in Australia and died here in 1875 aged only 21.

Sources: Yarra Glen and District Historical Society Newsletter, no.16, May 2005; Evelyn Observer, 2 October 1885