Royal Reels: Gambling


The cover has a ms. ‘Late fee added’ and a boxed PACKET-BOAT, with 2 copies of the green ‘THREE PENCE’ stamps of New South Wales, canceled with a multi-ringed N.Z. postmark of Dunedin, but the date is not legible.. The vendor describes the date as 188(?). The cover is addressed to The Proprietors, Bradshaw Publishing Co., Dunedin , New Zealand (Figure 1).

The reverse clearly identifies the sender as EDWARDS DUNLOP & CO. LD, SYDNEY, and there is an incomplete New Zealand postmark (Figure 2).

After attending George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, James Matthew Dunlop arrived in New South Wales with his family in 1879 and, on completing his education at the Cooerwull Academy, Bowenfels, joined the firm. In May 1886 it became a public company, the consideration paid being £107,000 in fully paid £1 shares.

Frederick Edwards managed the London buying office while William Dunlop senior and John Dunlop took care of the Sydney distributing side. On his father’s death in 1912 James Dunlop became chairman and managing director of the Australian operations. A branch had been opened in Brisbane in the 1880s and through careful and conservative management the firm survived the depression, a disastrous fire in 1906 and paper supply and shipping shortages in World War I. Operations were extended to Melbourne in 1920 and to Perth in 1937-38.

James Dunlop was president of the Sydney Chamber of Commerce in 1924-27 and of the Associated Chambers of Commerce of Australia in 1926-27. He was also chairman of Paget Manufacturing Co. Ltd and a director of the Bank of New South Wales in 1927-30. A staunch Presbyterian, like his father, he was a director of the Burnside Presbyterian Orphan Homes for many years and generously supported the Salvation Army. Of a somewhat devout and retiring disposition, he spent his spare time mainly in farming pursuits. He died unmarried on 21 August 1949 at his home Munro Park, Sutton Forest, and was cremated. His estate was valued for probate at £191,433.

William Philip Dunlop, junior, was educated at Sydney Boys’ High School and at 16 joined the company; appointed a director in 1903, he was vice-chairman for thirty-seven years until 1949 when he became chairman and managing director. He was the driving force behind the growth of the firm which until 1944 concentrated on wholesale merchandising. That year the firm bought Galwey & Co. Pty Ltd, a manufacturing stationer. Since 1959 the firm has expanded vigorously throughout Australia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea and has played a leading role in the development of the newspaper and printing trades. Among its agencies for newsprint and other papers is Stora Kopparbergs of Sweden, the oldest known company in the world.

William Dunlop, junior was very good natured and generous, with a sense of humour, and he was fond of travel, cards, reading and the theatre. He enjoyed gambling on a modest budget at Monte Carlo. He was very active in tennis affairs, for he was president of the New South Wales Lawn Tennis Association in 1909-10 and 1914 and was senior vice-president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Australia in 1926. He later enjoyed golf and, with his brother James Dunlop, was a member of the Australian Club. He was honorary treasurer of the Citizens Reform Association and in 1924-50 of the Royal Alexandra Hospital for Children. William Dunlop died on 2 August 1954 at his home at Edgecliff, Sydney, and was cremated. He was survived by his wife Mary Josephine, whom he had married on 20 February 1908 at the Scots Church, Sydney, and by a daughter and son (Sir) John Dunlop. His estate was valued for probate at £117,938.

A picture of the company store in 1920 at 546-552 Collins Street, Melbourne is seen in Figure 3.

The information about the Company and particularly the Dunlop family was taken from the Australian Dictionary of Biography.

Categories: Business, Family History