Henry Glenny

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Henry Glenny
Charles A. Doudiet, Gravel Pits Ballarat, 1854, watercolour, pen and ink on paper.
Courtesy Art Gallery of Ballarat, purchased by the Ballarat Fine Art Gallery with the assistance of many donors, 1996.
Matthew Burnett, evangelist and Henry Glenny, Silverpen,
Ballarat Heritage Services Picture Collection


Glenny was born on 5 August 1835 at Newry, County Down, Ireland. He was the son of a linen merchant and staunch Irish Protestant Joseph Glenny and Elizabeth Gandy. At the age of 18 Glenny sailed to Australia on the Phoenix arriving at Ballarat in mid 1854. He tried his luck, then was employed by J. and T. Bray of Geelong as the manager of their Ballarat store on the Gravel Pits. He married Emma Jane at Castlemaine on 14 February 1859. They had 13 children, but only five survived. [1]

Glenny was an early photographer, and established a Portrait Salon at Castlemaine, Kyneton, and later Ballarat. In 1865 Glenny returned to Ballarat and wrote under the noms de plums of Old Chum, Peter Possum, A Voice From the East, Quine, Rambler and Silverpen.[2]

Henry Glenny died in Melbourne on the 24 July 1910 and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Methodist Section of Boroondara Cemetery,[3] Kew on 26 July 1910.

Goldfields Involvement, 1854

He supported the Military and the officials, and volunteered to join the mounted police leading up to, and after, the Eureka Stockade battle.[4]

Post 1854 Experiences

Soon after the Eureka Stockade Glenny worked as the postmaster at Beechworth. [5] Glenny was an early photographer, and established a Portrait Saloon at Castlemaine, then Kyneton, and later Ballarat.


Henry Glenny married Emma Jane ? at Castlemaine.

Henry and Jane had 13 children, but only 5 survived.

1. H.J. Glenny

2. G.R. Glenny

3. W.E. Glenny

4. Mrs Will Powell

5. Rose May Glenny[6]


The many friends of Mr H. J. Glenny, J.P. will reget to hear of the death of his father, Mr Henry Glenny, J.P. On Friday Mr Glenny received word of the serious illness of his father and he went down that night, seeing the patient after arrival in the city, Mr Glenny sr passed peacefully away on Sunday night. The remains were interred in the Methodist portion of the Kew cemetery on Tuesday, when the Rev J. J. Brown, of St Kilda, officiated. He leaves a widow, three sons (H. J. Glenny, Numurkah G.R. Glenny, Ballarat, W.E. Glenny) Sale) and two daughters (Miss Rose May Glenny, Ballarat and Mrs Will Powell, of Adelaide.) Mr Henry Glenny, who was an old colonist and Ballarat identity, had a long, honorable and useful career. He was born in Newry, Ireland, on the 5th August, 1835, and arrived in Ballarat soon after gold was discovered. He removed from there and conducted business for some time in Castlemaine and Kyneton as a photographer, returning to the Golden City in 1868, where he entered into a great many speculations and was largely interested in the Queen's Birthday Co., Donolly, and the great alluvial boom of some years ago in Ballarat. He was an honorary magistrate of two bailiwicks in Victoria, and was a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Geological Society, of London. He was well-known in teetotal circles, and was the first C.R. of the Campaspe Tent, Kyneton, and as District Deputy of the I.O. Good Templars he rendered valuable service in the district. Under the nom de-plume of Silver Pen he was a voluminous and valued contributor to the Press. In 1884 Mr Glenny visited Numurkah in his capacity as an inspector of the National Mutual Life Association. ... [7]


BALLARAT, Saturday.
An impressive interment was accorded to the remains of "King Billy", the last of the Ballarat blacks and the reputed chief of the tribe, to-day. When it became known that the old aborigine had been found lying under a hedge, and had died homeless and friendless at the hospital on Wednesday, in the very neighbourhood where he is popularly supposed to have once exacted tribute, several gentlemen instantly made an effort to spare him the indignity of a paupers burial. Mr Charles Morris, undertaker, very kindly volunteered to carry out the obsequies gratuitously and the trustees of the new cemetery granted a site for the grave in the Wesleyan section contiguous to that of the late Mr Martin Hoskin, town missionary. A coffin covered with black cloth trimmed with gilt lace was provided, and several members of the Old Colonist's and Australian Natives' Associations, Mr. J. Kirton, M.L.A, Mr. F.W. Niven, and Mr. Henry Glenny were among those present. The Ven. Archdeacon Mercer conducted the service, and in a short address referred to the historic significance of the ceremony that had just been performed. Several wreaths were placed on the grave, and one very appropriate device, in the shape of a boomerang, made of wattle blossom, was sent.[8]

SIR, Reference has been made in this morning's Star, to the earthquake shock of 1855. It was shortly after the Eureka riots—I think in February or March, 1855. I was then living in a calico tent, on the spot where the Earl of Zetland, Bridge street, now stands. The noise of the "boys" working at the Scotchman's claim, near the big waterhole at the back, awoke me, and five minutes after I found myself on the ground floor. I heard a peculiarly queer rambling sound, a shake and rattle, and it was all over. In the morning the fact was duly heralded on the Ballarat Times, and was the talk of the diggers for days after. There were windows in those days - several were broken in many of the stores; and many of the diggers who came from New Zealand said at the time it was a severe shiver. The shock yesterday I felt distinctly - 29 minutes past 3 - in Victoria street. It certainly was very slight, but after it passed I expected another, and waited anxiously for some minutes. I judge the Star is correct when it states that the tremor passed in a south-easterly direction - Yours, &c.,
Henry Glenny
Ballarat East, 11th May[9]

See also

Further Reading

Corfield, J., Wickham, D., & Gervasoni, C. The Eureka Encyclopaedia, Ballarat Heritage Services, 2004.


  1. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  2. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  3. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  4. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  5. Wickham, D., Gervasoni, C. & Phillipson, W., Eureka Research Directory, Ballarat Heritage Services, 1999.
  6. Numurkah Leader 29 July 1910.
  7. Numurkah Leader 29 July 1910.
  8. The Argus, 28 September 1896.
  9. Ballarat Star, 12 May 1897.

External links