Chirnside Family

This tomb is home to a family of pastoralist squatters, the Chirnside family of Werribee.

The first Chirnside of Werribee Park, was another Scot, Thomas Chirnside, who had been born in Berwick in 1815. He arrived in Sydney in 1838 and two years later travelled overland to this region, to meet up with his brother Andrew. They established a run at ‘Mount William’ near the Grampians and went on to hold about 250,000 acres in Victoria and elsewhere.

And for a family of rich and successful woolgrowers, the Chirnside family knew deep tragedy. After they had become successful, Thomas travelled back to Scotland where he fell in love with his cousin Mary. 

But she refused to come back with him to Australia. So, after his return, Thomas asked his brother Andrew to go to Scotland and convince Mary to come here.  

Andrew did come back with Mary, but he had married her. 

The three lived together in Werribee Park mansion, which was big enough for their separate living arrangements. 

Thomas never married and suicided at Werribee Park in 1887.

Andrew died three years later in 1890.

Mary then lived alone at Werribee Park for another 12 years and died at Colac in 1908 as a result of burns after her hair had caught alight from a candle.

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