“As an instance of the progress of an art not practiced in Melbourne a few years since, it may be mentioned that Messrs, Urie and Co., of Curzon street, have recently completed and fitted up a very handsome window of ornamental glass at the back of the warehouse of Mr. Howie, linendraper[sic], & c., of Bourke-street east. In the centre are shown, in separate panels, the arms of Australia and England, and a very well executed border of stained glass, showing in beautiful colours the Gothic rose and leaves. As a simple work of art it is highly creditable to the progress of this city in civilizing influences”.
Robert Howie, Draper, 25 Bourke St East, Melbourne, and Barkly St Carlton.
In 1861 he was in partnership with Thomas Young Anderson, trading at 13 Bourke street east as ‘Anderson & Howie’, but dissolved the partnership circa late August 1861.
In August 1863 he was trading at 25 Bourke-street east as a draper and throughout 1864 to 1870 he continually advertises for Drapers assistants, salesmen and women, and dress makers. The case of McFarlane v. Howie in March 1865 gives the impression that he probably didn’t have a good reputation as an employer.
In April 1866 his wife, Julia died aged 20.
In July 1868 he was fined £5 for displaying his goods for sale outside of his premises and in August 1870 was declared bankrupt and advertisements for the sale of his entire stock-in-trade were published in September 1870.
By 1878 it appears that he had converted to being an Iron Monger from the same Bourke-street premises and possibly formed a partnership with Francis Swan as “Howie & Swan” as carters which was dissolved after the death of Swan in June 1881.
Robert Howie later re-married another widower named Mary who died aged 69 on the 1st Feb 1902 at “Howie Terrace” 283 City Road, South Melbourne. She was buried at the Melbourne General Cemetery on the 3rd Feb 1902. His step daughter is mentioned as Mrs. W. Morris and his son as Robert E. Howie a merchant of Hindley-street, Adelaide.
Robert Howie died 15th Oct 1910, aged 78 at his residence “Howie Terrace”, City Road, South Melbourne. His entire estate was valued at £18,629 and was bequeathed to his daughter Janet Minnie Howie and his brother Robert Edward Howie of Adelaide, with other smaller legacies to be paid to numerous other relatives.
 Post Office Directory 1866, page 81.