Charles Cheney Simpson (1835-1892) was born in Derbyshire in 1835, the son of Edward Lloyd Simpson and Maria Cade.
He arrived in Melbourne on the Angelsey in December 1856 at the age of 20. He came to Queenscliff in 1859 and in 1861 married Rebecca Jane Vary (1844-1929) at St Paul’s church in Geelong.
He established himself in Queenscliff as a Chemist opposite the current Queenscliff museum in 1862 and was an avid diarist, photographer, Mason, and treasurer of St George’s Anglican Church. He was elected Mayor of Queenscliff for the period 1882-83.
He died at Queenscliff on the 23rd of December 1892 aged 57 and was buried in the Queenscliff cemetery. In late 1893 a stained glass window to his memory was created by Ferguson & Urie Company of North Melbourne and unveiled in the St George the Martyr church in Queenscliff on Sunday 24th December 1893. Their only child Charles Edward died in September 1879 at the age of 17. His wife Rebecca died in July 1929 aged 85.
Photos were taken 25 September 2010.
“The window representing St. John the Baptist made by Ferguson and Urie appeared in St. George’s Church on Sunday last and was much admired. Many of Mr C C Simpson’s old friends, and some of the Masonic brethren,
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preached by the Rev J H Gregory, which alluded to Mr Simpson in the following terms – “The effigy which represents the Herald of Christ appears for the first time in the window of this church today. It is put up in memory of an esteemed member of this community and of this congregation, Charles Simpson, whom I knew well. I may be permitted to say that our excellent friend resembled the Baptist in one particular, in constantly speaking the truth, and, without which speaking the truth is valueless, in doing the truth. He was for many years manager and treasurer of church affairs. In this capacity he displayed untiring industry, and he also manifested an extreme conscientiousness which would not suffer him to let the church promises and engagements remain for a single day unfulfilled. Requiescat in peace.”
“Death of Mr Charles C. Simpson.
It is with deep regret we record the death of Mr. C. C. Simpson. Although he had been ailing for some time, a fatal termination to his illness was not feared, as he had purchased tickets for trip to New Zealand. But within the past few days serious symptoms set in, and yesterday afternoon he closed a life of usefulness in connection with local affairs which will scarcely be replaced. Born in 1835, Mr Simpson was a native of Derby in England. In 1859 he came to Queenscliff, and started in business as a druggist. His ability was soon appreciated, for shortly after his arrival here he was elected a councillor of the borough, which position he held for 20 years. During that time he was made mayor, and interested himself strenuously in the improvement of the Public Reserves. Appointed Justice of the Peace, he unremittingly fulfilled his duty with care and marked intelligence. But Mr. Simpson, whose death we deplore, was an all round man. Whether as a councillor or in any other capacity, Queenscliff was his home and heart. He lived in and for Queenscliff. Whatever he undertook seemed to prosper in his hands – Library, Church, Bowling Green, and anything else, all were successful, if he gave it his attention. Whether on the magisterial bench or at local meetings, in his own business or anything which had for its end the advancement of the town, his energy was never failing. We must make special mention of the unceasing interest he took in the Public Library. In this respect we scarcely know where to look for his successor. But all the public institutions of the borough will miss his intelligent mind and marked business capacity, especially in the matters of finance. In the death of Mr. Charles C. Simpson, Queenscliff has lost an able man, and we trust that his worth may not be wanting in the younger generation”.
“The funeral of Mr C. C. Simpson took place on Sunday and was largely attended. A Masonic service was held in the Lodge room, and then the brethren adjourned to St. George’s, where the coffin was laid in the chancel. Here and at the grave the Rev. H. J. Wilkinson conducted the services. As the procession left the church the sight was a very impressive one, the Masons heading the cortege. A large number of Freemasons belonging to Geelong Lodges were present. The funeral procession was one of the largest ever seen on Queenscliff”.