Frederick Smythe Willis

Frederick Smyth (later used the spelling Smythe) Willis (1866 – 30 October 1910) was a British-born Australian municipal official who served as an alderman and as mayor of Willoughby, New South Wales, and in his professional capacity as a public accountant served as a founding member, and first honourable treasurer, of the Corporation of Accountants of Australia.

Early life and education edit

The son of Robert Willis, J.P., an Oxford graduate, militia Captain[1] and farmer on the Isle of Man, Frederick's grandfather was the colonial judge John Walpole Willis, younger brother of the clergyman and theologian William Downes Willis.[2] Following the family's arrival in New Zealand, where his father bought farms and became an agriculturist, also serving as a local government official, Frederick was educated at Christ's College, Christchurch, in Condell's house, from 1880 to 1882.

Career edit

With his elder brother, William, Frederick went to Australia, where he settled at Sydney and entered public accountancy, eventually becoming senior partner in Frederick S. Willis & Company, public accountants.[3][4] Working as a liquidator for Wilson & Harriott, solicitors, Willis was also the provisional manager of the Mount Werong Mining Company,[5] as well as several other companies.[6][7][8]

In 1905, Willis played an integral role as one of the founding members of the Corporation of Accountants of Australia (now the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia), and was elected honourable treasurer. He was subsequently re-elected to the position.[9] The organisation had the aim of providing 'a special organisation for Accountants and Auditors, and to do all such things as from time to time may be necessary to elevate the status and advance the interests of the profession.'[10][11]

Personal life edit

Willis married Mary, the youngest daughter of Rev. David Bruce, D.D., of Auckland and Sydney,[12] on 5 October 1892.[13] They had a daughter, Mary.[2] A resident of Willoughby, Sydney, Willis served from 1896 to 1902 as an alderman, and as mayor in 1901.[14] He was also a justice of the peace.[3][14][15] He was a Freemason, like his father and several brothers, serving as Worshipful Master of Lodge Ionic and of Lodge Kuring-gai.[14]

In 1910, whilst visiting family in New Zealand, Willis died following a tram accident on 10 October in Grey Lynn, in which he was initially thought to have suffered only minor injuries.[3][14] [16][17]

Probate was granted in April 1911, and his estate with a net value of just over £19,000 (equivalent to over £2 million in 2022)[18] was bequeathed to his widow and daughter.[19] His wife's sister, Jessie Sinclair Bruce, married the politician, social reformer and medical practitioner Richard Arthur.[20][21] His nephew was the engineer and archaeologist Leslie R. H. Willis; a niece, Jean, was an alpine plant cultivator and genealogist, and wife of the botanist Charles Ethelbert Foweraker.

References edit

  1. ^ Alumni Oxonienses: the Members of the University of Oxford, 1715–1886: Their Parentage, Birthplace, and Year of Birth, with a Record of Their Degrees, 1891, pg 1577
  2. ^ a b Plantagenet Roll of the Blood Royal, The Clarence Volume, vol. I, Marquis de Ruvigny, 1905, pg. 83-4
  3. ^ a b c "Death of Mr F S Willis". The Evening News. 31 October 1910. p. 5. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  4. ^ Auckland Star, vol. XLI, issue 264, 7 November 1910
  5. ^ "Memorandum of registration of the Mount Werong Mining Company no-liability". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. 15 September 1909. p. 5124. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  6. ^ "Memorandum of registration of the Coppabella Boulder Company (no-liability)". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. 8 September 1905. p. 6123. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  7. ^ "Memorandum of registration of the Myall Ridge Silver Mining Company (no-Lliability)". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. 12 September 1906. p. 5160. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "The Cotton Patent Liquid Fuel Burner Proprietary (Limited)". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. 25 March 1908. p. 1783. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  9. ^ "Corporation of Accountants- Annual Meeting". The Sydney Morning Herald. 1 February 1908. p. 11. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  10. ^ The Year-book of Australia, 1905, pg 626
  11. ^ History of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia, S. J. T. Walton, 1970, pg 32
  12. ^ "Bruce, David – Biography – Te Ara Encyclopedia of New Zealand". Retrieved 4 September 2017.
  13. ^ "Marriage". The Press. Vol. XLIX, no. 8317. 31 October 1892. p. 2. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  14. ^ a b c d "Personal". Auckland Star. Vol. XLI, no. 264. 7 November 1910. Retrieved 5 September 2017.
  15. ^ "Borough of Willoughby". Government Gazette of the State of New South Wales. 19 February 1901. p. 1315. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  16. ^ "Personal re Mr Willis". Papers Past. 1910.
  17. ^ "Death Notice". Papers Past. 1910.
  18. ^ "£19,000 in 1910 → 2022 | UK Inflation Calculator".
  19. ^ "An accountant's estate". The Sun. 12 April 1911. p. 15. Retrieved 26 May 2020 – via Trove.
  20. ^ Medical Journal of Australia, vol. 2, 1932, p. 95
  21. ^ Roe, Michael. "Arthur, Richard (1865–1932)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 26 May 2020.