Chirnside Family
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Margaret Chirnside Thomas Chirnside Andrew Chirnside John Percy Chirnside George Chirnside
Peter Chirnside John Bell Chirnside Land Leases Werribee Park and The Manor Mooroolbark Park

John Bell (of Warrambeen and Bell Park) married Margaretta Chirnside. They had no children.Emily and Margaretta Chirnside in San Francisco

Margaretta was the daughter of Peter Chirnside and Margaret Bell. Peter Chirnside was born in 1804 in the village of Cockburnspath, Berwickshire. He moved to Northumberland to manage a farm, Chatton Park, for a Mrs Pratt, but in 1834 he took on the tenancy of a 500 acre farm on the Duke of Northumberland's estate, Smiley Law Farm (now known as Newham Buildings Farm). His two younger sons, James and Albert, later joined him in the tenancy and at the same time they took the tenancy of another 535 acres at Newstead Farm. The family were to farm successfully in Northumberland for 70 years, JamesJohn Bell Chirnside, son of Peter Chirnside eventually taking the additional lease of Newham Hall, a farm of 1,142 acres. (John Townson information)

Peter Chirnside was also the father of John Bell Chirnside (b 23 Jun 1833). Read detailed information of his family here. (courtesy of John Townson)

Peter Chirnside was the brother of Andrew and Thomas Chirnside, who became influential Victorian pastoralists. The owners of Werribee Park Estate, they donated land and finance to the Werribee District for the building of schools, churches and the railway station.

Thomas Chirnside was born at Berwick in 1815. He was an overlander, arrived in Port Phillip in 1839 and died in 1887.  Andrew Chirnside was born at Berwick in 1818, arrived in Port Phillip in 1840 and died in 1890.  George and John Percy Chirnside were Andrew's sons.  "Werribee Park" was to become their family home. (Links to Australian Dictionary of Biography)


Overlanders were men who purchased sheep in Sydney and travelled overland to South Australia or Victoria to either sell the stock or establish a pastoral run.

There is a town Chirnside in Berwick, Scotland.

Land Leases held by the brothers included:

Family Member Dates of lease Property Information
Thos. Chirnside    
Mt. William 1839-46  
Loddon River 1840  
Lower Werribee 1846 onwards "Werribee Park" is a large stone 60-room mansion built in 1873-8 for the pastoralist family. Heritage listed.
Glenfine Mar. 1848 - Oct. 1853  
Barton Feb. 1850 - Aug. 1865  
with Andrew Chirnside    
Mokanger 1843 - Aug. 1876, final "Mount William" Woolshed is constructed of bluestone and built in 1865, at Willaura, west of Ballarat. It was the first property to employ aboriginal stockmen. Heritage listed.
Mt. William 1846 - Feb. 1874
Caranballac and Curnong June 1854 - Nov. 1863 "Carranballoc" Homestead at Skipton. Heritage listed.
Kenilworth South Dec. 1856 - June 1867  
Victoria Lagoon Jan. 1859 onwards  
Andrew Chirnside    
Curnong Nov. 1863 - 1866  
Caranballac Nov. 1863 - June 1868  

George Chirnside was the son of Andrew Chirnside. He inherited the Werribee Park Estate After the deaths of his father and uncle, the Werribee Park Estate was divided; George inherited the Homestead and his brother, John Percy Chirnside built "The Manor" on other Werribee land. The Manor was destroyed by fire in 1966.

In the early 1900's, George leased the St. George's Rd, Toorak mansion "Illawarra"  from Mrs. James, the wife of Charles James. Mr. James was one of the early land speculators of the 1870's and 1880's, deriving a huge fortune from land subdivisions. The wealthy financier and land owner was disgraced during the bank closures of the late 1880's. Today, "Illawarra" is maintained by the National Trust.

In 1921, George Chirnside purchased the Mooroolbark Park homestead and grazing property (near Lilydale, east of Melbourne). The homestead was built in 1845. The  family sold Werribee Park, the headquarters of its empire, and transferred the stud herds and the Werribee mansion contents to Mooroolbark Park. George Chirnside died in 1941. 

John Calvert, son of John Calvert and Jane Murray, married Maggie Fair Chirnside. View image here.
John Bell married Margaret Chirnside.

A site about the Chirnsides.    

View Werribee Park today    Werribee Park