John Slade Headlam

M, b. 1893, d. 13 July 1965
FatherWalter Headlam b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill b. c 1866, d. 1942
     John Slade Headlam was born in 1893 at Echuca, Victoria.
John Slade Headlam married Olive Annie Emily Walters on 17 May 1924 at Ballaarat, Victoria. Reg No: 10287. John and Olive appeared on the Australian electoral roll of 1963 and listed as living at 123 Gram St, Ballarat, Victoria. John had a listed occupation of Postal official and she of home duties.
John Slade Headlam died on 13 July 1965 at Ballaarat, Victoria.


Olive Annie Emily Walters b. 1892, d. 1966

Albert Frank Baden Headlam

M, b. 1900
FatherWalter Headlam b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Albert Frank Baden Headlam was born in 1900 at Ballaarat, Victoria.

Beatrice Headlam1

F, b. 1890
FatherWalter Headlam1 b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill1 b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Beatrice Headlam was born in 1890.1


  1. [S69] BDM Index, Vic, Federation Index , Reg Vic No: 499.

Clara Alma Headlam1

F, b. 1897
FatherWalter Headlam1 b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill1 b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Clara Alma Headlam was born in 1897 at Echuca, Victoria.1 As of 1914,her married name was Stevens.2


  1. [S69] BDM Index, Vic, Federation Index , Reg Vic No: 2914.
  2. [S68] BDM Index Vic, Great War Index , Reg Vic No: 5393.

Euphemia Rosa Headlam

F, b. 1894
FatherWalter Headlam b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Euphemia Rosa Headlam was born in 1894 at Echuca, Victoria. As of 1916,her married name was Sturrock.1


  1. [S68] BDM Index Vic, Great War Index , Reg Vic No: 7551.

Norman Cedric Headlam

M, b. 1901, d. 1970
FatherWalter Headlam b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Norman Cedric Headlam was born in 1901 at Ballaarat, Victoria.
Norman Cedric Headlam died in 1970 at Prahran, Victoria.

Vivian Walt Theodore Headlam

M, b. 1898
FatherWalter Headlam b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Vivian Walt Theodore Headlam was born in 1898 at Echuca, Victoria.

Un-named Headlam

F, b. 1906, d. 1906
FatherWalter Headlam b. 1860, d. 1935
MotherEuphemia Jane Hill b. c 1866, d. 1942
     Un-named Headlam died in 1906 at Ballaarat, Victoria. She was born in 1906 at Ballaarat, Victoria.

John William Alfred Headlam

M, b. 1878, d. 1939
FatherHoratio Charles Headlam b. 1856, d. 1922
MotherElizabeth Lillian Webb
     John William Alfred Headlam was born in 1878 at Victoria. His mother is listed here, in the index, as "Elizabeth Resistance Lowe Simmonds WEBB" - most peculiar.
His place of birth is listed as "EM ER".
John William Alfred Headlam died in 1939 at Caulfield, Victoria.

Herbert William Brewer

M, b. 1887, d. 1967
FatherWilliam James Brewer b. 1869, d. 6 Aug 1927
MotherIsabella Gamble b. 1 Nov 1867, d. 15 Mar 1932
ChartsJoseph Gamble
     Herbert William Brewer was born in 1887 at Clifton Hill, Victoria. He was the best man at Mabel Cairns and Herbert Joseph Gamble's wedding on 28 April 1910 at Presbyterian Church, Footscray, Melbourne.1
Herbert William Brewer married Stella Irene Robertson, daughter of Macpherson Robertson and Elizabeth Alice Hedington, in 1913. In William James Brewer's will dated 26 October 1928, Herbert William Brewer was named as executor; The Argus reported on this fact on Fri 26 October 1928 on page 6: "Mr. William James Brewer, of Studley Park road, Kew, timber merchant, who died on August 6, 1927, left by will dated August 24, 1926, real estate of a gross value of £20,720 and personal property of a gross value of £40,077 to his wife and children, subject to several bequests to relatives. He appointed his wife, Mrs. Isabella Brewer, and one of his sons, Mr. Herbert William Brewer, to bo the executors and trustees of his will. The will was lodged for probate yesterday."
Herbert William Brewer died in 1967. He was cremated on 27 September 1967 at Springvale Crematorium, Melbourne.


Stella Irene Robertson b. 1890


  1. [S197] Their Marriage Certificate, Victorian Marriage Certificate 128 of 1910.

Stella Irene Robertson

F, b. 1890
FatherMacpherson Robertson b. 6 Sep 1859, d. 20 Aug 1945
MotherElizabeth Alice Hedington b. 1862, d. 1932
     Stella Irene Robertson was born in 1890 at Fitzroy North, Batman, Victoria, Australia. As of 1913,her married name was Brewer.
Stella Irene Robertson married Herbert William Brewer, son of William James Brewer and Isabella Gamble, in 1913.


Herbert William Brewer b. 1887, d. 1967

Macpherson Robertson

M, b. 6 September 1859, d. 20 August 1945
     Macpherson Robertson was born on 6 September 1859 at Ballaarat, Victoria. Macpherson Robertson was also known as Macpherson Frederick. Well this is the full name on registration of his Birth according to the BDM Index.
Reg No: 18812 of 1859.
Macpherson Robertson was born in Ballarat, Victoria. He was a son of a Scottish carpenter, David Robertson and his Irish wife, Margaret (née Browne). The family came to Ballarat in search of gold, but fell on hard times, with the father abandoning them and moving to Fiji. In 1869 his mother returned to Leith, in Scotland with Macpherson, his three siblings and one other child on the way.

In Scotland at the age of nine, Macpherson started working to support that family, eventually taking an apprenticeship with the Victoria Confectionery Co. In 1874 the family returned to Australia at the request of the father, living in the Melbourne working class suburb of Fitzroy. Using skills he acquired in Scotland, in 1878 at the age of 19, Macpherson set up a confectionery manufacturing operation in his mother's home bathroom. He made confectionery on Mondays to Thursdays and sold them around Melbourne on Fridays and Saturdays.1
Macpherson Robertson married Elizabeth Alice Hedington on 8 August 1886 at North Carlton Presbyterian Church, Melbourne, Australia.
Macpherson Robertson married Elizabeth Siebert on 27 August 1932 at Scot's Church, Melbourne.
Macpherson Robertson died on 20 August 1945 at age 85.
From The Argus of Tue 21 Aug 1945, p5: "DEATH OF SIR MacPHERSON ROBERTSON
Millionaire and Philanthropist
Sir Macpherson Robertson, millionaire chocolate manufacturer and philanthropist, died at his home in Sackville Street, Kew, yesterday. He was aged 86.
Lady Robertson predeceased him. He is survived by two sons, Mr Norman and Mr Eric Robertson. There are five grandchildren.
A service will be held at St Hilary's Anglican Church, John st, Kew, at 10am today, after which the funeral will leave for Springvale Crematorium, arriving at 11.10am. Arrangements are being made by Le Pine and Son.
The career of Sir Macpherson Robertson (or Mac Robertson, as he preferred to be known) was a romantic story of a rise from penury to amazing affluence. He began his career as a confectionery manufacturer with a home- made plant, which he had bought for 9d. By shrewd business aptitude, remarkable executive ability and far-sightedness, he established a gigantic enterprise, for which he once refused a cash offer of £2½ million. That he realised the responsibilities of wealth is indicated by his gifts in the interests of philanthropy, education, and science.
Sir Macpherson Robertson was born of Scottish parents at Ballarat on September 6, 1860. He received six months' education at a free school, and when he was nine years of age the family went back to Scotland, returning to Australia in 1874. Within half an hour of landing at Port Melbourne Mac Robertson had secured a job as a butcher's boy. In 1880 he put into effect a plan which he had considered for some years. He decided to become a confectionery maker, and, in the bathroom of his parents' home at Fitzroy, with a nailcan costing 6d and a tin pannikin costing 3d, he began the business which developed so amazingly in later years. The business grew, and he bought an old tricycle for deliveries; later this gave place to a wagon and one horse, the forerunner of the splendid team of which in later years he was justifiably proud.
In 50 years he saw his business grow to a self-contained group of factories covering 35 acres, and containing processes, some of which were without parallel in the world.
Over recent years he gave away both publicly and secretly one or two fortunes. He was interested in Antarctic exploration. His generosity made possible the British, Australian, and New Zealand research expeditions of 1929 and 1930. He gave £10,000 towards the cost of the first, and guaranteed £6,000 for the second. The land east of Kemp Island, which was discovered by Sir Douglas Mawson, the leader of the expeditions, was named "Mac Robertson Land" in his honour. In 1932 he was knighted and created a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1935 he was created KBE.
His total public benefactions amounted to more than £200,000. His largest single gift was the sum of £100,000 in 1933 to the State of Victoria in connection with the Centenary celebrations for erection of a high school for girls, a cultural centre for children, the construction of a bridge across the Yarra at Grange rd, Toorak, as part of the proposed Yarra Boulevard, and for prizes in connection with the Centenary Air Race; also for various charitable purposes to be indicated by him.
Of this large amount £15,000 was set apart as prize money for the Centenary Air Race.
Some of his other public gifts include £6,750 for Christmas charity, 1925; and a similar amount for Christmas, 1926, £10,000 for Christmas charity, 1928; £1,000 to the Royal Melbourne Hospital re- building fund in 1940; £12,000 to Victoria for war purposes in 1940.
Late Sir Macpherson Robertson."
Robertson, Sir Macpherson (1859–1945)
by John Lack
This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, (MUP), 1988
Sir Macpherson Robertson (1859-1945), industrialist and philanthropist, was born on 6 September 1859 at Ballarat, Victoria, eldest of seven children of Macpherson David Robertson, carpenter, and his wife Margaret, née Brown. His father, born in Uruguay of Scottish parents, came to Victoria from Leith, Scotland, and the family lived precariously while he moved between gold-seeking and work as a builder. In 1869 he dispatched his family to Scotland, while he went to Fiji. Macpherson blamed his father for the penury that forced him to leave school and become a breadwinner. When the family was reunited in Melbourne in 1874, he served an apprenticeship with the Victoria Confectionery Co. and gained experience with other confectionery firms.
In 1880 Robertson began making novelty sweets in the bathroom at home in Fitzroy, hawking them to local shopkeepers. The business expanded quickly, drawing in most of the family. By the late 1880s MacRobertson's Steam Confectionery Works with over thirty employees had begun to expand by acquiring and demolishing nearby housing. A family disagreement followed his marriage on 8 July 1886 to Elizabeth Alice Hedington (d.1932) at North Carlton, and he left the business to found the American Candy Co. His skills, however, were indispensable and within a few years he returned, although bitterly resenting presentation of the enterprise as his father's. Robertson was the driving force behind the firm's phenomenal expansion. Some of his flair for product innovation, eye-catching packaging and skilful promotion reflected his world tour of 1893, when he worked in the United States of America. His impressions of 'Colossal America' were published in the Ballarat Courier in 1894. Robertson introduced chewing-gum and fairy floss to Australia, promoting Pepsin Gum through his cycling school, and through testimonials from prominent sportsmen. Employees and customers were offered prizes for sweet-wrapper designs, advertising jingles and messages for 'conversation lollies'.
By the early 1900s MacRobertson's had established a reputation for quality and variety and had taken a large share of the confectionery market, previously monopolized by English importers. Federation gave access to an Australia-wide market and the disruption of imports in World War I allowed Robertson to make further inroads. He established his own engineering department to manufacture plant, and launched the exclusive 'Old Gold' line of chocolates. The largest confectionery works in the Commonwealth, with agencies in every State, it was known by the distinctive MacRobertson signature. After his father's death in 1909, Robertson claimed a half-share, and assigned the remainder of the business to three brothers. In public the man and the enterprise were synonymous. Dressed immaculately in white, he presided over his Great White City at Fitzroy, a complex of white-painted factories housing several thousand white-uniformed employees. His delivery trucks were drawn by prize grey draughthorses, which he readily lent for public processions and drove himself on Eight Hours Day. His assiduous promotion of the romanticized tale of his business, A Young Man and a Nail Can (1921), gave Melbourne an equivalent of the Dick Whittington legend.
'Mr Mac' inspired widespread loyalty and affection, taking a fatherly interest in his 'co-workers'. Welfare provisions cemented the harmonious relations. Robertson appeared before the royal commission on the Commonwealth tariff (1905) on behalf of the industry and the Victorian trade union. He sat on the confectioners' wages board (1900-22) and, though suspicious of state intervention and opposed to a proliferation of boards, he refused to join fellow manufacturers in blacklisting unionists and other 'troublemakers'. Robertson looked benignly on unionism, encouraged the Female Confectioners' Union, and observed the closed shop from 1919.
Robertson was the instigator of and major partner in Maize Products Pty Ltd, which pioneered the Australian manufacture of glucose, and in the Federal Milk Co., which made condensed and powdered milk. Subsidiary companies handled his container, paper and printing requirements. In 1926 he bought a controlling interest in Life Savers (Australasia) Ltd, and transferred its factory from Sydney. Acknowledged as the doyen of Australian confectioners, Robertson mounted a dazzling display at the 1924 British Empire Exhibition at Wembley, England. When three English firms combined as Cadbury-Fry-Pascall to manufacture in Tasmania from 1926, MacRobertson expanded his product range and redoubled his promotions. He joined aviator 'Horrie' Miller in the MacRobertson-Miller Aviation Co., Adelaide, and financed the MacRobertson Round Australia motor truck expedition in 1928.
Robertson became renowned for his generosity; by 1933 he estimated that he had given away some £360,000. He made substantial gifts to the British, Australian and New Zealand Antarctic expeditions (1929, 1930); Sir Douglas Mawson named MacRobertson Land in Antarctica in his honour. Robertson was elected a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, London, in 1931 and was knighted in 1932. During the Victorian centenary celebrations he provided the £15,000 prize money for a London to Melbourne air race (1934) and £100,000 for public works to create employment and provide much-needed facilities. After controversy which Robertson found distressing, the money was spent on MacRobertson Girls' High School, a herbarium in the Botanic Gardens, a bridge over the Yarra and a fountain. In 1935 he was appointed K.B.E.
An able sportsman in his youth, Robertson was a non-smoker and very moderate drinker. He worked out daily in his gym, and in his sixties could still jump a 4 ft 8 ins (142 cm) bar. He cut a dapper, upright and serious figure, with silver hair and clear complexion. He lived unpretentiously and his tastes were simple: croquet, films and boxing at the Melbourne Stadium (sometimes in company with John Wren) were abiding interests. He rarely holidayed, but was an ardent motorist from 1902 and owned a fleet of Packard cars.
He died at his Kew home on 20 August 1945, and was cremated after an Anglican service. On 27 August 1932 at Scots Church, Melbourne, he had married Elizabeth Siebert who predeceased him in 1944. His estate, which was sworn for probate at £584,266 and consisted almost entirely of government bonds and shares in his business, was left to his descendants. A son and a daughter of Robertson's first marriage predeceased him. His sons Norman Napoleon and Eric Francis and grandsons Mervyn Macpherson Brewer and Geoffrey Robertson Brewer were closely involved in the business, which in 1967 became part of Cadbury Schweppes.2

Family 1

Elizabeth Alice Hedington b. 1862, d. 1932

Family 2

Elizabeth Siebert b. 1880, d. 1944


  1. [S225] From Wikipedia CD.
  2. [S226] John Lack, 'Robertson, Sir Macpherson (1859–1945)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,…, accessed 13 January 2014.
    This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, (MUP), 1988.

Elizabeth Alice Hedington

F, b. 1862, d. 1932
     Her married name was Robertson. Elizabeth Alice Hedington was born in 1862 at Launceston, Tasmania. Not yet confirmed.
Elizabeth Alice Hedington married Macpherson Robertson on 8 August 1886 at North Carlton Presbyterian Church, Melbourne, Australia.
Elizabeth Alice Hedington died in 1932 at St Kilda, Melbourne.


Macpherson Robertson b. 6 Sep 1859, d. 20 Aug 1945

Olive Annie Emily Walters

F, b. 1892, d. 1966
     Her married name was Headlam. Olive Annie Emily Walters was born in 1892.
Olive Annie Emily Walters married John Slade Headlam, son of Walter Headlam and Euphemia Jane Hill, on 17 May 1924 at Ballaarat, Victoria. Reg No: 10287. Olive and John appeared on the Australian electoral roll of 1963 and listed as living at 123 Gram St, Ballarat, Victoria. Olive had a listed occupation of home duties and he of Postal official.
Olive Annie Emily Walters died in 1966.


John Slade Headlam b. 1893, d. 13 Jul 1965

Mervyn Macpherson Brewer

M, b. 1914, d. 1958
FatherHerbert William Brewer b. 1887, d. 1967
MotherStella Irene Robertson b. 1890
ChartsJoseph Gamble
     Mervyn Macpherson Brewer was born in 1914 at Fairfield, Victoria.
Mervyn Macpherson Brewer died in 1958 at Frankston, Victoria. He was cremated as his ashes later scattered on 14 January 1958 at Springvale Crematorium, Melbourne.

Geoffrey Robertson Brewer

M, b. 1917
FatherHerbert William Brewer b. 1887, d. 1967
MotherStella Irene Robertson b. 1890
ChartsJoseph Gamble
     Geoffrey Robertson Brewer was born in 1917 at Fairfield, Victoria. At the time of his wedding Geoffrey resided at St Kilda Road, Melbourne. He was cremated His remains were collected and cared for elsewhere. on 27 October 1999 at Springvale Crematorium, Melbourne. His remains were collected and cared for elsewhere.

Isabel Robertson

F, b. 1863
     Isabel Robertson was born in 1863 at Ballaarat, Victoria.

Howard Robertson

M, b. 1875
     Howard Robertson was born in 1875 at Fitzroy, Melbourne.

Ernest Robertson

M, b. 1877
     Ernest Robertson was born in 1877 at Fitzroy, Victoria.

Elizabeth Siebert

F, b. 1880, d. 1944
     Elizabeth Siebert was born in 1880 at Guernsey Islands. As of 27 August 1932,her married name was Robertson.
Elizabeth Siebert married Macpherson Robertson on 27 August 1932 at Scot's Church, Melbourne.
Elizabeth Siebert died in 1944 at Kew, Melbourne.


Macpherson Robertson b. 6 Sep 1859, d. 20 Aug 1945