03-08-1901: St Matthews, New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia.

Artist/Studio: Mayer & co, Munich (main two lights, attributed).
William Montgomery, Melbourne, Australia,  c.1901 (upper tracery only).
Location: New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia.
Building: St Matthews’ Church, New Norfolk.
Memorial: Nancy Hope Schoobridge.
Photos dated: 7th October 2010.

This window is a memorial to a young girl named Nancy Hope Shoobridge, who died at sea in 1898 . Nancy and her mother Lena had departed for England aboard the ‘Ormuz’ for Nancy to visit her grandparents, but she died of Scarlet Fever on the on the 6th April 1898 and her body was committed to sea off the coast of Columbia.

Nancy was the daughter of Robert Wilkins Giblin Shoobridge and his second wife Selina Corumbene Alexander (1854-1924). Nancy’s mother Selina was an English Nurse who came to Tasmania circa 1883 with references from Florence Nightingale. Roberts first wife was Annie Rebecca Crouch 1849-1888, the sister of famous Victorian architect Thomas James Crouch.

Nancy’s body was committed to the sea off the coast of Columbia. Her parents commissioned a stained glass  window in her memory to be erected in St Matthew’s Church in New Norfolk.  They had the stained glass artist reproduce a picture of Nancy to appear in the window and she can be seen in the background[1] of the Nativity scene (left edge of window). The main two lights are likely to have been executed by Mayer & Co of  Munich[2] whilst the upper tracery lights and quatrefoil containing the Dove was executed by William Montgomery of Melbourne (signed) [3].

In 1910 Robert and Selina erected a hospital in New Norfolk dedicated to the memory of Nancy : – “The hospital owes its existence to the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. R .W. G. Shoobridge, and the circumstances under which it was erected are commemorated by the following inscrîption on a marble tablet affixed to the wall of the entrance-hall: – “This hospital was erected in 1910, and presented to the inhabitants of the district of New Norfolk by Robert and Selina Shoobridge, in memory of their daughter, Nancy Hope. She, being dead yet speaketh.” [4]

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Significant tabloid transcriptions:

The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, Saturday 30th April 1898, page 1.

“SHOOBRIDGE.- On April 6, on s.s. “Ormuz,” at Colombo, of scarlet fever. Nancy Hope, daughter of R. W. G. and S. Shoobridge, in the 7th year of her age. Buried at sea.”

The Mercury, Hobart, Saturday 3rd August 1901, page 6.

“The stained-glass window, placed in St. Matthew’s Church, in memory of Miss Nancy Hope Schoobridge, daughter of Mr. R. W. G. Schoobridge, of Valleyvale , is really a work of art. There are two panels, one representing the Birth, the other the Resurrection , of Christ. Mrs. Shoobridge had insured her daughter for a sum, which was to be applied to her higher education. Her death rendered the intention futile, and the parents’ decided to devote the amount to a memorial”.

The Mercury, Hobart, Saturday 27th July 1901, page 3.

“TASMANIAN TELEGRAMS (from our own correspondent)

St. Matthew’s Anglican Church was filled this afternoon on the occasion of the unveiling by the Bishop of Tasmania of a stained glass window in memory of the late Miss Nancy Schoobridge, daughter of Mr. R. S. Schoobridge, who died while on a voyage to England. The window was procured from a sum for which the deceased was insured, and which was devoted to this window as a memorial. The Rev. J. Oberlin-Harris read the prayer, and the bishop, after touching reference to the deceased, unveiled the two sections of the window, during the singing of appropriate hymns. The window is a very handsome one, and a great addition to the appearance of the interior of the church”.

The Mercury, Hobart, Friday 14th August 1925, page 5.

“Centenary of St. Matthew’s Church, New Norfolk”

“…The beautiful east window, which has a wonderful depth of perspective rarely seen in stained glass, was erected in memory of Nancy Hope Shoobridge, who died April 6, 1898, aged 7. It was erected by her father, R. W. G. Schoobridge, and was unveiled by the Bishop on July 26, 1901..”

Examiner, Launceston, Tasmania, Friday 15th May 1936, page 8.


“The funeral of Mr. Robert Wilkins Giblin Shoobridge took place at the Cornelian Bay cemetery yesterday. Mr. Shoobridge, who was 85 years of age, died at Hobart on Wednesday. Before the funeral a service was held at St. James’ Church, New Town. The first portion was conducted by the rector (Canon Wilson), and the address was delivered by the Bishop of Tasmania (Dr. R. S. Hay). Among those at the funeral were:-Warden G. Matheson, of New Norfolk: representatives of the Government Police Department and the City Council. The late Mr. Shoobridge was engaged in apple growing on a large, scale in the Derwent Valley, and, with several others, was instrumental in beginning the apple export trade to England. At one time he was the largest grower In Tasmania, and had 140 acres of orchard producing 40,000 bushels a year. Mr. Shoobridge was a member of the Road Trust for 35 years, and a member of the New Norfolk Council. He built an up-to-date cottage hospital at New Norfolk, and presented it to the municipality with an endowment of £500”.

The Mercury, Hobart, Tasmania, Friday 8th December 1871, page 1.

“SHOOBRIDGE—CROUCH.—On the 7th instant, by the Rev.John Harcourt, of Launceston, at the residence of the bride’s parents, Ninus Cottage, Hobart Town, Robert Wilkins Giblin, second son of Ebenezer Shoobridge, Esq., of Bushy Park, New Norfolk, to Anne Rebecca, youngest daughter of  T. J. Crouch, Esq. No cards.”

Biography: Robert Wilkins Giblin Shoobridge (1847–1936)

[2] Dr. Bronwyn Hughes – email 2 Sep 2012.

[3] Gavin Merrington – email 2 Sep 2012.


2 comments on “03-08-1901: St Matthews, New Norfolk, Tasmania, Australia.

  1. Hello,

    I’ve just found your site while doing research into an English nurse, Selina Alexander, who arrived in Tasmania in 1883. She married Robert Wilkins Giblin Shoobridge in 1890 and became Mrs Selina Shoobridge. Selina was Robert’s second wife, his first being Annie Rebecca (nee Crouch).

    Selina and Robert had one child, Nancy Hope Shoobridge, who died at sea and who is depicted in the entry at the link below.


    The mother of the child is attributed in the entry to Annie Rebecca, but it should be Selina Shoobridge. Just letting you know, and hope you are able to make an alteration to the entry. Thanks for your site, it is very interesting.

    Kind regards,

  2. Hi Elizabeth,

    Thanks for your input to correct my post about the Nancy Hope Schoobridge window at St Matthews, New Norfolk.

    I have managed to change the post without any major rewrite. On a coincidental note whilst looking into his first wife Annie Rebecca Crouch I found that she was the sister of the famous Victorian architect Thomas James Crouch who designed many of the magnificent Gothic churches and public buildings in Melbourne. That connection was right in front of my face despite having a considerable amount of information about T. J. Crouch.

    Thanks again for your input. It is very much appreciated.



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