By Cathy Jones
‘Malvern’ was located on The Boulevarde Strathfield and was bounded at the north by Albyn Road and at the west by Kingsland Rd. At its southern boundary, it bordered ‘Llandilo’ the estate of Sir Philip Sydney Jones, brother-in-law of Malvern’s owner T J Thompson.
‘Malvern’ was built c.1870 and stood until c.1919. ‘Malvern’ was the home of stockbroker Thomas James Thompson (1830-1917). The photograph of ‘Malvern’ above is featured in the auction advertisement in November 1918 by the real estate firm of Hardie & Gorman.
Thomas Thompson and other members of his family were prominent in Strathfield’s history in the late 19th and early 20th century. Thompson’s brother Samuel was the owner of ‘Rothesay’ 74-76 Abbotsford Road Homebush and his son George owned ‘Steephurst’ in Albyn Rd Strathfield and served as an Alderman on Strathfield’s first elected Council in 1885.
In 1853, Thompson married Jane Jones, daughter of retailer David Jones and was related to other Strathfield based families such as Nott, Keep and Arnott families.
The ‘Malvern’ estate adjoined ‘Llandilo’ (now Trinity Grammar Preparatory School) on The Boulevarde, which was owned by his brother-in-law, Dr Phillip Sydney Jones.
Thomas J Thompson was involved for a time in the management of David Jones like many members of the Thompson family. However, he is best known as a stockbroker and one of the founders of the Sydney Stock Exchange. On his death in 1917 at age 87 years, he held a seat on the exchange for over 40 years.
In 1872, Thompson, his brother Samuel and William Henry Charter entered into partnership as Thompson, Brother & Charter, mining agents and stock and sharebrokers. By 1874, Charter left the firm and by 1875, the Thompson brothers were conducting separate businesses. In 1880, he was joined in business by his son George and the firm was then known as TJ Thompson & Son. When his second son joined the firm, it became TJ Thompson & Thomas James Thompson (from Obituary, Sydney Morning Herald, 1917) Sons. TJ Thompson & Sons merged with Charles A Ord & Minnett in 1964. The name Thompson disappeared in 1976 when the firm was renamed Ord Minnett Limited. The now uses the name JP Morgan and still an active participating organisation.
Thompson was active in local community activities. He was one of the founders and likely contributed to the financing of the building of the Trinity Congregational Church on The Boulevarde. He was a member of the Union Recreation Club at Strathfield and was a longterm member of the bowling teams.
Following his death in 1917, the house ‘Malvern’ was sold. A description of the property featured in Hardie & Gorman Pty Ltd Real Estate Movements on November 1 1918, page 12.
A choice residence on a fine site
’MALVERN’, A fine family residence, as shown in the photograph on page 2, will be sold at auction at the Companies Salerooms, 26 Moore Street, on Wednesday, the 13th November at 11:30 am, and offers a good investment to a buyer, either for occupation, letting or subdivision. The house is in fine order, solidly built, with verandah on two sides, hall, dining and drawing rooms, smoke, work and sitting rooms, pantries, kitchen, laundry, etc, on the ground floor, with four bedrooms, two bathrooms, dressing room, two maid’s rooms and linen room upstairs.
WB stable and coachhouse, and detached brick built billiard room. Land, 264 feet to Boulevard, 264 feet to Kingsland Road, and 658 feet 9 inches on south side as per sketch now on view at the Company Saleroom’s, where cards to view can be obtained. The title is Torrens, and early possession can be arranged, large area and unique position of this property make it an exceptionally good investment”.
Though the house disappeared, the name ‘Malvern’ was revived in the 1950s when the grounds of the house ‘Radstoke’ was subdivided, creating a cul-de-sac which was named ‘Malvern Crescent’.
Hardie & Gorman Pty Ltd. (1918, November 1), Properties and Premises, Vol.1 No.8, pps 2, 12