William Charles Angliss

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William Angliss
Member of the Legislative Council of Victoria for Southern Province
In office
1 June 1912 – 1 June 1952
Preceded by William Embling
Succeeded by Roy Rawson
Personal details
Born 29 January 1865
Dudley, Worcestershire, England
Died 15 June 1957
Auburn, Victoria, Australia
Resting place Box Hill Cemetery
Nationality Australian
Political party Liberal Party of Australia
Other political
Nationalist Party of Australia
Spouse(s) Dame Jacobena Angliss
Children Eirene Rose Knox
Parents William and Eliza (nee Fiddian)
Occupation Politician
Profession Butcher, meat exporter
Religion Church of England

Sir William Charles Angliss (29 January 1865 – 15 June 1957) was a butcher, pastoralist, pioneer meat exporter, businessman, politician and philanthropist in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. He was knighted in 1939.


He was the eldest son of William Angliss, tailor, and his wife Eliza Fiddian, born in Dudley, Worcestershire, England. He was educated at Hawkhurst, Kent, and learnt the butchers trade as a youth working first with an uncle in London before migrating to New York. After two and a half years in North America he migrated to Rockhampton, Queensland in 1884. After working for a time in Brisbane and Sydney he moved to Melbourne in 1886 where he set up a butchers shop in North Carlton. He opened larger premises in Bourke Street, Melbourne in 1892 and started exporting frozen meat, becoming a pioneer of meat refrigeration. His meat export business was highly successful and he opened his own Freezing works in 1905 in Footscray.

His meat export business expanded into New South Wales and Queensland and his business also diversified into owning or managing pastoral leases and cattle stations, including jointly with Sidney Kidman.

He married Jacobena Grutzner at St. Columb's Church, Hawthorn, Victoria on 31 March 1919; they had one child, a daughter, Eirene Rose. Jacobena Angliss led a distinguished life as an Australian philanthropist, arts supporter and community worker.

From 1912 to 1952 Angliss was a member of the Legislative Council of Victoria, representing Southern Province, a predominantly rural farming electorate to the north of Melbourne, for various Non-Labor parties including: Nationalist Party of Australia; United Australia Party; and Liberal Party of Australia. His most important political contribution is regarded as a system of preferential controls which boosted meat exports arising from the Ottawa Imperial Conference in 1932, where he was the official business consultant to the Australian delegation.

In 1934 Angliss sold his meat business to the large British firm of Vesteys for 1.5million GBP, but retained many of his pastoral properties. He was knighted in 1939.

Angliss family grave at Box Hill Cemetery.

Sir William Angliss actively supported various charities including the Salvation Army and the settlement of migrant children in Australia. In 1940 he donated money to start a specialist trade or technical school specialising in providing vocational education and training opportunities for the hospitality and foods industries. Initially called the William Angliss Food Trades School, apprenticeship courses were offered in pastry, butchery, breadmaking and baking, cooking and waiting. The school is now known as the William Angliss Institute of TAFE and is highly regarded in its specialty areas of Hospitality, Cookery and Tourism.

Sir William was also a noted Freemason, belonging to at least two Lodges - in one with Mr Billy Guyatt, the well known retailer, R J Gilbertson - another famous butcher, and Tommy Woodcock, the trainer of Pharlap.

In his will, he set aside £1 million for the creation of two charitable funds: one in Victoria and one in Queensland, which are administered by the William Angliss Charitable Fund.

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