Elizabeth Ann PHILLIPS
Name Variations PHILIPS
Father Peter PHILLIPS b.c. 1822 m. 18551 d. 18712
Mother Mary McTAVISH b.c.18343 m. 1855 d. 18884
Brother Thomas PHILLIPS b. 18565 m. none - d. 18876
Inmate Elizabeth Ann PHILLIPS b. 18577 m. 1874 (see below) d. 19318
Brother James PHILLIPS b. 18599 m. 189210 Ellen Margaret NEUSS d. 194111
Brother Alexander PHILLIPS b. 186112 m. 189313 Mary TAYLOR d. 194114
Sister Sarah Jane PHILLIPS b. 186315 m. 188316 Duncan McDONALD d. 194317
Sister Agnes PHILLIPS b. 1865 m. 188518 David STEVENS d. 193019
Sister Ellen PHILLIPS b. 186820 m. d.
Sister Edith Martha PHILLIPS b. 187021 m. 189022 Thomas F. WORLAND d. 194123
Husband Henry GLASS b. m. 187424 d.
Son William GLASS b. 187525 m. none - d. 187526
Daughter Mary GLASS b. 187627 m. d.
Son Charles GLASS b. 187728 m. d.
Daughter Lillian Ethel GLASS b. 187929 m. d. 194730
Daughter Eveline Edith GLASS b. 188031 m. none - d. 188632
Daughter Annie GLASS b. 188233 m. d.
Daughter Ella GLASS b. 188334 m. d.
Son Roland GLASS b. 188435 m. d. 196736
Daughter Ida GLASS b.c. 1886 m. none - d. 188637
Son Walter GLASS b. 188738 m. d. 195239
Daughter Mabel V. GLASS b. 188940 m. none - d. 188941
Daughter Hilda GLASS b. 189142 m. d.
Daughter Minnie GLASS b.c. 1893 m. none - d. 189343
Son Wallace GLASS b. 189444 m. d. 197845
Son Raymond GLASS b. 189546 m. d. 193047
Daughter Rita GLASS b. 189848 m. d.

Elizabeth Ann PHILLIPS
Image generously provided by and used courtesy of her descendant, Leah

Elizabeth Ann PHILIPS was arrested in Cooma and was admitted to the school on 14 February 1869. Until a court case is located the reason for her admission to the Industrial School is unlikely to be discovered. She was eleven.49 Her religion was Protestant and educationally she was able to read the first book but she couldn’t write. No date or record of a trial has yet been located. After the riot in the school on 10 March 1871, Elizabeth, Sarah DICKSON and Mary WINDSOR were charged with destroying Government property. They appeared in Newcastle Court on 11 March where, at the request of CLARKE, they were reprimanded and returned to the school.50

Elizabeth transferred to Biloela and was listed by LUCAS as eligible for service in a letter to the Colonial Secretary on 23 June 1871.51 On 11 September LUCAS requested permission to apprentice Elizabeth to Mr Angelo TORNAGHI52 of Hunter’s Hill for four years at a starting rate of three shillings a year and increasing by one shilling per year for each year of the apprenticeship.53 Permission was granted as Elizabeth was apprenticed to TORNAGHI on 27 September 1871.54 Angelo TORNAGHI was a mathematical instrument maker.55 In January 1872, Elizabeth was charged with stealing a gold locket, the property of Mrs. TOURNAGI, of Hunter's Hill. She was arrested by constable SAMUEL56 and appeared in court on Saturday, 20 January before Messrs. BLAXLAND and FARNELL.57 Details of this trial have not yet been found on Trove. Elizabeth had been convicted of a crime so on her return to Biloela on Cockatoo Island she was admitted to the separate Reformatory school. LUCAS wrote to the Colonial Secretary on 23 January informing him that Elizabeth and Rosanna TOUT had been received. It is thought that Elizabeth was admitted on 20 January – the day of her trial. The letter is Reformatory correspondence and stated that the admission of these two girls brought the total of inmates in the Reformatory to six.58 Elizabeth appeared in the correspondence on the reformatory list of August 1874. She was fourteen at the time of this readmission and there was no specified period of time to remain on the island. Her admission to the Reformatory was also recorded on LUCAS's April 1872 list of girls in the Industrial School.59 Elizabeth was discharged from the reformatory on 17 March 1874, after having served just over two years in Biloela.60

Seven months after her release, on 4 October 1874, the day after she turned seventeen,61 Elizabeth married Henry GLASS in Cooma. The couple had three children and were living in Cowra before Elizabeth, at the age of about twenty, became involved in a life-threatening incident. Henry GLASS was the half-brother of John GLASS, alias 'Black GLASS'. The men shared a father but John's mother was of aboriginal descent.62 On 22 December 1877, John GLASS stabbed both his step-daughter, Mary McCORMICK, and his sister-in-law, Elizabeth Ann GLASS.63 Warrants were sought for his arrest and

Mrs. Phillips, the mother of his brother's wife, is out on horse-back, armed with a double-barrel gun, in search of Black Glass, and vows that she will shoot him if she finds him.64

John was eventually captured and appeared in the court system charged with the stabbing attacks as well as the further capital offence of the rape of his step-daughter.65 The evidence of the witness, Matthew ADAMSON, described Elizabeth's courage in attempting to prevent Mary's abduction and rape.

… (H)e held Mary McCormick by the hands, and Mrs. Henry Glass went to her assistance ; Mrs. Glass took a stick with her, and struck prisoner on the back of the head whilst he was holding Mary McCormick ; prisoner was trying to hold Mary McCormick, who was trying to resist ; when Mrs. Glass struck prisoner, he held Mary McCormick ; when Mrs. Glass struck prisoner the second time, he let Mary McCormick go, turned round suddenly, and stabbed Mrs. Glass in the breast with a shear-blade ; this was the first time I saw the shear-blade in prisoner's hands ; it was like the shear-blade now produced ; the first time prisoner stabbed Mrs. Glass, she tried to get away, and he followed her and stabbed her in the shoulder ; he then left Mrs. Glass, and followed Mary McCormick ; I was standing at the door, looking on ; he stabbed her as he came up to McCormick, who was running away from him; I saw prisoner stab Mary McCormick twice with the shear-blade as she was running away from him ; I was about thirty yards away ; I did not offer to go to the assistance of the women ; I did not go up to help Mary McCormick. … I might have been stabbed myself.66

John was sentenced to death but after a successful petition, this was commuted to life in prison.67 Elizabeth, although she was in a serious condition for some time, eventually recovered from her wounds and went on the have thirteen more children. Interestingly none of her children were named after her father. Elizabeth died in Bega on 26 November 1931,68 and her parents were confirmed on the death registration.


There were no parents recorded in the Entrance Book at the time of Elizabeth's admission but, in the parent section, in what appears to be a child’s hand, is the name ‘Mary’.69 There is one registration for an Elizabeth A. PHILLIPS with a mother named Mary between the years 1856 and 1858 and that is in Cooma to Peter and Mary PHILLIPS. Because the name, ages and trial locations match, there is no doubt that this is the girl who was admitted to Newcastle. Peter PHILLIPS and Mary McTAVISH married in Christ Church in the District of Maneroo on 1 March 1855. They both came from Murrumbuckra. Permission for the marriage had been given by the 'parents of female' as Mary hadn't reached the age of twenty-one. Mary’s brother, Donald McTAVISH, was one witness.70 The other witness was William HARVEY.71

Online trees identify that Peter PHILLIPS had been born in Bolton, Lancashire.72 They have no indication of how Peter had arrived in NSW but he had to have been in the state by 1855. Peter died at Rosebrook, near Cooma, in 1871. Without knowing the reason for his death, it must be considered that an illness suffered by Peter may have been the catalyst for Elizabeth's admission to Newcastle.

Mary had arrived as a two-year old child with her parents and brother aboard the Hoogley in 1836.73 Online trees identify that she died in Cooma on 20 May 1888, but the registration of her death has not been viewed and is uncertain.74 It is not likely to be the registration in 1888 as this appears to be that of a child who had been born earlier that year75

Updated March 2015

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