Explore the history of the Sebire family and Mont De Lancey

Take a scroll through the history of Mont De Lancey

1800 to 1849


Jean & Judith Sebire

Henry Sebire is born in Guernsey (an island in the English Channel off the coast of Normandy) to French speaking parents, Jean & Judith Sebire.

At around 12 years of age, Henry starts training as a quarryman and stonemason.

1850 to 1874


The Maitland 1849-50

2 October 1849: Henry boards the Maitland in Plymoth, England.

9 January 1850: Arrives in Melbourne


Henry & Martha SSebire

Henry marries Martha Rihoy, cousin of his first wife, Sophie Renouf.


Henry and his family live in the suburb of Pentridge (renamed to Coburg in 1870). He works as a quarryman on the construction of HM Pentridge Prison.

His daughter Mary Anne is born while he is working on the prison.


Indigenous people of the Wandin area are moved to an area called Coranderrk near Healesville, which becomes an Aboriginal Reserve.


Pegging out at midnight, under the Land Act 1869 (State Library of Victoria, IAN01/08/88/supp/17, wood engraving by Samuel Calvert)

Parcels of land are made available by the Victorian Government under ‘The Land Act 1865 (Grants Land Act)‘. The land was to be rented for three years, during which time improvements had to be made. Once those conditions were met, the land could be purchased outright.


Henry and his family move to Wandin Yallock, build a wooden house on land secured under the The Land Act 1865.  They plant raspberries and other fruit crops.

The first Sebire baby is born on the property. Henry and Martha welcome their son, Wandin.


Henry applies to purchase the land on which his house is built.

1875 to 1899


New brick church that Henry worked on

Henry helps build the brick Methodist Church, replacing the earlier wooden one.


Mont De Lancey - Front enterance

Henry builds Mont De Lancey with bricks made on site. Six of his eight children live in the house.


Henry’s son Thomas trains in fruit tree propagation and pruning at the ‘Royal Horticulture College’ in Burnley, Victoria.


Picking berries 1897

The Sebire family business is awarded the Blashki Trophy for Horticulture.

1900 to 1924


Thomas & Linda Sebire

Henry dies.

Thomas inherits the farm known as Mont De Lancey. He marries Linda Caroline Fairless. Their four children are brought up in the house.


Henry’s daughter Lily Sebire writes ‘The Early History of Wandin Yallock’.

Mont De Lancey farm vista -circa 1914


First World War


Francis Henry Sebire

Henry’s grandson Francis (Frank) is killed at the Battle of the Somme (France).

1925 to 1949


C utting chaff at Mont De Lancey circa 1935-6

Downturn in the fruit market. Income from fruit and vegetable growing is supplemented by cutting chaff.


Some of Thomas' Jersy cows

Thomas buys a herd of Jersey cows, builds the milking shed and operates as the ‘Wandin Hygienic Dairy’ – selling locally and to the “Model Dairy” (Kew) & “Moran and Cato” (Fitzroy).

Son Delancey Francis (Lance) is born.


Second World War


Greta, Marie, Linda, Leon, Grareme and Alvan Sebire circa 1943

Thomas dies and his son Reg inherits the farm and grows fruit and vegetables.

Nine children are brought up in the house.


Reg & Gwen sebire - circa-1950s

Reg adds an extension for a washhouse, toilet and bathroom to the house.

The family farms chickens for meat and eggs.

1950 to present


Reg dies and his son Graeme inherits the house and farm. He grows cherries and other fruit.


Mont De Lancey becomes a museum and local community project, with the support of the Sebire and other local families.