Open main menu

The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Topp, Arthur Manning

< The Dictionary of Australasian Biography

Topp, Arthur Manning, was born in Huddersfield, Yorkshire, on Oct. 7th, 1844, being the eldest son of the late Samuel Topp, who emigrated to Australia in 1853. His maternal great-grandfather was William Blanchard (1749-1836), for 60 years editor and proprietor of the York Chronicle, and uncle of William Blanchard (1769-1835), the well-known comedian of the Covent Garden Theatre. In 1858 the family left England for Melbourne, and the subject of this notice completed his education at the Church of England Grammar School, which was just then opened with the late Dr. Bromby as Headmaster. Afterwards going into business, he took an active part in establishing the Melbourne Review, of which the first number appeared in January 1876, and for six years was one of the editorial committee. He contributed to this periodical a number of articles, chiefly on political and historical questions. Two of them, "English Institutions and the Irish Race," and "A few more words on the Irish Question," appeared separately in pamphlet form and attracted a good deal of attention. In 1878, in conjunction with Mr. A. P. Martin (q.v.), he initiated a movement "for the purpose of expressing public appreciation of the services of the Bar of Beaconsfield in the settlement of the Eastern Question." A public meeting was held in the Melbourne Town Hall on July 29th, 1878, at which a resolution to the above effect was carried with enthusiasm, and speeches were delivered by several prominent public men, including the late Mr. J. G. Francis and Mr. James Service. An illuminated address also was sent to Lord Beaconsfield. In 1880 Mr. Topp joined the literary staff of the Age newspaper, and in 1882 that of the Argus, with which journal he has ever since been connected. He has contributed extensively to the columns of this paper and to the Australasian.