Tasma Terrace

The head office of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria)

One of the finest examples of a nineteenth-century three-storey terrace house in Australia, Tasma Terrace was built in 1879 for wealthy grain merchant George Nipper as a stylish guest house and family home. Facing demolition and replacement with hi-rise towers in 1970, this beautiful and unique building was saved through the advocacy of the National Trust.

Tasma Terrace now houses the head office of the National Trust of Australia (Victoria), a gallery space, and a number of period decorated meeting and function rooms.

Place Details

Please note that Tasma Terrace is not open to the public.


6 Parliament Place
East Melbourne 3002 VIC

Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Country

We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Victoria and recognise their continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay respects to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures; and to Elders past and present.

More Information

National Trust of Australia (Victoria) Head Office

Tasma Terrace


6 Parliament Place, East Melbourne Vic 3002

(03) 9656 9889

"The blend of elaborated stucco and cast iron which is so splendidly combined in Australian terraces is absolutely unknown elsewhere. 'Tasma Terrace' is a particularly fine example of its type."

English architect Ian Grant's UNESCO report on preservation in Australia

Tragedy At Parliament Place

Read about a sad episode in the history of Tasma Terrace

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Murder at the Marlborough lodging house

picture: The 'Marlborough' lodging house shown in red.

WARNING - This content is not suitable for very young students. Teachers please use with discretion.

Constable William Harley was walking his beat in the vicinity of the public offices behind Parliament House on the night of 14th August 1890. It was late winter - overcast – becoming windier as the evening continued. All had been quiet on this Thursday evening until at 11.10 pm he met Mr Wright on the street. Wright was a barrister residing at Parliament Place. He had rushed to fetch Dr. Charles Ryan and was returning with him. A woman had been shot at the lodging house.

The police officer made his way past Treasury to the southern terrace recently re- named Marlborough House by the new proprietress. Constable Harley testified that he ran up the stairs to the front door and into the hall where he saw Mr. Alfred Turner, thence past the dining room, into the bedroom at the rear of the building on the ground floor. There he found a woman’s body supine, her left arm outstretched and a gun nestled on the fingers of her hand. The room was tidy with only slight evidence of a struggle, the pillows were disarranged and the bedclothes turned down as if the woman was about to retire to bed. She was clothed in a dressing gown unbuttoned to reveal a night dress, her slippers still on her feet, and the left side of her body was soaked in blood.

Hand-written in tight copperplate, the coroner’s report describes how the blood was ‘splashed’ and the carpet ‘covered’. Scorch marks were present on one hand, with traces of a black substance - gunpowder. Her right hand was lying across her stomach unblemished but splattered with a few spots of blood. The left hand side of her face was swollen and a bullet hole was visible beneath the outer angle of the left eye, a second wound was visible near the left ear. The first bullet fractured the woman’s upper jaw; the second was fatal.

Why did Edith Jane Forrester Jubb - business woman, lodging house operator, ex-pub licensee, mother of three, former actress and alleged adulteress - die? Melbourne newspaper, The Argus, reporting on the tragedy the following day, named it an "Attempted Murder and Suicide".

When a loud noise disturbed Mr D Wright he was sitting in his upstairs room. Thinking it was ‘someone violently kicking the back gate’ he ignored the sound for a few seconds before being startled by cries for help and the sound of rushing feet in the corridors. He opened his door to find Alfred Turner partly in the passage. Turner, with a slight graze like wound on his forehead, began to explain that Mrs Jubb attempted to shoot him and then shot herself. Three bullets in total were fired from a revolver belonging to Alfred Turner.

The Coroner's Inquest

Dr. Youl, the City Coroner, opened the inquest at 12:00 pm on Saturday the 16th of August in the dining room of the deceased, at Parliament Place. The body was identified and the hearing was postponed till the following Thursday. The evidence presented led to Alfred Turner’s sentence to trial for wilful murder. The coronial evidence showed that Edith Jubb died in approximately 2 minutes from gun shot wounds to the left hand side of the head, the second shot piercing the pharynx. She died from both asphyxiation and blood loss.

One bullet strayed and hit the wall dislodging plaster which injured Turner superficially. The ‘old fashioned’ revolver owned by Alfred Turner required re-cocking between shots. In fact, it was found to be cocked when Constable Harley picked the firearm up when he arrived on the scene. The question that puzzled the court was could Edith have shot herself twice in the head using her left hand and did she have the strength to re-cock the pistol after each shot? Dr. G A Syme, who performed the autopsy, said that this was possible.

There was an immediate assumption of suicide, but witnesses, including her daughter Fanny, stated that Edith was right handed, with an intense horror of firearms.

The Trial

Picture: Sir Hartley Williams. Australasian Sketcher, 30 July 1881.

In the Public records Office Victoria records, court transcripts and documents relating to the prosecution survive, the defence papers do not. The evidence presented by a number of witnesses who knew the couple all tell a sad story of abuse and violence. Fanny Jubb, Edith’s 15 year old daughter witnessed Turner violently mistreating her mother and threatening her with the same gun by which she died. He was repeatedly heard to say that he would shoot her. Edith had removed the gun from Alfred’s rooms for her protection.

From the transcripts in "The Argus" the defence’s case seemed to centre on a character assassination of Edith, presenting her as an immoral and jealous woman. The judge on the case was Sir Hartley Williams. Indeed Justice Williams in his summation comments that ‘He was grieved, pained, and somewhat shocked to hear great stress laid on the allegation that the deceased was a woman who drank and was of an abandoned character... They were told that the prisoner had a very strong affection for the woman, and he (his honour) was sorry that the prisoner’s counsel should have thought it necessary to make those observations.’ "The Age", 19 September 1890

The fact that the couple had not recently argued violently, although some coolness in manner had been observed, was offered to show that the situation had improved between the couple since residing in Parliament Place. The defence blamed Alfred’s previous aggressive behaviour on financial stresses whilst the couple were living in less salubrious and respectable circumstances. Once they had again been raised to their place in society cordial relations were apparently resumed. Justice Williams was also incredulous that Turner could be so callous as to coolly place the gun in Edith’s dying hand and premeditate his story of events. It seemed easier for the jury to believe that Edith was a hysterical woman bent on murder and suicide than Alfred as a cruel and brutal man.

After deliberating for 45 minutes, the all male jury found Alfred Turner not guilty.

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