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Architect, was born in Florence but reputedly left Italy when quite young and travelled extensively in Europe. He then spent some years in South Africa, where he owned a quarry. At Cape Town he married Jane (Jean [sic]) Francis Miles, a merchant/farmer’s daughter aged fifteen, on 5 November 1849. The discovery of gold drew Stombuco to Victoria; he, Jane and their infant daughter Marie came to the Eaglehawk diggings near Bendigo. Then he turned to sculpture, monumental masonry, building and architecture in Melbourne, around Kyneton, then to Goulburn (NSW) in 1869, where he was appointed Catholic diocesan architect by Bishop Lanigan. He carried out a number of projects there but is best known for the first part of the nave of the new cathedral of St Peter & Paul in 1871-72. He lived in Victoria and NSW for 25 years, designing and superintending private and public buildings until moving to Queensland in 1875 on the advice of Rev. Patrick Dunne of Goulburn.

Bishop James Quinn (from Dublin) treated Stombuco as Brisbane diocesan architect in deed if not in title. Among his earliest commissions (late 1870s) was a series of ecclesiastical buildings for Ipswich parish in collaboration with Father Andrew Horan, the bishop’s nephew. He also began designing schools, churches and convents in and around Brisbane, including St Joseph’s Christian Brothers College, Gregory Terrace in 1875-76. Also did designs for other denominations as well as private mansions (see Watson and McKay). With the depression he moved to WA in December 1891 but failed to redeem his fortunes in Perth. He died in Fremantle Asylum as a senile pauper aged 86 in 1907.

Stombuco designed 54 public, educational, ecclesiastical, commercial and residential buildings in every state except South Australia. At least 20 survive in southeast Queensland.

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