Mr George THORNTON (1819 - 1901)**

  • Date of Birth: 23/12/1819
  • Place of Birth: Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  • Date of Death: 23/11/1901
  • Place of Death: Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia

Parliamentary Service

PositionStartEndPeriodNotes
Member of the NSW Legislative Assembly15 Jan 185831 Dec 186810yr(s) 11mth(s) 17day(s)
Member of the NSW Legislative Council13 May 186113 May 18611day(s)
Did not take his seat. First (Quinquennial) Appointments under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 10 May 1861.
Member of the NSW Legislative Council27 Nov 187723 Nov 190123yr(s) 11mth(s) 28day(s)
Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 29 October 1877
Member for Sydney15 Jan 185811 Apr 18591yr(s) 2mth(s) 28day(s)
2nd
Member for Goldfields West26 Feb 186731 Dec 18681yr(s) 10mth(s) 6day(s)
5th
Secretary for Mines and Representative of Government13 Nov 188521 Dec 18851mth(s) 9day(s)
Question of Privilege – Governor General’s Answer to Address on proposed dispatch of Artillery to Indi16 Apr 185826 Nov 18587mths 11days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Chairman
St Philip’s Parsonage Bill Committee No.2316 May 185826 Nov 18586mths 11days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Chairman
State of the Magistracy Committee No.1718 May 185826 Nov 18586mths 9days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Irish Female Immigrants (Petition from Celtic Association) Committee No.2018 May 185826 Nov 18586mths 9days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Extension of Railway to Windsor Committee No.3023 Jul 185826 Nov 18584mths 4days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Irish Female Immigrants Committee No.415 Dec 18589 Apr 18593mths 26days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Irish Female Immigrants Committee No.415 Dec 18589 Apr 18593mths 26days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Chairman
Extension of Railway to Windsor Committee No.617 Dec 18589 Apr 18593mths 24days
2nd (1858 - 1859)
Oyster Fisheries Protection Bill Committee No.72 Jul 186727 Apr 18689mths 26days
5th (1865 - 1869)
Claim of Mr Benjamin Richards to lease of “Yaraldool” Run Committee No.927 Aug 186728 Nov 18673mths 2days
5th (1865 - 1869)
Chairman
Shipwrecks and Loss of Life on the Coast Committee No.10.3 Sep 186718 Dec 18673mths 16days
5th (1865 - 1869)

Community Activity

Commissioned as a Justice of the Peace (JP) in 1866.


Qualifications, occupations and interests

Businessman. Educated at St Phillip's Primary School, W.T Cape's Academy and Reverend J.D Lang's Australian College. Joined customs department as a storekeeper c.1836; became a clerk; by 1840 was a Customs House agent; bankrupt in 1844. By 1850 was in partnership with Walter Church as Customs House agents and shipbrokers; owned schooner, "Tom Tough". Partner in Tucker & Company from 1859 until 1863, 1869. Founding director of City Bank of Sydney., Chairman from 1885 until 1888. Chairman of Mutual Insurance Society of Victoria. Director of two other insurance companies. Trustee of Savings Bank of New South Wales. Large owner of a city property. Visited England in mid 1860s and again from 1869. Administered Agent Generals Office. Founding councillor of New South Wales Aborigines Protection Association in 1880. Appointed Protector of Aborigines in 1880; Vice Commodore of Sydney Yacht Club in 1859. Founding member of Royal Sydney Yacht Squadron in 1862, founding president of Sydney Rowing Club, and New South Wales Rowing Association. Cock fighting enthusiast. On committees of Victoria and Reform Clubs; member of Union Club. Freemason (Irish Constitution), founding provincial Grand Master from 1857 until 1867.


Honours Received

His Mayoralty of Sydney is commemorated by the Obelisk in Hyde Park facing Bathurst Street (known as Thornton's 'scent bottle').


Local Government Activity

Alderman of the Sydney City Council for Cook Ward, 1 November 1847 - 31 December 1853; and for Fitzroy Ward 11 April 1857 - 1858. Mayor in 1857. Alderman of the Woollahra Municipal Council 1860; first Chairman of the Council 1860.


Personal

Son of Samuel Thornton, free immigrant and publican, and Sarah (alias Thorn), convict. Married Mary Ann Solomon on 4 August 1840 and had issue, 2 daughters and 1 son. Church of England.


Additional Information