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Former Member Details

Mr George THORNTON (1819 - 1901)

Member Photo
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
Position Start End Period Notes
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 13 May 1861 13 May 1861 1 day 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 Assembly 15 Jan 1858 31 Dec 1868 10 years 11 months 17 days
Member of the NSW Legislative Council 27 Nov 1877 23 Nov 1901 23 years 11 months 28 days Life Appointment under the Constitution Act. Date of Writ of Summons 29 October 1877
Member for Sydney 15 Jan 1858 11 Apr 1859 1 year 2 months 28 days
Member for Goldfields West 26 Feb 1867 31 Dec 1868 1 year 10 months 6 days
Secretary for Mines and Representative of Government 13 Nov 1885 21 Dec 1885 1 month 9 days
Extension of Railway to Windsor Committee No.30 23 Jul 1858 26 Nov 1858 4 months 4 days
Irish Female Immigrants (Petition from Celtic Association) Committee No.20 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days
Question of Privilege – Governor General’s Answer to Address on proposed dispatch of Artillery to Indi 16 Apr 1858 26 Nov 1858 7 months 11 days Chairman
St Philip’s Parsonage Bill Committee No.23 16 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 11 days Chairman
State of the Magistracy Committee No.17 18 May 1858 26 Nov 1858 6 months 9 days
Extension of Railway to Windsor Committee No.6 17 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 3 months 24 days
Irish Female Immigrants Committee No.4 15 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 3 months 26 days
Irish Female Immigrants Committee No.4 15 Dec 1858 09 Apr 1859 3 months 26 days Chairman
Claim of Mr Benjamin Richards to lease of “Yaraldool” Run Committee No.9 27 Aug 1867 28 Nov 1867 3 months 2 days Chairman
Shipwrecks and Loss of Life on the Coast Committee No.10. 03 Sep 1867 18 Dec 1867 3 months 16 days
Oyster Fisheries Protection Bill Committee No.7 02 Jul 1867 27 Apr 1868 9 months 26 days
Political Party Activity
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.
Military Service
Honours Received
His Mayoralty of Sydney is commemorated by the Obelisk in Hyde Park facing Bathurst Street (known as Thornton's 'scent bottle').
Membership of other Parliaments & Offices Held
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