Patrick Stanley was born in Trim in County Meath, Ireland to Christopher and Mary Stanley in 1825. Stanley arrived in Sydney as an assisted immigrant aboard the ship Victoria on 4 September 1849. He married Elizabeth Regan at St Mary’s Cathedral on 19 February 1855. The couple lived at Bourke Street, Surry Hills after they married before moving to ‘Meath House’ at 35 Cleveland Street, Redfern. They had eight children together.
Elizabeth Stanley died on 10 May 1909 at ‘Meath House’, and was described a generous charitable and ‘ardent worker’ for the Sacred Heart Church, Darlinghurst and St Peter’s, Surry Hills. Patrick Stanley died on 5 November 1915 also at ‘Meath House’, and was buried in the family vault at Waverley Cemetery the following day.
Occupation & interests
Stanley’s obituary in the Freeman’s Journal called him a ‘grand pioneer in the commercial life of the city…respected in municipal circles, and an earnest worker in the cause of his Church’. The ‘generous-hearted young Irishman’ arrived in Sydney as a cooper and went on to work for John Baptist, who ran a fruit and vegetable market garden on the site of the Queen Victoria Market Buildings on George Street.
Stanley worked as Baptist’s lead salesman and produce merchant and then as the business’ manager before becoming its proprietor. After the Queen Victoria Market Buildings were demolished, Stanley moved the business near Bathurst Street and it become known as Stanley and Company. In 1909, he was described in the Australian Town and Country Journal as ‘a man with a great amount of practical knowledge and business acumen’.
Stanley took an active role in the Sacred Heart Church in Darlinghurst and was president of the Australian Catholic Young Men’s Society. During his later years, he became involved with St Peter’s Church, Surry Hills. He was involved in the Irish Famine Relief Fund in 1880, volunteering the use of the Redfern Town Hall for a meeting. Stanley was also a Justice of the Peace.
Stanley unsuccessfully stood for election as a member of the NSW Legislative Assembly for the district of Redfern in 1880.
Local government service
Patrick Stanley was elected an alderman of the Surry Hills Ward, Redfern Council on 6 February 1872, serving until 1886. He was elected Mayor of Redfern in 1876, serving until February 1882. Stanley resigned as alderman of Redfern 1886 before being elected again to fill a vacancy on 16 March 1898. He resigned his seat in February 1907 due to his wife’s illness.
‘Municipal Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 16 February 1872, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13252633
‘Redfern’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 March 1886, p. 7, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13615018
‘Old Sydney’, Truth, 19 November 1911, p. 11, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168756046
‘Progress of the suburbs’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 1914, p. 8, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article28119778
‘Parliamentary elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 November 1880, p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13483859
‘Redfern Municipal Elections’, The Australian Star, 16 March 1898, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article228433860
‘The Suburbs of Sydney’, Evening News, 4 June 1904 p. 3, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article113912869
‘Obituary’, Freeman’s Journal, 13 May 1909, p. 24, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article108179055
Australian Town and Country Journal, 11 August 1909, p 28
‘Obituary’, Freeman’s Journal, 11 November 1915, p. 16, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115596925
‘Mr. Patrick Stanley’, The Catholic Press, 11 November 1915, p. 22, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article115208463
‘Death of Mr Patrick Stanley, The Sydney Morning Herald, 6 November 1915, p. 18, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article15623179