Benjamin Palmer


Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman City of Sydney 1870 1893
Mayor City of Sydney 1875 1876

Family background

Benjamin Palmer, christened John Benjamin Tanner Palmer, was born on 19 April 1828 in Sydney, the eldest son of English immigrants William Nottingham Palmer (d.1850) and his wife Harriet Ann, née Moore. He married Emma Caroline (d.1918, aged 84), daughter of Daniel and Catherine Outtrim, at Christ Church St Lawrence on 29 January 1850. They had two sons and four daughters, two dying in infancy. Benjamin Palmer died on 5 October 1893, aged 64, and was buried in the Independent section of Rookwood Cemetery.b

Occupation & interests

Benjamin Palmer’s father William held licenses at various times for the Rising Sun Inn, the Fortune of War, and the Dumbarton Castle. His two sons also became publicans. By 1850 Benjamin Palmer was the landlord of The Swan with Two Necks on the corner of Park and George Streets. From 1854 to 1867 he was licensee of the Liverpool Arms on the corner of Pitt and Kings Streets. He lived in Clifton, at 28 Upper William Street north (later Bayswater Road) and owned considerable property including the Clock Tower Hotel on the corner of Market and Kent Streets and the Dumbarton Castle. Palmer was a patron of cricket.

Local government service

Palmer was Alderman for Brisbane Ward, 1 December 1870 to 5 October 1893. He was the City member on the Board of Water Supply and Sewerage, 1888-93 and a Justice of the Peace. Palmer was Mayor in 1875 and 1876 and officiated at the opening of one of the early stages of Sydney Town Hall.


City of Sydney: Aldermen’s Files including family history; Photos: CRS 54/3; 54/399; 54/412; 54/468; 54/475; 54/523; 54/532; and THC 88/942

Society of Australian Genealogists: Rookwood Index

State Records Office: Publicans Licenses

Sydney Mail 30 November 1889



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