Edward Hawksley

Newspaper Publisher, Journalist, Public Servant

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Waterloo 1860 1863
Mayor Waterloo 1860 1860
Alderman Alexandria 1868 1869
Mayor Alexandria 1868 1869
  • Waterloo Municipal Council stamp (City of Sydney Archives A-00310569)

Family background

Edward John Hawksley was born c1807 in Nottingham, England, son of John Hawksley and Mary Whittle. He arrived in Sydney in 1838 on the vessel ’Cecilia’ with his wife Ann Bramley who he married in Nottingham 12 December 1832. Two daughters, Mary (1833) and Eliza A (1835) accompanied them. A third daughter Winifred A (1839) was born in Sydney. Ann Hawksley died in 1860 and Edward remarried Sarah Jane Morgan in Sydney on 26 September 1864. They had a son Edward T (1868) and a daughter Catherine T (1870). At the time he was an alderman, Edward Hawksley lived at Wynyard Street, Redfern. After his retirement he followed his friend Mr Charles St Julian to Fiji where he remained until his death on 2 July 1875 at his residence in South Levuka, on the Island of Ovalau, Fiji. He was buried at the Nautoto Cemetery, in South Levuka.

Occupation & interests

Brought up Unitarian he fought with the British Legion in the First Spanish Carlist War in 1835. After arriving in Sydney he was first engaged as a teacher at St James’s Anglican School and Catholic School in Maitland and next as a paid contributor to the Atlas newspaper. He was the Editor of the following newspapers; the Chronicle (1846-47) and the Daily News with Charles St Julian (1848). Afterwards, in conjunction with Mr Francis Cunningham, he established the People’s Advocate, a journal which for many years enjoyed much popularity. In 1863 Hawksley was taken on as an employee in the Government Printing Office where he remained for a number of years.

Community activity

Hawksley was a warden at the Holy Catholic Guild Sydney in 1848.

Local government service

Edward John Hawksley was elected as the first Chairman of Waterloo Council in 1860. He served as an alderman on Waterloo Council in 1860-63 representing West Ward and when Council split he became an alderman of Alexandria Council (1868-69) and became its first Mayor in 1868. E J Hawksley as Martin Guest, Secretary of the Australian Political Association, sought postponement of the second meeting of the Sydney Corporation Bill for one week to enable citizens to express further opinions. The Legislative Assembly agreed.


‘Legislative Assembly’, Empire, 6 November 1856 p.2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/64979321

‘Council Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 29 June 1860, p. 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13042511

‘Borough of Alexandria’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 September 1868, p. 4, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13173193

‘Law Gazette’, Sydney Mail, 19 December 1868, p. 12, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166799742

‘Borough of Alexandria’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 22 December 1869, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13197509

‘Suburban Municipal Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 5 February 1869, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13179458

‘Advertising’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 February 1870, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13201212

‘Obituary’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 27 August 1875, p. 6, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13359647

Peter Cochrane 2006, Colonial ambition: foundations of Australian democracy, Melbourne University Press, Melbourne

J M O’Brien, ‘Edward John Hawksley’, Journal of the Australian Catholic Historical Society, Vol. 3, No. 3, 1971: 32-45


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