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.
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.
‘Council Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald 29 June 1860, p. 2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13042511
‘Obituary’, The Sydney Morning Herald 27 August 1875, p. 6, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13359647
‘Legislative Assembly’, Empire, 6 November 1856 p.2, http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/64979321
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