James Conley


Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Newtown 1864 1875
Mayor Newtown 1867 1867
  • James Conley, Mayor of Newtown in 1867 (Jubilee Souvenir of the Municipality of Newtown, 1862-1912)

Family background

James Conley lived at the Kingston Lodge Hotel on the corner of Australia, Eliza and Lennox Streets, Newtown. He was married to Jane, who died in 1882. After being granted three months leave of absence in February 1876, because of some kind of indisposition, Conley died on 9 June 1876, aged 68.

Two of Conley’s daughters and his son, James Conley junior, were well-known church organists. James Conley junior was the pianist at a sell-out concert on 10 May 1869 which marked the opening of the Municipal Town hall.

Occupation & interests

James Conley ran the Kingston Lodge Hotel on the corner of Australia, Eliza and Lennox Streets, Newtown, from the late 1840s until his death in 1876.

Community activity

James Conley was a justice of the peace (JP).

Local government service

James Conley was elected to the first Newtown Council in 1863 and served as an alderman for Kingston Ward until 1876. In 1867, he served as Mayor. He was the most popular of those standing for election for the first council. Conley received 107 votes in Kingston in February 1863, much more than the rest, but the eight councillors decided that Frederick Holland, who received less than a quarter of his, act as the first Mayor.

After being elected as Mayor in 1867, he oversaw the passing of the Municipalities Act, the intended visit of His Royal Highness Prince Alfred, the Duke of Edinburgh, and the lighting of the municipality’s first street Gaslamp by the Australian Gas Light Company in 1867.


Biographical information for this alderman was originally researched by Mark Matheson for the Newtown Project Website.

Additional research was undertaken by Dr Martina Muller, November 2022.

‘Conference of Municipal Delegates’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 December 1867, p. 6, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13163463

‘Queenscliff’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 1869, p. 4, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13189970

‘Advertising’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 1 December 1875, p. 2, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13368290

‘Family Notices’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 June 1876, p. 16, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13375073

‘Family Notices’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 9 June 1882, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article13513059

‘Old Sydney’, Truth, 8 December 1912, p. 12, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article168737465

‘James Conley Jnr: In Memoriam’, The Methodist, 28 April 1923, p 13, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article155261012

James Conley and family of Kingston, by Patricia Steane, in ‘Marrickville: a past worth preserving’, Marrickville Historical Society, 2011


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