James Gillard was born at Windsor in 1829, son of John Gillard and Louisa. On 17 August 1865 he married Mary Jane Ireton at Newtown. He died at 29 Parramatta Road Glebe on 31 May 1886, aged 57 years. Mary Gillard died 26 October 1904.
Occupation & interests
Working class housing in Glebe during the 1850s was mainly built by men of their own number, with little capital, bartering their labour for materials, combining to build houses on the principle of exchange of work. Gillard as a plasterer worked beside bricklayers, carpenters, shinglers and others to complete the construction work. He left an estate of 3,574 pounds sworn for probate purposes.
Gillard was an very active member of the village life in Glebe during the 1860s . He was superintendent of Francis Street Wesleyan Sunday School Glebe 1859 to 1862, a sergeant in the Glebe Volunteer Rifles for several yearsand an active member of the Sons & Daughters of Temperance, an agency of the Wesleyan Church.
Local government service
James Gillard was an alderman on Glebe Council from 1864 to 1867. Gillard was prominent in the agitation by Outer Ward residents in 1863 petitioning to be taken out of Glebe municipality, and their ward incorporated as the municipality of St Phillip. At a public meeting in 1869 about the irregular supply of water to Glebe, Gillard observed ‘the city seldom suffered from want of water ; and if they want it they got it’.
Bickford, James 1890, James Bickford: an autobiography of Christian labour in the West Indies, Demerara, Victoria, New South Wales, and South Australia, 1838-1888, Charles H Kelly, London
Sydney Morning Herald 19 February 1864 p. 8
Sydney Morning Herald 31 March 1863 p. 4
Sydney Morning Herald 3 March 1869 p. 5
Sydney Morning Herald 1 June 1886 p. 14