Stephen Foskett

French Polisher

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Alexandria 1872 1889
Mayor Alexandria 1875 1877
Mayor Alexandria 1887 1887
  • Alexandria Town Hall in 1943 (Alexandria, 'the Birmingham of Australia': 75 years of progress, 1868-1943, published by Alexandria Municipal Council, 1943).

Family background

Stephen John Foskett was born c1819 at Hoddeston, Hertfordshire, England, the son of Stephen Foskett Snr and Sarah Sedgewick. He married (1) Eliza Chamberlain (1820-51) in 1843 at Ware, Hertfordshire, England, and they had a daughter. He married (2) Sarah Couch (1818-94) on 25 May 1853 at West Ham, Hampshire, England, and they had two daughters and a son. Foskett immigrated to Sydney, Australia, with his family on board the ship ‘Bejapore’, arriving 14 March 1857. Foskett died 17 August 1900 at the residence of his son-in-law (G Austin) at ‘Glassnock’, 83 Alice Street, Newtown, aged 81 years: he was buried in the Independent Section at Rookwood Cemetery. He left a Will and his estate and assets were assessed at £627. Stephen Foskett lived in Henderson Road, Alexandria.

Occupation & interests

In his early life, Stephen Foskett for some years followed the butchering trade, in which his father was also engaged. In 1840 he went to London where he learned French polishing. Soon after his arrival in Sydney, Foskett engaged with Alexander Dean, a well-known builder and for 20 years he carried out for him very extensive works in many of the principal public and private buildings of the city and suburbs. Foskett was a member of the Congregational cause at Waterloo for 43 years and a Deacon of the Church for 34 years. He was a Freemason and a member of the United Ancient Order of Druids and Ancient Order of Foresters.

Community activity

Stephen Foskett was mainly instrumental in having Alexandria proclaimed a municipality. He was a Justice of the Peace (JP). He was a member of the Public School Boards in 1890. Councillors received no pay, but wearing the mayoral chains conferred status and power on the holder in an emerging suburb.

Local government service

Stephen John Foskett was an alderman on Alexandria Council 1872-89 representing the for West Ward. He served as mayor 1875-77 and 1887, and was the Returning officer on several occasions.


Borough Council Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 14 February 1872, p. 5,


Printer friendly version Persistent URL:

Share this entry on: