Thomas William Shepherd


Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Darlington 1864 1864
  • Darlington Council seal (Civic Collection 2006.032.2)

Family background

Thomas William Shepherd was born 11 March 1825 at Worthington, Sussex, England, the son of Thomas Shepherd and Jane Susan Henderson. He immigrated to Sydney, NSW with his parents and siblings in 1826 on board the ship ‘Rosanna’. Thomas Shepherd died 27 August 1884, aged 59 years, at his sister’s home, ‘Fernbank’, Ashfield. He left no Will. Thomas William Shepherd lived in Shepherd Street, Darlington.

Occupation & interests

Thomas Shepherd was educated at the Australian College, commonly called Dr Lang’s College. His first employment was in a merchant’s office, but this not agreeing with him he went up country to follow pastoral pursuits, though only 14 years of age. He was employed on the King River where he cleared 10 acres of land for wheat planting. His father who was a gardener, established the well-known Darling Nurseries and seed business which Thomas took over when he attained the age of 21 years. Thomas Shepherd studied ‘French Botany’ for seven years and came to be acknowledged as the first authority on Australian plants. He published one of the first botanical works in Australia, called ‘Shepherd’s Catalogue’ and when the Town and Country Journal was established he was engaged for the gardening and horticultural columns..

Community activity

Thomas William Shepherd was a fervent advocate of tree planting and forest conservation, and did much in making known the merits of the well known asthma herb, eupherbin pilulifera.

Local government service

In 1864 Thomas William Shepherd with others, headed a petition for the incorporation of Darlington as a municipality. The petition was granted and he was elected one of the alderman. Shepherd was an alderman on Darlington Council in 1864.


‘Advertising’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 26 September 1864, p. 4,

‘A Useful Man Gone’, Australian Town and Country Journal, 30 August 1884, p. 18,

‘A Botanical Family’, Australian Town and Country Journal, 6 December 1884, p. 21,

Victor Crittenden 1992, A shrub in the landscape of fame: Thomas Shepherd, Australian landscape gardener and nurseryman, Mulini Press, Cook, ACT

‘Shepherd, Thomas (?–1835)’, Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 31 January 2018.


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