Thomas Tipple Smith

Surveyor And Builder

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Glebe 1859 1860
  • Glebe Council logo 1896 (City of Sydney Archives A-00333228)

Family background

Thomas Tipple Smith was born in 1806 at Suffolk, England, son of William Tipple Smith. He married Elizabeth Bean on 27 February 1836 at St Andrews Presbyterian Church Sydney.There were four sons and four daughters of the marriage, born between 1839 and 1854. He died at Glebe on 24 July 1879, aged 72 years. Elizabeth Tipple Smith died on 18 April 1886, aged 70 years.

Occupation & interests

Before ariving in Sydney in 1832, Tipple Smith had worked for 12 years as a journeyman carpenter, and then builder on his own account in London. Tipple Smith built a jetty at Blackwattle Swamp to receive timber and shells for lime from coastal vessels, manufactured bricks in his Glebe yard and quarried stone there. With fellow contractor brother William and two other businessmen from Sydney built the blast furnace at Mittagong in 1848 in an attempt to extract iron, the first blast furnace in the country. He left an estate valued at 100 pounds for probate purposes.

Community activity

Tipple Smith was a member of the finance committee on Glebe’s first Council; in February 1860 he received a report regarding ‘the nuisance of pigs and goats straying about the roads’ of Glebe ….was still unabated. He was part of a deputation that included George Wigram Allen and Ambrose Thornley to the Colonial Secretary in 1860 urged a Court of Petty Sessions be established in Glebe.

Local government service

Thomas Tipple Smith was an alderman on Glebe Council in 1859-60. He gave evidence to the Legislative Council committee on the Building Act in 1838. He provided a broad outline of his career as a carpenter and builder in London, and on his building operations around Blackwattle Swamp. Tipple Smith also made a submission to the Pyrmont Bridge Co Bill in 1858 requesting clauses be introduced into the bill to preserve the navigation of Blackwattle Creek. The submission was rejected.


Evidence by T Tipple Smith on the Building Act, NSW Legislative Council V & P 1838, part 2, p. 21

‘Select Committee on Pyrmont Bridge Co Bill’, Sydney Morning Herald, 30 July 1858, p. 2

Sydney Morning Herald, 1 September 1859, p. 5

Sydney Morning Herald, 2 February 1860, p. 3

Sydney Morning Herald, 26 July 1879, pp. 1 &  6


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