William Bailey


Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Newtown 1863 1864
Alderman Newtown 1867 1878
Mayor Newtown 1871 1876
  • William Bailey, Mayor of Newtown 1871-76 (Jubilee Souvenir of the Municipality of Newtown, 1862-1912)

Family background

William Bailey was born in Cornwall in 1819 and arrived in Sydney in February 1848. His wife, Susannah Bailey (1832-1889), died at their residence, ‘Pendower’, Moonbie Street, Summer Hill, on 23 May 1889, aged 57. William Bailey died on 5 July 1900 at his residence at 28 Crystal Street, Petersham, and was buried at Rookwood. He was survived by a son, Frederick W. Bailey, and a daughter.

Occupation & interests

After his arrival in Sydney in 1848, Bailey went into the building trade and worked for himself. In 1862, he built the Congregational School at 366-378 King Street, Newtown, to the design by architect, N. Trengrouse. He was later appointed as a valuer to the Mutual Benefit Society and the Mutual Life Association, as well as other building societies.

Community activity

William Bailey was a Justice of the Peace (JP). He was a member of the City of Sydney Improvement Board and a prominent supporter of the Wesleyan Church.

Local government service

Bailey was elected to the first Newtown Council in 1863 and served as an alderman in 1863-1864 and 1867-1878, representing Enmore Ward. He was appointed to the Finance Committee in 1867. Bailey was Mayor of Newtown Council from 1871 until 1876 as one of the longest serving of the early mayors. Under his mayorship, Newtown was proclaimed a town in March 1873, and he successfully lobbied to have postal delivery to householders extended to Newtown in 1874. That year, a public pound was established in Wells Street.

After his move to Petersham, Bailey served on Ashfield Council as a returning officer for six years until his death, having previously performed that function for many years at Newtown.


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

‘Death of Mr. William Bailey’, The Daily Telegraph, 7 July 1900, p. 8, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article237313567

‘Death of Mr. William Bailey, J.P.’, The Sydney Mail, 14 July 1900, p. 93, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article163696781

‘Death of Mr. William Bailey, J.P.’, Australian Town and Country Journal, 14 July 1900, p. 26, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article71384272

‘Newtown Congregational School’, Sydney Mail, 25 January 1862, p. 5, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166692473

‘Family Notices’, The Daily Telegraph, 25 May 1889, p. 1, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article236021194

Find a Grave, ‘William Bailey’, https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/170810387/william-bailey



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