William Swain

Brass Finisher

Terms served on Council

Title Council From To
Alderman Alexandria 1890 1899
  • Alexandria Town Hall in 1943 (Alexandria, 'the Birmingham of Australia': 75 years of progress, 1868-1943, published by Alexandria Municipal Council, 1943).

Family background

William Henry Swain was born c1851 at Birmingham, Warwickshire, England, the son of Henry Swain and his wife Sarah. He married (1) Matilda Evans on 16 November 1873 at Birmingham, England. William Henry Swain and wife Matilda immigrated to Australia on board the ship “Duchess of Argyle” which arrived at Sydney on 5 February 1883. William and Matilda divorced in 1895. He married (2) Lillian Phoebe Hudson (1867-1959) in 1896 at Waterloo, NSW. William Henry Swain died at St Peters, NSW, on 25 February 1926, aged 74 years,; he was buried Woronora Cemetery in the Methodist section. He left a Will and his estate and assets were assessed at £1,108. William Henry Swain lived in Railway Road, St Peters.

Occupation & interests

William Henry Swain was a brass finisher. He president of the Amalgamated Sydney Branch of the Railway and Tramway Service Association. He was also a leading member of the Ridley Lodge of Oddfellows.

Community activity

For several years after his arrival at Sydney, William Henry Swain, devoted much of his leisure to work connected with the Waterloo Congregational Church, serving as a member of the choir, as deacon, and secretary of the Sunday school. William Henry Swain was a Trustee of Botany Cemetery in 1888. After his second marriage William Henry Swain moved to Tempe where he took up the leadership of the Young Men’s Bible Class in conjunction with other church activities, including the Tempe Church choir, church trustee, local preacher and church steward. William Henry Swain was commissioned as a Justice of the Peace in 1911.

Local government service

William Swain was an alderman on Alexandria Council 1890-99 representing the East Ward. He was also an alderman on St Peters Council for many years and also served as mayor there in 1912.


‘Municipal Elections’, The Sydney Morning Herald, 10 February 1890, p. 5, https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/13758836

‘Swain, William Henry, Railway Personal History Card, State Archives NSW, NRS-12922-1-[11/16720]-[262], https://search.records.nsw.gov.au/permalink/f/1ebnd1l/ADLIB_RNSW114796798


Printer friendly version Persistent URL:


Share this entry on: