James Merriman (politician)

James Merriman (23 October 1816 – 13 May 1883) was an Australian cooper, whaler, publican, shipowner, alderman, mayor of Sydney and member of the New South Wales Parliament.

James Merriman
James Merriman, 1880.jpg
Born23 October 1816
Died13 May 1883(1883-05-13) (aged 66)
Sydney, Australia
NationalityAustralian
Occupationcooper, publican, shipowner, civic leader
Years active1830–1883
Known forparliamentarian & three times Lord Mayor of Sydney

BiographyEdit

Early yearsEdit

He was born at Parramatta to George and Mary Merriman. His parents died while he was very young and he and his sister Mary were raised by guardians.[1] By 1828 they were lodging with Sydney merchant Joseph Raphael and his wife.[2] He was indentured as a cooper, and later served on whaling for four years. In 1843 he married Anne Thompson, with whom he had five children, one of whom, George Merriman (1845–1893), would later serve as a politician, representing West Sydney in the Legislative Assembly from 1882 to 1889.

He was trading to the Pacific Islands by 1844.[3]

PublicanEdit

 
The Whalers Arms, Millers' Point in 1842

In July 1847 he applied for the license of the Whalers' Arms public house, Windmill Street, Miller's Point; one of three pubs with that name in Sydney at the time.[4] He remained the licensee till September 1855.[5] In 1856 he applied for the licence to the Grafton Hotel, 26 Kent Street, Sydney.[6] He had left that hotel by 1862 and moved on to another pub in Millers Point, the Gladstone Hotel. That one he left in January 1863.[7]

As the 1850s went his commercial interests began to shift to maritime activities and shipping.

ShipownerEdit

From about 1850 he was a shipping agent for vessels trading between Sydney, the Pacific Islands and New Zealand. He was also the owner of a number of ships. In 1872 his vessel the barque James Merriman was lost at sea while engaged in the pearl shell fishery in Torres Strait.[8]

LandlordEdit

He seems to have been a considerable property owner in Sydney. In December 1862 he advertised for tradesmen to repair seven houses in Argyle St, Millers Point.[9]

PoliticianEdit

From 1867 to 1883 he served on Sydney City Council, including periods as mayor in 1873 and from 1877 to 1878. In 1877 he was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly for West Sydney, but he did not re-contest in 1880.[10]

He was made a trustee of the Wentworth Park Trust in July 1878.[11] In December of that year he was appointed as a member of the Sydney International Exhibition Commission.[12]

Merriman died in Sydney on 12 May 1883.[13]

LegacyEdit

The name of Crown Road in Miller's Point had its name changed to Merriman Street in 1875.[14]

After his death in 1883 The Bulletin offered this evaluation.

In the whole of the City of Sydney, it is to be questioned if there was any one who had the amount of influence of the deceased ... Mr Merriman was quietly and unobtrusively charitable. He was foolish enough to give away a great deal of money, and to never advertise it ... [he] lived in a large but rather rambling house in Argyle Street. It was always bright and clean .. At Millers Point [he] was King. He seems to have owned it all from the Argyle Cut to the Central Wharf. But with the exception of maintaining a handsome carriage and pair for his family, his unostentatiousness bordered on the primitive.[15]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Abbott, G. J. (1974). "Merriman, James (1816–1883)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Volume 5. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 6 January 2020 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  2. ^ Lyons, Mark (1976). "Raphael, Joseph George (1818–1879)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Volume 6. Melbourne University Press. ISSN 1833-7538. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via National Centre of Biography, Australian National University.
  3. ^ "Exports". The Sydney Morning Herald. 23 September 1844. p. 2. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  4. ^ "List of applications for publicans' general licenses, for the district of Sydney". The Sydney Morning Herald. 12 April 1847. p. 2. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  5. ^ "Licensing meeting". The Empire. 5 September 1855. p. 3. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  6. ^ "Grafton Hotel license application". NSW State archives and records. 1856. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  7. ^ "Water Police Court: licensing business". The Empire. 28 January 1863. p. 5. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  8. ^ "Ships' mails: loss of the James Merriman". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 January 1872. p. 4. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  9. ^ "Advertising". The Sydney Morning Herald. 2 December 1862. p. 2. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  10. ^ Green, Antony. "Elections for West Sydney". New South Wales Election Results 1856-2007. Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  11. ^ "Wentworth Park Trust". NSW State archives and records. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  12. ^ "Sydney International Exhibition Commission". NSW State archives and records. Retrieved 24 July 2020.
  13. ^ "Mr James Merriman (1816–1883)". Former Members of the Parliament of New South Wales. Retrieved 9 June 2019.
  14. ^ "The streets of Sydney". The Evening News. 22 November 1875. p. 4. Retrieved 24 July 2020 – via Trove.
  15. ^ "Mr James Merriman is dead", The Bulletin, John Haynes and J.F. Archibald, Vol. 1 (No. 2): 8, 26 May 1883, ISSN 0007-4039 – via Trove

 

New South Wales Legislative Assembly
Preceded by
John Booth
Henry Dangar
George Dibbs
Member for West Sydney
1877–1880
Served alongside: Angus Cameron, John Harris, Daniel O'Connor
Succeeded by
Francis Abigail
William Martin
Civic offices
Preceded by
Michael Chapman
Mayor of Sydney
1873
Succeeded by
Stephen Goold
Preceded by
Benjamin Palmer
Mayor of Sydney
1877–1878
Succeeded by
Charles Roberts