Biographies of the Early Aldermen

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David Bedford

Councillor/Alderman in 1863-1874, July 1877-1881

Alderman David Bedford was the son of a Yorkshire clergyman. He must have been a landholder in the area for the short cul-de-sac formed in the mid 1850s skirting the north side of the rail line was named after him. He owned 18 houses in the 1880s.

(In the Sands Sydney Directory David Bedford’s occupation is listed as ‘baker and green grocer’ – see years 1858, 1861, 1863, 1865.  In 1861 and 1863 there is a Joseph Bedford listed in the Sands Directory as a painter.  In 1863 and 1865 there is a George Bedford listed as a carpenter.   The Sands Directory shows that David Bedford was a baker and that Joseph Bedford was the painter.  This information was noted by Leonie Bedford who is a descendant of David and Joseph Bedford.)

He received 83 votes in the first election and represented O’Connell ward. He proposed the publican James Conley as Mayor.

In April 1864 Bedford was writing to Council apologising for his regrettable behaviour; a committee meeting in November 1868 was adjourned because of his continued interruptions to a discussion of tendering for kerb and guttering, and in June 1871, he retired from the chamber midway through Alderman Kingsbury explaining his prosecution at the Central Police Court. He was implicated in rumour-mongering in December 1868; residents petitioning against the introduction of gaslight said Alderman Bedford spread stories they would be obliged to pay an additional levy for it.

Bedford bought a portion of the Pencilville Estate (formerly owned by William Montagu Manning, Mary Reibey and Judge Joshua Josephson) fronting Enmore Road in Enmore Ward in 1871. The family moved there to Olive Bank on the east corner of Reiby Street in 1873.

Midway through 1877, even though he no longer lived there, he was asked to return representing O’Connell on the death of Thomas Galvin. And this division of loyalties is shown in his complaining in December 1880 that Enmore Ward had 50 tons of blue metal which ‘belonged’ to O’Connell Ward and that it ‘should be returned at once’.

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