Biographies of the Early Aldermen

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Matthew Medway.

Alderman in 1886 and November 1892.

Matthew Medway was born to James and Ann Medway and worked as a builder. There were not many Medways in the colony then apart from a clan around Goulburn and Yass. He may have been building in the new Camdenville subdivision which had been recently opened for sale, because in March 1881 he was requesting Council to give him the levels and alignment of a portion of the Edgeware Road.

He married Catherine Robinson in 1882 and they set up house that year in the same street as Alderman Weeks White, on the south corner of Laura and Commodore Sts. He and other local ratepayers petitioned for an additional lamp in Laura Street and Edgeware Road. He was a founding alderman in the new Camden Ward in 1886. He served on the Works Committee and, like Alderman Weeks, Ald. White seemed only to be vocal when discussing local roads in the subdivision. He did endorse Ald. White’s motion for a new town hall.

Edgeware Road was formed in the 1850s, through low-lying land, as the boundary with Enmore and Marrickville municipality. It was a minor back street until 1878, when it was extended up to meet Enmore Road and became a major through-road. It was the cause of a few squabbles with Marrickville Council. Aldermen Medway and Dolman attended a deputation in December 1891 with the Secretary for Public Works about the lower part of Edgeware Rd near the railway, but none of the Marrickville Council arrived (Newtown’s minutes give the impression the Marrickvillians are yokels).

There seems to have been some illness. He was indisposed in August 1889 and offered to resign from the Works Committee in December that year, but it was not accepted. He died on 23rd. November 1892 [to be checked]. Council sent a letter of condolence to his widow and the Minutes record the aldermen’s praise for Matthew Medway’s “practical knowledge”.

Additional Information provided by Karilyn Pawley

Matthew was born in Swanage Dorsetshire, England son of James Medway and Ann Gillingham.

Matthew Medway first married Elizabeth Skelton in 1837 in London, England.  They only had one child Elizabeth Medway born in c. 1837 England.

Matthew Medway arrived at Sydney Cove on the Bussorah Merchant  in 1853 with his wife and daughter.

Elizabeth married Rowland John Pawley on the 11 October 1862 at St Barnabas Church, Sydney.  They had 4 sons who were all Newtonians.

After the death of Matthew Medway’s first wife Elizabeth on the 16 July 1881 at Laura Street, Newtown, Matthew Medway then married Catherine Robinson a widow on 9 Dec 1882 also at Newtown.

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