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Charles Moore was born on 29 August 1820 at Ballymacarne, County Cavan, Ireland, son of farmer James Moore and his wife Catherine, née Rogers. Charles Moore was apprenticed to his brother, a draper in Cavan, completed his indentures and worked as a buyer for a Dublin drapery firm, then worked at his trade in Dublin and London.
Moore sailed for South Australia in 1849 with a shipment of drapery, before visiting Melbourne and settling in Sydney in 1850. He opened a drapery which prospered in the gold boom and he soon purchased Charles Newton's auctioneering business in Pitt Street. In January 1854 he married Sarah Jane Wilcox.
Mayor of Randwick
In 1860 he built Ballamac at Coogee, which later became the Baden-Baden Hotel.
Charles Moore was elected to the newly incorporated Randwick Municipal Council on 16 January 1860. He remained on council until 1886, becoming mayor in 1863. In 1867, he joined Anthony Hordern and Charles Kidman in petitioning, unsuccessfully, that Coogee secede from Randwick.
Mayor of Sydney and parliamentarian
Moore was an alderman of the Sydney City Council for Bourke Ward from 1 December 1865 until 22 April 1869, when he resigned to visit Europe. He was re-elected for Bourke Ward on 1 December 1871, a position he held until 30 November 1886.
Moore was mayor of Sydney between 1867 and 1869. It was during Moore's mayoralty that the foundation stone was laid for the Sydney Town Hall, and Macquarie Street was extended to Circular Quay. He established the council's legal ownership of Sydney Common, renamed Moore Park, and began the work of improving the sandy wasteland. Moore Street, now known as Martin Place, was also named after him.
Moore was elected to the New South Wales Legislative Assembly as member for East Sydney, a position he held from 15 July to 28 November 1874. He was later appointed to the New South Wales Legislative Council, where he sat from 15 December 1880 to 4 July 1895.
In 1880 he moved to a new house, Moore Court, at Springwood in the Blue Mountains. Following the death of his first wife, Moore married widow Annie Hill Montgomery in 1883 at Kingston, Ireland. He died at Parramatta on 4 July 1895 and was buried at Emu Plains Cemetery. His bequest included funds for annual bell-ringing at St Philip's church in York Street to perpetuate his memory.
City of Sydney, Aldermen's File, photos CRS 54/440, 54/453, 54/507, 54/517, 54/537
Everard Digby, Australian Men of Mark, vol 1, Charles F Maxwell, Sydney, 1889
Journal of the Royal Australian Historical Society, Royal Australian Historical Society, Sydney, vol 33, 1945
Mark Lyons, 'Moore, Charles (1820–1895)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 5, 1974, p 273, Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/moore-charles-4228/text6819, viewed 20 March 2012
Perumal Murphy Pty Ltd, 'Randwick Heritage Study: for Randwick Municipal Council', Randwick Municipal Council, Randwick, 1989
Sydney Mail, 30 November 1889