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William Thurlow was born about 1807, and arrived in Sydney from London with his three sons on the William Shand on 4 August 1825. As a free settler, he was granted land and, in 1829, was appointed a Justice of the Peace. By 1836 John William Thurlow, solicitor of Wentworth Place, had a farm for sale.
Solicitor and property owner
By October 1844 Thurlow had accumulated property in Thurlow's Terrace, Bourke Street, Surry Hills and was advertising two offices in Pitt Street for rent. He had been an early purchaser of East Balmain land, acquiring two lots in Paul Street.
In the 1850s, Grant left for California and later Victoria where he acted as solicitor for the Eureka stockade rioters. Thurlow went into partnership with Stephen Campbell Brown and Alexander Dick with offices at 308 Pitt Street. In 1863, he also had an office in Elizabeth Street. Thurlow lived in Bligh Street before moving to 203 Bourke Street, Redfern.
William Thurlow was elected councillor for Bourke Ward on 7 October 1843. He was mayor in 1851 and 1852, and instigated an investigation into the corporation which led to its abolition due to incompetence and corruption in October 1853. Thurlow lost his seat and the council was replaced by city commissioners. He was re-elected for Gipps Ward from 1 December 1857 to 30 November 1859.
William Thurlow died at the Manning River on 16 April 1865, aged 58.
City of Sydney Archives, Aldermen's Files
Shirley Fitzgerald, Sydney 1842–1992, Hale & Iremonger, Sydney, 1992
Hilary Golder, Sacked: removing and remaking the Sydney City Council 1853–1988, City of Sydney in association with Books & Writers, Sydney, 2004
Hilary Golder, A Short Electoral History of Sydney City Council 1842–1992, City of Sydney website, http://www.cityofsydney.nsw.gov.au/aboutsydney/documents/history/hs_chos_electoral_history.pdf, viewed 30 September 2010
Leichhardt Historical Journal, Annandale Association; Balmain Association; Glebe Society, Annandale, vol 11