New Lambton Aldermen

Eighty years ago in 1938, eleven suburban councils merged to form the City of Greater Newcastle council.  New Lambton Council was incorporated on 9 January 1889, and a ballot to elect nine aldermen was held on 2 March 1889.  The first Council meeting was held five days later in Sneddon’s Hall, and Thomas Croudace, the mine manager of the Lambton Colliery, was elected as the first Mayor. Croudace had previously served as alderman and Mayor of Lambton Council. His municipal enthusiasm seemed to know no bounds, for in 1891 and 1892 Croudace was simultaneously an alderman on both Lambton and New Lambton councils, as well as Mayor of New Lambton.

Unlike Lambton’s troubled debt laden history, New Lambton Council was conservative with its spending, but was not completely untouched by financial controversy. In 1916 there was quite a stir when the Town Clerk, William Danne, was discovered to have fraudulently altered council cheques to his own name. He was arrested, tried and sentenced to four months prison.

Over the years New Lambton Council had 83 different aldermen, ten of whom served a decade or more. At the other extreme is John Leyshon, who in 1894 resigned from office just 15 days after being elected.

A total of 27 aldermen held the position of Mayor, and a number of streets in New Lambton are named in their honour, including Croudace, Dunkley, Errington and Longworth. Of particular note is George Errington, who was elected Mayor on seven occasions in his 26 years on New Lambton Council.  Errington was born in Durham, England, in 1863, and arrived in New Lambton in 1880 to work as a miner. He was first elected to council in 1891 and finished his last term in 1920. George Errington died in 1934 at his daughter’s Mayfield residence Iberia, named after the steamship that had brought George to Australia 54 years earlier.

Alderman George Errington. Truth newspaper (Sydney), 4 Jun 1911.
The New Lambton Council Chambers were destroyed by fire in April 1931. Photo by Ralph Snowball, University of Newcastle, Living Histories.

The article above was first published in the April 2018 edition of the Lambton & New Lambton Local.

Additional information

Much of the information in this article was sourced from material I have previously published on this website. See my articles on

George Errington

The “Truth” newspaper of Sydney published a short biographical article on George Errington on 4 June 1911.

Alderman Errington was born in Durham, England, in the year 1863, and came to New South Wales in the s.s. Iberia, the vessel that later on took the N.S.W. contingent to the Soudan. He went to the Illawarra district, thence to the Newcastle district, and took up his residence in New Lambton, where he has resided ever since, with the exception of a few months in Queensland. He was Miners’ Delegate for some years, also vice-president of Eight Hour Committee, and presided at the opening of the Trades Hall in Newcastle. He has been in the Council 20 years, and has been Mayor six times. He was appointed Justice of the Peace ten years ago. He is one of the municipal representatives on the Water and Sewerage Board, and occupies the position of vice-president this year. He is also a trustee of the district park. He ran as the selected Labor candidate for Wickham a few years ago, and was defeated by a small majority.

Birth place:Durham, England
Death date:24 May 1934
Death place:Mayfield
Burial site:Sandgate
Burial Long,Lat :151.70793,-32.87090 (KML File for Google Earth)
Burial date:25 May 1934
George Errington served as an alderman of New Lambton Council for 26 years.

George Errington served as an alderman of New Lambton Council for 26 years.

Headstone of George Errington.

Headstone of George Errington.

Newspaper articles

Article Date Event DateNotes
4 Jun 1911Short biographical article on George Errington, Mayor of New Lambton.
1 Mar 1916William Charles Danne, town clerk of New Lambton, charged with cheque fraud committed on February 15th.
4 Mar 1916
1 Mar 1916
Special meeting of New Lambton council to discuss the recent fraudulent of action of the town clerk, William Charles Danne. The aldermen unanimiously carry a motion to dismiss the town clerk.
9 Mar 1916
8 Mar 1916
William Charles Danne, former town clerk of New Lambton pleads guilty to two charges of cheque fraud, and is sentenced to four months imprisonment.
31 May 1934
24 May 1934
Death of George Errington, longest serving Mayor of New Lambton.
22 Sep 2016William Charles Danne convicted of another cheque fraud and sentenced to two years hard labour.

10 thoughts on “New Lambton Aldermen

  1. Pingback: The Edden political dynasty | A bit of this, a bit of that

  2. Hello Lachlan
    You do a fantastic job researching the history of New Lambton and surrounds.
    Do you know if there was both an Alfred Edden and Alfred Edden junior on New Lambton council?
    Was the elder a state politician and did junior serve as council mayor?
    Then where does Arthur Edden (of park fame) fit in? Was he a Newcastle alderman? Son of Alfred junior?
    Thank you.

  3. Do they have anywhere a list of miners employed in the mines? I am looking for information on Charles Bell who died 20/10/1895 at Wallsend Mining and District Hospital. He was 33 years of age. I am particularly interested in finding out who was listed as his next of kin on company documents prior to 1884. He married in 1884 so I assume his wife was then listed as next as kin but it is the time prior to his marriage I am interested in. Any information or advice very much appreciated. Thank you. Narelle Degraa

  4. Back about 1894 there were 2 Councilmen named Francis & John Williams, I am wondering if anyone knows if these two men were related.

      • Hello
        Francis (Frank) Williams and John Williams do not appear to be related.
        Francis did have a son named John (Jack) but he would have only been about 11 when John Williams joined the council.
        While Ald. Francis (born in Araluen NSW) and Ald. John (born in Ballarat Vic) both briefly lived in Minmi before moving to New Lambton, there is nothing else that suggests they were related.
        Neither is named in the obituary or funeral notice of the other and no evidence of a link has shown up (so far at least) in my family tree. I am happy to update this if more information is found.
        *Francis Williams’ son John was the husband of my 2 x great aunt (and she was the niece of William Capewell – another alderman).

        • Hi Tanya,
          I am the GGGrandaughter of Francis Williams & Annie Davies. I remember Uncle Jack living opposite New Lambton Pictures in mid 50s. The Williams have been hard to trace, but I have a John Williams born at Maitland 1864 also would be too young to be on the council. On probate package for Francis Father, it does list John Williams as Francis brother, also a sister Mary Jane, but 2 different Mothers. Does get complicated, as Francis & his sister Mary Jane, also Francis Father have middle name of Berryman. Francis Father who died in 1878 has J J Williams & Frederick Berry as witnesses . Confusing isn’t it.

          Regards Robyn

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