Benjamin Harris Babbidge

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Benjamin Babbidge
Benjamin Harris Babbidge.jpg
19th Mayor of Brisbane
In office
1885–1885
Preceded by John McMaster
Succeeded by James Hipwood
Personal details
Born Benjamin Harris Babbidge
(1836-10-02)2 October 1836
Newport, Isle of Wight, England
Died 19 February 1905(1905-02-19) (aged 68)
South Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Resting place Toowong Cemetery
Nationality English Australian
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Ann Damp (m.1856 d.1916)
Occupation Blacksmith

Benjamin (Ben) Harris Babbidge (2 October 1836 – 19 February 1905) was an alderman and mayor of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

Personal life[edit]

Benjamin Harris Babbidge was born on 2 October 1836 in Newport, Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England,[1] the son of John Babbidge (a tailor[2] ) and his wife Elizabeth (née Harris).[3]

He married Elizabeth Ann Damp, the daughter of George and Jane Damp, on the Isle of Wight in 1856.[4] Soon after their marriage they immigrated to Queensland on the "New Great Britain" arriving in Moreton Bay on 6 January 1857.[3] The couple had the following children:

  • Benjamin Harris. (b. 1857, m. 1878 Alice Jane Langridge, d. 1936)[5][6]
  • Elizabeth Ann (b. 1859, m. 1884 George Edward Ely, d. 1935)[5][6]
  • John George (b. 1861, m. 1884 Jane Elizabeth Smith)[6]
  • Arthur Harry (b. 1863, m. 1887 Harriet Jane Young, m. 1895 Catherine Maxwell, d. 1919)[6]
  • Julia Ann (b. 1865, d. 1865)[6]
  • Lilian (b. 1866, m. 1889 Paul Williams, d. 1949)[6]
  • Albert Ernest (b. 1868, m. 1895 Jessie Margaret Davies, d. 1926)[6]
  • Margaret Emily (b. 1871, d. 1873)[6]
  • Florence (b. 1873, m. 1890 George Williams, d. 1912)[6]
  • William Alfred (b. 1875, m. 1898 Annie Elizabeth Jane Maxwell, d. 1951)[6]
  • Edwin Edgar (b. 1877, d. 1908)[6]
  • Margaret (b. 1880, d. 1880)[6]
  • Charles Oliver (b. 1881, d. 1881)[6]

They were residents of Newcastle, New South Wales for about three years from 1857 (their eldest two children, Benjamin and Elizabeth, were born there) after which they relocated to Moreton Bay.[7]

Benjamin Harris Babbidge died on 19 February 1905 at Victoria Private Hospital at South Brisbane, following six months of poor health. His funeral left from his residence in Dauphin Terrace, Highgate Hill and he was buried in Toowong Cemetery.[8][9]

Business life[edit]

Benjamin Harris Babbidge was a blacksmith, having completed an apprenticeship with the shipbuilders J. & W. White of Cowes.[2][3][9]

After three years in Newcastle, New South Wales, he relocated to Moreton Bay where he worked for John Petrie for a number of years. In 1865 he established his own business as a ship's smith.[1][7][9]

In 1881 he successfully tendered to construct 25 goods wagons for the railways. This was a new line of business for him and he established a railway rolling stock workshop at Hope Street, South Brisbane for this purpose.[10][11] In 1885, his workshop assembled Brisbane's first tram cars (the cars themselves being imported from America).[12]

Public life[edit]

Babbidge was an alderman of the Brisbane Municipal Council from 1879 to 1886. He was mayor in 1885.[13] He served on the following council committees:[14]

  • Improvement Committee 1880
  • Legislative Committee 1880, 1884, 1885
  • Finance Committee 1881, 1883, 1886
  • Works Committee 1882, 1884, 1885
  • Health Committee 1885, 1886
  • Town Hall Committee 1885, 1886

He left the Brisbane Municipal Council when he was defeated by William Stephens in the 1887 election for the south ward.[15]

He was also an alderman of the South Brisbane Municipal Council from 1900 to 1902, where he served on the following council committees:[14]

  • Works Committee 1900, 1902
  • General Purpose Committee 1900, 1902
  • Parks Committee 1900, 1902
  • Finance Committee 1901

He retired from politics in 1903, following his defeat in the 1903 elections for the South Brisbane council.[16]

In addition to his council roles, he was also a member of:

  • the Provisional Committee of the Proposed Technical College (1882)[17]
  • the Fire Brigade Board in Brisbane in 1884[18]
  • the Licensing Board in Brisbane in 1885[19]
  • the United Municipalities (president in 1886)[7]
  • the Anti-Chinese Committee (member 1886)[20]
  • the Brisbane Workman's Club (director 1886)[21]
  • the Victoria Bridge Board in 1902[22]
  • the Brisbane and Suburban Shopkeepers' Association (president 1902–1904)[23][24]

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b Bell, Jacqueline. "Biography – Benjamin Harris Babbidge". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 9 June 2012. 
  2. ^ a b Census of Isle of Wight, Hampshire, England. 1851. 
  3. ^ a b c Assisted Immigrant Passenger Lists. State Records Authority of New South Wales. 1828–1986. 
  4. ^ England & Wales Index of Marriages. 
  5. ^ a b New South Wales Index of Births, Deaths & Marriages. 
  6. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m Queensland Index of Births, Deaths & Marriages. 
  7. ^ a b c "Alderman H. Babbidge.". Queensland Figaro and Punch. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 27 March 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "Family Notices.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 20 February 1905. p. 4. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  9. ^ a b c "PERSONAL.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 20 February 1905. p. 5. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  10. ^ "Official Notifications.". The Queenslander. National Library of Australia. 15 January 1881. p. 84. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "A Brisbane Industry.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 2 April 1881. p. 5. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  12. ^ "The Brisbane Courier.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 5 May 1885. p. 4. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  13. ^ "COLONIAL TELEGRAMS. (FROM OUR OWN CORRESPONDENTS.) QUEENSLAND.". The Morning Bulletin. Rockhampton, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 9 February 1885. p. 5. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  14. ^ a b Brisbane City Council Archives. 
  15. ^ "New Local Government Lights.". Queensland Figaro and Punch (Brisbane, QLD : 1885 – 1916). Brisbane, QLD: National Library of Australia. 5 February 1887. p. 7. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  16. ^ "METROPOLITAN MUNICIPAL ELECTIONS.". Warwick Examiner and Times (St. Lucia, Qld. : 1867 – 1919). St. Lucia, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 4 February 1903. p. 3. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  17. ^ "The Proposed Technical College.". The Queenslander. National Library of Australia. 9 September 1882. p. 340. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  18. ^ "The Brisbane Courier.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 2 April 1884. p. 4. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  19. ^ "Official Notifications.". The Queenslander. National Library of Australia. 7 March 1885. p. 390. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  20. ^ "The Chinese and Cabinetmakers.". The Queenslander. National Library of Australia. 27 November 1886. p. 856. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  21. ^ "The Workmen's Club Company.". Queensland Figaro and Punch. Brisbane: National Library of Australia. 16 October 1886. p. 3. Retrieved 11 June 2012. 
  22. ^ "VICTORIA BRIDGE BOARD.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 10 April 1902. p. 6. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  23. ^ "POLITICAL.". The Northern Miner. Charters Towers, Qld.: National Library of Australia. 15 March 1902. p. 5. Retrieved 10 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "Advertising.". The Brisbane Courier. National Library of Australia. 8 September 1904. p. 1. Retrieved 10 June 2012.