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Jeremiah Barry Crowley (1837–1916)

Jeremiah Crowley, n.d. photographer unknown

Jeremiah Crowley, n.d. photographer unknown

Freeman's Journal (Sydney), 31 August 1916, p 25



High in the esteem of many of our leading citizens, Mr. Jeremiah Crowley, who died at his residence, Naremburn, on Wednesday week, left an honoured name as an ideal citizen, a true patriot, and a devoted Catholic. Born in Skibbereen, Cork, in the year 1837, Mr. Crowley heard the call of the southern land of Australia in, and he came out to Sydney about sixty years ago, and settled in what was then the wild bush around St. Leonards. At that, time the Rev. Father Powell looked after the spiritual requirements of his scattered flock, from Milson's Point to the rugged ranges of the Hawkesbury and farther north. Recognition and. appreciation of Mr. Crowley's work and abilities were soon forthcoming, and we presently find him taking charge of the Catholic school at the corner of Mount-street, St. Leonards, the site now occupied by' the School of Arts. He continued to exercise fruitful authority over the school until the old denominational system of education passed away under the Bill brought in by Sir Henry Parkes in 1879. Naturally, through population and material progress, the district had assumed importance, but Mr. Crowley, so well equipped mentally, kept ahead of the times, and when the call was answered by the authorities for the establishment of a public school, Mr. W. Wilkins, who was, then directing educational affairs in the colony, pressed Mr. Crowley to take charge of it. This he did, and to this day one frequently hears the St. Leonard's School termed "Mr. Crowley's School"—evidence of the deep imprint of his scholarly character upon the young Australian minds entrusted to his wise-guidance. He retired from active service in the year 1892, to the great regret of the scholars and their parents.

A student and a gentlemen of high intellectual attainments, Mr. Crowley's erudite pen was consistently championing the cause of justice, and many illuminating articles have from time to time brightened the pages, of the 'Freeman's Journal.' In controversy his polished diction and irrefutable logic were of much value in levelling prejudice which from time to time found, play in the events of the day. Well versed in the history of Catholicity in the State, Mr. Crowley published a volume dealing with educational and religious occurrences which won favour and appreciation from the late Cardinal Moran and other leading ecclesiastics.

In the promotion of the work of the Church and of Catholic education Mr. Crowley was a generous helper, while in charitable circles his unostentatious deeds stand as a monument to the liberality of a big hearted Irishman. "To you," writes the Lord Mayor of Sydney and Speaker of the N.S.W. Legislative Assembly (Mr. R. D. A Meagher) to a member of Mr. Crowley's family, "he has left the precious legacy of a good father. To me and others he has left the fragrant memory of a good friend and a good citizen." For some time he had not enjoyed good health, and he was a patient in the Mater Misericordise Hospital, where he was spiritually attended by the Very Rev. Father E. Corish, S.J., Rev. Fathers W. Barry, M. Sherin, Breen, and J. Brennan, S.J.

The love of the land of his birth was ever abiding in the heart of Mr. Crowley, and he had set his mind on visiting Dublin and participating in the joyous celebrations which were to welcome freedom for his native land. In this, however, sad disappointment was in store for him, as well as for his kith and kin.

The funeral was of a private nature, the remains being interred in . the Gore Hill cemetery, where his wife, who had predeceased him nine years ago, had been placed. At the graveside the Rev. Father Sherin officiated, and was assisted by the Rev. Father Breen. A Requiem Mass was celebrated in the church at Naremburn on Friday morning.

Deceased leaves two sons (Mr. George Crowely, the well known managing director of the City Mutual Life Assurance Company of Sydney, and Mr. Michael Crowley) and one daughter (Mrs. J. M. Taylor, wife of the Chairman of the Public Service Board). His grandson, Dr. Robert Taylor, is on active service fighting for the Empire some where abroad. — R.I.P.

Original publication

Citation details

'Crowley, Jeremiah Barry (1837–1916)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Jeremiah Crowley, n.d. photographer unknown

Jeremiah Crowley, n.d. photographer unknown

Freeman's Journal (Sydney), 31 August 1916, p 25

Life Summary [details]


3 February, 1837
Skibbereen, Cork, Ireland


23 August, 1916 (aged 79)
Naremburn, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

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