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William George Laidley (1828–1897)

The Hon. William Laidley, who had been ailing for the past three months, died on Sunday at Hillside, Edgecliff-road, where he resided. Up to about a month ago Mr. Laidley took part in his business pursuits, but he was then under medical advice ordered complete rest. After having been confined to his room for about three weeks, he became much worse in health, and for several days prior to his death his end had been expected. Mr. Laidley was a well known figure in commercial circles generally, and his death will be regretted by a very large number of friends. The deceased was a son of the late Commissary-General Laidley. His principal business connections locally were with the Bank of New South Wales, upon the board of which he occupied a seat for a number of years; and with the Commercial Union Insurance Company, of which he was chairman. Subsequently Mr. Laidley took control of the Co-operative Colliery, in the Newcastle district, and the zeal and energy with which he engaged in this important venture, and which resulted in turning the mine into a successful business concern, are well known. The deceased also was well known in this city many years ago as a merchant and shipbroker, and for 30 years he was agent for the Royal Insurance Company. Not the least important of his business undertakings was that of instituting the first direct line of steamers from San Francisco to this colony. Indeed, Mr. Laidley took a keen interest in all acquatic pursuits in the early days, and he was always a prominent figure at the Anniversary Regatta. A pair of diamond sculls, valued at £50, which he offered as a special trophy for the amateur sculling championship, resulted in a series of good contests extending over a number of years, the prize finally being won by Mr. William Goulding, of the East Sydney Club. During the greater part of his life Mr. Laidley took an active part in charitable and benevolent institutions, in connection with which he occupied many seats upon boards and committees. Although a regular attendant in his place in the Legislative Council he was not prominent in the debates which took place; but he was always regarded as a conscientious aud shrewd public man. In commercial circles he won the confidence of those who had relations with him. Mr. Laidley was 68 years of age at the time of his death. He leaves a widow, two daughters, and three sons. The funeral took place on Monday afternoon, the interment being made in the family vault at Randwick. The esteem in which the deceased gentleman was held was shown by a large number of wreaths and other floral tributes sent to be placed upon his coffin. Among those who thus honoured the memory of the deceased were: — Mr. Justice and Mrs. Stephen, Sir Patrick Jennings, Captain Castle and naval friends, the Chief Justice and family, the board of directors of the Commercial Union Insurance Company, the officers of the same company, the Co-operative Colliery employees, Lieutenant and Mrs. Harvey, Mrs. Henry Mort, Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Macarthur, Mrs. A. Greville, Dr. Neill, Mrs. Wentworth Bucknell, Mrs. Machardy, Miss Barber, Mr. and Mrs. Villeneuve Smith, Mrs. Henry Manning, Mr. and Mrs. Carl Sahl, Miss Austin, Mrs. and Miss Weston, Mrs. John Marks, Mrs. G. Fred. Want, Lady Allen, Mr. and Mrs. George Cruickshank, and Mrs. Wm. Orr. The cortege left the late residence of the deceased, Hillside, Woollahra, shortly after 3 o'clock for the Randwick Cemetery. In the procession were: — Mr. Reginald Laidley, Mr. Consett Laidley, and the Hon. Henry Mort (chief mourners), the Rev. H. Wallace Mort (by whom the service at the cemetery was conducted), the Rev. John Walker, Mr. S. M. Mowle (Usher of the Black Rod), Mr. J. J. Calvert (Clerk of Parliaments), Captain Campbell, Captain McLean, Mr. Cruickshank, M.L.A., Mr. Whittingdale Johnson, S.M., Messrs. J. Russell French, Fitzwilliam Wentworth, Biard d'Aunet, C. M. Terry, R. W. Campbell, Robert Chadwick, A. Larnach, Norman Shelley, George Innes, Walter Allen, James Barr, G. Youll, F. J. Doddemeade, A. J. Cape, E. S. Cape, A. Forbes Angus, W. W. Stephen, Consett Stephen, Laidley Mort. W. E. Mort, Henry Austin, E. Knox, J. de V. Lamb, G. N Griffiths, J. A. Dowling, A. W. Meeks (president of the Chamber of Commerce), Joseph Abbott, J. St. Vincent Welch, and H. Cornwell.

Original publication

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 16 February 1897, p 5

Citation details

'Laidley, William George (1828–1897)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


28 September, 1828
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


14 February, 1897 (aged 68)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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