Charles Field was born on 17 February 1817 at Icklesham, Sussex, England, son of Thomas Field and Sarah. In June 1838 he married Ann Gill at Icklesham. From 1839, Charles and Ann Field had eight children born in Sydney and all but the first were registered as Wesleyan Methodists. There were six sons and two daughters. Charles Field died at 19 Arundel Terrace Glebe on 28 November 1890, aged 73 years. He left an estate valued at 6,357 pounds for probate purposes. Ann Field died on 14 August 1899, aged 80 years. Their children Doris, Henry and Charles were buried with them in the Old Wesleyan Cemetery at Rookwood. Another son Arthur was an alderman on Glebe Council in 1911-27.
Occupation & interests
In 1870, Charles Field was registered on the electoral roll for Glebe with a store in Sussex Street. From 1873, he was working as a commission agent, and later as a produce merchant, at 105 Sussex Street, the centre of Sydney’s produce trade. His private residence was 19 Arundel Terrace Glebe. From 1885 his son Charles, of 23 Arundel Street joined him as a commission agent.
Field gave evidence to the 1879 select committee on assisted immigration about the material condition of tenant farmers on the Hunter and Manning Rivers.
A Non-Conformist, Field was a member of Glebe Congregational Church. After a quadrille party at Glebe Town Hall in 1881 Mayor Field, a prominent Glebe Wesleyan lay preacher, decreed that the hall should not be let for dancing without the express authority of the mayor. Field was a foundation member of Glebe Masonic Lodge in 1881.
Local government service
Charles Field was an alderman of the Sydney City Council from 1875 to 1877. He was elected Alderman for Brisbane Ward, 1 December 1875 to 30 November 1877.
He was also an alderman on Glebe Council from 1879 to 1884 and mayor of Glebe in 1881. Field engaged in a feisty contest for Forest Lodge ward in 1879 with fellow English-born member of Glebe Masonic Lodge, John Seamer. Seamer’s supporters referred to Field as a ‘windbag’ who should go back to the city where he lived previously. The Field camp retorted that Seamer had been involved in all sorts of dubious property dealings in Lodge. Seamer won.
Solling, Max & Reynolds, Peter 1997, Leichhardt: on the margins of the city, Allen & Unwin
Select Committee on Assisted Immigration V & P NSW LA 1879-80, 5, p. 790
Australian Men of Mark 1889. Charles F Maxwell, Sydney, Series 1, Appendix 30
Glebe Municipal Council minutes 13 July 1881
Sydney Morning Herald 13 August 1881 p. 6
Weekly Advocate 13 December 1890 p. 315
Australian Town and Country Journal 6 December 1890 p. 10