Notable People of Collingwood

Collingwood Notables Database

Charles Robert Swift


Publican, councillor

Swift was a young solicitor's clerk living in Harmsworth Street when he married Ann, the daughter of Richard Norton, the publican at the Willow Tree Hotel. Maybe the hotel was his 'local' as it was very close to his house. Swift had arrived in Australia in the early 1850s, having previously worked as a solicitor's clerk in London.

Not long after the marriage, Richard Norton decided to concentrate on his farming interests and Swift switched to the role of publican. Under Norton's management in the 1850s the Willow Tree had already become a centre for a variety of meetings at which municipal affairs were discussed and was thus an excellent springboard for Swift's political ambitions. In typical Collingwood fashion he forwarded these through local networks. These included an Oddfellows' Lodge, the Loyal Hand of Friendship, which met at the hotel. Swift was a lodge official, as was George David Langridge who also lived in Harmsworth Street. Council election meetings were also held at the hotel and both Swift and Langridge were elected to council in 1865. While Langridge went on to enter Parliament in 1875, Swift died an untimely death at the age of 35.

After Swift's death, Mrs Ann Swift ran the hotel until the mid 1880s.

Life Summary

Birth DateBirth Place
1 June 1835Newington, Southwark, England
Spouse NameDate of MarriageChildren
Ann Elizabeth Norton30 May 1859, St Mark's Church of England, FitzroyCharles 1860, William 1862, Robert 1865-67
Home Addresses
Home StreetHome CityStatus of Building
Harmsworth StreetCollingwoodDemolished
79 Vere StreetCollingwoodDemolished
Work Addresses
Work StreetWork CityStatus of Building
79 Vere StreetCollingwoodDemolished
Death DateDeath PlaceCemetery

Barrett, The inner suburbsThe Argus.

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