Thomas Sutcliffe Mort

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Thomas Sutcliffe Mort
TSMort&TheresaAbt1847.jpg
Mort and his first wife, Theresa, photographed c.1847
Born(1816-12-23)23 December 1816
Bolton, Lancashire, England
Died9 May 1878(1878-05-09) (aged 61)
Occupation Industrialist; grazier; philanthropist
Organization Goldsbrough Mort & Co; later to become Elders Limited
Known forResponsible for improving refrigeration of meat
Spouse(s)
  • Theresa Mort
  • Marianne Mort

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort (23 December 1816 9 May 1878) was an Australian industrialist responsible for improving refrigeration of meat. He was renowned for speculation in the local pastoral industry as well as industrial activities such as his Ice-Works in Sydney's Darling Harbour and dry dock and engineering works at Balmain.

Refrigeration Process of moving heat from one location to another in controlled conditions

Refrigeration is the process of cooling a space, substance, or system to lower and/or maintain its temperature below the ambient one. In other words, refrigeration means artificial (human-made) cooling. Heat is removed from a low-temperature reservoir and transferred to a high-temperature reservoir. The work of heat transfer is traditionally driven by mechanical means, but can also be driven by heat, magnetism, electricity, laser, or other means. Refrigeration has many applications, including, but not limited to: household refrigerators, industrial freezers, cryogenics, and air conditioning. Heat pumps may use the heat output of the refrigeration process, and also may be designed to be reversible, but are otherwise similar to air conditioning units.

Sheep Domesticated ruminant bred for meat, wool and milk

Domestic sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like most ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name sheep applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. An adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe, an intact male as a ram or occasionally a tup, a castrated male as a wether, and a younger sheep as a lamb.

Contents

Businessman

T S Mort's Statue, Macquarie Place, Sydney photographed about 1900-1910 TSMortStatue.jpg
T S Mort's Statue, Macquarie Place, Sydney photographed about 1900–1910

Mort was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England in 1816. In 1878, he was associated with the Australian Mutual Provident Society. In 1849, he was one of a committee, which funded a company to promote sugar growing at Moreton Bay. In 1850 Mort was a member of the Sydney Exchange Co, and in 1851 he was a director of the Sydney Railway Co. and was also involved in mining (gold, later also copper and coal) and other enterprises. In the 1850s, he opened Mort's Dock in Sydney, a business that was not as successful as he wished. [1] In 1843, he established Mort & Company, in Sydney, [2] and held the first wool auction there, [3] [4] which was the beginning the wool auction system.

Bolton town in Greater Manchester, in the North West of England

Bolton is a town in Greater Manchester in North West England. A former mill town, Bolton has been a production centre for textiles since Flemish weavers settled in the area in the 14th century, introducing a wool and cotton-weaving tradition. The urbanisation and development of the town largely coincided with the introduction of textile manufacture during the Industrial Revolution. Bolton was a 19th-century boomtown, and at its zenith in 1929 its 216 cotton mills and 26 bleaching and dyeing works made it one of the largest and most productive centres of cotton spinning in the world. The British cotton industry declined sharply after the First World War, and by the 1980s cotton manufacture had virtually ceased in Bolton.

AMP Limited company

AMP is a financial services company in Australia and New Zealand providing superannuation and investment products, insurance, financial advice and banking products including home loans and savings accounts. AMP shares are included in the Australian Securities Exchange's S&P/ASX 50 index. Its headquarters are in Sydney, Australia.

Morts Dock

Mort's Dock is a former dry dock, slipway, and shipyard in Balmain, New South Wales, Australia. It was the first dry dock in Australia, opening for business in 1855 and closing more than a century later in 1959. The site is now parkland. The surviving remnants were added to the New South Wales State Heritage Register on 14 January 2011.

Mort returned to England for a visit in 1857–59. During that visit he bought many furnishings, pictures and other goods, in particular at a sale of the possessions of the Earl of Shrewsbury. He commissioned the architect Edmund Blacket to build a house to add to his house to display the new possessions. His gallery was open to the public.

Henry Chetwynd-Talbot, 18th Earl of Shrewsbury British naval commander and Conservative politician

Admiral Henry John Chetwynd-Talbot, 18th Earl of Shrewsbury, 18th Earl of Waterford, 3rd Earl Talbot, CB, PC, styled Viscount of Ingestre between 1826 and 1849 and known as The Earl Talbot between 1849 and 1858, was a British naval commander and Conservative politician.

Edmund Thomas Blacket was an Australian architect, best known for his designs for the University of Sydney, St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney and St. Saviour's Cathedral, Goulburn.

From 1856, Mort began acquiring land near Moruya on the south coast of New South Wales. In 1860, Mort acquired the Bodalla estate near the mouth of the Tuross River. Mort eventually owned 15,000 hectares (38,000 acres) in the district, a very substantial holding in that fertile area. Bodalla is alleged to have been originally known as 'Boat Alley'. Mort's vision for Bodalla was as a country estate to retire on and to demonstrate model land utilisation and rural settlement. Mort wished to have a tenanted dairy estate run as an integrated whole. [1]

Moruya, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Moruya is a town in New South Wales, Australia, situated on the Moruya River, on the far south coast situated on the Princes Highway 305 kilometres (190 mi) south of Sydney and 175 kilometres (109 mi) from Canberra. At the 2016 census, Moruya had a population of 3982. Its built up area had a population of 2,525. The town relies predominantly on agriculture, aquaculture, and tourism. Moruya is administered by the Eurobodalla Shire council and the shire chambers are located in the town.

Bodalla, New South Wales Town in New South Wales, Australia

Bodalla is a small town on the South Coast of New South Wales, Australia, and located in the local government area of Eurobodalla Shire. The town sits on the Princes Highway, and is connected by road to Moruya, Narooma, Nerrigundah, Eurobodalla and Potato Point.

Tuross River river in New South Wales, Australia

The Tuross River, an open semi-mature wave dominated barrier estuary or perennial stream, is located in the South Coast region of New South Wales, Australia.

Mort replaced the beef cattle that had been farmed there and carried out extensive improvements including clearing land, draining river swamps, erecting fences, laying out farms, sowing imported grasses, and providing milking sheds, cheese and butter-making equipment. Butter and cheese were produced for the Sydney market. By the 1870s, the tenants were disgruntled sharefarmers and the estate was in Mort's control again run as three farms with hired labour.

In 1866, Mort expanded his dry dock into an engineering works. Mort offered shares to his employees and in 1875, the company was incorporated with limited liability having been managed beforehand by a committee that included four leading hands. This was one of the earliest attempts at co-operation between capital and labour in Australia, and although the effort at sharing ownership was only partially successful, Mort always had good relations with his employees.

Also in the mid-1860s, Mort had been looking at refrigeration as a way of developing manufacturing orders, to ensure better access to the Sydney market for the butter and cheese he was producing at Bodalla and to offset the vulnerability of being exposed to falling wool prices. Mort financed experiments by Eugene Dominic Nicolle, a French born engineer who had arrived in Sydney in 1853 and registered his first ice-making patent in 1861.

In 1861 Mort established at Darling Harbour the first freezing works in the world, which afterwards became the New South Wales Fresh Food and Ice Company. The first trial shipment of frozen meat to London was in 1868. Although their machinery was never used in the frozen meat trade, Mort and Nicolle developed commercially viable systems for domestic trade, although the financial return on that investment was not a great success for Mort.

As a part of his refrigeration works, Mort developed a large abattoir at Lithgow where sheep and cattle from western New South Wales were slaughtered and refrigerated for later transport. In 1875, to mark his achievements in the refrigeration techniques, Mort arranged a picnic for 300 guests. He organised a special train from Sydney and fed his guests food that had been refrigerated at his plant for over 18 months. [5]

Lithgow, New South Wales City in New South Wales, Australia

Lithgow is a city in the Central Tablelands of New South Wales, Australia and is the administrative centre of the City of Lithgow local government area. It is located in a mountain valley named Lithgow's Valley by John Oxley in honour of William Lithgow, the first Auditor-General of New South Wales.

Picnic an excursion at which a meal is eaten outdoors

A picnic is a meal taken outdoors as part of an excursion – ideally in scenic surroundings, such as a park, lakeside, or other place affording an interesting view, or else in conjunction with a public event such as preceding an open-air theatre performance, and usually in summer.

Mort was a prominent Anglican layman. He donated the land for St Mark's Church, Darling Point, and commissioned Edmund Blacket to design the church. Mort contributed to the upkeep of the church [6] and also to the building of St. Andrew's Cathedral, Sydney and St Paul's College, University of Sydney. He was also the founder of Christ Church School in Pitt Street, Sydney.

Death and legacy

The unveiling of Mort's statue in Macquarie Place in 1883. Unvieling Morts statue 1883.jpg
The unveiling of Mort's statue in Macquarie Place in 1883.

He died at Bodalla, on 9 May 1878. [1]

At the time of his death he was spoken of as "the greatest benefactor the working classes in this country ever had". Within a week of Mort's death from pneumonia at Bodalla, a meeting of working men in Sydney had resolved to show the esteem and respect in which they held his memory. A sculpture in Macquarie Place by Pierce Connolly resulted from their resolution and was unveiled in 1883. [7]

Mort is also commemorated by All Saints Church, Bodalla, built in his honour by his family, to a design by Blacket, using granite quarried on Mort's property. The foundation stone was laid by Marianne Mort, Thomas' second wife, on 18 March 1880. It was completed in 1901. The church has one of seven small Henry Willis & Sons organs, built in 1881 and installed the following year. The church cost A₤13,000 to construct. [8]

Mort's business Mort & Co. became Mort & Co Ltd in 1883. Mort & Co Ltd merged with R Goldsbrough & Co Ltd in 1888 to form Goldsbrough Mort & Co Ltd. This firm traded from 1888–1963 when a merger formed Elder Smith Goldsbrough Mort Ltd which traded from 1963 – 1982. The present day business is Elders Limited . [9]

The southern Sydney suburb of Mortdale and its main road, Morts Road, are named after him. [10]

His house in Darling Point which he called Greenoaks became the home of the Anglican Archbishop of Sydney on 24 October 1910 and was renamed Bishopscourt. It was listed on the New South Wales State Heritage Register in 1999. [11]

See also

Notes

  1. 1 2 3 Harris, Charles Alexander (1894). "Mort, Thomas Sutcliffe"  . In Lee, Sidney (ed.). Dictionary of National Biography . 39. London: Smith, Elder & Co.
  2. "Mort & Co - History". Mort & Co. Retrieved 2 March 2019.
  3. Interpretive signage in the small museum display about the wool industry at the 'Big Merino', Goulburn, N.S.W. (accessed Nov. 2018)
  4. "Advertising". Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 - 1954). 17 November 1843. p. 1. Retrieved 21 January 2019.
  5. "Thomas Sutcliffe Mort and Refrigeration Works". History of Lithgow. lithgow-tourism.com. Archived from the original on 9 September 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2006.
  6. "St Marks Anglican church". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage . Retrieved 19 March 2018.
  7. Wyner, Issy (2003). "Unveiling Mort's Statue, Macquarie Place, Sydney, 1883 (includes photograph)". My Union Right or Wrong. A history of the Ship Painters and Dockers Union 1900–1932. www.takver.com. Retrieved 19 February 2006.
  8. "History of all Saints Church, Bodalla"; church pamphlet
  9. Smith, Bruce A. (2005). "Mort & Co (1849–1888)". Guide to Australian Business Records. www.gabr.net.au. Archived from the original on 21 December 2005. Retrieved 19 February 2006.
  10. Mortdale Early Days
  11. "Bishopscourt". New South Wales State Heritage Register . Office of Environment and Heritage. H00362. Retrieved 1 June 2018.

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