Imprint: Australian Scholarly Publishing

Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781925333282
Released: November 2015

A$49.95 Buy now

Format: Paperback
ISBN: 9781925588422
Released: September 2017

A$39.95 Buy nowBuy now

The Merchant of Sydney

By Chis Maxwell and Alex Pugh

… being so long situated in this Colony through my own industry and perseverance I thought it advisable to remain and improve my condition which thank God I have done …

— James Chisholm, Sydney, 15th February 1823


James Chisholm was an important pioneer of colonial Australia, contributing to its business and banking, democratic processes and pastoral industry, yet historians have ignored him for two hundred years. He left his native Scotland as a young soldier and travelled half way around the world to a new land where from being a corporal in the Rum Corps he rose to become a leading merchant in Sydney. In a life characterised by faith, loyalty, family and self-improvement, this gruff but quietly spoken Scot, of ‘genial and kindly disposition’, commanded wide respect and made his mark on a new society.

His was a ‘rags to riches’ story that the authors handle in riveting detail, in the process adding to our understanding of the dynamics of the colony during a transformational period ... [they] have not only brought to life a fascinating figure but have also filled an important gap in the history of New South Wales.

— Emeritus Professor Brian Fletcher, OAM, FAHA


Chis Maxwell graduated from the University of Sydney (BScAgr, 1974, PhD 1979). He is Emeritus Professor of Reproductive Biology in the Faculty of Veterinary Science at the University of Sydney. In 2007 he received the Urrbrae Award for outstanding contributions to Australian agriculture, and has life memberships of the Society for Reproductive Biology and the International Association for Applied Animal Andrology. Chis published 350 journal articles and 4 books during his scientific career. Since retirement (2008) he has been involved in lay ministry at St John’s Anglican Church, Beecroft. This is his first historical book.

Alex Pugh graduated from the University of Sydney (BA Hons, 1975), studying history under Patrick Collinson, Maida Coaldrake, Ros Pesman, Marley Stephen, John O. Ward and R. Ian Jack. After a career in business (1975–2009), Alex returned actively to his love for historical research, with interests in mediaeval, church, Levantine and Australian history. He has published A Short History of St James’ Pitt Town (Parish of Pitt Town Australia, 1999) and the Recollections of Mary Pugh née Diacono (Kontea Foundation Cyprus, 2009). He has been involved in lay ministry in the Pitt Town Anglican Community Church since 1997.


Categories: Non-fiction, Featured Titles, Biography, Australian Studies, Australian History

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