Thomas Sutcliff Mort

Related to City Art
Installed 1883
Large bronze statue  of Thomas Sutcliffe sits amongst the trees in the western corner of Macquarie Place Park
Early image of a large bronze statue of Thomas Sutcliffe Macquarie Place Park
Large bronze statue of Thomas Sutcliffe sits on a sandstone plinth , old sandstone buildings dominate the background

A dedication to Thomas Sutcliffe Mort commemorating his contribution to the pastoral, livestock and meat export industries in Australia.

Artist: Pierce Francis Connelly 

Artwork description

The Thomas Sutcliffe Mort statue was erected in 1883, in memory of the man who was regarded as a pioneer of Australian resources and industries. It depicts Mort wearing a knee length coat with his right arm on his hip and left hand resting on papers on top of a pedestal.

The bronze statue stands in the south-western corner of Macquarie Place Park in Bridge Street, on the site of one of Sydney’s first fountains. Unveiled by the Governor Lord Augustus Loftus on Saturday 9 June 1883, it faces the Royal Exchange, which was the largest wool selling centre in the world.

More information

Thomas Sutcliffe Mort (1816–1878) was born in Bolton, Lancashire, England. He arrived in Sydney in February 1838 on the ship Superb and became a clerk with Aspinall, Browne & Co where he gained extensive experience in local and international commerce.

He was a pioneer of pastoral and livestock auctioneering with particular emphasis on the wool industry. He was influential in establishing both international wool markets for Australia and setting the pattern for later wool-broking firms. He also laid the foundations of the meat export industry in making exports of perishable food possible through refrigeration.

He was also the founder of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, a promoter of the sugar industry in Queensland and a director of the Sydney Railway Company in 1851. Mort was also involved in mining and opened a large dry dock in Sydney in 1855. He was a prominent Anglican layman with substantial personal wealth.


American born sculptor, Pierce Francis Connelly (1841-1932), was raised in England but spent most of his life in Europe. He visited New Zealand in 1877-8 but was living back in Florence when he produced this commission. Connelly worked in the Neo-Classical style, and this statue was described in 1923 as ‘a good specimen of the sculptor’s art in spite of the trousers’.


The Mort Memorial Committee was responsible for commissioning and erecting the statue and first met in October 1882 to discuss the project. The committee worked in co-operation with the City of Sydney to erect the statue, with funds supplied by Mort’s Dock Company, other businesses and some public subscriptions.


  • South-western face: “Erected 1883”
  • North-western face: “Born 1816”
  • South-eastern face: “Died 1878”
  • South-eastern side: “P.F. Connelly, Sculptor”
  • The inscription added in 1925 on the front plaque (south-western face) reads:

    Thomas Sutcliffe Mort.
    Born: England 1816. Arrived Australia: 1837. Died: Australia 1878.
    A pioneer of Australian resources, a founder of Australian industries, one who established our wool market. the first to make exports of perishable food possible by refrigeration and to provide docks for the reception of the world’s shipping. A founder of the Australian Mutual Provident Society, and foremost in every movement for the care and welfare of his fellow citizens, who in gratitude erected this monument to his memory.

Get arts and culture updates from City of Sydney News.