The Dictionary of Australasian Biography/Cole, Hon. George Ward

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Cole, Hon. George Ward, M.L.C., F.R.G.S., Commander R.N., was the fourth son of John Cole, of Durham, and was born at Lumley Castle, in that county, on Nov. 15th, 1793. He entered the Royal Navy in Oct. 1807, and served with distinction in various parts of the world, being on several occasions severely wounded. Having been placed on half-pay in Oct. 1817, Captain Cole went into the merchant service, and commanded several vessels of which he was part owner. After numerous adventurous voyages, and engaging in various speculations, Captain Cole in 1839 decided to settle in Sydney, and purchased land there; but, after a visit to England, he changed his intention, and made his home in Victoria, where he arrived in July 1840, and started business in Melbourne. In the following year he purchased land on the Yarra, and constructed the well-known Cole's Wharf in Flinders Street West, where Mr. Childers acted as a tally-clerk on his first arrival in the colony. In 1851 Captain Cole built the City of Melbourne, the first screw steamer seen south of the line. Captain Cole represented Gippsland in the old Legislative Council from 1853 to 1855, when he resigned with the object of revisiting England. Four years later he was returned to the Council for the Central Province, and was re-elected for ten years in 1860 and 1870 respectively. Captain Cole, who was a Protectionist, represented the MᶜCulloch Government in the Upper House during the long and embittered struggle with the Assembly over the tacks to the Appropriation Bill from June 1863 to May 1868; and in Nov. 1867 was sworn of the Executive Council. Captain Cole died on April 26th, 1879.