Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Edye Manning (1807–1889)

by Louise T. Daley

This article was published:

Edye Manning (1807-1889), merchant and shipowner, was born at Exeter, Devon, England, a son of John Edye Manning. He came to New South Wales with his wife, Fanny Elizabeth, and his eldest son, John Edye, in December 1831. He was a member of the provisional committee of the Australian Fire and Life Assurance Co. (1835), a director of the Australian Gaslight Co. (1836), and entered the embryonic steamship trade with the paddle-steamer Maitland, 103 tons, in 1838. Employing a method of salvaging wrecks that he originated, he raised the Ceres (Hunter River Steam Packet Association) with John Korff and built the fast Victoria around her engines in 1841. He tried without success to establish an 'Australasian Steam Navigation Co.' and to provide a steamer for the Sydney-Melbourne run after the 297-ton Clonmel sank near Wilson's Promontory, but in 1841 he entered the Sydney-Parramatta service with three small paddle-steamers, the Emu, the Kangaroo and the Experiment, in which he installed an engine to replace the horses previously used. Then, leaving the Hunter River trade to the steamship company formed there in 1839, he bought the old paddle-steamer William the Fourth from Joseph Grose, built the Phoenix around the engines of the old Sophia Jane, the first steamer imported from England, and started to trade with south coast ports and the Clarence River, where he bought Ramornie station in 1845. The south coast trade developed rapidly and in 1857 his company amalgamated with rival companies to form the Illawarra Steam Navigation Co. and in 1858 the Shoalhaven Steam Navigation Co. In that year he took over the management of the fleet and provided a Sydney wharf for it. On his retirement in 1862 he continued to trade in second-hand steamers on his own account and sold five ships to China and Japan between 1854 and 1863. His shipping interests were carried on by his son, John Edye Manning. He died at Wentworth Falls on 24 February 1889, leaving two sons and two daughters.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vols 22, 24, 26
  • R. Parsons, Fleets of Principal Steamship Owners Registering Vessels at Sydney Prior to 1900 (Adel, 1959)
  • R. Parsons, Details of Steamships Registered at Port of Sydney Prior to 1900 (Adel, 1961)
  • A. B. Portus, ‘Early Australian Steamers: Period 1831-1856’, Journal and Proceedings (Australian Historical Society), vol 2, part 9, 1904, pp 197-226
  • H. Kolsen, ‘Company Formation in N.S.W. 1828-1851: A Preliminary Report’, Bulletin of the Business Archives Council of Australia, vol 1, no 6, 1959, pp 11-21
  • J. Ginswick, ‘Early Australian Capital Formation, 1836-1850: A Case Study, The Australian Gaslight Company’, Bulletin of the Business Archives Council of Australia, vol 1, no 6, 1959, pp 22-49.

Related Thematic Essay

Citation details

Louise T. Daley, 'Manning, Edye (1807–1889)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 19 July 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (Melbourne University Press), 1967

View the front pages for Volume 2

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


Exeter, Devon, England


24 February, 1889 (aged ~ 82)
Wentworth Falls, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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