painter and public servant, was born in Exeter, England. In 1832 he accompanied his parents to Sydney where his father, William Woolcott, set up as a bootmaker. Charles began work with the City Corporation in 1843 and served successively as clerk, draughtsman, mayor’s secretary and assistant town clerk. In 1857 he was appointed Town Clerk, succeeding John Rae , and remained in the position for thirty years. He married a daughter of Jack Inder and they lived at Ivy Cliffe, Berry’s Bay (North Sydney); Woolcott was said to have rowed across the harbour to work every day. He died at home on 23 August 1905.

Although Woolcott apparently painted throughout his life, few works are known. An engraving titled Government House in 1841 , taken from an original sketch by Woolcott, is very similar to one by J. S. Prout differing only in details, although it is difficult to determine which, if either, is the copy. Prout is known to have worked from sketches by his pupils (see Ellen Burgess and Simpkinson ); he also often took them on excursions when all would paint virtually identical subjects. A watercolour, Busby’s Bore (ML), is also attributed to Woolcott, as is an oil painting initialled 'C.H.W.’, Rocky Point (Sans Souci) 1854 , offered at auction in 1986 together with another attributed watercolour of Sydney Cove (c.1893).

Staff Writer
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