Archibald MosmanPrint Page Print this page


Photographs supplied by Heather Stevens

The bust of Archibald Mosman was commissioned by the Wardens of the Scotland - Australia Cairn to celebrate its 10th Anniversary and funded by public subscription. 

Archibald Mosman (1799-1863), merchant and pastoralist, established a whaling business out of what was to become Mosman Bay. 

Archibald and his twin brother George, after spending some time growing sugar in the West Indies, arrived in Sydney in the Civilian on 24 August 1828. The ship appears to have been under charter to them; they brought with them their own clerk, W. Scott, and a recommendation to the governor from the Colonial Office. They at once launched into business. A warehouse was first established in George Street and in 1831 a small grant was obtained on the foreshore of Great Sirius Cove.

The brothers, like many Sydney merchants of the late 1820s, were interested in whaling, and Archibald planned to make Sirius Cove a centre for the industry. He bought out his competitor, John Bell, who had also been granted land at the cove for a whaling depot, and eventually extended his original grant to include a large part of the suburb which was given his name. In 1835 two whalers, the Jane, 221 tons, and the Tigress, 192 tons, were registered as belonging to the firm of Mosman; and in that year another vessel was bought by them, apparently for trade with New Zealand. The profits from whaling and from the berthing, careening and refitting facilities at Mosman's Bay appear to have been considerable; and in 1838 by arrangement, the precise nature of which is uncertain, Mosman's interests at Sirius Cove were taken over by Messrs Hughes & Hosking in return for a fixed sum to be paid to Mosman annually. By August 1844, however, Mosman and Hughes & Hosking were bankrupt. Mosman lost not only his annuity but the whaling establishment as well.

Mosman Council has, since 1988, maintained the Scotland Australia Cairn at Rawson Park with the assistance of numerous Wardens both past and present. Council resolved to appoint a new Honorary Warden, Mr John Coombs, whose appointment will be formally acknowledged at the next annual inspection of the Cairn on Monday 17 June 2019.


Address:Myahgah Road, Civic Square, Council Building, Mosman, 2088
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -33.825231
Long: 151.241531
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
View Google Map


Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Approx. Event Start Date:1988
Approx. Event End Date:1998
Artist:Judith Englerf-Shead


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Monday 30th November, 1998
Front Inscription

Archibald Mosman
1799 - 1863

Archibald Mosman was born in Scotland and arrived in Australia in 1828.

In 1831 he was allocated four acres of land in Great Sirius Cove to establish a whaling station.  The whaling industry flourished in what was to become known as Mosman Bay.  One of the original buildings still stands today, and it is known as "the Barn", home of first Mosman Scouts.

Moving to a cattle station in the New England district for several years, Mosman returned to live in Randwick with his family, where he died.  His grave can be found at St. Jude`s Church of England, Randwick.

This Bust was commissioned by the Wardens of the Scotland Australian Cairn, Rawson Park, to celebrate its 10th anniversary and was funded from public subscription. Unveiled on St. Andrews Day, 30 November 1998 by His Worship, the Mayor of Mosman and the Principal Warden of the Scotland Australian Cairn, Councillor Jim Reid.

Judith Englerf-Shead  Sculptor
V H R May  General Manager



Source: MA, ADB
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au