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Photographs supplied by Stephen Warren

The sculpture commemorates Thomas Cooper who founded the Coopers Brewery.

Thomas Cooper (17 December 1826 – 30 December 1897) was born in Carleton, North Yorkshire, the youngest of 12 children of Christopher and Sarah (née Booth). His parents died when he was young (Sarah in 1830 and Christopher in 1832), and he was raised by his sister Ann. 

In 1849 he married Ann Laycock Brown (1827–1872) in the Wesleyan Chapel in Skipton, England. Their first child, William (1850–1882), was born in 1850, and Sarah Ann (1851–1852) in 1851. In 1852, Thomas, the pregnant Ann, and their two children emigrated to South Australia, setting sail from Plymouth on the SS Omega on 29 May 1852. During the 86-day voyage, Sarah Ann was one of the six children who died, but their third child was born as they rounded the Cape of Good Hope, and was named Sarah Ann (1852–1854) in memory of her sister.

The family arrived in Port Adelaide on 24 August 1852.  In the ten years before he commenced brewing in Norwood, Thomas worked initially as a shoemaker, then as a mason, and then as a dairyman, while Ann bore four more children: Mary Ann (1855–1856); John Thomas (1857–1935); Christopher (1859–1910); and Annie Elizabeth (1861–1921). 

On 13 May 1862, Thomas brewed his first recorded batch. He did all the work himself (purchasing, calling for orders, brewing, washing, filling, corking and wiring the bottles, delivering the finished product), possibly with the help of then 12-year-old son William, while continuing to attend the cows, run the dairy, and do the daily milk deliveries. Towards the end of 1862 Thomas realised that to make a living as a brewer, he would need to increase his brewing capacity, so he mortgaged his property to Frederick Scarfe, the Mayor of Norwood, a butcher, and a customer of Thomas's ale, for £300, and built a new brewhouse. In January 1863 he sold his cows and the milk delivery run. Although one of the smaller South Australian brewers, Thomas gained a reputation for quality. 

Ann bore four more children before dying suddenly in 1872: Joseph Brown (1863–1888); Jane Amelia (1865–1943); Margaret Alice (1868–1869) and Samuel (1871–1921). She was survived by all five of her sons, and two of her six daughters.

Thomas remarried in 1874, and Sarah Louisa Perry bore eight children: Stanley Reasey (1875–1938); Thomas Perry (1876–1876); Francis Scowby (1877–1878) Frederic (1878–1952); Edward Booth (1880–1881); Charles Edward (1881–1936); Lily Louise (1881–1893); and Walter Astley (1882–1909).

When he died in 1897, Thomas was survived by his wife, and nine of his nineteen children - seven of his sons, and two of his daughters.


Address:North - South Motorway, Cooper`s Brewery, Regency Park, 5010
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -34.872982
Long: 138.572377
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People


Actual Monument Dedication Date:Wednesday 21st November, 2001
Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au