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Mary Beddie (1856–1933)

This article was published:

Beddie, Mary (1857-1933) shopkeeper, Labor Party activist 

Birth: 17 December 1856 at Carcoar, New South Wales, daughter of William Beddie, labourer, and Mary Scott, formerly McMillan. Both parents had been born in Wigtonshire, Scotland. Unmarried. Death: 16 July 1933 at Croydon, Sydney. Religion: Presbyterian

  • Foundation member of Australian Labor Party, Surry Hills (Sydney), where she ran a small shop - 'the rendezvous of many earnest Laborites'.
  • Keenly interested in the movement for women’s adult franchise.
  • In 1907-1913 was president, Domestic Workers' Union.
  • Foundation member of ALP’s Women's Central Organising Committee where was a sometime opponent of Kate Dwyer.
  • Claimed responsibility for inclusion of 'Full Citizen Rights for Women' clause in ALP platform.
  • ALP Senate candidate in 1915.
  • Strong advocate of industrial education and penal reform. In 1928 formed Howard Prison Reform League and visited gaols in Scotland and Europe.
  • Connected with Women Justices’ Association.
  • Cause of death cerebral thrombosis.
  • Her considerable estate, sworn at £2213, was distributed to charity and political causes and her library bequeathed to Sydney Trades Hall.

Australian Worker
, 4 November 1915, 31 August 1916, 4 April 1928; Labor Daily, (Sydney), 18 July 1933, p.4; Sydney Morning Herald, 29 December 1933, p.5; Westralian Worker, 26 January 1934. 

Additional Resources

  • profile, Australian Worker (Sydney), 4 November 1915, p 13
  • probate, Maitland Daily Mercury (NSW), 29 December 1933, p 3

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Beddie, Mary (1856–1933)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 27 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


17 December, 1856
Carcoar, New South Wales, Australia


16 July, 1933 (aged 76)
Croydon, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism