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John Beddows (1828–1902)

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John Beddows (1828-1902) boilermaker, trade union leader 

Birth: 1828 in Manchester, England, son of Edward Beddows, blacksmith, and Isabella, née Jackson. Married: 25 December 1850 in the Anglican Cathedral, Manchester, England, to Mary Ann Hagarty. Both parties signed with a mark. They had two daughters and one son. Death: 11 December 1902 at Cooks Hill, Newcastle, New South Wales. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Grew up in Manchester; worked at Galloways, Manchester, where became leading hand. In 1855 migrated to Melbourne in the Western Bride, arriving on 26 September with his wife and eldest daughter. Fellow passengers were parents of James McGowen, who was born on passage.
  • Bridge building contractor for Victorian government.
  • Active in 8 Hour Day movement and helped to form Boilermakers’ Union.
  • To Sydney in 1859, where worked at Menangle and Penrith. Again helped to form Boilermakers’ Union in 1873.
  • To Newcastle as foreman boilermaker for Moyes & Donald, and then Rodgers' Foundry.
  • In 1873-1886 served as first treasurer, Newcastle branch of the Boilermakers and Iron Shipbuilders’ Society.

James Jupp (ed.), The Australian People: An encyclopedia of the nation, its people and their origins (North Ryde, NSW, 1988); Newcastle Morning Herald, 13 Dec 1902, p.4

Citation details

'Beddows, John (1828–1902)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Manchester, Greater Manchester, England


11 December, 1902 (aged ~ 74)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

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