People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

John Bond (1857–1941)

This article was published:

John Bond (1857-1941) French polisher, Socialist, parliamentary candidate 

Birth: 31 October 1857 in Bethnal Green, Middlesex, England, son of George Bond, hand loom silk weaver later brass finisher, and Maria, née Hughes (1830-191), also a silk weaver, who signed with a mark. Marriage: 16 January 1886 in Brisbane, Queensland, to Martha Ellen Bee (1858-1938). They had two daughters and a son. Death: 2 November 1941 in Brisbane, Queensland. Religion: Congregationalist. 

  • Claimed to have been “educated in private schools, and apprenticed to the piano and furniture trades. Joined the Army in ’74, but afterward returned to his craft”. Became a disciple of John Ruskin and J. Morrison Davidson.
  • In 1881 was working as a silk dresser in Bethnal Green, living with his widowed mother, a laundress, and seven siblings. Arrived in Queensland a few years later, possibly aboard the Dorunda as an assisted immigrant on 21 September 1882.
  • Founding member of Queensland Socialist League in 1896, and Queensland Social-Democratic Vanguard in 1900.
  • A pioneer of the Labour movement in Queensland. Lived at Highgate Hill and was a Labor candidate [with J. H. Turley] for South Brisbane in Legislative Assembly in 1896 and also stood for that seat in 1899 and 1902.
  • Delegate to and vice-president of Labour-in-Politics Conventions, and sometime vice-chairman of the central political executive.
  • From 1886 a French polisher by trade, “he was associated with many of the big furnishing jobs throughout the State”.
  • Later lived at Coorporoo.
  • Described in November 1941 as grey haired, 5 feet 4 inches (254 cm) in height and of slight build, “wearing a grey suit, blue and white striped shirt, black shoes, and a felt hat” when he went missing from his home. His body was found in the Brisbane river and an inquest found that he had died by drowning.
  • His estate was sworn for probate at £918 for realty and £410 for personalty.

Verity Burgmann, In Our Time: Socialism and the Rise of Labor, 1885-1905 (Sydney, 1985).

Additional Resources

  • profile, Worker (Brisbane), 8 March 1902, p 10
  • probate, Courier-Mail (Brisbane), 7 April 1942, p 4

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Bond, John (1857–1941)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

John Bond, 1902

John Bond, 1902

Worker (Brisbane), 8 March 1902, p 10

Life Summary [details]


31 October, 1857
London, Middlesex, England


2 November, 1941 (aged 84)
Brisbane, Queensland, 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.

Political Activism