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Brown, Alfred John (c. 1858–?)

by Martin Sullivan

Qld shearers strike leaders, 1893 [Brown is far left, front seated row]

Qld shearers strike leaders, 1893 [Brown is far left, front seated row]

State Library of Qld, 64845

Alfred John Brown (c.1858-?) shearer, labourer and gaoled trade union leader

Birth: 1858 in Queensland. Death: ? Religion: Anglican. 

    • In 1890 was present at shearers' meeting in Blackall when William Lane proposed a scheme for better organisation of unionists. In 1891 appointed to represent Queensland Shearers' Union on Central District Council of Australian Labour Federation.
    • During 1891 shearers' strike was member of first strike committee in Barcaldine. Travelled from Barcaldine to maintain solidarity among workers on Warrego river.
    • In March 1891 arrested in Augathella, charged with conspiracy and inciting riot. Latter charge withdrawn, but convicted in Supreme Court, Rockhampton, before Justice George Harding. He was sentenced to 3 years hard labour.
    • According to his prison records he was born in Queensland in 1858 and could read and write. He was described as stout, 5 feet 9¼ inches (160 cm) in height with brown eyes that were weak, and he had grey hair.
    • Soon after imprisonment on St. Helena Island (Moreton Bay) he was cautioned for having a smoker's pipe. In January 1892 he was cautioned for disorderly conduct and his indulgences were stopped for 14 days. In June 1893 he was cautioned for the same offence. He was released in November 1893. During his prison term he had arranged for his horses and saddles to be sold.
    • In 1895 he spent a few months at the Fermoy opal fields. In later years he lived at Longreach.
    • Death details are not known.

Resources
Stuart Svensen, The Shearers' War: the story of the 1891 shearers' strike (Brisbane, 1989).

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Martin Sullivan, 'Brown, Alfred John (c. 1858–?)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/brown-alfred-john-32320/text40038, accessed 27 June 2022.

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