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William Campbell (1851–1913)

This article was published:

William Campbell, 1909 [detail]

William Campbell, 1909 [detail]

Labor Call (Melbourne), 22 April 1909, p 15

William Campbell (1851-1913) engineer, trade union leader, protectionist 

Birth: in November 1851 at Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland, son of Archibald Campbell, a bricklayer born at Donaghee, County Down, Ireland, and Jane, née Allardice, born in Lanarkshire. Marriages: (1) c. 1878 in Scotland to Agnes Bain (d.1896). They had one son and one daughter. (2) 15 June 1899 at Melbourne, Victoria, to Lucy Helen ‘Nellie’ McArdle. Death: 29 October 1913 at East Brunswick, Victoria. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Served apprenticeship in engineering firm of John Morman and Co, Glasgow. Admitted as member of Glasgow branch of Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE), 1873.
  • Reached Australia in 1880, first working in Sydney. In 1882 went to Melbourne and became foundation secretary of Melbourne south branch of ASE. Held every important position within union in Melbourne — branch secretary and president, district committee secretary and president — and was first Australasian delegate to union conference in Liverpool, England in 1896.
  • President and secretary of Iron Trades Council, trustee of Melbourne Trades Hall Council, member of 8 Hours Committee for 28 years (president 1893, 1895 & 1909).
  • “Ardent fighter in the cause of Protection for Australian manufactures”.
  • Blind for the last six years of his life, and an invalid pensioner at his death from cerebral thrombosis, paralysis and asthenia.

photo and profile, Labor Call (Melbourne), 22 April 1909, p 15], 6 November 1913, p 3:; ASE Monthly Report, November 1913; H. J. Gibbney and A. G.  Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 1 (Canberra, 1987).

Additional Resources

  • profile, Labor Call (Melbourne), 22 April 1909, p 15

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Campbell, William (1851–1913)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

William Campbell, 1909 [detail]

William Campbell, 1909 [detail]

Labor Call (Melbourne), 22 April 1909, p 15

Life Summary [details]


November, 1851
Barony, Lanarkshire, Scotland


29 October, 1913 (aged 61)
Brunswick, Melbourne, Victoria, 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