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John Chapman (1839–1927)

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John Chapman (1839-1927)  stonemason and trade union leader 

Birth: 1839 at Slammanan, Airth, Stirlingshire, Scotland, son of Peter Chapman (1811-1866), colliery labourer, and Elizabeth, née Craig (1813-1899). Marriage: 30 October 1865 at Rundle Street, Adelaide, South Australia, with Presbyterian forms, to Margaret Robertson Gillies (1838-1918). They had five daughters and one son. Death: 25 November 1927 at Adelaide. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • In 1851 census, aged 11, he was working as a servant in fireclay works at Slamannan. Trained as a stonemason at Glasgow. In 1861 census he was a mason, residing at Partick, Govan, Lanarkshire.
  • Arrived in South Australia on 1 May 1865 in the Clara. Employed by English & Brown, contractors on Town Hall and St Peter’s Cathedral. Retired in 1915.
  • Early trade unionist, SA. President of the United Tradesmen's Union.
  • Last surviving member of the original Eight Hours Day Committee, 1873.
  • Occupation on death certificate: retired farmer.  Cause of death: embolism and carcinoma of tongue and jaw.

H. J. Gibbney & Ann G. Smith, A Biographical Register 1788-1939, vol 1 (Canberra, 1987), p 120.

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Citation details

'Chapman, John (1839–1927)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 24 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Slamannan, Stirlingshire, Scotland


25 November, 1927 (aged ~ 88)
Adelaide, South Australia, Australia

Cause of Death

cancer (jaw)

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