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Edward (Ted) Darnley (1859–1927)

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Edward Darnley, n.d.

Edward Darnley, n.d.

Edward (Ted) Darnley (1859-1927) plasterer, trade union leader, politician 

Birth: 29 January 1859 in Birmingham, England, son of Edward Darnley (1817-1879), plasterer later building contractor, and Anna [Hannnah], née Worrall (1820-1901). Marriage: 2 December 1885 in Sydney, New South Wales, to Eliza Ann Wild (1855-1941), who was born in West Bromwich, Staffordshire. They had six daughters and three sons. Death: 25 June 1927 in Leichhardt, NSW. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Left school aged 11. Spent a few years in the jewellery trade, then became plasterer like his father and brothers. Joined National Association of Operative Plasterers in 1879. Was for a time president of the Birmingham district. In 1881 he was unemployed.
  • Arrived in NSW as an unassisted immigrant aboard the SS Austral on 2 January 1885. Became president and secretary of the NSW Plasterers’ Society, which he represented on NSW Trades and Labor Council from 1885. Member of 8 Hour Committee in 1885 and from 1902 to 1912.
  • Elected as Political Labor League candidate to the NSW Legislative Assembly for seat of Balmain on 17 June 1891. One of the parliamentarians who refused to sign the pledge to support the party platform and the decisions of the majority of the caucus, he was defeated as an independent free trade candidate on 25 July 1894.
  • Remained a loyal trade unionist after his defeat. Returned to the Australian Labor Party and nominated for preselection for the seat of Federal seat of Cook in August 1906, was defeated by J. H. Catts, who was successful in the election.

C. N. Connolly, Biographical Register of the New South Wales Parliament 1856-1901 (Canberra 1983) p 78; Co-operator, 7 October 1912, p 9:

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'Darnley, Edward (Ted) (1859–1927)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Edward Darnley, n.d.

Edward Darnley, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


29 January, 1859
Birmingham, Warwickshire, England


25 June, 1927 (aged 68)
Leichhardt, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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