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Peter Joseph (Joe) Dobbin (1868–1935)

by Martin Sullivan

This article was published:

Peter Dobbin, 1891

Peter Dobbin, 1891

Queensland State Archives, ITM341532, DR17771

Peter Joseph ‘Joe’ Dobbin (also known as Peter Joseph Dobbyn) (1868-1935) shearer and gaoled trade unionist 

Birth: 4 May 1868 in Howth, near Dublin, Ireland, son of James Dobbin (1839-1919), labourer, and Mary, née Redmond. Marriage: 30 December 1876 at Clermont, Queensland, to Mary Eite (1875-1909). They had two daughters and a son. Death: 11 October 1935 in Brisbane Hospital, Queensland.  Religion: Catholic. 

  • Arrived at Rockhampton aboard the Scottish Hero with his parents and siblings on 28 November 1876.
  • Charged with molesting hired servants at Peak Downs 1891. The Worker later reported ‘he had offered his horse, together with a 5 pound note, to a scab on condition that he would refrain from going to work, and when the man refused he indulged in a little abuse’. With others, he was tried before Judge George Harding at Rockhampton and sentenced on 20 May 1891 to two and a half years imprisonment (one month for molesting).
  • Prison records describe him as a native of Ireland, aged 23, who could read and write, of medium build, 5 feet 5 inches (165cm) tall, with a dark complexion, brown hair and brown eyes.
  • He was released on 17 June 1893.
  • A labourer at Clermont in 1903-05, in Rockhampton 1909-13 & at Blair Athol in 1917, he was a selector at Capella, in 1919-22 and later lived in Brisbane and Sandgate.
  • Cause of death: hyperpresis and cerebral thrombosis.

Trial, Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton), 1 May 1891, p.5, released from prison, Worker (Brisbane), 24 June 1893, Queensland State Archives, St Helena Penal Establishment. General Record and Description of prisoners, July 1879-April 1895, PRI 2, 7/A.

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Citation details

Martin Sullivan, 'Dobbin, Peter Joseph (Joe) (1868–1935)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 15 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Peter Dobbin, 1891

Peter Dobbin, 1891

Queensland State Archives, ITM341532, DR17771

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Dobbyn, Peter Joseph

4 May, 1868
Howth, Leinster, Ireland


11 October, 1935 (aged 67)
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.

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