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John Henry Dunsford (1855–1905)

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John Henry Dunsford (1855-1905), pastoral worker, stationer, politician 

Birth: 3 July 1855 at Maldon, Victoria, son of English-born parents John Holman Dunsford (1827-1867) from Grain, in Kent, and Mary, née Harding (1827-1914), from Plymouth, Devon. Marriage: 9 March 1882 in Queensland to native-born Maria Lyons McDonough (1860-1945), born at Will, in Victoria. They had four daughters and four sons. Death: 15 September 1905 at Cunnamulla, Queensland. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Educated at Maldon public school, Victoria. Worked in pastoral industry.
  • Went to North Queensland in 1873. In 1876 went goldmining in Madagascar & South Africa. In 1878 was stationer at Charters Towers, Qld. Mining speculator. Alderman at Charters Towers. Member, Queensland Labor Party.
  • Elected Labor member of the Queensland Legislative Assembly for seat of Charters Towers on 13 May 1893. At 1894 meeting sponsored by Social-Democratic Federation, proclaimed state socialism as a heaven upon earth. Spoke at early meetings of Queensland Socialist League (established 1896).
  • In 1905 was berated at Charters Towers meeting by Tom Mann in mistaken belief that he was attempting to disrupt Mann's address. Died in office.

Duncan Bruce Waterson, Biographical register of the Queensland Parliament 1860-1929 (Canberra, 2001); Verity Burgmann, In Our Time: Socialism and the Rise of Labor, 1885-1905, (Sydney, 1985).

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Citation details

'Dunsford, John Henry (1855–1905)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 20 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


3 July, 1855
Maldon, Victoria, Australia


15 September, 1905 (aged 50)
Cunnamulla, Queensland, Australia

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