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Charles Eyre (1860–1906)

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Charles Eyre (1860- 1906) manufacturers’ agent and Socialist activist 

Birth: 1860 at Lambeth, Surry, England, son of William James Eyre (1826-c.1875), lithographic printer, later clerk, and Ellen, née Tottem (1826-1897), shirt-maker. Marriage: 20 January 1894 at St Paul’s Anglican Church, Cleveland Street, Sydney, New South Wales, to native-born Caroline Picot (b.1868). They had one daughter. Death: 14 April 1906 at his residence, Miller Street, North Sydney, NSW. Religion: Methodist. 

  • Came to Australia about 1871. Spent nineteen years in Victoria and Queensland and sixteen years in NSW.
  • Leading figure in Australian Socialist League. Australian correspondent to International Socialist Bureau, Brussels and founder of International Socialist Club of Sydney.
  • Frequent contributor to the press urging Socialism.
  • Wrote ‘masterpiece’ pamphlet on the Economics of the Eight Hours’ Day. Moved principally in business circles and “conflict between his inner convictions and his daily life…brought on the nervous disease (neurasthenia) to which he ultimately succumbed”.
  • Occupation on death certificate: manager (varnish manufacturers). Cause of death: chronic meningitis and exhaustion.

Verity Burgmann, In our Time: Socialism and the Rise of Labor, 1885-1905, (Sydney, 1985); The International Socialist Review, 13 April 1907.

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Citation details

'Eyre, Charles (1860–1906)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


29 March, 1860
London, Middlesex, England


14 April, 1906 (aged 46)
North Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, 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.

Political Activism