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Thomas Frith (1850–1918)

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Thomas Frith (1850-1918) coal miner, gaoled trade union official and mayor 

Birth: 15 March 1850 in Dukinfield, Cheshire (now Greater Manchester), England, son of Joseph Frith, flax dresser, and Ann, née Bottom, washerwoman. Marriage: 18 August 1872 at Stalybridge, Lancashire, England, to Margaret Ann Howarth (or Etchells). They had two daughters and three sons. Death: 30 October 1918 at Throsby Creek, Wickham, Newcastle, New South Wales (drowned). Religion: Methodist. 

  • After working as a coal miner in Lancashire, arrived in Western Australia about 1872.
  • To Newcastle, NSW, coal mining fields early 1870s. Helped organise miners of South Waratah, early 1880s.
  • Twice arrested for militant activities: first in 1888 following a disturbance caused by Adamstown’s miners: again in miners’ strike 1909-10 when, having failed to pay a fine of £100 for strike activity, he was gaoled but released early due to being dangerously ill.
  • Long term occupant of seat on miners’ delegate board.
  • Alderman on Adamstown Council for many years; mayor, one term — same for Wickham Council.

Jupp, 1988; Newcastle Morning Herald, 31 October 1918, p.5. 

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'Frith, Thomas (1850–1918)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


15 March, 1850
Dukinfield, Greater Manchester, England


30 October, 1918 (aged 68)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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