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Michael James (Mick) Howland (1836–1929)

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Michael James (Mick) Howland (1836 -1929) iron moulder and trade union official 

Birth: 29 September 1836 in County Limerick, Ireland, son of John Howland (b.1799), labourer. Marriages: (1) 23 October 1859 at St Stephen’s Anglican Church, Southwark, Surrey, England, to Margaret Swanscott (1832-1887). They had six sons and two daughters. Death: 26 January 1929 in his home at Birrell Street, Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • Worked as a moulder in England. Member, Ancient Order of Foresters. Chief Ranger, Lodge Court Old England
  • Emigrated with his wife to Australia aboard the Fitz James, arriving on 20 February 1859, and worked as a moulder for P. N. Russell and Co., Sydney.
  • Founder and first secretary of the Friendly Trade Society of Iron Moulders of NSW (Iron Moulders’ Union) 1872, with John Talbot as president.
  • Regular participant in Eight Hour procession in Sydney from its inception until 1927. He claimed never to have missed a procession since its first and to be the last surviving Eight Hours Day committee pioneer.
  • Made the fire bricks for the first furnace for making pig iron in NSW in Mittagong.
  • Later worked for his son John, who had a foundry in Glebe. Retired in 1921 and became an old age pensioner. Was a member of the Ancient Order of Foresters from 1862.
  • Cause of death: senility.

W. J. Hargreaves, History of Federated Moulders (Metals) Union of Australia, 1858-1958 (Sydney, 1958); Daily Mail, 3 October 1922, 6 October 1924; Australian Worker (Sydney), 7 October 1925, p 1, 6 February 1929, p 1.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Labor Daily (Sydney), 6 October 1924, p 7
  • profile, Labor Daily (Sydney), 1 October 1928, p 4

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

'Howland, Michael James (Mick) (1836–1929)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 29 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Mick Howland, n.d.

Mick Howland, n.d.

Labor Daily (Sydney), 1 October 1928, p 4

Life Summary [details]


29 September, 1836
Limerick, Ireland


26 January, 1929 (aged 92)
Waverley, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

general debility

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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