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Edward Harrison Hurley (1850–1907)

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Edward Harrison Hurley (1850-1907) compositor and trade union officer

Birth: 1850 at Ulverstone, Lancashire, England, son of James Hurley (c1831-1896), a police officer born at Dunleckney, Carlow, Ireland, and Ann, née Harrison (1823-1905), born at Ulverstone. Marriage: 20 April 1880 at St Patrick’s Catholic Church, Cessnock, New South Wales, to Margaret Agnes Bouffier. They had two daughters and two sons. Death: 13 November 1907 suddenly on a tramcar in Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Emigrated with his parents to Sydney about 1859. His father became a grocer at Glebe. Edward served his apprenticeship at the Sydney Morning Herald
  • Worked as a frameholder on the SMH and Mail for John Fairfax and Sons for many years.
  • Resigned to enter in business for himself. Became manager of Express, a weekly newspaper. Accepted a position at the Government Printing Office (GPO) and worked as a casual, piece, bills, jobbing, Gazette staff and Parliamentary day staff, 1882-1893.
  • Assisted in formation of compositors’ chapel, 1885, and in forming a chapel in the GPO, became clerk and in 1890 father of the chapel.
  • Foundation member and vice-president of a literary, musical and dramatic society which aimed at bringing together employees of the various branches of the department.
  • Member of the NSW Typographical Association (NSWTA) and was elected secretary of a committee of special auditors to place the affairs of the association on a sound financial basis in 1886.
  • Represented the GPO on the board of management of the union in 1886. Was treasurer of the NSWTA from 1887 to 1893 and secretary from 1893 to his death.
  • Worked for several years on an improved linotype scale in an industrial agreement and in an Arbitration Court case involving jobbing compositors.
  • Secretary of the Printing Trades Council from 1896 and performed yeoman service.
  • Delegate for NSWTA to the National Protection Union Conference, formed at the advent of Federation, and he represented the printing and kindred trades to assist in framing a tariff to be submitted to the Federal Government.
  • Delegate of NSWTA at Trienneal Australian Typographical Union conference in Melbourne c.1901. In his later years he took an interest in Labor-in-politics.
  • Sometime secretary of the Forest Lodge conference of the Society of St Vincent de Paul.
  • Cause of death: heart disease.
  • Is reported to have given his son Frank £500 to set up in business as a photographer.

, 21 November 1907 p 11; Australasian Typographical Journal, May 1897, 1 December 1907.

Citation details

'Hurley, Edward Harrison (1850–1907)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Ulverstone, Lancashire, England


13 November, 1907 (aged ~ 57)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

Cultural Heritage

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