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Hutton, Daniel Sutherland (1863–1924)

by Chris Cunneen

Daniel Hutton, n.d.

Daniel Hutton, n.d.

Daniel Sutherland Hutton (1863-1924), mechanic, miner, trade union leader, pigeon-fancier 

Born: Dunfermline, Fife, Scotland 13 December 1863, son of James Hutton, linen weaver, and his wife Jane, née Sutherland. Married: Bundaberg, Queensland, 18 February 1884 to Janet “Jessie” Collier. They had one son and three daughters. Died: 21 February 1924, West Wallsend, NSW. Religion: Catholic. 

Hutton worked in mines in Scotland, England, the USA and Canada prior to arriving in Queensland on 11 May 1883. After marrying there, a son and two daughters were born to Daniel and Jessie in 1884-1888 and a daughter in Minmi, NSW, in 1890. They all travelled to Scotland in about 1893 and Daniel worked as a miner at Beath, in Fife. In 1903 he, his wife and 3 of their children returned to Australia, reaching Sydney in the Afric on 5 June. A daughter apparently returned later. 

Thereafter, the Huttons lived at the emerging town of Barnsley, near Newcastle, where Daniel soon became president of the progress committee. He worked as a coal miner at West Wallsend and bred prize-winning pigeons. By November 1909, in the midst of a bitter strike on the coal-fields, he was a colleague of Peter Bowling’s on the federal council of the Coal and Shale Employees’ Federation. On 27 January 1910, under new repressive industrial legislation, he, Bowling, James Butler and William O’Connor were convicted in Sydney of taking part in a meeting at Bulli assembled for the purpose of aiding in the continuance of a strike. Sentenced to 8 months hard labour by acting judge F. E. Rogers, Hutton, O’Connor and Butler were granted early release after four months. He walked out of Maitland prison, somewhat reduced in weight, on 17 May 1910. 

Thankful to have been released from what he described as “a hideous nightmare” and back home in Barnsley, Hutton resumed work as a miner, and continued to win prizes for his pigeons. In May he was accorded a welcome home reception by the Young Wallsend Miners’ Lodge later, and presented with an illuminated address. He continued an active member of that lodge and also of Killingworth Miners’ Lodge and was elected to the Council of the Federated Coal & Shale Workers Assn of Australasia. At meetings of the local Burns Club he would recite “Tam o’ Shanter” in fine style and sing. Shortly after war broke out he was employed for a time as foreman of an excavating gang constructing the local tramway. He spoke against conscription, and continued to be a leading light in the Labor Party and the progress committee. After his death miners remembered him as “a true fighter against tyranny and oppression”.

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Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Hutton, Daniel Sutherland (1863–1924)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/hutton-daniel-sutherland-32008/text39552, accessed 28 September 2021.

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