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John Gascoigne Kitchen (1804–1852)

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John Gascoigne [or Gascoine] Kitchen (1804-1852) printer and trade union official

Birth: about 1804 at Leeds, Yorkshire, son of William. Marriage: perhaps in England prior to 1840 to Elizabeth, daughter of Benjamin Browne. Death: 16 August 1852 at Geelong, Victoria. Religion: Protestant.  

  • Was probably the John Kitchen who arrived as an assisted immigrant with his wife in Sydney, New South Wales aboard the William Money in July 1840 and was appointed the first official Government Printer on 14 December 1840. He had a staff of two free men as assistant printers, with twenty convict men and boys allocated as production staff. He resigned in 1841 and was succeeded in March that year by William John Row.
  • Was a letter-press printer in Hobart, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and a trade unionist and anti-transportation activist in the 1840s.
  • With William Jeffrey, Alexander M. Nichol, Samuel Buller, John Williams and others, participated in anti-transportation protests by Hobart operatives in 1844.
  • Wrote to the Governor's private secretary protesting against the employment of 'exiles' and its effects on the 'Free Working Classes, generally'.
  • Probably responsible for placing advertisements in the local press in October 1848 announcing that the Letter Press Printers Association intended to raise 'exile competition with free labour' with the Governor, Secretary of State, London Agent, parliamentarians, editors of leading British journals and 'all colonial newspapers in the southern hemisphere'.

Michael Quinlan, Hope amidst hard times: working class organisation in Tasmania 1830-1850. (University of New South Wales, Kensington, 1986); M. Quinlan & M. Gardiner, ‘Researching Australian Industrial Relations in the Nineteenth Century’, in Patmore, G. (ed.), History and Industrial Relations, Australian Centre for Industrial Relations Research and Teaching. Monograph No.1, pp.60-98.

Citation details

'Kitchen, John Gascoigne (1804–1852)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Kitchen, John Gascoine

Leeds, Yorkshire, England


16 August, 1852 (aged ~ 48)
Geelong, Victoria, Australia

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