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Samuel Lambert (Sam) Lemmon (1832–1902)

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Samuel Lambert (Sam) Lemmon (1832-1902) timber worker and trade union official 

Birth: 1832 at Londonderry, Ireland, and baptised on 18 May 1832 at Shoreditch London, England, son of Joseph Prince Lemmon (1810-1840), merchant, and Sarah, née Hoare (1810-1871). Marriage: 23 May 1861 at Fitzroy, Victoria, to Irish-born Matilda Thompson (1832-1938). They had seven daughters and three sons. Death: 25 July 1902 at Melbourne, Victoria. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Emigrated at age 18 and arrived in Adelaide. Apprenticed to a wood turner.
  • Moved to Melbourne after a few years. Foreman at timber merchant firm ‘Halstead, Kerr and Co.’, regularly employed for twenty-eight years.
  • Convened a meeting of fellow employees to take action to secure Eight Hours system in trade which formed first Society of Timber Yard Employees Association. Became its first secretary and negotiated with employers to grant the Eight Hours, which was granted a few years later by leading firms in and around Melbourne.
  • Presented by fellow-workers with a testimonial in 1870 for the zeal with which he had worked to procure the Eight Hours system for their union. Active in Eight Hours Anniversary Committee and became member of executive and secretary of the sports committee.
  • Was caretaker of the Trades Hall, Melbourne, from about 1873 to 1902. On his death his widow took over as caretaker.
  • The State politician John Lemmon was their son and the Federal politician Nelson Lemmon their grandson. Their daughter Catherine married Jack De Gruchy, who became a leading trade union official.

Obituary, Tocsin (Melbourne), 31 July 1902 p 5; Merrifield card index, La Trobe Library, Victoria; entries in Australian Dictionary of Biography, volumes 10 and 18 on John and Nelson Lemmon.

Additional Resources

  • photo, Labor Call (Melbourne), 29 August 1912, p 5

Citation details

'Lemmon, Samuel Lambert (Sam) (1832–1902)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Samuel Lemmon

Samuel Lemmon

Leader (Melbourne), 2 August 1902, p 3

Life Summary [details]


Londonderry, Ireland


25 July, 1902 (aged ~ 70)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

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