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Hugh Peter MacDonald (1849–1906)

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Hugh McDonald, n.d.

Hugh McDonald, n.d.

Hugh Peter MacDonald (1849-1906) shearer, journalist and parliamentarian

Birth: 1849 at Duntulm, Inverness-shire, Scotland, son of Alexander MacDonald (1822-1877), commercial clerk, later collector of customs at the Isle of Man, and his first wife Eliza, née Cartwright (1826-c.1858). Marriage: 19 December 1898 with Wesleyan Methodist forms at Randwick, Sydney, New South Wales, to native-born Mary Davidson Hewat (1875-1921). They had one son. Death: 18 October 1906 in Callan Park asylum, Sydney. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Was a scholar at the Isle of Man in 1861. Went to sea at an early age. Arrived in Australia in 1875.
  • Worked on his uncle Hugh MacDonald’s Myall Creek station, Inverell, and in western NSW. Spent spare time studying political economy. Helped organise Shearers’ Union.
  • Became union agent at Coonamble in 1889. Employed in clerical work and contributed articles to Coonamble Independent, owned by G. E. Cass. After Cass’s death in 1892, MacDonald became part-owner with C. Mooy until his death. Also owned considerable property.
  • Active in Labor Leagues from 1891. Member of the Australian Labor Party’s central executive in 1898.
  • Elected member of the Legislative Assembly for the seat of Coonamble on 24 July 1894 and retained the seat until July 1904. Held the seat of Castlereagh, from 6 October 1904 until his death.
  • Alderman at Coonamble several times. Executive member of the Municipal Association of NSW from 1898 to 1902. Head of Coonamble Good Templars and a leading member of local Oddfellows.
  • Wrote verse and songs, including ‘Commonwealth Ode’ and ‘When the Empire Calls’.
  • Cause of death: general paralysis of the insane (1 month).

C. N. Connolly Biographical Register of the New South Wales Parliament 1856-1901 (ANU Press, Canberra, 1983); Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton (eds), Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979); Worker, (Wagga) 25 October 1906, p 2.

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Citation details

'MacDonald, Hugh Peter (1849–1906)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 13 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Hugh McDonald, n.d.

Hugh McDonald, n.d.

Life Summary [details]


Duntulm, Inverness-shire, Scotland


18 October, 1906 (aged ~ 57)
Lilyfield, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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.

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