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William Millar (1837–1916)

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Millar, William (1837-1916) pattern maker and trade union official 

Birth: 1837 at Glasgow, Scotland, son of William Millar, engineer; mothers details not known. Marriage: 1858 at Glasgow to Margaret Tully (c.1836-1929). They had one daughter and seven sons. Death: 28 January 1916 in hospital at Newcastle, New South Wales. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Apprenticed patternmaker in Glasgow, Scotland. Admitted as a member of the Amalgamated Society of Engineers (ASE), Glasgow branch, in 1856. Arrived in Queensland about 1860. Moved to Sydney in 1863.
  • Was undermanager at Fitzroy Iron Works. “Led the iron trades to victory in the memorable eight-hour strike” about 1871. Victimised by employers for strike activity, he couldn’t find work in Sydney. However, his friends had “recognized his services and his worth by presenting him with £200”. He set up and managed his own business for a few years.
  • Moved to Newcastle and gained work as a foreman with Morison and Bearby’s at Carrington. Office holder in the ASE for forty years including secretary of Sydney and Newcastle branches.
  • Chairman of the Eight-hours’ Demonstration Committee, Newcastle, about 1884 and secretary for several years. Trustee of ASE Newcastle branch and its Friendly Society.
  • In 1912 presented by ASE, Newcastle District, with certificate of merit and several sovereign coins for his service as a member of the ASE for 56 years.
  • Committee member of the Newcastle School of Arts. Member on several hospital committees.
  • Cause of death: cerebral haemorrhage and coma.

ASE AC Monthly Report, September 1912, March 1916.

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Citation details

'Millar, William (1837–1916)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 23 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Scotland


28 January, 1916 (aged ~ 79)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

brain hemorrhage

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