People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Robert Mitchell (1858–1940)

by Peter D. Gardner

This article was published:

Robert Alexander Mitchell (1858-1940) coalminer, trade union official, and farmer

Birth: 12 December 1858 at Brackenhills, Beith, Ayrshire, Scotland, son of James Mitchell (1816-1887), iron miner, and Elizabeth, née Crawford (1821-1892). Marriage: 22 April 1889 with Presbyterian forms at the Manse, Palmer Street, Sydney, New South Wales, to Margaret Lamont (1865-1936), a domestic servant born in Scotland. They had four daughters and five sons. Death: 19 May 1940 at Northcote, Melbourne; usual residence Sale, Victoria. 

  • In the Scotland census of 1871 Robert was described as a coal miner, aged 12, living with his family at Riccarton, Ayrshire, as he was in the following census, in 1881, aged 21.
  • Arrived in Victoria about 1885.
  • Was a miner, working at Bulli, New South Wales, in 1889. He had moved to Coalville, Gippsland, Victoria, by the birth of his eldest daughter Elizabeth in March 1890.
  • Considered an agitator by the managing director of Outtrim mine (Victoria). Arrived with a party of men from Coalville district (Victoria) that included Thomas McNair and A. A. Wilson.
  • Worked at Outtrim mine for seven years and was auditor of Victorian Coal Miners' Association in 1897.
  • Made toast to 'trade unionism' at the farewell to Wilson in 1904. Still resident in district in 1908. Moved to a farm at Gunya, Foster, Gippsland, about 1913.
  • Occupation given as farmer (retired) on his death certificate. Cause of death: myocarditis and arteriosclerosis.
  • His eldest son, Archibald Lamont Mitchell (d.1960) born in June 1891 at Coalville, was wounded serving in the Australian Imperial Forces in World War I and also served in World War II.

Sources
Outtrim News
; Great Southern Advocate; 1906 Victorian Royal Commission into Coal Industry; P. D. Gardner, Too old to rat: the radical miners of South Gippsland 1893-1904 (Ensay, Victoria, 1994).

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Peter D. Gardner, 'Mitchell, Robert (1858–1940)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/mitchell-robert-33767/text42270, accessed 19 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Birth

12 January, 1858
brackenhills, Ayrshire, Scotland

Death

19 May, 1940 (aged 82)
Northcote, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

heart disease

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.

Occupation
Key Events
Key Organisations