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Thomas Robinson (Tom) Musgrave (1866–1948)

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Thomas Robinson (Tom) Musgrave (1866-1948) saddler and trade union official 

Birth: 1866 at Wallsend, Newcastle, New South Wales, son of Robert Musgrave (1832-1917), a miner, born at Hartburn, Durham, England, and Isabella, née Robinson (1832-1909), born at Kinlaw Dumfries, Carmichael, Scotland. Marriage: 1891 at Wallsend to Agnes Ross Murray (1865-1940). They had two sons. Death: 8 January 1948 at his son’s residence in Bruce Street, Cook’s Hill, Newcastle. Religion: buried with Presbyterian forms. 

  • His parents and elder siblings had arrived in New South Wales as assisted immigrants aboard the Annie Wilson on 8 April 1862.
  • Early years were spent at Wallsend and he was a saddler at Plattsburg, Newcastle. In 1894, he was a saddler, of Clarke Street, Plattsburg, and was nominated for position of alderman on Plattsburg council. Bankrupted in 1899.
  • Foundation member and secretary of Wallsend and Plattsburg Cooperative Societies' Protective Association (later to become Newcastle branch of Shop Assistants' Union) with first meeting aiming to consider forming a union at Wallsend and Plattsburg. Employed as secretary from 1906 to 1933.
  • Union grew from 24 members in 1906 to 1500 in 1932. Appointed by NSW branch of Shop Assistants' Union to travel across the country with the Wages Board representing employees.
  • President and secretary of Newcastle Trades Hall Council. Member of the Australian Labor Party.
  • Old age pensioner in his later years. Lived in Bruce Street, Cook’s Hill from 1913 at least. Member of the Grand United Order of Free Gardeners, Royal Oak Lodge, No. 9.
  • Cause of death: broncho pneumonia, bronchitis and senility.

Morning Herald, 10 September 1932; Shop Assistant, January-March 1948, Vol. 22 No. 9.

Additional Resources

  • profile, Newcastle Morning Herald (NSW), 10 September 1932, p 12

Citation details

'Musgrave, Thomas Robinson (Tom) (1866–1948)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 17 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia


8 January, 1948 (aged ~ 82)
Newcastle, 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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Key Organisations
Political Activism