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Northey, Richard (Dick) (1863–1953)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Richard ‘Dick’ Northey (1863-1953) compositor, trade unionist and freemason 

Birth: 24 June 1863 at Redruth, Cornwall, England, son of John Pearce Northey (1838-1923), tin and copper miner, and Eliza, née Temby. Marriage: 12 July 1899 at Lithgow, New South Wales, to Margaret ‘Maggie’ Taylor. Death: 18 June 1953 at Burwood, Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Anglican. 

  • From 1866 the family lived in the United States of America, where Dick was educated. Early in 1877 they returned briefly to England where he worked as an errand boy.
  • He arrived in New South Wales with his parents and siblings as assisted immigrants aboard the Pericles in December 1877 and the family settled at Bathurst. Here he served his apprenticeship as a printer.
  • Dick worked as a journeyman compositor, was active in the Salvation Army in Wellington, and in 1888 joined the NSW Typographical Association. In 1889 he settled back in Bathurst, as founding member of the mechanical staff of the National Advocate and in 1891 was initiated in freemasonry at Lodge 79, later Bathurst United Lodge.
  • About 1893 Northey moved to Lithgow and worked for the Lithgow Mercury until he retired in June 1928.
  • For many years secretary of Lithgow branch of NSWTA, Northey was founding general secretary of the Lithgow Eight-Hour & Labor Day demonstration committee from c.1900.
  • In 1938 ‘Uncle Dick’ visited his birthplace in Cornwall, where he attended various Masonic lodges.
  • Member of the Masonic Combined Lodge of Sorrow at Lithgow.

Labor Daily
, 17 Oct. 1924; information from G. Patmore.

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Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Northey, Richard (Dick) (1863–1953)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 2 June 2023.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


24 June, 1863
Redruth, Cornwall, England


18 June, 1953 (aged 89)
Burwood, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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.

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