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Payne, John (Jack) (1860–1928)

John Payne (1860-1928) shearer, miner, blacksmith, trade union official and politician 

Birth: 9 November 1860 at Spring Valley, Goulburn, New South Wales, son of Yorkshire-born William Payne and Mary, née Brogham, who had been born in Clare, Ireland. Marriage: 2 July 1892 at Rockhampton, Queensland, to native-born Elizabeth Catherine Ahern. They had eight daughters and three sons. Death: 14 January 1928 in Brisbane. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Payne’s paternal grandfather William (c.1804-1840) was born in Leicestershire, and died in Bungonia, NSW, where he was the first sergeant of Police. Payne’s maternal grandfather, Brogan, was Irish and came to Australia as a convict.
  • Educated at private and State schools in New South Wales. Moved to Queensland in 1881 where he worked as a shearer, miner and bushworker. Failed as a blacksmith at Arrilah in 1885-86. Was a miner at Croydon in 1886, then a shearer on the Flinders, Barcoo and Thompson rivers.
  • Participated in a dispute at Portland Downs in 1890, and during the shearers’ strike of 1891 was elected a member of the strike committee which was formed after all members of the previous committee were arrested and imprisoned in context of shearers strike. He avoided arrest.
  • Worked as a blacksmith at Longreach in 1891-95 and became an organiser for the Amalgamated Workers' Union; Chairman, Public Works Committee;
  • Australian Labor Party member of the Legislative Assembly for Mitchell, Queensland from 1905 until his death, when the seat was won by his previous campaign manager ‘Dick’ Bow.
  • Foundation member of Longreach branch of the Hibernian Australasian Catholic Benefit Society.

Duncan B. Waterson, Biographical Register of the Queensland Parliament 1860-1929 (second revised edition, Sydney 2001), p.153; Stuart Svensen, The Shearers' War: the story of the 1891 shearers' strike (Brisbane, 1989), p.180 (photo); Westralian Worker, 31 Feb. 1928 p.2; Australian Worker, 11 Jan. 1928 p.1S 

Citation details

'Payne, John (Jack) (1860–1928)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/payne-john-jack-32303/text39992, accessed 1 July 2022.

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