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Catherine Mary Talbot (c. 1837–1907)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Catherine Mary Talbot, née Finegan (c.1837-1907) iron moulder’s wife and community worker

Birth: about 1837 in London, England, daughter of James Finegan, sawyer. Marriage: 14 July 1856 in parish church of St Paul, Bermondsey, London, to John Richard (Jack) Talbot (1833-1905), an iron moulder and trade union official born in Cork, Ireland. They had two daughters and three sons. Two children died in childhood, two other sons died in the 1890s. Death: 16 June 1907 at her residence in Flinders Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales. Religion: Catholic. 

  • Came to New South Wales with her husband in 1861.
  • After an accident to his foot prevented her husband following his trade as an iron moulder, it seems he and wife ran a tobacconist shop, first in Bathurst Street, Sydney, then at Flinders Street, Darlinghurst.
  • In 1889 she was appointed to the original council of the Queen Victoria Jubilee Fund, chaired by Lady Carrington, the governor’s wife, for “the relief of distressed women”. Talbot remained active in this charitable organisation, chaired by successive vice-regal ladies, until her death.
  • In October 1891 the moulders union presented Mr Talbot with a very neat present in the shape of a reticule for Mrs Talbot.
  • After Jack’s death she continued as a shopkeeper.
  • One obituarist reported that she “always took a keen interest in the cause of charity, and was, besides, staunch to the principles advocated by her husband”. The Worker described her as “a kindly little woman and as good a democrat as her husband”.
  • In her last years, Catherine Talbot published “in memoriam” press notices in the months of deaths of her youngest son Richard Edward (1874-1890), “never forgotten by his loving and lonely mother”, eldest son John Henry (1875-1896), “never forgotten by his lonely poor mother”, and her husband, whose notice was “inserted by his poor old wife”.
  • Cause of death cerebral haemorrhage and syncope.

Additional Resources

  • funeral, Daily Telegraph (Sydney), 19 June 1907, p 9
  • death notice, Worker (Wagga, NSW), 27 June 1907, p 3

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Talbot, Catherine Mary (c. 1837–1907)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Finegan, Catherine Mary

c. 1837
London, Middlesex, England


16 June, 1907 (aged ~ 70)
Darlinghurst, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


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