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Jabez Wright (1852–1922)

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Jabez Wright (1852-1922) carpenter, undertaker, trade unionist, politician 

Birth: 25 April 1852 in Greenwich, London, England, son of Jabez Gladstone Wright (1825-1911), carpenter, and Mary Ann, née Gleaves (1831-1890). Marriage: 15 January 1880 in Gladstone, South Australia, to Honora Kearney. They had four sons and two daughters. Death: 10 September 1922 in Bondi, Sydney. Religion: Anglican.             

  • Carpenter and joiner in Greenwich, ran away to sea aged 19 and worked in North and South America. Joined Amalgamated Carpenters' Union in Canada in 1876. Returned to England for 6 months.
  • Arrived in Port Adelaide, South Australia, as a government immigrant aboard the Eaton Hall in June 1877, was a builder at Petersburg. Formed a local branch of Amalgamated Carpenters' Union.
  • Moved to Broken Hill in 1888. Carpenter and undertaker trading as O'Connor and Co. Member of Australian Workers' Union for 17 yrs. Life member, Amalgamated Miners' Association. Helped found Daily Truth (later Barrier Daily Truth). President of Barrier District Assembly. Broken Hill candidate to annual Labor Conference in Sydney.
  • Alderman in Broken Hill from 1896 to 1902, was first Labor mayor in 1900-01 and again later for a term.
  • Was an Australian Labor Party candidate for the seat of Alma in the NSW Legislative Assembly in 1901 and for the Federal Senate in 1908.
  • Elected ALP member for Willyama on 6 December 1913. Lost seat in February 1920. Held the seat of Sturt from 30 August 1921 (casual vacancy) to his death.
  • Member, Labor Party, Bondi Junction.

Heather Radi, Peter Spearritt & Elizabeth Hinton, Biographical Register of the NSW Parliament 1901-1970 (Canberra, 1979) [Note: year of death incorrect].; Worker (Wagga), 5 November 1908, p 23; Carpenters' Monthly Journal, October 1922, p 14; Daily Mail, 11 September 1922, p 4; Australian Worker, 13 September 1922, p 12.

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Citation details

'Wright, Jabez (1852–1922)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 July 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Jabez Wright, 1913

Jabez Wright, 1913

Australian Worker (Sydney), 27 November 1913, p 5

Life Summary [details]


25 April, 1852
London, Middlesex, England


10 September, 1922 (aged 70)
Bondi, 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.

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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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