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William Dover (c. 1860–1937)

by Martin Sullivan

This article was published:

This entry is from People Australia

William Dover, 1891

William Dover, 1891

Queensland State Archives, ITM341532, DR17773

William Dover (c.1860-1937) shearer and gaoled trade unionist 

Birth: probably the William Dover who was born c.1860 in Armidale, in New South Wales, son of Samuel Daniel Dover and Sarah, née Harvey. Unmarried. Had one daughter and three sons with Jemima Mayall, née Hughes, from 1902 to 1920. Death 12 March 1937 in Ipswich hospital. Religion: Anglican.

  • Travelled overland to Queensland in 1889. Worked as shearer and became involved in 1891 shearer’s strike.
  • Arrested on 9 April and charged with rioting and molesting hired servants at Peak Downs on 19 March 1891. Jailed for one month for molesting. Stood trial and convicted of unlawful assembly before Judge George Harding. Sentenced to two years hard labour; with a bond and sureties required to avoid further imprisonment for a year. Arrived St Helena Island, 28 May 1891.
  • Prison records indicate he was a shearer, born in New South Wales in 1860, could read and write, was of stout build, 5 feet 6 ½ inches (169 cm) tall, with a fresh complexion brown hair and blue eyes and had a scar on each arm. He gave his religion as Church of England.
  • Dover was released on 19 January 1893. On his release he received £92 10 shillings from the Prisoners’ Assistance Fund. He spoke with Thomas Glassey at political meetings.
  • Probably the William Dover who was later a labourer in the Darling Downs, Queensland.

Stuart Svensen, The shearers’ war; the story of the 1891 Shearer’s Strike (Brisbane,1989); Queensland State Archives, St Helena Penal Establishment, General Record and description of prisoners, July 1879-April 1895, PRI 2, 7/A; Queensland State Archives, Shearers Strike, 1891, unionists arrested. 

Additional Resources

Related Entries in NCB Sites

Citation details

Martin Sullivan, 'Dover, William (c. 1860–1937)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 June 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

William Dover, 1891

William Dover, 1891

Queensland State Archives, ITM341532, DR17773

Life Summary [details]


c. 1860
Armidale, New South Wales, Australia


12 March, 1937 (aged ~ 77)
Ipswich, Queensland, Australia

Cause of Death

prostate disease

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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