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Duncan McIver (c. 1824–1900)

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This entry is from People Australia

Duncan McIver (c.1824-1900) tailor and trade union official 

Birth: about 1824 at Strathconnel, Ross-shire, Scotland, son of Donald McIver, labourer. Marriage: 10 July 1856 in Edinburgh, Scotland, to Elizabeth Turnbull (1831-1898). They had five sons and two daughters. Death: 28 October 1900 in Melbourne, Victoria. 

  • Departed Liverpool on 22 July 1856 and arrived in Melbourne aboard the Mermaid on 19 October 1856 with wife and his brother Donald (a cabinet maker, aged 23, who died of pulmonary consumption in January 1857). Worked as a tailor.
  • Melbourne Trades Hall Council (MTHC) delegate for Melbourne Tailors' Trade Protective Society/Amalgamated Society of Tailors in the 1880s. President, Trades Hall Committee, 1882.
  • Representative of MTHC on Board of Management of Working Men’s College, Melbourne.
  • A supporter of unionisation for women workers. In December 1882 moved successfully in MTHC for formation of Tailoresses' Society, subsequently known as Victorian Tailoresses' Union. Was President of the Tailoresses’ Association of Victoria. Clashed with Society secretary Henry Fowler over proposals for organisation of women workers.
  • About 1888 resigned as MTHC delegate after move by some Society members to unseat him failed narrowly.
  • Cause of death: pleurisy with effusion and hypostatic pneumonia.

Bradon Ellem, In women’s hands? A history of clothing trades unionism in Australia (Sydney, 1989); W. E Murphy, History of the eight hours’ movement, volume II, (Melbourne, 1900), p.158.

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Citation details

'McIver, Duncan (c. 1824–1900)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 16 July 2024.

© Copyright Labour Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]


c. 1824
Strathconnel, Ross, Scotland


28 October, 1900 (aged ~ 76)
Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

Cause of Death

pleural effusion

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