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Julian Alexander Stuart (1866–1929)

from Worker

Word was received in Brisbane last week that our old friend and comrade, Julian Stuart, had passed away at his home in Perth (W.A.) after a long and painful illness. Julian, as nearly every reader of "The Worker" is already aware, was one of that staunch little band of stalwart pioneers who laid the foundation stone of the Australian Labor Movement, and who faced all sorts of dangers and difficulties in defence of industrial freedom in the stirring nineties. Along with a dozen others whose names are household words in Queensland, Julian was arrested in Clermont during the progress of the Shearers' Strike in 1891, and having been leg ironed and dragged in chains half way around the country, he and his companions were sentenced to three years hard labour at Rockhampton by Judge Harding. The trial of the union prisoners of '91, of whom Julian Stuart was the youngest, makes most interesting reading, told as it was by William Lane in the columns of "The Worker," which he founded early in the previous year. Stuart, who was not more than a youth, was the youngest of the whole batch, and he was sentenced to three years imprisonment to be served in the Rockhampton Jail. The young fellow, who was high spirited, was not by any means robust, and before his three years had been concluded was moved by the doctor's orders to St. Helena and Toowoomba jails. The story of his incarceration and of the experiences of his mates and the life of the toilers inside and outside the jails of those days have been told many times in "The Worker" and other Labor papers by Julian Stuart himself, because when he was in prison he studied hard, and was released a well educated and accomplished writer. Soon after his release in 1894, Julian Stuart found his way to Western Australia, where he lived practically ever since, following at different times the occupations of a miner, a construction worker, a newspaper editor, a timber worker and latterly a free lance journalist. Some eight or ten years ago Julian Stuart met with a very serious accident, which paralysed his right side and made him a permanent cripple. He then learned to write with his left hand, and under this disability he turned out some of his most interesting work, until early this year a general paralysis set in, which finally terminated his life. Julian Stuart was a native of the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, and was teaching school before coming to Queensland to take part in the Shearers' Strike. On his release from St. Helena in 1894, he married Miss Florrie Collings, who, with a family mostly grown up, is left to mourn his loss. Julian Stuart was a great fighter, against whom the odds were always unfortunately very heavy, but his life was one of much achievement, and his memory will still be green in the minds of future generations when perhaps most of the great names of his own day and ours will have been forgotten. Peace be with him!

Original publication

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Citation details

'Stuart, Julian Alexander (1866–1929)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 18 May 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Stuart, John Alexander
  • Curlew
  • Saladin

18 December, 1866
Eagleton, New South Wales, Australia


3 July, 1929 (aged 62)
Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Cause of Death


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