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Whiteley King, John (1857–1905)

from Freeman's Journal

We are sure it will not detract from the sympathetic note evoked by the death, after four years' illness, of Mr. Whiteley King, that in the early nineties he was almost universally detested by the workmen of this State. It was due to the fact that he was secretary to the Pastoralists' Union when the great shearers' strike occurred, and that the only cause he recognised was that of his union. We need not allot the merits of that strike at this time of day. There were mistakes on both sides, and the neutral public was the loser. But this will be remembered, that Mr. Whiteley King's loyalty to his masters, his apparently utter want of sympathy with the workers, his almost cynical reliance upon 'freedom of contract' as a complete answer to the shearers' grievance, and his fighting qualities as a whole, prolonged the strike beyond reasonable limits. He is now dead, and the old pagan saying may well apply: 'De mortuis nil nisi bonum.'

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Citation details

'Whiteley King, John (1857–1905)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/whiteley-king-john-32356/text40103, accessed 13 August 2022.

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Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • King, John Whiteley
Birth

22 February, 1857
Auckland, New Zealand

Death

21 December, 1905 (aged 48)
Gladesville, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

syphillis

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