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John Granger Bradley Archive

John Granger Bradley's name and address, listed as Charters Towers, appear on the reverse of a land transfer document between Henry Kirk Harrison and Sarah Parkes, of Coseley, England, dated 1835. The connection between Bradley and the document has yet to be established.

Though Bradley's birth details have not been established, newspaper reports cite that he died on 14 September 1906 at Townsville, Queensland, and Amelia Adelaide Bradley was listed as his wife.Newspapers also carry notices of Bradley’s Will, dated 2 November 1895, for subdivision 21 of section 18 of subdivision 1 of portion 1A, County of Elphinstone, Parish of Coonambelah.

Newspaper articles regarding John Granger Bradley suggest that from at least June 1880 and into January 1881, Bradley was living in Spring Hill, Brisbane and working as a printer in Albert Street.  In August 1880 Bradley had advertised for a “partner to join in establishing a paper in a first-class provincial town.” Though little more information is available on this, by 1883 he was working for the Northern Miner (established 1872) in Charters Towers.

Bradley spent some years in Charters Towers working at the Northern Miner and was also secretary of the Charters Towers Mutual Improvement Association. His time there is notable for an assault and battery charge against a colleague, J. Cavanagh.  In court, Bradley testified that while at work one morning someone had brought a lizard into the office, upon which “the horrid thing” was dangled directly in Bradley’s face by Cavanagh. Someone unknown had then put the lizard in Bradley's coat pocket, which had been hanging on the wall, “thereby causing quite a severe shock to [his] nerves” when he donned his coat. Bradley endeavoured to speak to Mr O’Kane (Thaddeus, original editor of Northern Miner) about the matter but, as O’Kane was out, he returned and “applied the highly insulting epithet ‘skulk’ to Cavanagh.” Cavanagh was offended by this so kicked Bradley “in the place which nature made to be kicked.” Bradley repeated his accusation and Cavanagh repeated his kick. Bradley responded by picking up a screw-driver and a knife and brandished both around Cavanagh’s head. A scuffle ensued during which Cavanagh struck Bradley on the knees. As the episode was finally determined to be a “mere office lark,” the judge found it a “very paltry case” for which Cavanagh was fined Court and professional costs.

By the mid-1880s Bradley was living in Townsville where he worked with the railway department and was known as “an employee with a distinctive personality.” Bradley was one of thirteen foundation members and the first secretary of the Protestant Alliance Friendly Society of Australia’s (PAFSOA) Kennedy Lodge, No.29, in Townsville. After some time, he left the Kennedy lodge to become a foundation member of the Magnetic Lodge, No.37. Towards the late 1880s Bradley had established himself in Burketown, North Queensland, where he was employed as town clerk on the Burke Divisional Board. At some point, Bradley returned to Townsville where he also worked as a Clerk and remained until his death in 1906.

Digitised newspapers (various) on Trove, National Library of Australia,


Archive Location: 139L


Detailed Listing

BJG 1 Indenture made between Henry Kirk Harrison of Stourbridge in the County of Worcester and Sarah Parkes of Cosley in the Parish of Sedgley in the County of Stafford, England, 13 May 1835.

BJG 2 Indenture made between Henry Kirk Harrison of Stourbridge in the County of Worcester and Sarah Parkes of Cosley in the Parish of Sedgley in the County of Stafford, England, 14 May 1835.