Dictionary of Welsh Biography

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THOMAS , LEWIS ( 1832 - 1913 ), pioneer of coal-mining in Queensland , Australia ;

b. 1832 , at Tal-y-bont, Cards. He m. Ann Morris at Llanfihangel-genau'r-glyn . Emigrating at the age of 27 he worked his way through Victoria to Queensland . In 1866 he cut the first ton of coal from the Bundamba coal-field and opened up the well-known Aberdare colliery , where he worked till 1890 , when its output reached between 50,000 and 60,000 tons per annum. Retiring from mining in 1894 he entered Parliament as member for Bundamba and, after being re-elected in 1896 , retired from the seat in 1899 . In 1902 he was called to the Legislative Council . The community which he helped to establish at Blackstone became the leading centre of Welsh life and culture in Queensland . He d. 16 Feb. 1913 , and was buried in Ipswich cemetery . He endowed a Lewis Thomas Scholarship , tenable at the University College of Wales , Aberystwyth , by students from Tal-y-bont and neighbourhood.


  • Queensland at Home (Brisbane, 1905) (Dept. of Agriculture, Brisbane, 1905 );
  • The History of the United Welsh Church of Blackstone (Brisbane, 1933) (Brisbane, 1933 ).


Reverend Professor John Oliver Stephens, M.A., B.D., (1880-1957), Carmarthen

Published date: 1959