Guide to the Papers of Henry E. Boote

MS 2070

National Library of Australia

Date completed: 1973
Last updated: May 2000

Collection Summary

Creator: Boote, Henry E. (Henry Ernest), 1868-1949
Title: Papers of Henry E. Boote
Date Range: 1903-1961
Collection Number: MS 2070
Extent: 34 centimetres (2 boxes)
Repository: National Library of Australia
Abstract: Correspondence, diaries, press cuttings, printed material, photographs, poetry, short stories, biographical notes and articles and notes for speeches. Largely concerned with Boote's career as a poet and his activities as editor of the Australian Worker.


Scope and Content

The collection consists of correspondence, diaries, press cuttings, printed material, invitations and greeting cards, talks, poetry, short stories, biographical notes and photographs.

The papers include a manuscript poem 'I look forth' (1936); pen and ink illustrations for a book of poetry As I went by; an article on 'Black labour traffic' (1894), and a summons to Boote and John Bailey for contempt of court relating to the case of Donald Grant (1916).

There are letters (c.1916-1949) from about 60 correspondents, including the American Federation of Labor, Frank Anstey, Arthur Bayldon, C.E.W. Bean, E.J. Brady, Frank Brennan, J. Le Gay Brereton, D. Cameron, John Curtin, Clive Evatt, H.V. Evatt, C.G. Fallon, Andrew Fisher, A.W. Foster, Dame Mary Gilmore, Elioth Gruner, R.J. Heffron, Jack Lindsay, Lionel Lindsay, Sir William McKell, Katharine S. Prichard, Rod Quinn, Michael Sawtell, J. Scullin, E.G. Theodore, the United Irish League and E.J. Ward. The letters mostly concern The Australian Worker, with one group on the early closing campaign of 1916.


The collection is available for reference.


The bulk of the papers were received after Henry Boote's death in August 1949 from Mary Ellen Lloyd, a life-long friend. Some additional correspondence and other items were received in 1968. Boote's papers from 1911 to 1949 are concerned with his career as a poet and with his work as editor of the Australian Worker.

Copying and Publishing

Copying and publishing of unpublished manuscript material is subject to copyright restrictions. For such material, written permission to publish must be obtained from the copyright holder(s). Copying of unpublished material for research purposes is permissible 50 years after the death of the creator of the material.

Bibliography of Henry E. Boote's published works

A new power has arisen: the new power of labor movement, A.L.P. Golden Jubilee Committee, 50 years of Labor, 1940.
As I went by (poems), Sydney, 1933.
Bailey, M.L.A. exonerated; a frame-up exposed. Report of inquiry, with comments by H.E.B., Sydney, Central Branch, A.W.U., 1923.
The case of Grant: fifteen years for fifteen words, Social Democratic League, (n.d.).
The catholicity of socialism, Brisbane, 189?.
Conscription must be rejected, Sydney, 1942.
The dim rainbow and other poems, Sydney, 1951(?). Some of the poems previously published in the Australian Worker.
A fool's talk, Sydney, 1915.
Guilty or not guilty? An examination of the I.W.W. cases, Sydney, 1920.
I look forth (poems), Sydney, 1937.
The land of wheresit: a cycle of tales that begins at the end and ends at the beginning, Sydney, 1919.
Letters to John Workman, and capital and labour at the bar of reason, by W. Nelson. Also criticism by ... M. Atkinson and H.E. Boote. Sydney, 1919. (Cover title: The riddle of industry).
May Day - a commemoration poem written for the great May Day demonstration in Sydney, May 1938.
More about the O.B.U., Sydney, 1919.
O.B.U., why it failed, Sydney, 1924.
Religion, science and socialism, Brisbane, 1892 (Leaflets for the people, no.2).
Set the twelve men free, Sydney, 1919.
Sidelights on two referendums,1916-1917 : compiled by Mary Ellen Lloyd, Sydney, 1952.
The siren city (a poem), Sydney, 1935.
Tea with the devil and other diversions, Sydney, 1928.
The truth about the land tax, Brisbane, 1914.
Unemployment conference proposals by A.W.U., Sydney, 1928.

Preferred Citation

Items from this collection should be cited as '[Title or description of manuscript item], Papers of Henry E. Boote, National Library of Australia, MS 2070, [series and item number]'.

Biographical Note

Henry Ernest Boote was born in Liverpool, England, on 20 May, 1865, the eldest of six children of Joseph Henry Boote and his wife Elizabeth Hampden, née Jolley. He was educated at Liverpool Public School, emigrated to Australia in 1889 and worked as a compositor in Brisbane for five years.

In 1889 Boote married Mary Jane Paingdestre in Brisbane. They had one son, Bernard Newman Boote, and two daughters, who became Mrs E. Godwin and Mrs M. Lusk. His wife died in 1952. Boote became editor of the Bundaberg Guardian in 1894, and in 1897 he was asked by Andrew Fisher to establish the Gympie Truth. In 1902 Boote was appointed editor of the Queensland Worker, a pioneer Labor newspaper of Australia. In 1911 he moved to Sydney to join the Australian Worker as leader and feature writer. He became editor of the Australian Worker in 1914 and remained in the position until 1943. He was trustee of the Australian Workers Union and played an active part in the anti-conscription campaign of 1917. From 1926 to 1942 Boote was also a trustee of the New South Wales Public Library and the Mitchell Library.

Boote died at his home in Rose Bay on 14 August 1949. His papers had been carefully preserved by Mary Ellen Lloyd, a writer and close friend, who died in 1967. His many published writings are listed in the bibliography accompanying this finding aid.

The Australian encyclopedia, vol. 2. Sydney: Angus and Robertson, 1958.
Green, H.M. A history of Australian literature, Sydney: Angus & Robertson, 1961.
Jauncey, Leslie C. The story of conscription in Australia, London: G. Allen, 1935.
Evatt, H.V. Australian labour leader, London: Angus & Robertson, 1945.
Lang, J.T. I remember, Sydney: Invincible Press, (n.d.).
Australian Dictionary of Biography, vol 7, p. 342-343.

Series List and Descriptions

Series 1 Correspondence, 1903-1961

This series contains personal and business letters of Henry Boote during the period 1903-1949. Included also are letters to and from Mary Ellen Lloyd relating to Boote and to his papers, written from 1949 to 1961. Other correspondents include Frank Anstey, John Curtin, H.V. Evatt, Dame Mary Gilmore, Sir Lionel Lindsay, James McGirr, Sir William McKell, Walter Murdoch, Nettie Palmer, Katharine S. Prichard, Roderic Quinn, J.H. Scullin and E.G. Theodore.

Series 2 Diaries, 1940-1943

This series comprises two items: diary in notebook, 13 February to 31 December 1940; and diary in exercise book, 1 January 1941 to 29 January 1943.

Series 3 Press cuttings

This series contains reviews of poetry by Boote, book reviews and articles concerning Boote and his contributions to the Australian Worker and the Labor Call.

Series 4 Printed materials

This series includes: Shakespearean quarterly, vol.1, no.2, April 1922; The Rationalist, vol.25, no.5, September 1949; Presidential campaign funds, 1944; Golden jubilee of the Australian Workers Union, souvenir agenda paper, Ballarat, 1886-1936; The New South Wales school magazine, vol.39, no.6, August 1954; The oldest passenger railways in the world; Sidelights on two referendums, 1916-1917, comp. by M.E. Lloyd.

Series 5 Invitations and greeting cards

This series includes Christmas cards, invitations, programmes and the pen and ink drawings by Boote for his book of poems As I went by.

Series 6 Photographs

The photographs from this series are housed in the National Library's Pictures Section under the headings 'Boote, H.E.' and 'Conferences'.

Series 7 Articles and notes for speeches

The series contains drafts and notes for articles and speeches including: Whither? by Touchstone (i.e. H.E. Boote) (Vanguard leaflet no.17); Forty years after, an unpublished article by Boote, looking back over the period of his career in journalism; review of the manuscript of Boote's Slaves of freedom; Boote's notes for speeches on Collective security, May Day, The age of lies, Poisoners past and present; and other miscellaneous notes.

Series 8 Poetry

The series includes manuscripts of I look forth, poems to Nellie (Mary Ellen Lloyd), poem to Bonzer (his pet dog), typescripts of his other poems and poems by J.L. Jolley, a cousin who lived in England.

Series 9 Short stories

Drafts of short stories written by Boote and J.L. Jolley.

Series 10 Biographical notes

A folder with biographical material, some of which is typescript. Photocopies of press reports and some press cuttings are also included.

Name Index to Correspondence

All correspondence in the papers has been indexed, the numbers below being underlined to indicate authorship, non-underlining indicating receipt of a letter. The figure preceding the solidus (/) indicates the series, figures after the solidus indicate the item, e.g. 1/252. Since the bulk of the correspondence is with Boote, letters to him have been indexed only under the writer's name, and not under Boote.

ADAMSON, John, Rev. 1/3
ALLEN, Stanley 1/24
ANDERSON, Andrew M. 1/99-101
ANSTEY, Frank 1/71, 1/73-8
ASHTON, John William (Will) 1/119
BARKER, Thomas 1/51-2
BARNES, John 1/122
BAYLDON, Arthur A. 1/298
BEAN, Charles E.W. 1/227
BEEBY, George S., Judge 1/109
BLACKBURN, Maurice M. 1/157, 1/282
BLAKELEY, Arthur 1/144
BOOTE, Henry Ernest 1/63, 1/69, 1/188-9, 1/190, 1/205-7, 1/208-11, 1/212-4, 1/216, 1/217, 1/218, 1/254, 1/257-8, 1/259-63, 1/269, 1/270, 1/280, 1/284, 1/285, 1/297, 1/300, 1/325, 1/326-8, 1/330, 1/337-41
BRADY, Edwin J. 1/28
BRENNAN, Frank 1/40
BRERETON, J. Le Gay 1/81
BROOKFIELD, Percy 1/42
BROOMFIELD, Frederick 1/128-9
BUCKLAND, George H. 1/358-9
BURGMANN, Ernest Henry, Bishop 1/225
BURKE, Frank 1/150
BURKE, M.A. 1/370
CAMERON, Donald 1/287, 1/361, 1/379, 1/391-2, 1/393
CASSIDY, Robert J. 1/317-9, 1/331-2
COLLINGS, Joseph S. 1/1
CONNORS, Frank P. 1/349
COUSINS, W.G. 1/188-9
CROSS, Zora 1/92-3
CURTIN, John 1/83, 1/197, 1/291, 1/321
DEANS, Absalom 1/18
DEMAINE, Billy 1/149
DONOVAN, Everil 1/86
DONOVAN, Timothy J. 1/131, 1/134, 1/136, 1/146, 1/148, 1/150, 1/330
DUNSTAN, Thomas 1/146, 1/191, 1/293-4, 1/324
EARL, Agnes, Mrs 1/111
EGLINTON, Dudley 1/27
EVATT, Clive R. 1/289, 1/313
EVATT, Herbert V., Dr. 1/278, 1/295
FALLON, Clarence G. 1/198-9, 1/284, 1/307, 1/337, 1/342-3
FISHER, Andrew 1/36
FOSTER, Alfred W., Judge 1/250
FRASER, R., Mrs 1/151
FRAZER, Donald E. 1/14
GARDEN, John Smith (Jock) 1/60
GATES, Frederick 1/147
GEDDES, William B. 1/187
GILMORE, Mary, Dame 1/79
GOMPERS, Samuel 1/15-6
GOODE, Cyril E. 1/354
GRANT, Donald 1/38
GRATTAN, Hartley 1/280
GRAYNDLER, Edward 1/134, 1/144, 1/145, 1/146, 1/147, 1/149, 1/269, 1/272, 1/274-6
GROVER, Montague 1/96
GRUNER, Elioth 1/395
HANCOCK, Marjorie 1/386-7, 1/389
HANLON, John S. 1/88, 1/137, 1/148
HAY, W. Beecher 1/300, 1/306
HEFFRON, Robert J. 1/252, 1/382
HEGNEY, William 1/201
HENEY, Thomas William 1/31
HENKEL, H. 1/145
HIGGS, William G. 1/11, 1/311
HOYLE, John 1/352
HUGHES, J.R. 1/270
HYNES, Maurice Patrick 1/136
IFOULD, William H. 1/219-20, 1/267
JAGEURS, N.D. 1/44
JAMES, Jeffrey C. 1/376
JAUNCEY, Leslie C. 1/380
JOHNSON, Herbert Victor 1/304
JOLLEY, J. Leo 1/333-4
JONES, Thomas 1/113
JUKES, Edwin 1/34
KEY, Lionel C. 1/366
LAMOND, Hector 1/9
LARCOMBE, Jones 1/139-42, 1/309
LEMMON, John 1/154, 1/155, 1/158
LINDSAY, Jack 1/239
LINDSAY, Lionel 1/229-32
LLOYD, Mary Ellen 1/27, 1/55-9, 1/63, 1/207, 1/208-11, 1/212-4, 1/216, 1/217, 1/218, 1/254, 1/285, 1/297, 1/325, 1/347, 1/349, 1/351, 1/352, 1/354, 1/356, 1/361, 1/363, 1/365, 1/366, 1/367, 1/368, 1/370, 1/372, 1/374, 1/376, 1/378, 1/379, 1/380, 1/382, 1/383-4, 1/386-7, 1/389, 1/391-2, 1/393
LLOYD, William 1/55
McDERMOTT, S.J. 1/5, 1/7
McGIRR, James 1/351
MACKANESS, George 1/103
McKELL, William J. (later Sir William) 1/193
MACLAURIN, C., Dr 1/61
MALONEY, William R.N. 1/132, 1/181
MANNING, Henry 1/257-8, 1/259-63
MARTENS, George W. 1/302
MERIVALE, Gustave 1/46
METCALFE, John W. 1/356
MILES, William J 1/47
MURDOCH, Walter (later Sir Walter) 1/105
MURPHY, E.G. 1/124
MUTCH, Thomas 1/67
NELSON, Wallace 1/97
NEWTON, A.C. 1/245-6
O'CONNOR, Peggy 1/90
O'DEA, Ernest C. 1/358-9
O'LOGHLEN, Peter 1/49
O'REILLY, M.J., Father 1/35
O'SULLIVAN, Timothy 1/255
PALMER, Nettie 1/107
PRENDERGAST, George M. 1/159
PRICHARD, Katharine S. 1/243
QUINN, Flora A. 1/20
QUINN, John J. 1/121
QUINN, Roderick 1/222-3, 1/310, 1/315
RAMSAY, Max 1/115-7, 1/347
RIORDAN, William James 1/153
RIVETT, A., Rev.
RODERICK, Colin 1/383-4
SAWTELL, Michael 1/184-5
SCULLIN, James H. 1/195, 1/326-8, 1/329
SMITH, Stephen H. 1/126
STONEHAM, Clive P. 1/322
TEMBY, Henry S. 1/336, 1/368, 1/378
THEODORE, Edward G. 1/84
THOMPSON, Albert W. 1/247-8
TOOMBES, Arthur 1/21
TUNNECLIFFE, Thomas 1/203
WARD, Edward J. 1/345
WARNECKE, George 1/241
WHITE, Harold L. (later Sir Harold) 1/363, 1/365, 1/267, 1/372, 1/374
WILSON, Hardy 1/234-7