Henry Richey was born in Dublin, Ireland in 1817 to parents Andrew Richey (1780-1825) and Sarah Ridgely (1783-1853). Andrew was a linen draper of Dame Street in Dublin. Andrew and Sarah were married in Dublin in September 1807.
Henry was one of eight children born to the couple including Thomas (1809-1878), Andrew (1812-1853), Richard (1813-1877), Arthur (1814-1842), George (1815-1849), Edward (1821-1853) and sister Sarah (1819-1876).
Henry’s older brothers were all educated at Trinity College in Dublin and two of them became Vicars in the Church of Ireland – Richard and Edward, and two were doctors Arthur and George. The family lived at 57 Waterloo Road, Dublin.
Unfortunately, Henry’s father Andrew died when Henry was only eight years old, leaving his older brothers and mother to manage. Henry’s mother Jane died in 1853.
Henry married Jane Christian Chapman on 6 December 1837 in Dublin by license.
Christian Jane Chapman was born in 1818 in Dublin to parents John Chapman (b 1795) and Margaret (1805-1876). She was the oldest of four children born to the couple. Jane’s father John worked and resided at a wholesale lace warehouse at 7 Lower Ormond Quay, Dublin.
She was baptised on 5 January 1818 at St Mary, Church of Ireland, Dublin. She had three brothers Daniel b 1820, Andrew b 1821 and John b 1824.
Henry and Jane had nine children –
- 1838 Margaret b Glasnevin, Dublin d 1919 East Melbourne married George Carrighan
- 1840 Jane b Holborn, London d 1873 Alexandra married William De Ross
- 1842 Arthur J C R b London d 1884 Alexandra married Bridget Mangan
- 1846 Sarah b London d 1912 Waverley NSW married Charles Ashbee & John Levy
- 1848 Susannah b Shoreditch, Lon d 1933 Clifton Hill, Vic marr Joseph Newbound
- 1849 Henry b London d 1917 Avenel, Vic married Margaret Gilbert
- 1851 Frances b Islington, London d 1913 Collingwood
- 1854 Edward b Sandhurst, Vic d 1921 Taree NSW married Susannah Bacon
- 1860 Emily b Ararat d 1861 Ararat
In 1838 Henry and Jane were living in Glasnevin, North Dublin when their first child Margaret was born.
I haven’t been able to find the family in the 1841 English census, but know they were in London by 1840 as their daughter Jane’s birth was registered in the Holborn registration district that year.
In March 1851 the family were living at at 11 Everilda Street, Islington West, London at the time of their daughter Frances’ birth.
A few weeks later in the 1851 census, they have moved to 15 Belitha Terrace in Islington, London, and Henry and Jane, have children Margaret, Jane, Arthur, Sarah, Susan, and Henry, and Frances.
On 8 August 1851 Henry and Jane had all five of their children baptised at St George Botolph Lane in London (Jane, Arthur, Sarah, Susannah and Henry).
Henry, aged 35, was working as a commercial traveller, selling wares. Unfortunately in 1852 Henry Richey was charged with stealing his masters music box.
He was sent to Newgate prison on 5 January 1852 awaiting his trial which was held in April.
He was charged with larceny by a servant and found guilty, and sentenced to a year in the House of Correction, but luckily for him his sentence was respited and he was given no further punishment.
A full copy of the trial which was reported in the Morning Chronicle Newspaper of London is available to read here.
On his entrance to Newgate prison Henry was described as a traveller, brown hair, hazel eyes and slender. He was accused of stealing 1 tablet with chains, 1 musical box and cigar case the goods of Alexander Berens and his master. He pleaded guilty to the charge.
Henry’s brother Thomas Macauley Richey (1809-1878) was also sentenced to a year in prison after being convicted of stealing from his master (8 yards of silk) in 1863.
Not long after Henry’s trial ended the family decided to put their unfortunate London life behind them and start a new life a long way away.
They left London and arrived in Port Phillip Bay, Melbourne, Australia on 11 September 1853 aboard the passenger ship “Hanover”.
Aboard the ship were Henry 36 and Jane 35, Margaret 14, Jane 12, Sarah 8, Susan 5, Frances 1, Arthur and Henry.
Also travelling with the family were two of her uncles Andrew and Rev Edward Richey.
Unfortunately brother Andrew died on the voyage out, aged 41 years, and brother Edward died as soon as they landed.
The Richey family initially went to the Bendigo goldfields (Sandhurst) where their child Edward was born in 1854. Henry tried his luck as a wine merchant.
In January 1855 Henry wrote a great long letter to editor of The Age newspaper. He was secretary of a benevolent organisation set up to provide relief to families that were affected by the burning down of the Allen’s Sandridge Hotel.
He invited subscriptions (donations) by banks, clergy, gentleman to help. On 23rd January the fire broke out at Nankivell’s Store in Bay Street, Sandridge and spread to several buildings and destroyed more than 30 wooden houses.
Then in 1857 the family moved to Maryborough, where Henry had general store and newsagency on the gold diggings near Maryborough at Chinaman’s Flat.
In August 1857 he placed an advertisement in the newspaper dissolving his partnership with Mr Martin Marshall by mutual agreement.
In 1858 the newspaper reported a robbery at Mr Richey’s store at Havelock near Maryborough. Henry also advertised himself as an agent for the Maryborough and Dunolly Advertiser newspaper at Mount Ararat.
They then moved to Ararat where Henry had a newsagency. Their daughter Emily was born there in 1860, but sadly died on the same day as Henry’s wife Jane, aged 40, on 11 January 1861 when she was only five months old. Jane’s cause of death was phisitis (tuberculosis). Baby Emily’s cause of death was dysentery.
Jane and her daughter Emily were buried in the Ararat cemetery on 13th January 1861.
Henry and the remaining children – Margaret 21, Jane 17, Arthur 15, Sarah 12, Susan 10, Henry 8, Frances (Fanny) 6, and Edward (Eddy) 4, moved over to Ghin Ghin (near Yea) and by 1868 they were living at Woods Point where Henry had the interesting job of being the town crier. Henry was also quite a prolific letter writer into the newspapers.
In May 1868 Henry had established a post office at Ghin Ghin. He ran an express using horses between Yea and Ghin Ghin and charged 6d for every letter and newspaper brought and dispatched.
By October 1868 the family had again moved to Alexandra where Henry and his sons had a newsagency.
Henry moved to the town of Gobur in 1871, just 26 kilometres from Alexandra.
Gobur was a tiny Victorian farming locality and village, 97km north east of Melbourne. In 1868 gold was discovered in Godfrey’s Creek, Gobur. The following year, when 650 miners were estimated to be on the goldfield, a primary school was opened.
Within another year the township had about 30 buildings, and about 20 buildings served as hotels throughout the mining area. A mining registrar was located in the township along with a post office and police barracks.
By 1870 gold mining had passed its peak, but steady outputs continued until the 1880s.
Henry died on 6 August 1871 in Gobur aged 54.
A few days later under Local and General News in the Alexandra Times newspaper on 11 August 1871, the paper mentions that Henry had fallen from his horse two years previously, and received a severe head injury, from which he never recovered fully. it quotes him saying that he was “originally destined for the church, but got spoiled in the making”. (Henry’s older brother Richard became a Church of Ireland minister). The story finishes with “poor man, his troubles are over”.
He is buried in the Gobur Cemetery.