Isaac Richardson I was born in Babington, Somerset, England on 10 Feb 1804. He was the first of ten children of Benjamin Richardson (1781-1847) and Hester “Ester” Moore (1778-1825). Benjamin (19) and Ester (22) were married on Christmas day, 1800, in Babington, Somerset, England, where Benjamin worked as a watchmaker.
Benjamin and Ester’s children were: Isaac I (1804-1873) William (1805-1881), Simeon (1807-1893), Pollina (1810-1810), Thomas (1813-) Esther (1815-1815), Fanny (1816-), John (1818-), Benjamin II (1820-) and Esther (1824-1825). Most of their children were baptized as infants.
Matilda Elizabeth Bonner was born in East Malling, Kent, England on 19 Mar 1804. She was the third of eleven children of William Borner (1777-1845) and Elanor “Nell” Newman (1779-1866). William (21) and Nell (19) were married on 20 Oct 1798 at All Saints, Maidstone, Kent, England. William worked as a carpenter in Chatham, Kent, England.
William and Nell’s children were: Ann (1799-), William (1801-), Matilda (1804-1887), Eliza (1806-), John (1807-1881), Charles (1809-1895), Elizabeth (1813-), Stephen Henry (1816-), Thomas Edmond (1818-1878), Peter James (1821-), and George Henry (1825-).
Isaac (23) and Matilda (23) were married on 30 Sep 1827 at St. Margaret, Rochester, Kent, England, which is the same Church that John Newton had been married at previously. They had two children early in their marriage, Edward (1828-1906) and Esther Ann (1830-1909).
Isaac worked as a farm labourer and his brother Simeon as a ploughman & hop grower. The working conditions were poor at the time and the farmers were exploited by the effects of the Industrial Revolution. The brothers soon became involved with the “Swing Riots” or the “Kent Machine Breakers” which was an uprising by the agricultural workers, protesting the working conditions and the introduction of threshing machinery. The riots started in 1830 and included the destruction of several threshing machines.
Isaac (27) and his brother, Simeon (24), were both convicted at Kent Assizes for their involvement in the riots. Both brothers had initially been sentenced to death (Nine of the other rioters were hanged), however, the sentences were reduced to life transportation after a local petition.
The brothers were transported to Van Dieman’s Land aboard the “Lord Lynedoch (Lord Lyndoch)” which transported 266 convicts, departing 20 July 1831 and arriving on 18 Nov 1831. In total, 450 people were transported due to their involvement with the riots, however, I believe that Isaac and Simeon arrived on a different boat to the other rioters due to their initial sentences possibly delaying their transportation. Once arriving in Van Dieman’s Land, the brothers were to carry out their sentences in Campbell Town.
In Campbell Town, Isaac worked as a labourer to James Hume. Isaac’s wife, Matilda, and two children were granted passage to Van Dieman’s Land around 1837 so they could be reunited with him.
On 26 April, 1838, Isaac had allowed himself to be disarmed by bushrangers. I have not located the document of this, but the bushrangers were most likely James Regan, Thomas Palmer and James Atterall. These convicts turned bushrangers escaped Richmond Gaol in 1838 and headed north, forming a gang with Anthony Banks and George Davis. They were pursued by Constable Connell, along with a number of men from Campbell Town which would coincide with the events of Isaac becoming disarmed.
Isaac was not charged for this instance and had mostly stayed out of during his sentence, and was granted a conditional pardon in July, 1842.
Simeon worked as a ploughmen in Campbell Town and Longford. On 21 May 1844, Simeon (37) married Elizabeth Dewer (Aged 36) (1808-1898). There is no documentation on whether or not they had any children together.
Simeon (60) was later tried for minor stealing charges in Launceston, 14 Nov 1854. He was convicted for a second time and sentenced to serve time in the Port Arthur Gaol. He was later discharged to freedom 29 Feb 1856.
Simeon (86) died 6 Oct 1893 in Longford, Tasmania. His wife, Elizabeth (90), died 31 July 1898 in Longford, Tasmania.
Along with their two children prior to Isaac’s conviction, Isaac and Matilda had a further eight sons: William (1839-1915), Frederick Thomas 1840-1918), Benjamin Charles (1842-1848), Isaac Simeon (Isaac II) (1843-1919), Henry (1845-1845), Edmund (1846-1922), Samuel (1849-1849) and Esau.
Isaac eventually went on to become a watchmaker like his father. According to 1842 and 1843 census information, Isaac resided in a brick home at 7 Church St, Campbell Town with eight family members at the time. According to Beverly Richardson’s book, Isaac had built this house, which is a testament to his talents. The house was likely built in the late 1830s or early 1940s. Given that the iconic Red Bridge, in Campbell Town was constructed in 1838 by convict labour, it is quite possible that Isaac had a part in the bridges construction as well, although it might not be possible to prove.
Isaac (52) signed a contract in 1856, to construct a fence and paling around the grave of Lucy Johnston, the daughter of the school master.
The contract reads:
Feb 23 1856
I agree to put up the fencing and paling the part to be cleared sufficiently and printed. at the rate of three shillings per rod. The whole to be done in a workmanlike manner
Isaac (69) died on 13 Mar 1873 in Campbell Town, Tasmania. He was buried at the Old Anglican Cemetery, Church St, Campbell Town near his home. Matilda (84) died on 28 May 1887 in Campbell Town as a result of Bronchitis. She was buried with her late husband in the Church St Cemetery.
The head stone reads:
In the Memory of
Who died March 15 – 1875
Aged 69 Years
“Precious in the sight of
he Lord is
The death of his saints”
Ps CXVI 15
The beloved wife of the
Died May 28, 1887
Aged 84 Years
Erected by their son Edmund
Unfortunately, this cemetery has become quite overrun with shrubs and weeds at this point in time.
The children of Isaac and Matilda Richardson went on to have many descendants spanning over seven-plus generations.
Edward Isaac Richardson (1889-1918) (My 1st cousin, 4 times removed) Served in the 40th Infantry Battalion, D Company, in World War I (Rank: Lance Corporal; Service Number 917). Edward was Isaac and Matilda’s grandson through their fourth child, Frederick Thomas. Edward was born 8 Mar 1889 in Campbell Town and died 11 Oct 1918 in France of disease. He is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery Extension (Plot V, Row B, Grave No. 43) in France.
In 2009, Beverly Richardson, Isaac and Matilda’s 2nd generation great-granddaughter, published the book: A Family Remembers : The Story of Isaac and Matilda Richardson and Their Descendants. which includes a CD-ROM of the family tree, bibliographical references and index. This book is available to be borrowed at the LINC Library in Hobart, Tasmania.
This is a very nice book and I would be interested in getting a copy if anyone knows how to get into contact with the author.
A Family Remembers: The Story of Isaac and Matilda Richardson and Their Descendants by Richardson, Beverly
J. Ernest Edwards, I grew up in North-West Tasmania in the 1990s and I have a passion for learning about history and how it ties to my family. Roughly half of my family is from New South Wales, and the other half is from Tasmania, which makes this all the more interesting for me. Stay tuned, as I plan on writing short biographies on all of my known Australian ancestors (Great-Grandparents and beyond). You can contact me on: firstname.lastname@example.org