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COLLIER Richard

Male 1839 - 1883


Personal Information    |    Notes    |    Sources    |    All

  • Name  COLLIER Richard 
    Born  1839  Battersea, London, England Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Gender  Male 
    _UID  FB22C90F45704663A245C9BE2B4C17C91898 
    Died  8 Dec 1883  Hospital for the Insane, Parramatta, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [1
    Buried  10 Dec 1883  Rookwood, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Person ID  I21706  Frater Genealogy
    Last Modified  9 Jul 2016 

    Father  COLLIER William,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Mother  BOSTICK Ann Eleanor,   d. Yes, date unknown 
    Family ID  F7223  Group Sheet

    Family  COOK Elizabeth,   b. 20 Jun 1847, Bolwarra, Durham, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 1911, Hospital, Maitland, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location 
    Married  23 Dec 1863  St Pauls, C of E, Paterson, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location  [2
    Children 
     1. COLLIER Matilda Ann,   b. 31 Dec 1868, Martins Creek, Paterson, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1954, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     2. COLLIER Benjamin James (Buckets or Ben),   b. 4 Oct 1870, Oaks Farm near Oakendale near Clarence Town, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 1941
     3. COLLIER William John,   b. 28 Aug 1872, Oaks Farm near Oakendale near Clarence Town, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 22 Mar 1920, Cessnock, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     4. COLLIER Ann Elizabeth,   b. 1874, Clarence Town, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     5. COLLIER Phoebe Harriet (Hannah),   b. 5 Jul 1875, Teralba, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 26 Aug 1948, Rockdale, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     6. COLLIER Charles Richard,   b. 1876, Teralba, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 16 Jan 1959, Allworth, Great Lakes, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     7. COLLIER Ada,   b. 1878, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Yes, date unknown
     8. COLLIER James Arthur,   b. 1880, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. Abt 1967, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
     9. COLLIER Alice Maude,   b. 1882, Wallsend, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location,   d. 27 Aug 1968, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia Find all individuals with events at this location
    Last Modified  21 Jan 2016 
    Family ID  F7222  Group Sheet

  • Notes 
    • ĞbğRichard COLLIER Ğ/bğ
      Richard ("Dick") was born between April and June 1839 in Battersea, Surrey1, son of William COLLIER (or COLLYER/COLLEAR), a lighterman2/waterman3, and Ann Eleanor BOSTICK.
      1 The 1841 UK census indicates he was born in 1839, while the 1851 UK census states 1840. The 1841 census was taken on 6 June, while the 1851 census was taken on 30/31 March. This indicates that Richard is likely to have been born between 1 April and 6 June 1839.
      2 A lighterman is someone who operates a 'lighter', which is a type of flat-bottomed barge. William was most likely a lighterman on the Thames.
      3 A waterman is someone who transfers passengers across and along city centre rivers and estuaries. The terms 'lighterman' and 'waterman' often appear to be used interchangeably, although 'lighterman' usually carried cargo, while 'waterman' carried passengers.
      4 The Ford's Buildings were located on York Road immediately to the west of York Place. They were a row of 39 small brick cottages built in about 1824-25 by John Ford for the workers of the woollen factory that he set up on the land behind. The woollen factory was unsuccessful and by the 1850s and 1860s the cottages were taken over by the workers of the silk factory that took its place. (source: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/content/imported-docs/a-e/battersea-vol-50-chap-2.pdf)
      In 1841, Richard was living with his parents and family at 22 Fords Buildings4 in Battersea, Surrey and at York Road, Battersea in 1851. He was attending school at the time of the 1851 census aged 11 years. He does not appear in the 1861 UK Census.
      A family story suggests that Richard emigrated to Tasmania on board the ĞiğIndian Queen Ğ/iğwith a sister and his girlfriend in the early 1850s. Two of Richard's sisters resided in Tasmania during the 1850s. Ann Martha COLLIER (1824-1917) had married Charles ROBINSON in 1854 in Launceston, Tasmania. It is understood Ann Martha paid her own way to Tasmania. Another sister, Mary Ann COLLIER (b.1831), married Thomas Oldfield NEWMAN jnr in 1852 in Lambeth, Surrey. They were living in Tasmania by 1855 when Thomas jnr paid for the passage of his parents and younger siblings to Tasmania.
      The ĞiğIndian Queen Ğ/iğwas one of 12 ships of the Black Ball Line of Packets that mainly brought bounty emigrants to Australia (and America) from Liverpool. The ĞiğIndian Queen Ğ/iğmade its maiden voyage from Liverpool to Melbourne from April to August 1853. The only voyage to Tasmania was made in 1856 arriving in Hobart on 5 January with 60 immigrants. Another 24 immigrants from the ĞiğIndian Queen Ğ/iğarrived in Launceston on 5 Jan on board the ĞiğLady Bird Ğ/iğafter transferring in Melbourne. If Richard came on the 1856 voyage, he did not travel with one of his sisters as they were in Tasmania prior to this. Then again, one of his sisters may have paid for his passage to Australia on the 1855/56 voyage and the family story became distorted over the years.
      The family story suggests that Richard followed Ann Martha and her husband Charles ROBINSON to the Paterson River area of the Hunter Valley, NSW. Ann Martha and Charles had moved to Auckland in New Zealand by early 1857 with the birth of their first child. They returned to Australia, residing in Sydney in 1859 with the birth of their second child. They apparently lived in Liverpool where Charles had a saddlery. By 1860 they had settled in the Hunter Valley around the small settlement of
      Paterson. Apparently on arrival at the Paterson, Charles cut down a tree for slabs and bark for a roof. He told all that he had finished the family home, but he had left no room for a door or windows. The next morning the wind blew down the lot. The family referred to the area as "Dickie's Land". Charles and Ann Martha were apparently orchardists and very active Seventh Day Adventists.
      Richard married Elizabeth COOK on 23 December 1863 at St Paul's Church of England in Paterson in the Hunter Valley. Richard was a sawyer living at Tillimby Station and Elizabeth a farmer's daughter also living at Tillimby Station. Ann ROBINSON was a witness to the marriage. This is most likely Ann Martha COLLIER.
      Richard and Elizabeth's children were:
      1. Matilda Ann COLLIER ("Aunty Tilly") b. 31 Dec 1868 at Martin's Creek, Hunter Valley, d. 1954 in Manly, Sydney, m. George Elliot in 1888 at Wallsend - George was apparently a master builder who built the family owned flats at 3 and 3A Stanley Street, Randwick for Phoebe Hannah COLLIER. George also ran the Royal Hotel at Minmi for a period and also worked as a farmer.
      2. Benjamin James COLLIER (known as "Buckets" or "Ben") b. 4 Oct 1870 at Oaks Farm, Oakendale near Clarence Town, d. 1941 in Randwick, Sydney - never married but apparently had a daughter named Hazel. He was reputed to be the Mayor of Cessnock (whether officially or unofficially) and a bit of a tippler. He also apparently went into the mines, but left in search of greater pay.
      3. William John COLLIER (known as "Bill") b. 28 Aug 1872 at Oak Farm, Oakendale near Clarence Town, d. 1920 in Cessnock due to difficulties during surgery, m. Elizabeth WAITE at Minmi in 1897. Had refreshment rooms in Cessnock where he made ice cream. Also later ran a hotel in Cessnock.
      4. Anne Elizabeth COLLIER b. 1874 at Clarence Town, d. possibly in 1875 in Newcastle - a family story suggests otherwise with her marrying someone with the name DEVINE and then remarrying Fred McGARRY (have been unable to substantiate these claims).
      5. Phoebe Harriet (later Hannah) COLLIER b. 5 Jul 1875 at Teralba, d. 26 Aug 1948 at Rockdale, Sydney, m. John SCOTT in Minmi in 1893 - John was a Scotsman who emigrated with his family to Australia on board the ĞiğSamuel Plimsoll Ğ/iğin 1875. John was initially a coal miner in Minmi before becoming a fruiterer in Minmi before 1906. He apparently opened up the first general store in Kurri Kurri in 1907 before moving to Sydney and running a number of hotels, including the United Australian Hotel at 631 King Street, Newtown from 1913-1917, the Bank Hotel at 344 King Street, Newtown from 1918-1920, the Rifleman's Hotel at 75 Fitzroy Street, Ashfield in 1924, and the Royal Hotel at 2 Perouse Road, Randwick from 1924-1934. Phoebe took over the licence of the Royal Hotel after John's death in 1934 until 1936 when she retired to travel with her daughters and granddaughter. John, known as Jack, apparently liked a tipple and during the period of the 6 o'clock shutdowns he was a good source of afterhour's drinks. He had a very large overcoat which could carry about a dozen long neck bottles of beer, earning him the nickname of 'Overcoat Jack' or 'Topcoat Jack'. I recall my grandmother telling a story that the local policeman was aware of his out of hours business


      and one day spotted him heading home in his overcoat and said to him to be careful on the way home, for if he slipped and fell, he would cut himself to death.
      6. Charles Richard COLLIER b. 1876 at Teralba, d. 16 Jan 1959 at Allworth, Great Lakes - was a miner at Minmi before moving to Raymond Terrace.
      7. Ada COLLIER b. 1878 at Wallsend, d. ?, m. Thomas SMITH and moved to the USA. Their son, Sydney SMITH was born in the cemetery during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
      8. James Arthur COLLIER (known as "Jim") b. 1880 at Wallsend, d. 1967 in Sydney (yet to be confirmed) - was a miner at Minmi and possibly Mayor of Greta.
      9. Alice Maud COLLIER ("Aunty Alice") b. 1882 at Wallsend, d. 1968 in Sydney, m. Lewis Arnold CRAMP in 1905 in Minmi - lived in Coogee Bay Road. Had two sons, Jack CRAMP and Frank CRAMP. Jack was a motor dealer with the Ford Motor Co. Frank was a master house painter.

      By 1868, Richard and Elizabeth were residing at Martin's Creek near Paterson and at Oak Farm, Oakendale near Clarence Town between 1870-72. In 1872 they had returned to Paterson and in 1874 were again residing at Martin's Creek before moving to Teralba in 1875. Richard gave his occupation as 'bushman' on the birth registration of his daughter, Phoebe Harriet (later Hannah) in 1875. A bushman is probably another name for a 'timber getter'.
      In 1883, Richard's mental health severely deteriorated. He was suffering the effects of syphilis which would eventually lead to his death later that year. It is unknown how long Richard had been suffering from syphilis and whether his mental illness had plagued him and his family before being committed to Darlinghurst Gaol in March 1883. On 20 March 1883 he was convicted of entering a train while in motion and refusing to pay the fare; the sentence being 14 days in Darlinghurst Gaol5. He was discharged on 2 April, but re-admitted 4 days later for a period of 2 months on the basis that he had no legal means of supporting himself. It is unclear whether this stint in gaol triggered his mental state or whether this was the cause of the incident on the train.
      5 Unfortunately there is no photo of Richard in the Darlinghurst Gaol photo description book.
      Richard wrote to Elizabeth while in gaol on 2 May:
      ĞiğMy dear wife I am in Darlinghurst Goal. I have two months in goal. I hope to be soon out of it. I am your loving husband Richard Collier. To the Bank of England send me five hundred thousand pounds place it in the Bank of Australia Wallsend. I will collect. Ğ/iğ
      By this time he had clearly become delusional. On 12 May he was certified as insane and committed to the Hospital for the Insane at Parramatta. He was committed until Ğiğ"he has become of sound mind, or until he be otherwise discharged by due course of law"Ğ/iğ.
      Richards's committal, signed by Dr A. I. Brady of 3 Lyons Terrace, included the following comments:
      ĞiğHe has delusions. He believes that he is the Duke of York and that he has a million of money in the Bank of England. Says that he saved the life of the Duke of Edinburgh for which he was Knighted. Ğ/iğ
      ĞiğThe officer in charge informs me that the prisoner is quite childish in his conversation and that he has various delusions believing that he is fabulously rich etc. Ğ/iğ
      He was re-examined later the same day by Dr Maurice J. O'Connor of Victoria Street, who made the following comments:
      ĞiğHe has various delusions fancies that he is the 'Duke of York' that he saved the life of the Duke of Edinburgh and consequently was raised to the peerage. That he is possessed of fabulous wealth:- his appearance is stupid and he talks in an incoherent manner. Ğ/iğ
      ĞiğThe attendants inform me that he fancies he is the Duke of York, that he has considerable wealth in the Bank of England which he acquired at the 'diggings' and that he is childish and quite unable to take care of himself. Ğ/iğ
      Richard's admission form, dated 14 May, indicates that he was sentenced to 6 weeks gaol, he was under medical treatment, taking no stimulants and not refusing food. He was said to be quiet and obedient during the day but was very restless and cannot sleep at night. Further remarks were that Ğiğ"this man is quite harmless, he has a delusion that he possesses a large sum of money"Ğ/iğ. He was recorded as 5 feet 3 inches tall and a weight of 123 pounds. Interestingly, he gave his religion as Roman Catholic.
      He was admitted with the diagnosis of 'delusional mania' and throughout his notes there is no indication that he was physically examined as would happen today. Also there is no comment about relatives contacting the Hospital. His only medication written up on the 16 May seems to have been Mist. Pot. Ammon and ?chloral hydrate.
      Richard's medical case book for the month of May states the following:
      ĞiğMay 14th. Richard Collier is this day transferred from the Goal at Darlinghurst to the Hospital for the Insane at Parramatta under an order from the Colonial Secretary. He is under the average height fairly well put together, closely shaven and cropped and is described as follows in the accompanying Medical Certificates. When questioned as to the occupation he usually followed, that he was the captain and owner of a large vessel trading all over the world in silks and satins offered one an interest in this ship which was of course declined. Ğ/iğ
      ĞiğMay 21st. This patient is by no means in a strong state of health and instead of improving appears to be gradually growing weaker in mind and general health. He is exceedingly untidy in his dress and in his personal habits, continually on the lookout for all kinds of rubbish he can possibly pick up and stuff into his pockets being under the delusion that they are diamonds, he eats his food fairly well and also sleeps better than at first. Ğ/iğ
      ĞiğMay 28th. Not improved in the slightest degree in mind or body, he was removed to the hospital ward but was of too aggressive disposition to remain with the other patients there, he was continually knocking them about. Ğ/iğ
      The remaining medical case book notes are almost unable to be read however it would seem that at one time he attempted to escape in June and suffered a fall of at least 15 feet. He seems then to have faded away over the next six months and he died on the 8 December 1883. The cause of death
      stated on his death certificate is General Paralysis of the Insane (GPI), a common syphilitic condition. His occupation is given as bricklayer, with no details of his family known other than to state he had 8 children, all living. Richard and Elizabeth actually had 9 children, with one daughter dying as an infant. He was buried in the Roman Catholic section of the Rookwood Necropolis on 10 December 1883, obviously respecting his new found religion.
      Elizabeth remarried on 30 Dec 1889 at Plattsburg to John Brooks SMITH. There is a family note of a scandal between a SMITH and an Elizabeth COLLIER that was covered up. It is unclear whether this was something between John Brooks SMITH and Elizabeth COLLIER (nee COOK). Elizabeth ("Gran Smith") apparently went blind in her later years and for a time Phoebe Hannah COLLIER had to share a bed with her.
      Compiled by Sean McPhail
      with the assistance of research undertaken by Con Scott Reed
      and recollections by the late Jean Bowie Reed (nee Scott))
      (all descendants of Richard Collier) [3]

  • Sources 
    1. [S1374] Death Certificate Reg. No. 1883/007076 Richard Collier.

    2. [S1373] Marriage Certificate Reg.No. 1863/002656 Richard Collier and Elizabeth Cook.

    3. [S1377] Sean McPhail, Jean Bowie Reed nee Scott and Con Scott Reed.