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Richard Maudsley, Senior
14 December 1822 - 9 January 1920, Cotton Farmer
1998-1999 submitted by
Peter Collins

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The late Richard Maudsley, senr., whose death was reported in our last issue, was born on the 14th December, 1822, at Morecambe, Lancashire, England [5km north-west of Lancaster].

He received his education at a private school and at the age of 18, his father sent him for experience in sugar growing for three years to Demerara, West Indies [in present-day Guyana, then known as British Guiana]. Finding the climate unsuitable for his health, he returned home and started farming in England.

He came to Queensland [Australia] under engagement to Messrs. Boards, cotton growers of Pimpama, [just north of the present-day tourist mecca of the Gold Coast] in the Queen of the Colonies, arriving at Moreton Bay in October, 1866.

He made the journey from Moreton Bay to Pimpama in a small cutter, which was the only way of reaching the place at that time, the journey taking two days. Here he remained for a period of three years, during which time he had many adventures with the hostile blacks, having at all times to carry firearms for protection.

On leaving Pimpama he commenced farming on his own account as a cottongrower at Oxley Creek [which flows through the southern suburbs of the city of Brisbane, the State capital].

When the Government abolished the cotton bonus, the growers went out of the industry, and Mr. Maudsley followed general farming. Here their troubles commenced in the marketing of their produce, which was carried by boats on the Brisbane River to Ipswich [30km south-west of Brisbane], each farmer having his own boat, and the merchants meeting the boats as they arrived at the wharf, sometimes having to put in two days before disposing of their produce.

Later they combined a little sugargrowing with the general farming, and a little sugar mill placed on a punt went from place to place and crushed the cane, one stick at a time. The juice was then boiled into raw sugar and bagged, the growers receiving two bags out of every three for their cane.

The Government now came to the rescue of the farmers and made roads, which gave them access to closer markets in Brisbane.

They then added the growing of hay to their farming.

Mr. Maudsley was one of the first committeemen of the Oxley Creek State School, at which place most of the family received their education.

After eight years farming on Oxley Creek he sold out and decided to go in for grazing, selecting a grazing farm at Wolston [on Brisbane's southern outskirts], but being unsuccessful he went to Dugandan [about 67km south-west of Brisbane] and once more resumed farming with his two sons, Thomas and John.

After a few years he retired from active work. His wife predeceased him 27 years ago, leaving a family of seven four sons and three daughters. The sons are Thomas, Richard and Roger, of Boonara [in the South Burnett district of Queensland, about three hours' drive north-west of Brisbane], and John, of Coulson. The daughters are Mrs. W. Hedges, of Charters Towers [135km south-west of Townsville]; the late Mrs. Faulkner, who died a year before her mother, and Mrs. G. Greer, of Wolston. Mr. Maudsley had 49 grandchildren and 38 great grandchildren. He had 10 grandchildren who served in the Great War.

Deceased was 97 years of age, and passed away suddenly at the residence of his grandson, Mr. Booker Maudsley, after a very short illness. He retained all his faculties up to within a few hours of his death, which occurred on Friday, 9th January, 1920. He was interred in the Murgon cemetery. His six grandsons George, Richard, Sydney, Alan, Ernest, and Louis acted as pallbearers. The funeral arrangements were carried out by Mr. Jones, of Wondai. Owing to the unavoidable absence of the Rev. Mr. Shand (C. of E.), Mr. Fisher officiated at the graveside.

[*Extracted from "The Kingaroy Herald and Burnett Advocate", Kingaroy, Queensland, Australia. Monday, January 26, 1920, p2. Courtesy of the Newspaper Section, State Library of Victoria, Melbourne.]

WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT RICHARD MAUDSLEY...Then head for our web site for details on how you can to obtain a copy of the award-winning book, "Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives: A History Of The Maudsley Family".

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Last modified: May 20, 2006