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Obituaries Australia

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Mortimer, Richard (1773–1860)

The venerable old man who has recently been removed from us by the prevailing epidemic, was a native of Bath, and, as far as can be ascertained, was born in the year 1770. Of his early history little is known, but he arrived in New South Wales in 1791 on board the ship William and Ann, commanded by Captain Bunker, that vessel being one of the ten ships constituting "the second fleet." Shortly after his arrival he enlisted in the 102nd Regiment, or New South Wales corps, and of course, participated in the stirring events which occurred in the rebellion of 1804, and the arrest of Governor Bligh in 1808; but it does not appear that he was present in the affair at Castle Hill, nor was he amongst the troops who marched up to Government House and arrested the Governor. In August 1810, the 102nd Regiment embarked for England, and Mortimer was drafted into the royal veteran company under Captain Brabyn. It does not appear that Mortimer ever did much regimental duty, and at an early period of his colonial career, having been employed in boats on the Parramatta river, he directed his attention to fishing, which occupation, on his discharge from the army, in 1832, he pursued with success for many years. When speaking, a few weeks since, of the late Sir Thomas Brisbane, Mr. Mortimer incidentally mentioned that he had once presented a turtle to that Governor, which his Excellency highly prized. As Mr. Mortimer advanced in years he gradually gave up fishing, and applied himself to the rearing of orange and other fruit trees, so that it is not saying too much when we remark that for the last thirty years "Mortimer's orange trees" have become almost a household word, and that many of the orchards now flourishing in this neighbourhood may be regarded as monuments of his industry. For many years Mr. Mortimer was a most regular attendant at the Wesleyan Chapel, and it was evident, from his walk and conversation, that he was deeply imbued with sound Christian principles. The latter days of his long and useful life were characterised by sobriety, simplicity and honesty, and it may truly be said of him, that he came to his grave "in a full age, like a shuck of corn cometh in his season."

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'Mortimer, Richard (1773–1860)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 30 September 2020.

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