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Richards, Ben (1817–1898)

Ben Richards, n.d.

Ben Richards, n.d.

from Australasian Pastoralists' Review, 15 March 1898

Mr. Ben Richards, a New South Wales pioneer squatter and stockman, widely known throughout Australia, died at his residence, "Kamilaroi," Richmond, N.S.W., on Saturday, 5th March, at the ripe age of 81 years.

Mr. Richards was a native of the mother colony, born at Richmond, where as a young man he started in business as a farmer and butcher. After occupying several well-known farms about Richmond and Windsor, Mr. Richards began to turn his attention to grazing, and went into partnership with his brother-in-law, Mr. Williams. With his wife and family he moved to Woolahra, on the Namoi, but in consequence of drought the place was abandoned, and the stock moved to Moree. Here the aboriginals were very troublesome, and on one occasion most of the cattle were killed, the two men in charge just managing to escape with the assistance of the one available horse. Mr. Richards next took up country on the Barwon, and subsequently became possessed of a small holding called "Bulgoa," on the Hunter, which by dint of hard work he transformed into a very valuable property. From this centre, which he used as a breeding and fattening station, Mr. Richards' operations gradually extended to the Liverpool Plains, and even into Queensland, where he acquired valuable properties on the Balonne and the Warrego. He was a splendid judge of stock, and devoted considerable attention to the breeding of race horses.

But it is as an exporter of meat that Mr. Richards' name is best known in these latter days. Every transaction of his life was characterised by great energy and pluck, and, as an individual exporter, Mr. Richards did probably the largest business in Australia. At a time when the prospects of the frozen meat trade were very uncertain, indeed almost hopeless, for the shippers had lost heart, Mr. Richards, by his energy and enterprise, was successful in putting new life into the movement. He established the Riverstone Meat Works, near Windsor, N.S.W., with the assistance of his son, Mr. Robert Richards, who has been associated with his father for many years in the management of his huge business, and to whom must fairly be given much credit for the success which has been attained. Mr. Robert Richards is the only surviving son, and Mrs. Charles Durham, the widow of another Hawksbury pioneer, is the only surviving daughter.

Original publication

Citation details

'Richards, Ben (1817–1898)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 28 September 2020.

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