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Richardson, Lucy (1839–1921)

The death of Mrs. Lucy Richardson, aged 82 years, which occurred in Sydney recently, removes one who had been associated with Forbes since the very early days: The deceased lady was a cashier at William Jones' store at Forbes, when the first gold was discovered by "Harry the German" [Harry Stephens] and a man named Townsend, in 1861. The two men were partners, and in cleaning up on Saturday afternoon they secured 15 pounds weight of gold. Shortly after this the rush to Forbes started, and in less than a month there were 30,000 miners on the field (states the Sydney Sun).

It was even earlier than this that the first rush to Forbes occurred. The discovery was reported by the then proprietor of Wowingragong Hotel, but results did not reach anticipations, and the miners departed. Before they left they held a mass meeting outside the hotel, but the proprietor, hearing their threats to burn down the hotel as a punishment for his misleading report, soothed matters over by shouting several rounds of drinks.

When the genuine discovery was made Forbes for a number of years was the richest field in New South Wales. Eventually the gold petered out, and wheat growing took the place of mining, and it is a fact worth noting that today Forbes is the leading wheat producing district of the State.

Hopes of a revival in mining have not died out, and the formation of a syndicate to work leases at Calarie is taken as a good omen by old miners, who persist in the belief that mining will again be a leading industry at Forbes.

The late Mrs. Richardson saw much development in Forbes district. She was on the place sometime before gold was discovered, and was also a resident during subsequent exciting times. There being no railway to Forbes in that period, Mrs. Richardson, as a young girl, made her journey from Bathurst to Forbes on a bullock-waggon.

In 1863, when the bushrangers stuck up and robbed Jones' store of a large quantity of provisions and gold, of which the storekeeper was a buyer, the late Mrs. Richardson (who was then Miss Vickery) fooled the bushrangers. There was a large amount in notes and gold on the premises, and the plucky cashier wanted to save this for her employer. She served Ben Hall and his gang with such liberal quantities of spirits that eventually they became too "muddled" to trouble about the cash, and decamped without it. Ben Hall was shot by the police at a spot near Forbes two years later.

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Citation details

'Richardson, Lucy (1839–1921)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://oa.anu.edu.au/obituary/richardson-lucy-1510/text1516, accessed 24 November 2017.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2017

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Vickery, Lucy
Birth

1839

Death

1921
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

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