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Obituaries Australia

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Yabsley, William (1812–1880)

It is with feelings of deep regret that we announce the death of this pioneer of the Richmond, by the upsetting of the river steamer Vesta on the 21st instant in the Richmond River. Mr Yabsley was a station owner at Coraki, but was better known as a shipbuilder and shipowner. His shed at Coraki, where he built the Schoolboy, and steamers Examiner and Index, was not surpassed by any similar structure in the colony. Mr Yabsley was originally on the Clarence, but determined to settle on the Richmond, after visiting the latter river; and he has been resident there for over 35 years, during which, in addition to shipbuilding, he has been largely engaged in the timber trade with Sydney and Melbourne. He was a man of indomitable energy, and difficulties and disaster that many people would sink under only stimulated him to increased efforts. Many people will remember how he undertook to save his steamer Examiner when stranded at the Clarence Heads, and actually conveyed her overland and relaunched her in smooth water in the river. This was done with his own appliances and almost solely by his own employees, he himself never leaving the work. Although full of years he was still a hale, strong old man, with vigour unabated, and in him the Richmond has lost one of her best men, New South Wales a type of colonist of which we have but too few, and can ill spare. Mr Yabsley was a Justice of the Peace, and universally respected. He leaves a large family, all grown up, and settled upon the Richmond, and we deeply sympathise with them in their heavy affliction.

Original publication

Additional Resources

Citation details

'Yabsley, William (1812–1880)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 9 August 2020.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2020

Life Summary [details]


2 February 1812
Plymouth, Devon, England


21 January 1880
at sea

Cause of Death

shipping accident

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Passenger Ship