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Ricketty Dick (1795–1863)

Ricketty Dick, artist unknown, 1840s

Ricketty Dick, artist unknown, 1840s

State Library of New South Wales, 901949

An inquiry convening the death of the well known aboriginal William Warrah, alias Ricketty Dick, aged 68 years, was held before the City Coroner, at his office, Hyde Park, yesterday morning. George Rawlingson, contractor, in charge of Sir Daniel Cooper's property, deposed that during the list thirty-six years, he knew the deceased, who was then a stout able young fellow; his mother was a native of Botany, and his father a native of the Five Islands; his name was William Warrah, but he was called Ricketty Dick in consequence of the way in which he walked, being a cripple; for several years past he lived on Sir Daniel Cooper's property, during which time witness had charge of him; he begged on the roadside at Bose Bay Flat, and lived in a gunyah, neither wind nor watertight, put up by witness, close to his own residence; witness was allowed half-a-crown a week by Mr Wentworth to attend to him, and supplied him with two meals per day before he took up his abode at Rose Bay he had escaped from the Benevolent Asylum; he would not sleep in his gunyah if he could help it, and had had no fire in it for the last twelve months. He was very much addicted to drink, and would drink off a bottle of rum without stopping. On last Easter Monday parties passing along the road made him quite drunk, and witness found him about twelve o'clock at night, lying in the road. He put him on his blankets, and since then he complained of pain in his inside. Witness wanted him to go to the Benevolent Asylum, but he refused; he even brought him to his house, but he would not stop. On Wednesday he had food, but was moaning all day. On Thursday morning witness on going to his gunyah, found him lying outside dead. Dr. Milford, by order of the coronor, examined the body, and found that it presented a wasted appearance. He saw no sign of food in the place; deceased had only a check shirt on. The body was doubled up; the nails an inch long, and the beard matted with dirt and filth. Death was caused by paralysis, accelerated by cold and exposure.

Original publication

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Citation details

'Dick, Ricketty (1795–1863)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 25 June 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Ricketty Dick, artist unknown, 1840s

Ricketty Dick, artist unknown, 1840s

State Library of New South Wales, 901949

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Warrah, Warrah
  • Warrah, William
  • Worrell
  • Worrall

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia


1863 (aged ~ 68)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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