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William Yabsley (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.

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Additional Resources

Citation details

'Yabsley, William (1812–1880)', Obituaries Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 22 July 2024.

© Copyright Obituaries Australia, 2010-2024

Life Summary [details]


2 February, 1812
Plymouth, Devon, England


21 January, 1880 (aged 67)
at sea

Cause of Death

shipping accident

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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Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship