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Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Green, Richard (1808–1878)

by R. M. Green

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

Richard Green (1808-1878), merchant, was born on 24 November 1808 at Essendon, near Hertford, England, son of Isaac Green (1770-1837) and his wife Frances (1775-1857). He arrived in the Eliza at Hobart Town on 2 May 1831 accompanied by Mathias Gaunt, M.D., R.N., his wife Frances, sister of Richard Green, and their four children and niece, Hannah Jackson (1810-1904). After crossing the island with a bullock team over rough bush tracks, Gaunt and Green jointly took up land at Windermere on the River Tamar. Green at first lived in a cottage belonging to the father of 'Philosopher' Smith; built on a hill overlooking Swan Bay, it was surrounded by a palisade to keep out the Aboriginals. Later a farm house was built at Windermere. At St John's Church, Launceston, in May 1835 Green married Hannah Jackson.

About 1838 Green was accountant and general manager of the firm of James Henty & Co., Launceston. When the partners retired in 1843 he carried on the business as merchant in his own name. Described in 1851 as a shipping agent he bought the barque Tiberias and left Launceston for the Victorian goldfields. He was successful there and later returned to Launceston. A liberal donor to ecclesiastical and public institutions, he was a member of the standing council for Church schools at Launceston and elected an alderman in 1847, a member of the Marine Board and master warden, managing director of the Launceston Gas Works, and chairman of the Launceston and Western Railway Co. and the Cornwall Fire and Marine Insurance Co. He was the first chairman and managing director of the Mount Bischoff Tin Mining Co. and Smelting Works from its formation, and chairman of the Tasmanian Copper Co. He was a member and repeatedly president of the Chamber of Commerce, and took an active interest in all public affairs. He was an energetic member of the Church of England and served on the synod from its formation. In a long association with the Church Grammar School, Launceston, he was a trustee from 1850 and secretary and treasurer from 1864. He died at his home in Cimitiere Street, Launceston, on 23 September 1878, survived by his wife and by four sons and one daughter of their seven children. At his funeral 'the flags of the vessels in harbour were hoisted half-mast, and many business establishments in Launceston partially closed their doors, as a token of respect for the memory of the deceased gentleman'.

His second son, Alfred, became a solicitor in 1859 after serving his articles under William Henty of the firm of Gleadow & Henty, founded in 1826; his son, Alfred Lawrence, was admitted to the Bar in 1900 and in 1912 the firm became known as Ritchie & Parker Alfred Green & Co. In 1972 A. L. Green's two sons, Richard Martin and Alfred John, great-grandsons of J. W. Gleadow, were members of the firm which held the record of having the same continuous family interest for the second longest term in Tasmania and probably the third in Australia.

Select Bibliography

  • Church News (Hobart), Oct 1878
  • Examiner (Launceston), 24, 26 Sept 1878
  • correspondence file under R. Green (Archives Office of Tasmania).

Citation details

R. M. Green, 'Green, Richard (1808–1878)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1972, accessed online 21 September 2020.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (MUP), 1972

View the front pages for Volume 4

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