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Private Richard Kelaher  (Keleher ) (1802........1852.)


Back To . . . 28th Foot The North Gloucestershire Regiment

  • Born : , 1802
  • Where Born : Cloyne, Co. Cork, Ireland
  • Occupation : ‘bootmaker’. / Soldier
  • Date Arrived Hobart :13th December 1835
  • Date Arrived Sydney:  12th January 1836
  • Ship Arrived on : "Layton"
  • Rank on Discharge : Private
  • Date of Enlistment :  7th January 1826 age of 23 years
  • Where Enlisted : Cork City
  • Regimental Number : 487
  • Date of Discharge  31st March 1839
  • Where Discharged : Sydney
  • Died :  20th November 1852
  • Where Died / Buried : Bathurst New South Wales R.C section of Bathurst Cemetery.
  • Parents Names :
  • Spouse's Name :  Margaret Healy
  • Born : Cork City
  • Where Born : 1811
  • Occupation : Soldiers Wife
  • Date Arrived :  3rd January 1836
  • Ship Arrived on : "Layton"
  • Died : 23rd April 1881
  • Where Died / Buried : at the house in Durham Street Bathurst. 
  • Date Married :
  • Where Married : Cork City
  • Spouse's Parents :
  • Descendants
    Information supplied by  Victor Kelaher
    Area Settled :
    Children :


    History & Achievements :

    Richard was born in Cloyne, Co. Cork, Ireland in 1802 and died at Bathurst, NSW on 20th November 1852.   On 7th January 1826, in Cork City, at the age of 23 years he enlisted in the 28th Regiment of Foot as a trooper and given regimental number 487.   His civilian occupation at that time was a ‘bootmaker’.   Richard was still a single man when he enlisted in the army.  Following enlistment he was sent to join the regiment which was garrisoned in the Royal Barracks at the town of Buttevant, Co. Cork.   After completing his initial training and being assigned to a company he, along with that company, would have been deployed on duties at various locations within Co. Cork including performing guard duties at the castle in Cork City.   It was during the period between 1826 and 1829 that he met and married his wife, Margaret Healy, who had been born in Cork City in 1811.   In July 1830 Margaret gave birth to their first child, a boy they named John, who was baptised on 4th July of that year in the Buttevant R.C. church by the Very Reverent Colin Buckley. 

    Not long after this, the regiment was recalled to England and garrisoned in the County of Kent.   In 1833 whilst still in Kent, Margaret had her second child, another boy whom they named Richard.   Two years later in August 1835, the regiment commenced its deployment to Australia.   During the previous month of July, Richard was one of twenty-nine troopers of the 28th Regiment to be assigned to the sail-ship ‘Layton’ to escort/guard convicts being deported to Van Diemen’s Land (VDL).  In all two hundred and sixty-seven male convicts were brought to the vessel whilst it was at berth in the Pool of London during that July and August.   On the 15th August 1835 the master of the schooner, Captain G. Wade, raised anchor and set sail for Australia on board ship accompanying the soldiers, were nine wives and nine children of the troops including Richard’s wife Margaret and their two sons.   During the course of the voyage Margaret was to give birth to another son whom Richard and Margaret named Robert.

    The ‘Layton’ arrived in port at Hobart (VDL) on the 13th December 1835 where the convicts disembarked being given into the custody of the prison authorities.   The ship remained in port at Hobart until 3rd January 1836 when she left bound for Sydney on her way back to England.   On board were the twenty-nine soldiers who had escorted the convicts to Hobart, their dependants, an officer from the 13th Regiment, named Lieutenant H.M. Wilkinson, some fare-paying passengers and six convicts being transferred from VDL to Norfolk Island.   The ‘Layton’ sailed into port at Sydney nine days later and the troopers disembarked from the ship the following day the 13th January 1836.

    Richard remained at the barracks in Sydney until late February when he was posted to the military outpost in Bathurst, being accompanied by his wife Margaret and their three sons.   We know that Richard was in Bathurst for the second and third musters of 1836.    The number of soldiers deployed at Bathurst in the early 1830s numbered twenty-nine so it is quite likely all the detachment that had been aboard the ‘Layton’ might well have been sent to Bathurst along with Richard who was to remain in the army for a further three years.   On the 31st March 1839 he was to purchase his discharge from the 28th Regiment of Foot on payment of the sum of £10, s substantial amount of money in those days.   Upon leaving the army Richard resumed his previous civilian occupation becoming the boot/shoe maker of Bathurst.

    When Richard’s eldest son, John, was old enough to handle a four-wheeled wagon and team of animals (horses/bullocks) Richard started another business as a haulier.  He was also helped in this business by his second son, Richard (Jr).   These two businesses were apparently quite successful as Richard was able to purchase two plots of land in Bathurst.   On the one in Durham Street he had a house built for the family and the other, on the corner of Keppel Street and Rankin Street would appear to have been where the animals were kept as this land was not built upon and was eventually sold after Margaret had died.

    During the years following Richard’s discharge from the army, Margaret had a further five children.  

    Richard’s wife Margaret outlived her husband by many years being 70 years of age when she died on 23rd April 1881 at the house in Durham Street

    Military records  ,Pay rolls, Pay Musters, Cemetery Records, Church Records & General Muster Records, Mitchell Library ,Sydney Australia
    The information is intended for short Historical value only,
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    © Copyright B & M Chapman (QLD) Australia
    Last revised: January 17, 2008.