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Middlebrook, Richard

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Fast Facts
Type of person Individual
Date of birth c. 1807
Date of arrival c. 1849
Principal occupation Farmer
Date of death 1892
Place of decease Willunga

Richard Middlebrook arrived in South Australia with his family on Macedon in 1849. He had married Thirza Beattie, a widow, in 1841 and was an agricultural labourer. Richard and Thirza produced three children, Hannah, Nicholas and infant Richard. These children joined Thirza’s children by two previous husbands, Isaac, Fanny, David and Thirza.

Like Thirza, Richard was a stalwart supporter of the Primitive Methodist Church, and was a Trustee of the Strout Rd Primitive Methodist Chapel and cemetery were located. He is noted as someone who often addressed the congregration. He was on the District Council of Willunga in the 1860s.

It must have been quite a blow when he was charged with feloniously stealing a bullock yoke in 1860. He was charged by Constable John Shaw against the wishes of the person who he had allegedly stolen from, Mr Stow. Mr Stow said in court “I have known Richard Middlebrook for years and always found him an honest man. Middlebrook has paid me for the yoke since”. (Register, 24/12/1860, p. 3) After further evidence, the court stopped the case and dismissed the information.

Richard died in 1892. His death notice read: "MIDDLEBROOK - on the 29th of June, at Willunga, Richard Middlebrook, father of Richard Middlebrook, Port Wakefield and Mrs Coffee, Melbourne, aged 87 years. A colonist of 48 years. Melbourne papers please copy.” Richard is buried at the Strout Road Cemetery.

There is a tenuous connection between the Middlebrook family and Middlebrook Winery. His son, Richard Middlebrook, farmed rented land in McLaren. This land eventually became Middlebrook Winery, apparently called so by David Hardy in 1982.

Sources

  • Trove.nla.gov.au
  • shipslist.com
  • Willunga Courthouse records
  • ancestry.com
  • SAILIS



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