Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Redmond, Edward (1766–1840)

by Vivienne Parsons

This article was published in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

Edward Redmond (1766?-1840), publican, dealer and Catholic layman, was an uneducated Irish labourer who appears to have signed his name with a mark all his life. At 32 he was an Irish rebel of 1798, convicted in King's County in April and sentenced to transportation for life. He arrived in the Minerva in January 1800, described as McRedmond, the name Governor Lachlan Macquarie used in 1813 when confirming his absolute pardon. Redmond had received a conditional pardon on 4 June 1803 and set up in business in Sydney. In January 1808 he signed the address expressing confidence in Governor William Bligh, though also asking that the government grant freedom to trade and trial by jury to the free colonists of New South Wales. Next year the rebel government gave him a wine and spirit licence and 135 acres (55 ha) at Botany; on 1 December 1809 he received his absolute pardon which, like the grant and the liquor licence, Macquarie later confirmed.

Redmond married a widow, Winifred Duriault, née Dowling, on 15 October 1811. She had been convicted, with her sister Eliza, in County Kildare in 1801 and, sentenced to transportation for life, had arrived in the Atlas in July 1802, and in September had married François Duriault (de Riveau). He was a French vigneron who, together with Antoine Landrien, a fellow prisoner of war, had been sent out by the British government in 1801 to teach vine-growing to the colonists. In March 1804 Duriault was sent back to England because his work was unsatisfactory and Governor Philip Gidley King suspected that he was implicated in the convict uprising at Castle Hill, but his wife remained in New South Wales with an infant son, who became known as John Redmond after she married Edward Redmond. She bore Redmond two daughters, Mary and Sarah.

Edward and Winifred Redmond seem to have become prosperous and respectable. In 1815 Redmond, in partnership with Patrick Cullen, leased the tolls between Sydney and Parramatta, and so was involved in the controversy which followed the refusal of Jeffery Bent to pay them. In 1816 he became one of the original shareholders in the Bank of New South Wales. In 1819 he was one of the colony's businessmen who petitioned the British government to lessen the restrictions it placed on the carriage of goods to the colony in convict ships. In 1820 he was elected to the committee set up to arrange for building a permanent Roman Catholic Church in Sydney, after services had been begun in temporary buildings on Redmond's premises. During the 1820s he extended his activities as a landowner, though suffering from drought and depression in 1827-28. He died in 1840 and was buried in the Devonshire Street cemetery on 24 January. He was later reinterred at Botany. To his widow and children he left farms at Bathurst, Bingham, Annandale and on the Hawkesbury River, houses at Windsor and Liverpool, and Sydney houses in Essen Lane and Prince Street and on Brickfield Hill. He had risen from convict status to the ranks of respectability, and made a contribution to the establishment of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of New South Wales, vol 4
  • Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vols 2, 4, 7, 9, 10, 14
  • J. P. McGuanne, ‘Old St Mary's’, Journal and Proceedings (Australian Historical Society), vol 3, part 4, 1916, pp 150-79
  • manuscript catalogue under Edward Redmond (State Library of New South Wales).

Citation details

Vivienne Parsons, 'Redmond, Edward (1766–1840)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/redmond-edward-2581/text3535, published in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 2 October 2014.

This article was first published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (MUP), 1967

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2014

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • McRedmond, Edward
Birth

1766

Death

1840
New South Wales, Australia

Cultural Heritage
Religious Influence
Occupation