Australian Dictionary of Biography

  • Tip: searches only the name field
  • Tip: Use double quotes to search for a phrase

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Richard Green (1808–1878)

by R. M. Green

This article was published:

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 April 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 4, (Melbourne University Press), 1972

View the front pages for Volume 4

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]


24 November, 1808
Hertford, Hertfordshire, England


23 September, 1878 (aged 69)
Launceston, Tasmania, Australia

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.

Religious Influence

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.