Private Marine Laurence Richards from Tiverton Devon, and his pregnant wife Mary, boarded the Prince of Wales for their voyage to Sydney Cove. Son Samuel was born on 9 October 1787 five days out from the ship’s arrival at the Cape of Good Hope.
At Port Jackson, Richards was amongst a number of Marines who served in the detachment of Captain John Shea. In 1791 he decided to become a settler, sailing to Norfolk Island by Atlantic in October 1791 with Mary, Samuel and a second son William. On the Island, Richards took up a 60 acre grant at Cascade Stream, and by 1792 he was selling provisions to the stores. A year later he returned to Port Jackson, enlisted in the New South Wales Corps, and received 25 acres at Mulgrave Place, sharing a 200 acre grant with seven others. Then in March 1800, because of a double tour of duty he received a grant of 60 acres at Bankstown. In the meantime Mary was kept busy bearing seven children in the colony from 1790 to 1807.
Samuel Richards, the child born on the voyage was aged 12 years when he joined the NSW Corps in 1800, followed by his younger brother William in 1808. On 24 April 1810 with their father Laurence they transferred to the 73rd Regiment. When the 73rd was transferred to Ceylon in 1814, Samuel and William went with the first detachment on the Earl Spencer that departed 21 January 1814. Samuel and possibly William were stationed at Kandy Ceylon in December 1815. Laurence followed his two sons to Ceylon aboard the third vessel Windham, departing 14 April 1814. He was still there in December 1815. At the end of this tour of duty, he either returned to New South Wales or sailed direct to England.
The UK Royal Hospital Regimental Registers, Chelsea 1713-1882 and UK Royal Hospital Chelsea Pensioner Admissions and Discharges 1715-1925 records on 9 August 1816, one Private Lawrence Richards Weaver from Tiverton Devon. It notes he was 58, born about 1758 Tiverton Devon of 73rd Foot Lord (William) Harris; total service 35 years.
It is highly probable that the burial on 24 October 1834, registered in the Anglican Parish of Tiverton Devon, is First Fleeter Lawrence Richards aged 75, birth year 1759.
Gillen, Mollie The Founders of Australia