Dictionary of Welsh Biography


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RICHARDS , THOMAS ( 1800 - 1877 ), Australian journalist ;

b. at Dolgelley (christened there 17 Aug. 1800 ), son of Thomas Richards , lawyer , Dolgelley , and Elizabeth his wife. He lost his father at the age of 8. Thomas entered Christ's Hospital in 1809 , later following a medical course, and was received as Licentiate of the Society of Apothecaries in 1823 . His early literary efforts in London appeared in the Monthly Magazine , and in other journals. During these days he associated with Hazlitt and other writers, and the influence of Coleridge remained strong as can be seen from some of his Australian essays. He was married, his wife published poetry in Australia under her own name, Hannah Elsemere Richards . Richards arrived in Hobart as a ship's surgeon , and for a little while practised medicine in New Norfolk , Tasmania , but soon returned to Hobart as editor of the Hobart Town Magazine ( 1833-4 ), and later he edited The Tasmanian ( 1834 ) and contributed to other journals. He also took a share in local government . In 1847 he revisited Britain , but returned to Hobart to serve for the remainder of his life on the staff of The Mercury . Richards published no books but contributed extensively to newspapers and periodicals by writing short stories (many of his stories have a Welsh background), essays on various subjects, reviews and poems. He had been called ‘ The Father of the Tasmanian Press .’ He d. in 1877 .

Sources:

  • E. Morris Miller , Pressmen and Governors Australian editors and writers in early Tasmania a contribution to the history of the Australian press and literature with notes biographical and bibliographical , 1952 ;
  • articles by E. Morris Miller in Across the Years The lure of early Australian books , Melbourne, 1948 (Melbourne, 1948) and in Education Record , Tasmania (Tasmania), Oct. 1948;
  • further information by correspondence from Mr. E. M. Miller .

Author:

David Myrddin Lloyd, M.A., (1909-81), Aberystwyth / Scotland

Published date: 1959