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Windeyer, Richard (1806 - 1847)

Archival/Heritage SourcesPublished Sources
Barrister, Journalist and Agriculturalist
Born: 10 August 1806  London, England.  Died: 2 December 1847  Launceston, Tasmania, Australia.
Richard Windeyer was a prominent figure in New South Wales during the mid 1800s. Prior to arriving in Australia, he worked as journalist on the Morning Chronicle, the Sun, the Mirror of Parliament and the Australian. Once in Sydney however, he turned his attentions to the law, politics and farming. Windeyer set up a very successful legal practice in Sydney and worked on many high-profile cases. He was such a passionate barrister that he and the opposing council almost came to blows during one trial. This resulted in both men spending Christmas of 1846 in Darlinghurst goal for contempt of court. In 1842 Richard Windeyer was elected to the Legislative Council where he was responsible for many new policies and bills: the monetary confidence bill, a jury reform bill which replaced trial by assessors with trial by jury, and the ‘Mr Windeyer’s Libel Act’ of 1847. He also debated the tariff bill of 1843 and the national school system bill (1844), and helped open trade markets between New South Wales, Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania) and the United Kingdom. In the Hunter valley region, Windeyer established a vineyard, sugar-cane and wheat farm where he also ran cattle, horses and pigs. He spent vast sums of money importing new farming equipment, methods and techniques from Europe and Great Britain to establish one of the most mechanised farms of the time. Windeyer was also president of the local agricultural society and a member of the Aboriginal Protection Society, Sydney Mechanic’s School of the Arts and the Australian School Society.

Career Highlights

1829 - c. 1834Student in the Middle Temple, UK
1834Called to the Bar
1834 - 1835London correspondent for the Australian newspaper
1835 - Private legal practice established in Sydney
1835Migrated to Australia (Sydney)
1838Purchased land in the Hunetr valley to establish a homestead, vineyard and mixed farm
1843 - Member for Durham County in the Legislative Council
1844Introduced a bill to amend jury laws in New South Wales to allow trial by jury
1846Charged with contempt of court and sent to Darlinghusrt goal


Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: McCarthy, G.J.
Created: 20 October 1993
Modified: 29 January 2007

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
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Updated: 26 February 2007

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