Richard Joseph Sheehan

From Hotels of Ballarat
Richard Joseph Sheehan
Born 1830
Cork, Ireland
Died 29 November 1889
Smeaton, Victoria
Nationality Irish
Occupation Publican
Years active 1881-1889
Known for Cumberland Hotel
Home town Smeaton
Spouse(s) Maria Cecilia Ellis
  • Dennis Sheehan (father)
  • Mary Ann Pugh (mother)

Richard Joseph Sheehan was a publican in Smeaton, Victoria, <1881-1889.

History[edit | edit source]

Sheehan was born c.1830, in Cork, Ireland, the son of Dennis Sheehan and Mary Ann Pugh.[1] He married Maria Cecilia Ellis in Victoria in 1866.[1][2]

They had several children including:

  • Annice Kate, born 1867, Amherst.[3]
  • Bartholomew, born 1869, Kingston.[4]
  • Maria Cecilia, born 1871, Kingston.[5]
  • Mary Ann, born 1872, Kingston.[6]
  • Ellen Monica, born 1874, Smeaton.[7]
  • Agnes, born 1877, Smeaton.[8]
  • Kate, born 1879, Smeaton.[9]
  • Richard Joseph, born 1881, Smeaton.[10]
  • John, born 1882, Smeaton.[11]
  • Teresa, born 1884, Smeaton.[12]
  • James Francis, born 1885, Smeaton.[13]
  • Lawrence Richmond, born 1888, Smeaton.[14]

Sheehan and his family had a lucky escape after a road accident in January 1881:

A most miraculous escape from serious injury or death (the Creswick Advertiser records) happened on Monday evening just outside the Hospital gates. Mr J. Sheehan, of the Cumberland hotel, Smeaton, accompanied by Miss Sheehan and an infant child (who is afflicted with hip disease), had been driven to the institution in a buggy and pair by Mr Baird, jun., purpose of having splints affixed to the child's leg. When leaving the Hospital the horses became restive and unmanageable, and an attendant was nearly run ever in his attempt to open the gates. He, however managed to do so, and the horses rushed through at a furious pace. Mr Baird preserved great presence of mind, and reined them face against the Embankment on the side of the hill. Here one of the animals commenced kicking and plunging, and they both swerved round and dashed the pole of the buggy into the embankment, causing a complete smash, and precipitating the occupants on to the hard road. Mr Sheehan got clear of the buggy, but Miss Sheehan, who was carrying the infant in her arms got between the wheels, and when lifted out by her father he supposed she was dead. Strange however, as it may seem, when matters were put straight, it was found that no injury whatever happened to any of the occupants, and after some little delay Mr Sheehan and family procured another buggy, and proceeded home apparently as if nothing had happened. The buggy and horses were the property of Mr Baird, and besides damage done, one the horses received considerable injuries.[15]

His son Bartholomew had a dreadful accident at school in 1882:

A shocking accident has happened to a boy, Bartholomew Sheehan, about 13 years old, son of Mr R. F. Sheehan, of the Cumberland Hotel. It appears that the boy got an old pistol, and put a charge of gunpowder in it and then made a ball of lead with his knife and put it in the pistol. Not having a percussion cap he made a substitute for one by taking the head off a match. In putting it on the nipple of the pistol, however, the friction caused the the pistol to discharge while holding it with his hand over the muzzle. The whole of the contents passed through the middle of his hand, making a fearful hole in it, and carrying a great portion of the flesh away. The lad was immediately taken by his father to the District Hospital for medical treatment. It is not yet known whether the hand will have to be amputated. There were about 15 other schoolboys standing round watching the proceedings at the time, and it was a wonder that some other boy was not injured by the ball passing away. The accident occurred during the school dinner hour.[16]

Sheehan died at the hotel on 29 November 1889:

Residents of Creswick heard with regret this morning of the death of Mr R. J. Sheehan, of Smeaton, the respected landlord of the Cumberland hotel. The deceased, who was a thorough gentleman, had been confined to his room for several months, and his demise was not altogether a surprise to many friends who could have wished him a longer lease of life.[17]

In October 1916 the newspapers reported on Sheehan's son Lawrence:

A large number of friends assembled at Mrs C. E. Taylor's residence, Webster street, Ballarat, on Thursday evening, 30th inst., to bid goodbye to Mr Lawrence Sheehan, who has been accepted for service as a wireless operator, and leaves Ballarat to take up his new duties on Monday. Mr Sheehan, who is the youngest son of the late Mr and Mrs R. G. Sheehan, of the Cumberland hotel, Smeaton, has for the past four years been stationed at the Ballarat West Telegraph office, was always a very courteous and obliging officer, and during his stay there had rendered himself very popular in musical, dramatic and sporting circles. He was a valued member of the Ballarat City Band, and in this connection has won many prizes, being a very brilliant euphonium player. Mr Maugan, on behalf of Mrs Taylor and fellow boarders, presented the guest with a handsome flask as a token of their esteem. After Mr Sheehan had suitably responded to the good wishes expressed, supper was served and a musical programme concluded a most enjoyable evening. Mr Laurie Sheehan is the brother of Mrs E. Brawn, Broomfield, Mrs J. and A. Charleson, and Misses Sheehan, of Allendale.[18]

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed 06 February 2019), memorial page for Richard Joseph Sheehan (1830–29 Nov 1889), Find A Grave Memorial no. 178583387, citing Smeaton Cemetery, Smeaton, Hepburn Shire, Victoria, Australia ; Maintained by Rebecca McIntosh (contributor 48241877)
  2. Australian Marriage Index, Victoria, 1866, Ref. No. 3783
  3. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1867, Ref. No. 12170
  4. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1869, Ref. No. 9396
  5. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1871, Ref. No. 3285
  6. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1872, Ref. No. 3240
  7. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1874, Ref No. 12232
  8. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1877, Ref. No. 18717
  9. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1879, Ref. No. 12158
  10. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1881, Ref. No. 19615
  11. Australian Death Index, Victoria, 1923, Ref. No. 13471
  12. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1884, Ref. No. 12861
  13. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1885, Ref. No. 21448
  14. Australian Birth Index, Victoria, 1888, Ref. No. 24709
  15. 1881 'NEWS AND NOTES.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 20 January, p. 2. , viewed 05 Feb 2019,
  16. 1882 'No title', Avoca Mail (Vic. : 1863 - 1900; 1915 - 1918), 20 June, p. 2. , viewed 07 Feb 2019,
  17. 1889 'CRESWICK.', The Ballarat Star (Vic. : 1865 - 1924), 2 December, p. 4. , viewed 05 Feb 2019,
  18. 1916 'The Creswick Advertiser', Creswick Advertiser (Vic. : 1914 - 1918), 27 October, p. 2. , viewed 07 Feb 2019,

External links[edit | edit source]