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Item: 197950
Surname: Harris (obit)
First Name: Dr. Richard
Ship: 1838
Date: 4 November 1887
Place: Newcastle
Source: NMH
Details: Dr. Richard Harris, passed peacefully away yesterday, at the ripe age of 81 years. For some time past, Dr. Harris has been gradually declining in health from a complication of ailments, which may be summed up in two words - old age. By his decease, another of the links which unite the old residents of Newcastle with the early pioneers has been broken. Dr. Richard Harris was born in the county of Wexford, Ireland, in 1806. He was the son of Captain Henry Harris, of the 14th Light Dragoons, so honourably distinguished in the Peninsula war. Captain Harris was one of seven brothers, all British officers, whose mother died at 104 years of age, in receipt of a pension from the British Government on account of having seven sons in the army. Dr. Richard Harris reached this colony about 1838. After practising his profession for some time in Parramatta, he went to Mudgee and took up land as a squatter. A number of years experience in this direction proved unsatisfactory. He accordingly relinquished squatting pursuits, and accepted the Government appointment of Examiner of Coal Fields, arriving in Newcastle in 1861. Finding this position not so remunerative as his own profession, he resigned it, and was succeeded by Mr. J. Mackenzie. Dr. Harris then started again as a medical man at the Market Square, in premises owned by Mr. Ludlow. After a time he removed to the corner of Hunter-street and Market-lane, formerly occupied by Mr. O Gallagher; and in 1870 he finally established himself in the house erected by himself in Watt-street, and in which he breathed his last. He continued in active practice till the beginning of the present year, when his health, hitherto so robust, began to decline. We may mention that Dr. Harris has been a widower for some years, and, having no family of his own, he has educated and pushed forward successfully into the world no less than thirty of his nephews, nieces, and other relatives, conspicuous amongst these (as being, perhaps, better known to our readers) may be mentioned his nephews, Rev. Charles Harris (C. of E.) at Ballarat, and Dr. John Harris, one of our most popular and successful medical men. These two gentlemen were specially sent for from Ireland by their deceased uncle, and their career has evidently been such as to justify his expectations in giving them each a splendid start in life. Dr. Richard Harris was health officer of this port for about 14 years, succeeding Dr. Bowker in that position. He was also Government medical officer for the same period, visiting surgeon to the Hospital for the Insane, and surgeon to the Permanent Artillery Force. He established the Bethel Mission at Carrington, and built the Mission Reading-room and Chapel for Sea- men on the Island. He was also one of the promoters of the Newcastle Coal Company, and was for a length of time one of that Company s directors. Without taking very great part in public matters, he was always ready to help in any good work, and was a ready contributor to our public charities and to private undertakings for the general good. He was the first president of the Y. M. C. Association, and firm supporter of the British and Foreign Bible Society. He will be missed by many outside his own family circle. In order to enable many friends at a distance to attend the funeral, it has been deemed advisable to postpone the ceremony till tomorrow (Saturday). The funeral will move from Watt-street at 3 o clock, on route for the Sandgate cemetery.