Richard Anstice Perkins
|First name||Richard Anstice|
|Country of Origin||England|
|Date of Birth||8/19/1837|
|Year of Arrival in Australia||2/6/1840|
|Submitted by||Lynne Blythe|
Richard Anstice Perkins
Aug 19 1837 Richard Anstice Perkins was born at 22 Edward St Sepheny, London. At age 2 he came to Australia with his parents on the ‘Java\’ arriving at Holdfast Bay, SA on Feb 2 1840. He helped his parents on the farm at Blackiston then later assisted with the move to the property known as ‘Woodford\’ near Woodside where he worked till his younger brothers were old enough to help their father, then Richard and Robert the two eldest went to Naracoorte. Richard married Elizabeth Amelia Orr at Williamstown Vic on July 15 1862. Elizabeth was born on July 29 1844 at Newport Monmouthshire, Wales, her parents being John Henry Miller Orr and Elizabeth (nee Anstice) Orr. Richard and Elizabeth lived at Naracoorte where Richard farmed.
In 1877 Richard was made Overseer of the Government Experimental Farm situated on Section 392 Mt Muirhead. ‘The Border Watch’ newspaper published regular reports on the Experimental Farm. Following are some extracts (the complete series of reports can be viewed in the Newspaper Room at the Adelaide Archives.)
Border Watch Feb 7 1887
Mr Perkins, who has received the appointment of Overseer at the Experimental Farm to be established at Narrow Neck has commenced his labors, and I have every confidence that a good choice has been made. I shall keep my readers informed as to the results of the farm, which will prove a great boon to the agriculturists and stock-owners of the South East.
Border Watch Sep 5 1877
The champion prize-taker, Mr McCallen, again asserted his superiority by placing his work above all others, which he had to do before being entitled to any prize. His team Ð a pair of well-matched Clydesdales Ð well-made harness and plough by Williams were the theme of general admiration and reflect credit upon Mr Perkins, the overseer of the Experimental Farm. It set a first class example of how to turn out a plough and team. By an oversight the judges recommendation for a special prize for the team plough was inadvertently left out of the prize list as read at the dinner, but it may be some slight satisfaction to Mr Perkins that it is now publicly mentioned.
Richard and Elizabeth had 6 daughters and three sons between 1863 and 1881. There were 3 infant deaths and 2 other daughters not reaching the age of 30 years. The remainder survived to their 70s.
Richard Perkins Junior Obituary
The small band of South Australian pioneers was further reduced by the death at Geelong on Monday of Mr R. A. Perkins.
After an absence from the Foundation Day demonstrations at Glenelg for a long period Mr Perkins was again in attendance last year, and because of his wonderfully clear and retentive memory, his great powers of observation and his power of description he was on the most interesting personages present.
He lived at Blackiston near Mt Barker where the family settled shortly after they arrived in the State and when there was not a fence between that of their selection and the New South Wales border, Mr Perkins had some exciting experiences. On one occasion it was only his nearness to home and the fact that he threw a large leg of mutton at his pursuers that saved him from a severe mauling, if not death, from a pack of wild dogs. Soon after the family reached Blackiston his only sister died, and the sorrowing parents buried her body under a cherry tree in the garden.
The difficulties that had to be met in wheat carting were specially memorable. His father had to put two teams of bullocks to the wagon to drag the load up stiff grades of the bush tracks of Mt Lofty Hills and on the down grade they many times had to cut down a tree and chain it to the rear of the wagon to act as a brake. He frequently saw bullock teams stuck up in Hindley St and he often fed his own bullocks under the gum trees growing where the Arcade now stands.
Mr Perkins married in 1863 when he lived at Mt Gambier. He had a reputation of being an expert agriculturist and the records of Shows in the district speak volumes for his ability in this respect. When operations ceased at the Experimental Farm, he took up land at Albacutya near Rainbow when he farmed until about 8 years ago. He & Mrs Perkins (Lizzie) then retired to Taverner St Rainbow.
Lizzie died June 1917 and from the shock of severance of 56 years companionship he never really recovered. He had apoplexy when he heard the news of the signing of the Armistice on Nov 11 while staying with his daughter Mrs F C Perkins at Glanton St West Hindmarsh. That weakened him considerably though he was able to move afterwards and still retained his mental alertness.