Richard LEWIS was born in Holyhead, Wales in 1815, son of Owen LEWIS and Elizabeth JONES. He married Mary PRICE daughter of William PRICE and Elizabeth ___ born ca 1815.

He was a Sea Captain, Pastoralist, Builder & Publican and was the brother of John LEWIS (1817-?) who possibly married Jane BUCKLE and is buried in Heywood, Vic., brother of Owen LEWIS (1821-?), brother of Catherine LEWIS (1819-1877) wife of Owen OWENS from Digby, brother of Hugh LEWIS (1826-1887) of 'Glenlivet', Digby who married Catherine MERCER and bother of Grace LEWIS (1828-?).

Richard LEWIS was reported to be a Ships Captain, who traded with Tasmania around 1836, and who left the sea around 1840 and became a settler in Portland, Victoria. When he retired in 1880, he named his house, near Digby, "Bryngola" after one of the small farms near where he was born in Wales. His wife Mary died at "Bryngola" in 1877 and is buried in the Digby Cemetery.

From the records Richard LEWIS and Mary PRICE raised a family of two boys, born to Mary PRICE prior to her marriage to Richard LEWIS in 1841.

  1. William Sugden Price LEWIS b. 1835, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), married Marslie ROBERSTON, they had at least 9 children born in the Hamilton area from 1869-1886;
  2. George Sugden Price LEWIS b. 1838, Hobart Town, Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania), married Catharine Ellen McGUIRE, they had 15 children born 1867-1891 around Digby and in north western Victoria around Charlton and Swan Hill .

Richard LEWIS settled the "Emu Creek" pastoral run, built the "Woolpack Inn" at Digby in 1843, purchased "Rifle Downs" station and later owned "Pleasant Hills" station. According to Kathleen DREW in 1977 some of the early history of "Rifle Downs" was :

Captain Richard LEWIS sailed his ship to Portland in the early 1840s, came inland and selected "Rifle Downs" country. It was a large amount of land, the Smoky (Crawford) River being the southern boundary, then going east through Digby and taking in the Pleasant Hills country, and some of the cleared land north of the Stokes River.

As Captain LEWIS had no one to work for him on "Rifle Downs", he sailed back to England, impressed a crew, sailed back to Portland where he dismantled his ship and travelled to 'Rifle Downs" with his crew. Also some timber, etc., from his ship, which he used in building the house. The doors in the main hall were from his ship. The remaining timber including all the floor boards were all pit sawn, and the bricks were made at the building site. The house was finished in approximately 1848. Captain Lewis's relations by marriage, the Simkins, apparently came with him, and some of their descendants are still in and around Digby.

Captain LEWIS imported the first thoroughbred stallion to Victoria, named King Alfred. A Chris COULSON of Merino came out as the groom to this horse, and I believe a forebear of Tony GASPERINO stowed away with this horse and hid in the straw when the police were searching for him. There was quite a racing stable at "Rifle Downs" in Captain LEWIS's time and a training track cut through the forest where it was comparitively flat and sandy. This area is still known as the racecourse, and now belongs to Mr Eddie HISCOCK.

I understand that the first church service to be held in this district took place at "Rifle Downs" in the sitting room.

Mary LEWIS (nee PRICE) died at "Bryngola" near Digby on 23 May 1877 and was buried in the Digby cemetery.

Richard LEWIS remarried in 1878 to Agnes Elliot ANDERSON (nee BROWNING) ~1833-1906, widow of Thomas Alexander ANDERSON 1833-1866 of Scotland, Portland, "Hilgay" station & Queensland.

Richard LEWIS died at Casterton in 1890 and was buried in the South Portland cemetery. His widow moved to Western Australia where members of her ANDERSON family had settled and she died there in 1906.

The children of Mary PRICE (1815-1877)

1. William Sugden Price LEWIS (1835-1915) & Marslie May ROBERTSON (1844-1930)

William and Marslie married in 1868 at Redruth, Wannon, near Hamilton with Marslie ROBERTSON being the daughter of Angus ROBERTSON and Jeanette McPHERSON.

William LEWIS & Marslie ROBERTSON had the following known family:

  1. Mary LEWIS, b. 1869 Dundas, S-W Vic, m. 1905, Perth, WA to George Alexander KENNEDY 1879-1955, d. Geraldton, WA
  2. Jennette Jessie McPherson LEWIS, b. 1870 "Hilgay", Coleraine, S-W Vic, d. 1947, Hamilton, S-W Vic., m. 1899, Fremantle, WA. to William NEIL 1870- ?
  3. Angus William Robertson LEWIS, b. 1872, Hamilton, Vic, m. Emma CORNISH
  4. Francis Cusack Russell LEWIS, b. 1877 Heywood, Vic, m. Margery ATCHISON
  5. Annie May LEWIS, b. 1879 Portland, Vic, m. Peter Wardlaw BOYLE
  6. James John Duncan LEWIS, b. 1882 Hamilton, d. 1903
  7. Alvie Hamilton Charles LEWIS, b. 1884 Hamilton, Vic, d. 1891
  8. John Colin George McPherson LEWIS, b. 1886 Hamilton, Vic, m. Rosa Louisa RUNDELL

2. George Sugden Price LEWIS (1835-1915) & Catherine Ellen McGUIRE (1848-1933)

George and Catherine married in 1868 with Catherine, born at Belfast (now Port Fairy, Victoria), the daughter of Alexander McGUIRE and Eliza HAYNES.

George LEWIS & Catherine McGUIRE had the following known family:

  1. George William McGUIRE \ LEWIS, b. 1867 Merino, Vic, m. Elizabeth Sophia HICKMOTT
  2. Mary Maud Eliza LEWIS, b. 1869 Merino, Vic, m. Samuel Henry BUTCHER
  3. Eva Annie May LEWIS, b. 1869 Merino, Vic, m. Alfred Ernest BUDDS
  4. Herbert Digby LEWIS, b. 1871, Digby, Vic, m. Edith Olive HICKMOTT
  5. Henry John Haynes LEWIS, b. 1873, Digby, Vic
  6. Richard LEWIS, b. 1874, Digby, Vic, d. 1903, WA, Aus
  7. Annie Catherine LEWIS, b. 1876, Merino, Vic, m. William BLACK
  8. Rosanna LEWIS, b. 1878, Charlton, Vic, m. ____ GORDON ?
  9. Hannah Harriet LEWIS, b. 1878 Quambatook, Vic m. Thomas Greville EVANS
  10. Ellen Georgena LEWIS, b. 1881 Charlton, Vic, m. Arthur JONES
  11. Alexander LEWIS, b. 1882 Lake Boga, Vic [1st AIF, 16th Battalion, died of wounds, 12 Aug 1915, Gallipoli]
  12. Mabel Adelaide LEWIS, b. 1884 Swan Hill, Vic, m. George John BRUNNEN
  13. Murray Winter LEWIS, b. 1885 Swan Hill, Vic m. Elizabeth HAMILTON
  14. Stanley Russell LEWIS, b. 1887 Swan Hill, Vic, d. Sydney, NSW
  15. Daisy Evelyn LEWIS, b. 1891 Swan HILL, Vic, m. George JOHNSON