Born In Ireland
Richard Keane Spotswood was born on December 11, 1818, the son of John Spotswood and Elizabeth (nee Cluxton). At the age of 21, he migrated to South Australia on board the ship, Birman. Also on board for that journey were his two aunts, Charlotte (Wilson) and Sarah (Blackham).
Orders for a Special Survey, to be conducted for Capt Bagot, acting as an agent for Sir Montague Chapman, a wealthy Irish gentleman, were carried on that ship, and many of the settlers on board were to be settled in the surveyed area. Capt Bagot selected several sections of the Special Survey in areas to the north of Adelaide, including some acres at Montague Farm, now known as Dry Creek, just north of Gepps Cross and Enfield.
R K Spotswood settled at Dry Creek by 1845, and added his name to a petition (or memorial) opposing the introduction of convicts to the South Australian colony. Also on the huge list of names was his future father-in-law John Ragless.
It is likely that the Blackhams and the Wilsons also settled on land of the new survey as newspaper reports of activities in the area include these families. The area is not far north of Pine Forest, the farm of John Ragless. This then began or continued marriages and partnerships between the Spotswood, Wilson, Blackham and Ragless families.
On 28 Mar 1845 Richard Keane Spotswood married Sophia Ragless, daughter of John and Elizabeth, of Pine Forest (Enfield).
Seeking A Fortune
Richard travelled to the Victorian goldfields with Oliver Ragless, who kept (and later published in a local newspaper) a diary. Also in the group were others in the wider family group.
On his return from the goldfields Richard became involved in local affairs. Minutes of Yatala Council meetings published in local newspapers show that Richard was a councillor and at times, chairman of that council. As was John Ragless.
The second child (and first son) born to Richard and Sophia was named John, also the name of his grandfather. His birth was on 3rd May 1848 at Enfield. This was before his expedition to the goldfields in Victoria. At that time his mother was left to care for the first three children ( Elizabeth, born 1846 and Richard Keane jr, born 1850). Thomas Hugh was born in 1853, after the fortune hunters returned form the diggings.