(1846  -  2nd March 1885)





Great Grandfather  of W.P. 'Bill' Richardson


Robert was born in 1846, his parents were Thomas Richardson (a brick and tile maker) and his wife Mary (nee Robinson). He was baptised on the 18th November 1846, at Barnard Castle and the baptism record says that the address of the family was Spring Gardens, Barnard Castle Moor, Co. Durham.

Despite long hours of searching and the assistance of various Registrars around the country, I have not been able to find a civil registration of Robert's birth. The only conclusion I can come to is that though his parents had him baptised they didn't register his birth.

By the time of the 1851 census, the family were living in Usworth Colliery Village and Robert was recorded on the census as being 4 years old and born at Barnard Castle Moor.

Ten years later, in the 1861 census, the family were living at Inkerman Terrace in Usworth. Robert was recorded as being 14 years old and was working for his living as a coal miner

On the 1st January 1868 Robert married. His wife was Margaret Pallister the daughter of another Usworth miner. They were married at the parish church in Jarrow, Robert was 21 and Margaret was 18 and their witnesses were Robert's sister Ellen and her husband William H Saxton.

The 1871 census recorded that Robert and Margaret were living in Middle Row in Usworth and by this time they had two children. Thomas was 2 and Isabella P. was 1.

In 1872, they had another child, William Pallister Richardson, born in the first quarter of the year and named after his maternal Grandfather. Sadly, he did not live long and died soon after birth.

The following year they had another son and again named him William Pallister Richardson, this time after both his Grandfather and the baby who had not survived.

The census of 1881 showed that Robert's family had grown. There were six children, Thomas (12) was working down the mine, Isabella (11) was at school and the new arrivals since the last census were William P., (8), Annie (5), Robert (3) and the baby was Ralph (11 months). On this census Robert's occupation was listed as Deputy Overman.

Robert and Margaret's last child, John Robinson Richardson, was born in 1882.

On the 2nd of March 1885, there was an explosion at the pit. Robert was one of about forty men who died, he was 39 years old and was buried in Holy Trinity Churchyard (Usworth Parish Church) on the 26th March 1885, his burial was recorded in the parish register.

There were  memorials erected, both in the churchyard at Holy Trinity and at Our Lady's R.C. Church, Washington, in memory of the men who died in the disaster and Robert's name is inscribed on them.