John Richard Colbourne was born in Tulla, County Clare in 1834. He was the son of Richard Colbourn (born in Cree, Kilcolman, Co. Offaly in 1808) and Mary Culliny. The family lived in Tulla where they ran a hotel. After his mother died when John was 14, he spent a lot of time on his grandparent's farm at Cree, County Offaly, where he became expert in handling horses.
John Colbourn joined the Irish Constabulary in Dublin when he was 20, resigned to join the army and went to the Crimea, then rejoined the Constabulary upon his return from the Crimean War. And as it turns out it was likely in Dublin that he met his future wife.
Just one month after their marriage in Dublin, John and Maria left Ireland for Australia. John joined the Police Force in Victoria and was posted to St Arnaud. They later moved to Ballarat where he worked as a clerk in a solicitor's office and as a miner. Together they had four children, two boys and two girls, but John’s drinking became problematic leading to his discharge from the Victorian Police Force. His alcoholism caused problems for his young family, to the extent that his son, also John Richard Colbourn, was forced to work in a goldmine as a ponyboy from the age of eight, thus foregoing an education. One of their daughters, Harriet, was to marry Joseph Wormald of the notable Wormald family from England, famous for fire insurance and fire-fighting devices.
John Richard Colbourne died in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia on the 20th of October, 1892, at the age of 58. His wife, Maria outlived him by over 25 years, dying in Ballarat on the 2nd of August, 1918.
|Date of Birth||10th Apr 1834|
|Date of Death||20th Oct 1892|
|Father (First Name/s and Surname)||Richard Colbourn|
|Mother (First Name/s and Maiden)||Mary Culliney|
|Townland born||Tulla Co Clare|
|Names of Siblings||Sarah, Georgina, Margaret Half brothers Richard James & James Henry|
|Spouse (First Name/s and Maiden/Surname)||Maria Harwood|
|Place & Date of Marriage||19th October 1857 St Peters Dublin|
|Number of Children||5|
|Names of Children||John Richard Harriet Eliz Mary Mary Anne William|
|Occupation||RIC, Mounted policeman|