Cricket trivia question:
Q: What connection does famous Australian cricketer Richie Benaud have with Taree?
A: In 1963 Richie was in the NSW Sheffield Shield team which played against the Mid North Coast in Taree. And…Richie’s great grandfather lived and died in Taree.2
Jean Benaud arrived from France as an able seaman on the Ville de Bordeaux which arrived in Sydney in 1840.3 Like his better known descendent, Jean was Captain, but of sailing vessels on the east coast of Australia, particularly the Manning River.
Benaud was a master mariner who expertly steered his vessels to safety in the face of adversity on numerous occasions.4 His last command was the steamer Samson owned by the Australian Steam Navigation Company.5
Benaud, a widower, remarried in Taree in 1858 at the age of 39. His wife Caroline Powell, was the daughter of the first ever maritime pilot for the Manning River, Richard Powell.6
In August 1865, Benaud was involved in a salacious liable case between a married man and a stewardess on board the Samson. Benaud was vindicated. Nevertheless, Benaud retired soon afterwards to live with his wife and family on the Manning River.7 He owned land on the corner of Macquarie and Victoria Streets, Taree.8
On 1 July 1866, Benaud was riding his horse along Pulteney Street when his horse stepped into a pothole throwing its rider headfirst to the road. Benaud never regained consciousness and died of his injuries two days later. 9
Author: Janine Roberts
2 Manning River Times,15 April 2015.
3 NSW State Archives, Ville de Bordeaux, 26 March 1840. Series 1837_1841, Page 41.
4 Maitland Mercury and Hunter River General Advertiser,10 Apr 1852; Sydney Mail,28 Jun 1862; Sydney Morning Herald, 5 Oct 1864.
5 The Ships List: http://www.theshipslist.com/ships/lines/asnc.shtml.
6 NSW BDM, Marriage transcript Jean Benaud and Caroline Powell, #1858/2564; Ancestry.com, NSW Public Service Lists, 22 August 1856.
7 Sydney Morning Herald,19 August 1865.
8 NSW Land Registry Service, Vendors Index Book-Number: 96-336.
9 Empire, 12 July 1866.