Richard SADLIER married Bridget LYSEIGHT in Sydney in 1860. They were appointed to the Industrial School in Newcastle in about August 1868.
The couple was dismissed by the Matron-Superintendant, Agnes KING, on 20 November 1868, a dismissal that contributed to her dismissal from the position of matron-superintendent. KING's letter to the Colonial Secretary on 21 November 1868,4 outlined her reasons for her decision to suspend the couple.
I have the honor to report for the information of the Hon. The Colonial Secretary that Mr. and Mrs. SADLEIR were permitted to go out on Friday the 20th Inst. They had not returned when the keys to the outer gates were delivered up to me at ten o’clock p.m., as usual. All the inmates were perfectly quiet and in their several dormitories at this hour having been inspected by the House Matron and myself. At fifteen minutes past ten the gate bell was rung but not answered, at twenty minutes past ten, the door of my quarters was violently shaken and upon my opening it, Richard SADLIER was there and requested me to allow him to have the keys to open the gate and admit his wife, stating that he got into the grounds by jumping over the fence. I permitted his wife to enter altho’ couteacy(?) to rule(?), as it was past ten o’clock. … As it was decidedly against the rules and also very wrong for Mr SADLEIR to obtain admittance to the school after ten o’clock p.m., by jumping over the fence – and as Mr and Mrs SADLEIR were making statements to the inmates (since their suspension) of an exciting and untruthful nature, I thought it advisable to request permission for them to leave these premises, pending the permission of the Hon. The Colonial Secretary.
Eventually the couple left the school premises and were gone before 5 December 1868, when the new superintendent, Joseph Hines CLARKE wrote to the Colonial Secretary explaining why he had been unable to sent their final pay. He wrote:
Mrs and Mrs Sadlier have left Newcastle without forwarding me their address. I am therefore unable to comply with the latter part of the instructions I have received.5
Bridget SADLIER née LYSEIGHT
KING suggested in her report on 17 November 1868, that while Bridget had replaced Mrs HOLDEN, unlike her predecessor she was unable to operate the sewing machine purchased for the school so 'at present there is no officer competent to use it. I beg respectfully to observe, that as the Assistant Matron is usually employed, in the afternoon, in School, to assist in Sewing, it is essential she should be a good needlewoman and able to use the machine.'6
On 4 May 1871, Richard applied again to be employed at the Biloela industrial school once the school transferred to Sydney. SADLIER wrote:
I respectfully apply for an appointment in the Industrial School Cockatoo Island. I have been the chief male warder of the Industrial school Newcastle for some time, during which there had been no disturbance amongst the inmates for which I have been complimented by the Police Magistrate, and other gentlemen which I respectfully presume the annexed document will testify. At time I left Newcastle you kindly promised me another appointment for which I now respectfully present my claim.
His letter was accompanied by a reference from Helenus SCOTT written on 10 April 1871. SCOTT wrote:
This is to certify that Richard Sadlier who held the appointment of Warder of the Public Industrial School for Girls Newcastle about two years I believe to be honest truthful and trustworthy and efficient in his duties in the Institution.
It is interesting that SADLIER took advantage of the omission of the word 'since' that should have appeared in SCOTT's statement 'who held the appointment of Warder of the Public Industrial School for Girls Newcastle about two years (since)' as SCOTT's reference was not a true reflection of SADLIER's actual employment history.7
The notations on the letter made by the Colonial Secretary are very unclear but appear to refer to 'papers with 68/6665' and it appears that the application was refused.
Updated March 2015