Richardson Stories and Accounts

What follows here is a miscellany of stories by and about these Richardsons over the years. They are shown in chronological order of the times and the events that they described.

1400-1500's.  Richardson Origins

- from a Richardson website

“The surname Richardson emerged as a notable English family name in the county of Cheshire, where John Richardson in Cheshire of Malpas and Irby, branched northward to Durham and settled in many locations in Durham, including Briary of Shotley Bridge.  His successor Nicholas Richardson branched south to North Briary in Yorkshire.  John Richardson, a magistrate of Swansea, also claims direct descent.  Also descended are branches at Whitby, Ripon, Painstalk, all in the county of Whitby, at Lime Regis in Norfolk, Gloucestershire and Worcestershire.”

1580-1740.  Richardson Marriages in Sedgefieldl

16 Jan 1581    Gulielmus Richardson = Elizabeth Pryerman
17 Jun 1600    Johes Richardson = Isabella Hogge
29 May 1608   Richard Richardson = Katherine Hutchinson
29 Jun 1615    Willimus Richardson = Elizabeth Bullmer
28 Jul 1622     Lancelot Richardson = Anna Davison
27 Jul 1625     Richard Richardson = Helline Wylye
10 Oct 1630    Robert Richardson = Margaret Burleson
12 Nov 1633    Robert Richardson = Maria Mason
16 Feb 1635    Richard Richardson = Jana Bee
16 Aug 1643    Radulphus Richardson = Anna Young
6 Jan 1654       Lancelot Richardson = Margerie Bainbrigge
1 Aug 1665      Johanes Richardson = Ana Denham
14 Nov 1665    George Richardson = Elizabeth Boukell
30 Jan 1665     Andrew Richardson = Alice Smyth
7 Jun 1670       Gulielmus Richardson = Elizabeth Coltman
4 Nov 1679       Robert Richardson = Thomasin Nicholson
12 Jun 1681      Robert Richardson = Elizabeth Stobbard
8 Jan 1683       Gulielmus Richardson = Dorothy Emerson
23 Nov 1686     Johes Richardson = Thomasin Clarke
19 Nov 1691     Riccus Richardson = Isabella Robinson
13 Apr 1697      Lancelot Richardson = Elizabeth Allen
4 May 1697       Richard Richardson = Frances Hall
5 May 1720      Lancelot Richardson = Anna Reed

1647. The Inventory of Ezekiel Richardson

Eight cows, two pairs of oxen, two young steers, two heifers, four calves, one mare, seven hogs, and five ewes.  

Eight acres of corn upon the ground, twelve acres of fallow ground, within the barn in wheat and rye, barley, oats and peas, and Indian corn.

Equipment and Stores
Plow irons and chains, two carts, hemp & flax

In the Home
One flock bed with other implements on the parlor chamber, wearing apparel, ten pewter dishes, two plates, dripping pans and a trammel, five pairs of sheets, two pillow cases, two table cloths, 12 napkins, one feather bed and one flock bed with furniture, two chests, two boxes, one hanging cupboard, one musket, one long table, one small table, and one warming pan.

In the Cellar
Four slices of bacon with other pieces of pork, five trays, five cheeses, and one churn.

In the Kitchen
Three brass kettles, three pots, three skillets, and seven axes with handles.

“In the foregoing inventory there is not an article of silver plate, not an article of china, crockery, or glass ware, not an article of cotton manufacture, not a carpet, not one book.  Truly our American ancestors had a hard time of it.”

1663-1741. The Life of Richard Richardson

Richard Richardson was born, brought up, and lived most of his life at Bierley on the outskirts of Bradford, a district at the heart of Yorkshire’s textile industry.  He was a member of the first generation of Englishmen to take an informed interest in bryophytes. He was a contemporary of Adam Buddle, Samuel Brewer (who came to live near Richardson), Samuel Doody and William vernon.

These men corresponded with the older naturalist, John Ray, supplying information for his publications on natural history.

Little is known of Richardson’s own bryological career and discoveries. However, he corresponded with Dillenius, Gronovius, Petiver, Sir Hans Sloane, and many other naturalists – a correspondence fortunately preserved and published by his great grand daughter, and revealing that Richardson occupied an important – even pivotal – role in sustaining interest in botany among contemporary naturalists

Richardson was sufficiently wealthy not to need to overexert himself professionally, and was able to fully indulge his passion for plants by travelling widely in England, Wales, and Scotland.  He took particular interest in mosses and lichens, as well as vascular plants. He also developed the gardens at Bierley to an extent hitherto unknown in northern England.  Not confining himself to growing plants of medical interest, Richardson’s gardens became renowned as rich in both native and foreign plants, particularly when a hot-house was built in 1718.

Exactly how his garden was laid out and its position on the estate is not known.  Evidently it was large and gave Richardson much pleasure.  When asked for some specimens by a fellow botanist, he complained that the season was rather far advanced, but that he would do his best, and that he had “set about drying such plants as are still in flower; and I think I can preserve for you one hundred and fifty dry specimens that are fair and well-preserved.  If I live to enjoy my garden another year, I dare promise you double that number.

1702. A New England Quaker Story

Throughout the seventeenth century, English Nantucketers resisted all attempts to establish a church on the island, partly because a woman by the name of Mary Coffin Starbuck forbade it.  It was said that nothing of consequence was done on Nantucket without Mary's approval.  Mary Coffin and Nathaniel Starbuck had been the first English couple to be married on the island, in 1662, and had established a lucrative outpost for trading with the Wampanoag.  Whenever an itinerant minister came to Nantucket looking to establish a congregation, he was firmly rebuffed by Mary Starbuck.

Then, in 1702, Mary succumbed to a charismatic Quaker minister named John Richardson.  Speaking before a group assembled in the Starbucks' living room, Richardson succeeded in moving Mary to tears.  It was Mary Starbuck's conversion to Quakerism that established the unique fusion of spirituality and covetousness that would make possible Nantucket's rise as a whaling port.

Quakers or, more properly, members of the Society of Friends, depended on their own experience of God's presence, the "Inner Light," for guidance rather than relying on a Puritan minister's interpretation of scripture.  But Nantucket's ever growing number of Quakers were hardly free-thinking individuals.  Friends were expected to conform to rules of behavior determined during yearly meetings, encouraging a sense of community that was as carefully controlled as that of any New England society.

If there was a difference, it was the Quaker belief in pacifism and a conscious spurning of worldly ostentation-two principles that were not intended to interfere, in any way, with a person's ability to make money.  Instead of building fancy houses or buying fashionable clothes, Nantucket's Quakers reinvested their profits in the whale fishery.  As a result, they were able to weather the downturns that laid to waste so many mainland whaling merchants, and Mary Starbuck's children, along with their Macy and Coffin cousins, quickly established a Quaker whaling dynasty.

1772.  Death in Mysterious Circumstances

The Rev. William Richardson had been sent to America by the Kirk of Scotland to bring Christianity to the Indian tribes.  He spent most of his life travelling in the South Carolina backcountry before settling in the Waxhaws region.  In 1760, he married the daughter of a missionary there.  But the marriage produced no children and was by all accounts unhappy.

In 1772, the Reverend was found one morning dead in his study, on his knees and with a bridle around his neck.  At the time his wife showed great grief and all concluded that it had been an act of religious melancholy.  He was thus buried quickly.

However, many knew of the temper of his wife and their acrimonious relationship.  Somewhat suspiciously, it transpired, all of the servants had been sent out into the field on the day of his death.  It was therefore decided that the corpse should be taken out of the grave and examined.  Marks of stangulation were found on the neck and bruises on the chest.  The conclusion reached was that no man could possibly have destroyed himself in the manner by which the bridle had been placed around the neck.  It was in fact more than probable that the bridle had been put there and the body set in a praying position after he had been strangled.

There the account ends and we have no identification of the guilty party.  For the dead man himself, there was issue.   He had adopted his nephew, William Richardson Davie, as a son after the mother had died and oversaw his education.  That young man became an American patriot, achieving fame and distinction in the War of Independence.

1780-1783.  Richard Richardson in Hiding

At the surrender of Charleston, Brigadier Richardson and his two sons, Richard and Edward, were taken prisoner by the British and sent to a military station on John's Island.  Here the Brigadier died and his two sons nearly fell victim to the smallpox.

However, Richard was able to make his escape and, being disguised by the effects of the disease, returned to the neighborhood of his home where he concealed himself in the Santee Swamp.

By this time, British troops had overrun the state and were occupying the Richardson Big Home plantation.  His family were, it is said, restricted there to a small apartment and allowed only a scanty share of the provisions.  Nevertheless, every day Dorcas Richardson would send food to her husband in the swamp via an old and faithful negro in whose discretion she could trust. Sometimes she even ventured to visit him, taking their little daughter with her. 

It was not long before the British had information of Richardson's escape. They naturally concluded that he was somewhere in the vicinity of his family and relatives.  A diligent search was instituted and scouts were sent in every direction.  Rewards were offered for his apprehension; but without success.

Not infrequently did the officers boast in the presence of the wife of what they would do to her husband should they capture him.  On one occasion, some of the officers displayed their swords reeking with blood - probably that of cattle - and told her that it was the blood of Captain Richardson whom they had killed.  At another time they brought intelligence that he had been taken and hanged.  In this state of cruel suspense she sometimes remained for several successive days, unable to learn the fate of her husband and not knowing whether to believe or distrust the horrible tales brought to her ears.

Hearing that the British troops had been temporarily ordered away, Richard did visit his wife at their plantation.  However, he had been seen on his way by a loyalist.  A party of them assembled and were soon to be seen drawn up in front of his house.  Richard hastily came forth, leaped on his steed, and galloped up the oak-lined avenue, avoiding the little firing that was aimed at him,

All this took place in the sight of his terrified family.  Afterwards, they would describe the danger and his providential escape.  His wife Dorcas could only account for his escape by conjecturing that the party had determined to take Richardson alive and thus claim the reward that had been offered for his capture.

When peace returned, Colonel Richardson, who had been promoted for his services, resumed his life as a planter.  Of he and his wife’s ten children, four died young.  The rest married and reared families.

1793. Peggy Richardson and the Catholic Uprising in Armagh

There were many anxious people waiting for tidings, and amongst them was one Peggy Richardson who, on hearing of the plight of the Protestants, determined to relieve them.  She went home and told her mother the state of affairs, saying: " I'm going to relieve them."

The old woman said: "Why, child, you cannot go; you will be killed."
She replied, "Why, mother, isn't my father there?"
"He is, dear."
"And my three brothers?"
"They are, dear."
"And my husband is there? "
“He is, dear."
"And, God helping me, I'll be there, too.“

So saying, she took a strong petticoat and two new pillow slips, which she sewed to the headband of a petticoat with strong cord around them, forming loops at the top for handles.  She then went to the haystack, and pulled out sufficient to make a hole large enough to put her little four-year-old girl in, tying up a bunch of hay to stuff into the hole.

Late that night she took her little girl and placed her in the haystack with many cautions, and then, having equipped herself she went to Churchill, where she got all the ball cartridges she could carry.  She then started by the Derryhubbert road for the Diamond, arriving safely about the same time as William Blacker at the scene of the conflict.  The latter had to traverse a friendly country across Portadown Bridge, to about five to six miles in the direction of Loughgall, when all at once they came upon the scene of meditated rapine and murder.

1800. Thomas Richardson - A Quaker in Lombard Street

From his square-toed shoes to his low broad-brimmed Quaker hat, a solidity marks him.  Here walks a man of substance, warm and comfortable, without pride but with a due regard for himself.  The buttoned gaiters and knee breeches, the long, collarless coat of broadcloth in Quaker plainness, the hat of best fur, show a simplicity, dignity and sureness towards himself and a meek disregard of other opinion by one who could afford to disregard it. 

He fronts his fellow men without ornament and without disguise, confident that they will take him for what he is.  In spite of the firm chin and prominent nose, a humorous kindness marks his face; the eyes - alert and friendly - belong to the man who later knew all the Ayton children, who liked to ask them to tea at Cleveland Lodge when the strawberries were ripe, and who could see and supply the school needs of ‘4 tin pie dishes’ or ‘2 milking frocks.’ 

Thomas Richardson was always human; business never overwhelmed him; as his life went on, his shrewdness remained and his kindness of heart mellowed.

1815-40. Thomas Miles Richardson in the Northeast

His favorite sketching grounds comprised Northumberland, the Borders and Scotland.  His activities as a writer and illustrator further emphasised his loyalties to the region.  He published a volume on the Armorial Bearings in St Andrew’s Chapel, Newcastle, and began to work on books about Newcastle (from 1816) and the castles of the English and Scottish Borders (from 1833).

His election, in 1840, as an associate of the New Society of Painters in Watercolours, based in London, seems to have been a temporary deviation from his regional activities, and it is perhaps no wonder that he was expelled three years later.

1823. The Execution of Joseph Richardson in Dumfries

It appeared that M'Kenna and Joseph Richardson had gone to Dublin in August 1822, and, with the assistance of a person from whom M'Kenna knew four years before, purchased 500 notes of the British Linen Company and got a plate engraved of the guinea note of Carrick, Brown & Co. of Glasgow.  In this business they were engaged some two to three weeks and got 300 of the notes printed.  They then returned to Scotland where they were apprehended.  172 of the notes were found in the possession of M'Kenna's wife and 163 in a turf dyke in Joseph Richardson's yard.  

A petition had been sent to the fountain of mercy in favour of these unhappy men and an answer was returned with a respite during his Majesty's pleasure for William Richardson only.

A gentleman who accompanied the clergyman to the jail described minutely the demeanor of all the prisoners on receiving the answer to their petition.  William Richardson who was first visited appeared " quite uplifted" with the communication made to him; for a few seconds his colour went and came, but the first flutter of the heart being soon ever, his breathing became freer, and his speech firmer; and although he expressed some regret at the fate of his companions, his mind was evidently wholly engrossed with the strong instinctive desire of self-preservation.  On the other hand, M'Kenna and Joseph Richardson apparently received the news of their now irrevocable doom with every feeling becoming their situation.  Joseph did express a satisfaction that his brother's life was spared, since, to use his own words, "the idea of two brothers going out of life in the same awful way was painful to be thought on." 

On Saturday the distracted mother of poor Joseph visited him for the last time, with the unhappy woman being so overcome by her maternal feelings as to swoon away again and again.  Tuesday he bade adieu to his sister and a younger brother and took a last leave of his wife who was all night in the cell with him.

The scaffold was erected in front of the prison in Buccleugh Street.  At an early hour vast multitudes were pouring into the town from the surrounding country to witness the awful scene and long before the appointed hour the crowd was immense.  At about three o'clock the prisoners ascended the scaffold, when the executioner adjusted the fatal cord, and after a short time spent in praise and prayer, the signal was given, and they were ushered into the world that is “unseen & eternal," amongst a very general feeling of sympathy from the surrounding multitude.

1840. James Richardson and the Sugar Business

There were four market days in Glasgow, leaving Wednesday and Saturday free, to enable the members of the trade to visit Greenock and Port Glasgow.

The Lochgoil steamer, by which they travelled, left the Broomielaw at half-past seven in the morning, and breakfast was served on the passage down, and after spending two hours or so in business, they generally found their way back to Glasgow about two o'clock.

When there was fog the passage was tedious, and not without hazard.  One sugar man was kept all night off Dumbarton in a steamer, with little food and inadequate sleeping accommodation.  Mr. Richardson generally sat near the funnel, enveloped in a blue cloak, interesting himself in some book he had brought with him.  He was an omnivorous reader.  After a drive of about five miles from Springhall, near Rutherglen, he glanced hurriedly at his letters, which were brought to him before the steamer started, and prepared himself for the eventualities of the day, whether to sell or buy.

1843.  Aunt Sukey's Ordeal

Susan Richardson (Aunt Sukey) and her children had been brought into Illinois territory by her master, Andrew Border.  One day, her children and those of her master had gotten into an altercation and her mistress had had her children whipped.  When Sukey objected, she was told that she would be subject to a severe lashing herself.

The thought of being scourged, and by a woman too, was more than Sukey could bear.  So hastily and secretly one winter’s night she left with her children and went north, following the stars, to Cairo where she got on the line of the underground railroad, reaching Knox County.

But scarcely had Aunt Sukey and her charges alighted from the wagon that they was arrested and conveyed to Knoxville where they were confined to the county jail.  Notice of her capture was immediately sent south.  Her master saw the notice, hastened to Knoxville, and grabbed the children. 

Frantic and almost heart-broken, the poor mother thought that she must return to the dread scourged life of bondage with her children.  But she was advised by sympathizing friends not to go; for it would only be to suffer increased pain and mental anxiety as her children would undoubtedly be sold and sent south.  Instead, she boarded a sleigh and sped over the snowy earth to Galesburg where she could be safer.

Soon after Aunt Sukey had settled in Galesburg, a lawsuit - which became famous - was instituted by her former master, Andrew.Border, for her recovery.  By some means it was defeated.

1847.  Jonathan Richardson's Spa in Shotley Bridge

The spring anciently called "Hally Well," now Shotley Spa, was at a distant period noted for its efficacy in the cure of scrofulous complaints; it fell, however, into disuse, and for a long time no benefit was derived from it, till a prevailing tradition lately induced Jonathan Richardson, Esq., to commence a search upon the spot where it was supposed to exist.

The search was successful.  Appropriate buildings, a wellroom, baths, &c, were erected in the rustic style; and Mr. Richardson has opened carriage-drives and promenades upon his estate.

In the village, there are two paper-mills in operation; a market for corn is held weekly, and a fair for cattle every half year.

1880's. Bessbrook Village

Bessbrook is a large manufacturing village, the population of which is about 4,000 – the same number as are employed in Mr Richardson’s linen manufacturing enterprises there.  It is situated in a beautiful and well-watered valley convenient to the Camlough Mountains and about three miles from Newry.  The scenery, from the combined effect of hill, vale and wood is very attractive. 

The village is the property of Mr John Grubb Richardson Esq., who has spared no expense or trouble to make it ‘the model town’. In this he has received the heartiest support from other members of the firm. 

The place has certain peculiarities.  First it is without a public house, a feature endorsed by six to one of householders in a recent poll. It is also without a pawnbrokers, and a police barrack, these not being required. 

Bessbrook is remarkable for its yarn and linen manufactories, a process from flax-growing to the finished product – be it family linen, a pocket handkerchief of a table cloth - carried on locally.  The firm’s huckabacks, towelling, fronting linens, drills, diapers and damasks are known the world over.  The damasks made at Bessbrook by machinery are easily the equal of those made by hand looms.  The company have also extensive quarries where the beautiful blue and grey granite is hewn out, dressed and polished for different markets.  It is now extensively used in England, Scotland and America for monumental and other purposes. 

The religious denominations are well represented.  A fine structure is that belonging to the Irish Church capable of holding 500-600.  The Presbyterians have a commodious Church for a similar number.  The Friends (Mr Richardson himself being a parishioner) have a place of worship for 700-800 and the Wesleyians have a neat Chapel.  The Roman Catholic Chapel is a spacious edifice.

1916. A Letter from the Quaker Elizabeth Richardson

“In the dark and stormy days which have fallen over the world since August 1914 and in which some have seen their way to testify to convictions which have not been deemed popular I can personally testify that in no quarter did I find such steadfastness of purpose and such a rigid adherence to deep religious convictions as in Mrs Spence Watson.

In the struggle for liberty of conscience I received great inspiration through her brave and noble spirit nor can I forget how, in what were to me very trying days in 1916, when friends were falling rapidly away, Mrs Watson insisted on staying with me during the long hours which preceded the hearing of my claim before the Gateshead Tribunal, the only friend I had in court."

Elizabeth Richardson spoke and wrote fearlessly against the First World War.  At the passing of the Military Service Act, she advised and helped many young men whose punishments and imprisonments she felt most keenly.

1916. Jimmy Richardson and His Bagpipes

Jimmy Richardson was twenty years old and a piper in the Canadian Scottish Battalion when he won his Victoria Cross for gallantry during the First World War.

On October 8 1916, his company was held up in the Somme by very strong wire and came under intense fire.  Piper Richardson, who had obtained permission to play the company '”over the top,” strode up and down outside the wire playing his pipes.  This so inspired the company that the wire was rushed and the position captured.  After the rush, Jimmy turned back to recover his pipes but was never seen again.

Richardson's bagpipes were believed to have been lost in the mud of the Somme.  However, it turned out that a British Army chaplain had found the pipes in 1917 and brought them back home after the war to a school in Scotland where he was a teacher. The pipes were unidentified for several decades, and served as a broken, mud-caked, and blood-stained reminder of an unknown piper from the Great War.  Ninety years later, these pipes were identified as those played by Piper Richardson on that fateful day in 1916 and were repatriated to Canada.

1954.  Texas Money

Like much of East Texas, Henderson County is a rolling expanse of pastureland, woods, and worked-out cotton fields.  Its county seat and cultural capital is a sleepy town with the splendid name of Athens (pop. 5,300).  Henderson County and Athens have a distinction that makes them notable even in Texas.  They have spawned about 50 of Texas' millionaires and multimillionaires.  The biggest of these big rich are a select few known throughout Texas as "the new Athenians."

Sid Richardson, the richest of the new Athenians because of his ocean of oil reserves, jokingly takes credit for starting the boys from Athens on their way years ago.  When making his first killing in oil, Richardson drove into town in a block-long Cadillac.  "When I left," he says, "all of these guys sitting on those benches around the square jumped up and down and followed me out of town."

A commentator described him as follows:

"He was your classic wildcatter.  Nobody could estimate, not even Sid Richardson, how much money he had.  During the hot months of summer, he would always spend time in California at a small place in Laboya.  It was a place that lured an odd collection of people - Washington figures such as J. Edgar Hoover and Joseph McCarthy, Hollywood types, and Mafia people - because it was close to the race track which Sid Richardson loved."

Richardson and his friend Clint Murchison hit the front pages when trying to help a fellow Texan buy the New York Central Railroad.

The story goes that Murchison called Richardson in California and said, "I need your help."  Richardson took the call just when he was starting out for a round of golf.  In his haste, he agreed to go along on the deal without hearing the details.  Next day when he spoke to Murchison again, Richardson was startled to find that it was not a $10 million deal as he thought but a $20 million one.  "What the hell did you say was the name of that railroad?" he exclaimed.

1961. Tony Richardson and A Taste of Honey

Tony Richardson continued in the vein of kitchen-sink realism with an adaptation in 1961 of Shelagh Delaney's novel of working-class life.

Set in England in the early 1960s, A Taste of Honey starred Rita Tushingham as the waifish Jo, a plain 17-year-old girl who is dragged from one shabby bed-sitter to another by Helen (Dora Bryan), her promiscuous, alcoholic termagant of a mother.

When Helen and her current lover, Peter (Robert Stephens), take a holiday in Blackpool, Jo goes along and, while walking on the beach, meets Jimmy (Paul Danquah), a black sailor on leave.  After they spend the night together Jimmy's ship leaves for points unknown.  Helen and Peter have impulsively decided to marry, and they move into his flat, leaving Jo in the cold.  She gets a job in a shoe store, where she meets gay and mild-mannered Geoffrey, and the two decide to move into a flat together.  Jo soon discovers she's carrying Jimmy's child, news that depresses her.  But Geoffrey couldn't be happier, and he begins knitting baby clothes, goes to a clinic for child-care instruction, and even offers to marry Jo.

This moving film is exceptionally well acted and directed; it is a tribute to Richardson's boldness in taking on the theme of miscegenation, then a much more controversial issue.

1965. Lady Darwin's Brooch

In 1965, widowed and about to move to a new apartment, Lady Darwin approached Australia House in London, offering an unusual object for repatriation to Australia.  It was a gold brooch that had belonged to her grandmother.  Encased in a box labelled Flavelle Bros, Sydney, she dated it to 1860, about the time that her grandmother, Fanny Richardson, had sailed home to Britain.

Lady Darwin’s great grandfather, Dr William Richardson, had arrived in Australia on the Katharine Stewart Forbes from Scotland in 1825.  His daughter Fanny was born in 1837.  Her granddaughter recalled that “she always spoke of her girlhood as having been spent in Sydney.  And she remembered the long voyage back to Britain under sail!’  Two of her brothers did stay as sheep farmers in New South Wales.  

Fanny’s brooch measures 4.5 centimetres high and 6.2 centimetres across and is notable for the strong, sculptural treatment of the spray of leaves tied with a fillet.  The botanical motifs are decidedly Australian; two native woody pear pods and leaves, brake and bird’s nest fern fronds, a curling lily leaf tied at the base with a fillet, and a callistemon or banksia flower.  Each metal leaf has been cast or cut, shaped and carefully engraved to simulate the form and texture of the species.

2000. Ghosts at Richhill Castle

At seventeen, Dolly had been acclaimed as the most beautiful girl in all Ireland.  When she went to visit her aunt, Lady Loftus, in Dublin, she was the object of such admiration that she could not walk in the Mall because of the crowd of undesired worshippers.   Instead she had to rise at 6 a.m. and take her exercise in St. Stephens Green to ensure some privacy.  Dolly and William Richardson were married in 1775, but sadly she died, childless, in 1793.

Warren Coates, chairman of the Northern Ireland Paranormal Research Association, is leading a group who visit the castle once a fortnight to investigate paranormal activity.  Tape recordings, cameras and highly-sensitive instruments that measure humidity, air pressure and magnetic fields are being used to detect the presence of spirits.

“When we set up our equipment, we actually got activity over the whole building,” Warren said.  “When you take away things like draughty windows or doors, rumbling pipes or floorboards creaking, you reach the conclusion that there is a definite presence.”

Gordon Little and his wife, Helen, live in part of the castle and are trying to have it restored.  “In the 47 years that the castle has been my family home I have never seen a ghost,” Gordon said.  “My sister-in-laws relatives have though – one of her sisters chatted to the spirit of a lady on the stairs and reckons it was Dolly.  I tend to resent the fact that people can see things, while I live here and I can’t.  If they prove there is a ghost here I will accept it.”

2007. Governor Bill Richardson and UFO's

Bill Richardson, the New Mexico Governor and Democratic Presidential candidate, has an unusual background, New England high WASP and Mexican.  His grandfather was a Boston naturalist of Mayflower descent who collected specimens in Central America and married a Mexican lady from a prestigious family in Oaxaca.  He became a planter and rancher in Nicaragua and, according to the candidate's autobiography Between Worlds, "fathered children by four different women in Mexiico and Central America."

Now Jim Geraghy of the National Review has found a 2004 story about him and wondered if it might help or hinder his Presidential ambitions.  Jim came up with a new slogan for our running guy: "Bill Richardson, A President for Americans of All Colors, including the Little Green Men."

Despite denials by Federal officials, many UFO buffs cherish the notion that in 1947 a flying saucer crashed in rural Roswell, scattering alien bodies and saucer debris across the terrain.  In 2004, Gov. Bill Richardson wrote in a foreword to a new book The Roswell Dig Diaries that "the mystery surrounding this crash has never been adequately explained, not by independent investigators nor by the US Government."

Richardson's foreword drew scorn from veteran UFO investigators and science popularizers.  The grand old man of sceptical UFO investigators, Philip J. Kass, who has written for Aviation Week & Space Technology since 1952, said: "Gov. Richardson is wrong about Roswell and too trusting of TV network promoters.  After more than a third of a century of research, I have found no credible evidence of extraterrestrial visitors."