Richard Savage French Fane Becher

Richard Savage French Fane Becher

A photograph of Richard S. F. F. Becher                          Richard's Bookplate
dated 1901
,  thanks to R & J Becher.                                   Thanks to Katherine O'Connell

Richard Savage French Fane Becher was born on the 12th April 1837 to the Rev Michael Henry Becher and Susan Vowell fifteen years after the youngest of his siblings! Richard at age 4 can be found in the 1841 census at Clifton, Bristol with his mother Susan & sister Anne Catherine. Unfortunately in 1847 both Richard's father & his only sister both died. He lived at Clyda House in Kilshannig, near Mallow until 1850, when his mother sold the house & moved to England to be near her older sons.

In the 1851 Census it can be seen that Richard and his mother are now living at in the Rectory at 1 Beck Lane, Great Coates with older brother John Thomas Becher who is the curate there. On the 8th of November 1852 John Thomas marries Maria Byron & only a year later their mother Susan [nee Vowell] dies on the 27th December 1853 at the Rectory of St Helens at Barnoldby-Le-Beck, where Michael Henry Becher is Minister. Her two surviving sisters also die there soon after, Ann on the 9th January & Catherine on the 20th January.  Richard attended Ipswich Grammar school, followed by Trinity College, Cambridge. The address he uses is that of his brother John Thomas Becher [11 Merrick Square, Southwark, London], so he presumably spends his holidays there. Richard obtains his degree in 1861 & seems to have headed to New Zealand as the Otago Witness lists two items of unclaimed mail in 1861 for a Richard S F F Becher. By October 1861 the unclaimed mail list describes him as "of Sydney" & in 1863 the Victorian Govt Gazette lists unclaimed mail for a Richard Becher. By 1866 he is definitely in Orange, NSW, Australia marring Louisa Sophia Paton. The Greville's Post Office Directory of 1872 lists a Richard Beecher, Storekeeper at Long Swamp, Springside, near Orange, so it seems likely to be him, especially as Louisa's father John Paton is also living at Spring side.

Richard Becher became a Baptist Minister at Orange, before being called to Grafton, becoming their first resident Baptist Minister. He conducted his first service on the 17th December 1876. He served there until 1890 when he left to serve with the Baptist Church in Bathurst & in 1896 with the Congregational Church in Parramatta. He later lived at Clyda House [named after his childhood home in Kilshannig, Co Cork] in Moore St, Strathfield, dying there 22nd April 1919 [when it was the home of his son Sherard Becher]

Richard Savage French Fane Becher married in 1866 to Louisa Sophia Paton. She was born on 4th July 1849 in the Richmond district, the daughter of John Paton [a convict] and Elizabeth Aull [daughter of convicts]. Louisa died on the 22nd May 1891 at Orange. Richard and Louisa had 9 children;

1. Henry Fane Becher
b. 1867 in Orange, NSW
d. 23 June 1907 at Springfield Station, Windorah Station, QLD
He married Lizzie Ella Selman in 1888 at Grafton & they had 4 children;  Marion "Ray" [1889 QLD-1968 NSW. She married Rudolph Schafer in 1907], Evelyn Ella "Dot"[1891 Vic -1984 NSW],  Henry Fane [1893 Vic-? after 1937] & Alison L [1898 NSW-1902 NSW].
Henry ran "The Grip" newspaper in Grafton. At the time of his death, described in the Sydney Morning Herald as suspicious, he was described as an engineering expert in the employ of Messers Young & Co. Lizzie [or Lissie] remarried in 1910 to Dr Alexander Christie McArthur and they lived at Kilchurn, Victoria Rd, West Ryde, Sydney. Lissie died on the 13th April 1942.

Seated from left Mrs Lizzie BecherHenry Fane Becher jnr,
Mrs Marion Selman. Standing lady behind unknown.
2. Ada Frances Becher
b. 1869 in Orange, NSW
d. 8 August 1948 at 34 Park Rd, Burwood, NSW
3. Miriam Constance Becher
b. 1871 in Orange, NSW
d. 24 November 1972 at Westmead, Parramatta
Married in 1933 to Dudley "Joseph" Stephens
4. Alice Jane Becher
b. 1873 in Bathurst, NSW
d. 1876 at Orange, NSW
5. Audley Vowell Becher
b. 1876 at Orange
d. ? After 1913. Audley is last in the Waverley Electoral roll in 1913 & last in the Post office directory in 1919. I cannot find a death for him or a probate of a will. In the electoral roll he is described as a compositor.
Married in 1901 to Mary "Florence" Elizabeth Reid. They had three children; Catherine, Ada & Henry.
6. Hilda Becher
b. 1878 in Orange, NSW
d. 1962 at Richmond, Victoria.
Married in 1916 in the North Island of New Zealand to Hubert Frank Webster [1873-1926]. They had one daughter, Desiree De Tille Webster.
7. Edgar Becher
b. 7th September 1880 at Grafton
d. 4 July 1963 at Sydney, NSW
Edgar was an Electrical Engineer and was awarded a George V silver Jubilee medal in 1935. He married on 10 September 1913 at St Phillips, Church-Hill, Sydney to Adelaide Isabel Mary Kenwood and they had two children; Mabel "Mimi"Catherine and Fane Kenwood "Ken".
8. Sherard Michael Becher
b. 2 January 1883 at Grafton
d. 30 November 1957 in NSW
Sherard was an Architect. He married Florence Amy Brian in 1910 & they had two children; Patricia Brian and Brian Sullivan
9. Anne Catherine "Kit" Becher
b. 1886 at Grafton
d. 1965 at Burwood, NSW
Kit married in 1917 to Edwin Burgin.

The Becher house at Grafton. Possibly members of the family.

Grafton Baptist Church

Grafton Clock Tower, designed by Sherard Michael Becher 

Grafton Clock Tower decorated for the Coronation
of Queen Elizabeth 2nd June 1953.                                   


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