Jane Stanbury was the second wife of Richard Hutchinson Rennie.  She and a number of her relatives came out from England about two years before Richard.   She probably had not met him prior to their settlement in Buninyong.


Jane's birthday is recorded in a birthday book as being October 24.  There are several estimates as to the year of her birth.  Her age on three of her children's' birth registrations in Victoria give one birth date of 1829 and two of 1831.  Her death registration suggests 1834 but this is likely to be inaccurate.

One of the best estimates for her date of birth comes from her age as recorded on a list of assisted immigrants on the ship JOSHUA from Plymouth, on which she arrived in Victoria (November 1851).  This puts the date of her birth as sometime in 1831.

According to one shipping list she was born in Middlesex.  However the place of her birth was often quoted on various registrations (such as her daughter Fanny Riches' Buninyong Birth Registration 15037/1857) as simply London.  Her son, John Riches' Ballarat Birth Registration 1522/1856, which she signed, gives her place of birth as King's Cross, London.

Jane was christened on February 18 1833 at St Pancras Old Church, London.

Jane Rennie (nee Stanbury) c1890

According to the International Genealogical Index prepared by the Genealogical Library of the Church Of Jesus Christ Of The Latter Day Saints (the Mormon Church) Jane had six brothers and sisters.

The list on the right indicates their names, and when and where they were christened.

The passenger list for the JOSHUA from Plymouth (November 1851) indicates that only the younger four Stanburys as well as their parents came out to Victoria.  The older three probably stayed in England at this time.

A number of the Stanburys settled in the Ballarat area and their descendants still live there today. 

Jane's brother William lived on the road between Ballarat and Buninyong.  He is reported to have have had seven children.

Her brother Samuel was a farm labourer when he arrived in Victoria.  However at the time of his marriage he was a miner.  He married Mary Curtin in 1873 and is said to have had six children.

Some Stanbury descendants are reported to have moved to places such as Preston, Boolaroo and Warnambool.  Fragments of the Stanbury family tree are included in this document.

See Stanbury Family Tree

The brothers and sisters of Jane Stanbury were:

Ann Stanbury   christened 31 October 1824. Saint Mary - St. Marylbone, London.

John George Stanbury  14 May  1826. St. Matthew - Bethnal Green, London.

John James Stanbury 29 November 1829. St. Pancras, old church, London.

Jane Stanbury 18 February 1833. St. Pancras, old church, London.

Samuel Stanbury 11 February  1833(*) St. Pancras, old church, London.

Francis Stanbury 11 August  1839. St. Pancras, old church, London.

William Stanbury 11 April 1846. St. Pancras, old church, London.

(*1833 is probably an error and is more likely to be around 1836.)


The list unmarried persons on the JOSHUA indicates that Jane's parents were John Stanbury and Fanny Matcham.  The list of assisted immigrants on the JOSHUA confirms that John and Fanny Stanbury were the parents of Jane.  The record of Jane's christening in the International Genealogical Index also indicates her parents were John and Fanny Stanbury.

However, according to the marriage certificate of Jane's brother - Samuel Stanbury, Jane Stanbury was the daughter of John Stanbury and Frances Matcham (Ballarat Marriage Certificate No.12/73/469 - 1873).

John Stanbury was a miller who was born in Devon.  He was christened at Hatherleigh on February 3, 1795.  The names and christening details of his brothers and sisters are listed by the International Genealogical Index as on the right.

John Stanbury was the son of John Stanbury and Grace Lang who were married in South Tawton, Devon, on September 25, 1793.



The brothers and sisters of John Stanbury (Jane's father) were:

William Stanbury  christened 10 December 1793 Hatherleigh, Devon.

John Stanbury(*)  3 February 1795 Hatherleigh, Devon.

Grace Stanbury  3 September 1796 Hatherleigh, Devon.

James Stanbury  31 March 1802 Hatherleigh, Devon.

Francis Stanbury  27 January 1804 Hatherleigh, Devon.

Samuel Stanbury  11 November 1807 Belstone, Devon.

Ann Stanbury  19 February 1815  Ilfracombe, Devon.

 (* In the index this name is spelt Stainbury.)


The Public Records Office in Victoria supplied the following information.

The details were taken from the list of assisted immigrants on the JOSHUA from Plymouth on 5 November 1851 arriving at Hobson's Bay Victoria on 30 January 1852:

John Stanbury (miller) son of John Stanbury and Grace Lang, age 50; his wife Fanny age 45; niece* Jane Stanbury age 20; nephew* Samuel Stanbury age 18; and his sons William age 10 and Francis age 12. 

* Other evidence indicates that this is incorrect and that Jane and Samuel were in fact the son and daughter of John and Fanny.
According to these records John came from Devon, and the others from Somerset.  They were all of the Church of England, and able to read and write.

Samuel and Jane were also listed with the unmarried males and females but the details are slightly different.

Samuel, a farm labourer is given as a native of Middlesex, son of John Stanbury and Fanny Matcham.  Jane, a domestic servant, is also given as a native of Middlesex, daughter of John and Fanny.



Jane Stanbury married Robert Riches on February 22, 1853.  It was a Church of England marriage in the Parish of Christ Church, Geelong (Early Church Records 23845/ECR M entry No. 547 in register).  Robert was described as 'Bachelor of this Parish'. Apparently Robert was illiterate and he signed the church register with a cross.

They had three children.

  • James Samuel Riches 
  • John Riches
  • Fanny Riches 
James Samuel Riches was born on 1 July 1854 near Cowrie's Creek, Geelong. (Geelong Birth Registration 4445/1854). Little was recorded about James Samuel until his death was recorded. 

He died in Ballarat in 1898 (aged 45), although the death registration records his name as Samuel Ritchie, son of Jane Stanbury and Robert Ritchie. The misspelling of Riches as Ritchie also occurs in the marriage registration of Fanny Riches, probably because neither know their father well. Robert separated from Jane when Samuel was about 4 years old. 

Samuel Ritchie (Riches) was killed in an accident, possibly in the Navvie Jack Lead (gold mine) which is in East Ballarat. He was buried in the Old Ballarat Cemetery on 15 March 1898.

John Riches was born in Ballarat on 3 February 1856 (Ballarat Birth Registration 1522/1856). He died on 28 June 1862 (Buninyong Death Registration 3856/1862) at the age of six and a half years.  He died of 'cerebral congestion' and was buried on June 30 in the Buninyong General Cemetery in allotment No.581.

However by 1862 Jane was living with Richard Rennie, and in the cemetery records John Riches was buried as John Rennie even though his death registration names his father as Robert Riches. The person who provided the information for the death registration and who signed the register was Richard Rennie, (who also signed the document as the 'father of the deceased').  It appears John Riches had become a member of the family of Richard and Jane Rennie.

Fanny Riches was born in Buninyong on 17 October 1857 (Buninyong Birth Registration 15037/1857), and lived to the age 70 years. 

When Robert and Jane separated, Fanny Riches also became part of the family of Richard and Jane Rennie, and became known as Fanny Rennie. Her story is told in a later chapter about the O'Regans.


Thus it appears that (at least) two of Jane Riches' children became part of the family of Richard Rennie.

See Family Tree of Jane Stanbury and Richard Hutchinson Rennie

On the birth registration of James Samuel Riches his father Robert Riches signed the record with a cross, indicating Robert was illiterate.
(Geelong Birth Registration 4445/1854)



Robert Riches was born in Bodsey, Suffolk England.  From his age as given on the registrations of the birth of his children it appears that he was born c1822 (although one registration indicates c1819).

From Lists of Immigrants held by the Public Records Office in Victoria it has been determined that Robert Riches arrived at Point Henry, Geelong on 3 October 1848 at 10 a.m. on the ship BERKSHIRE, having departed from Plymouth on 9 June 1848 (a journey of some 116 days).

The entry indicates that Robert was a farm servant aged 26 years.  He was a native of Bodsey Suffolk (On the list of immigrants this was spelt Borsey).  His religious denomination was given as Independent and it indicated that he could read and write 'a little'.

The Disposal List  for the same arrival named Robert's prospective employer in Australia as being Jas. Austin of Geelong.  The rate of wages was to be 25 pounds p.a. with rations and the term of agreement was 3 months.

On the registration of the birth of James Samuel Riches (1854), Robert was described as a labourer.  However on the birth registrations of John Riches (1856) and Fanny Riches (1857) he was described as a miner.

Robert Riches vanishes from the records after the birth of Fanny in 1857.  There is no registration of his death in Victoria around this time, nor is there any record in the Buninyong Cemetery of his burial there.

The registration of the marriage of Jane Riches to Richard Rennie indicates that Jane was widowed in 1886. (Northcote Marriage Registration 6755/1888)

Back to Index Page

A person by the name Robert Riches is recorded as dying in the Benevolent Asylum, City of Ballarat on 15 May 1899 (Ballarat Death Registration 4382).  He was aged 79 which would put his date of birth as being late 1819 or early 1820.  He was described as a labourer. The parents of this Robert Riches are recorded on his death registration as Robert and Anne Riches, and that he was born in 'Suffolk' England. However this Robert Riches had only been in Victoria '30 years' meaning he only arrived in about 1869, and thus cannot be Jane's husband.

A person called Robert Ritchie died in Charlton in 1884. Although Fanny called herself 'Ritchie' it is unlikely that this person is her father.