John Norman RICHARDS
- Born: 1 Jun 1851, 13 Whitmore Lane, Newtown, Cardiff, Wales
- Christened: 1 Jun 1851, Cardiff St. Marys, Glamorgan, Wales 3
- Married: 23 Mar 1878, North Kapunda Hotel (Residence Of James Crase), South Australia 1 2
- Died: 23 Aug 1886, East Adelaide, South Australia, Australia 4 5
- Buried: Payneham, Adelaide, S.A., Australia
compiler's great grandfather
Arrived in Northern Territory per the ship Claus-Hamilton on 26 Apr 1875 (reported in Northern Territory Times and Gazette, Saturday 1 May 1875)
Established "Free Press and Eastern Suburban Recorder", Norwood, with I. T. Hill, on 3 Jul 1885.
A few examples of many letters written by J. N. Richards to the Editor of the South Australian Register.
" FREE-TRADE LEAGUE.
TO THE EDITOR.
I notice in your issue of to-day that there is some prospect of a Free-trade League being formed. You very properly point out that if such a League were successful it would be necessary to raise a revenue in some other form, and suggest that a land tax should be part of the programme of such a League. You are, of course, aware that there is at present existing in Adelaide a branch of the South Australian Land Nationalization Society, which branch has advocated a land tax as against a food tax. Such being the case, it would surely be much better for those who wish to alter the present system of raising a revenue to join this Society than to start another with precisely the same objects. It is quite true that some of our members believe in moderate protection as an expedient until the public mind is educated on the question, but all believe that, given nationalization of the land, either by repurchase or taxation, the conditions of production will be be so altered that free ports will be the law of South Australia. It has more than once been mentioned at our committee meetings that our Society does not meet with the support it ought, even from professed advocates of the very system we propose. Surely no personal feelings can be in the way, for if such be the case the man who will allow them to prevent his joining in helping on a great movement is unworthy of the name. What we would like to see is that every person in South Australia who believes that land values are created by the community, and that the community has a right to the principal share in those values, should help forward (by joining) a Society whose aim is to secure it either by taxation or repurchase. We have made the subscription low so that no one may be excluded on the score of poverty, our meetings are open to all, no salaries are paid, Mr. Jackman most kindly grants the use of the room gratis, and thus the whole of the funds are spent in bringing the question before the public.
I am, Sir, &c,
J. N. RICHARDS, Hon. Sec. A.B.S.A.L.N.S."
South Australian Register, Monday 5 October 1885
On tbe 23rd August, at East Adelaide, John Norman Richards, the beloved huaband of Nellie Vivian Richards, aged 35 years.
South Australian Register, Monday 6 Sep 1886
" THE LAND TAX.
TO THE EDITOR
sir- i am afraid I must bring this discussion to a close. Mr. Diment will not keep to the point at issue between us, which is whether or not a land tax is the fairest method of defraying the necessary cost of government. If he will endeavour to prove that it is not, I shall try to demonstrate the opposite; but it is no use my following Mr. Diment with a lot of irrelevant argument. With your permission I will state my position as shortly as possible, and then leave the matter. I believe that as all wealth comes from the soil, and as all taxes must be paid out of that wealth, the producer must pay the cost of government, either directly or indirectly; therefore, as all indirect taxes are added to in course of collection, a system of direct taxation is the best. That land is increased in value by the industry of the community, and that this value belongs to the community only, and not to the private individual; that a land tax would destroy all speculative values of land, and thus bring it down in value to what it was actually worth for using to the great benefit of the State; that a land tax would effectually prevent the accumulation of large estates, and thus do away with the principal means of enabling rapid fortunes to be realized; that a land tax would free labour from the crushing weight it has borne so long; that it would lower rents, create employment, force idlers to work, reduce the expense of government, encourage manufactures, and the influence of it would be felt in ways little thought of now. Let Mr. Diment and those like him hug their ignorance. The world is growing wiser, men are no longer satisfied to take the statement of interested persons for truth, and I believe, as surely'as I write these lines, that in Great Britain, in America, in Australasia the time will soon come when the land for the people will be an accomplished fact. Let every true lover of his fellows help to hasten the time.
I am, Sir, &c,
J. N. RICHARDS. Free Press Office, Norwood."
South Australian Register, Monday 16 November 1885
Sir- I was most pleased on reading your leader on the above subject in Saturday's Register, and can only wish that the general public could be made to clearly see the immense benefit a land tax would be. In your article you say that perhaps the farmer would not be so immediately benefited as the dwellers in the towns. It appears to me that the reverse is the case. At present the primary producer has to bear the weight of the whole social structure, and the whole of the taxation must come out of the results of his labour. If the taxation is collected in such a way as to greatly increase the amount paid (which is actually the case under a system of Customs duties) the producer must suffer most, therefore a change to a better system which only demands exactly the amount required for governmental purposes (a land tax does this) would of course benefit him proportionately. Another thing which cannot be too often pointed out is that land at present used, or wealth-producing land, pays all taxation; so that idle land not only limits production, but actually every acre thrown out of use increases the weight of taxation on the used land. It is, therefore, to the interest of every user of land in the colony to insist upon a change in our mode of raising a revenue. Let the producer be relieved by having his goods at the cheapest market price possible by allowing free competition. Force the owners of unused land to utilize it in some way, and the problem of bad times will be solved. Let working men be assured that given a good land tax the conditions of production wouid be so altered that there would be no need of protective duties. Rents would come down, because land would be cheap. Cheap land means good wages,; for the less share of the produce paid in the form of rent the more the worker gets for his labour. This question is one the electors of the colony can alone decide, and I ask every man who has the interest of South Australia at heart to study these two questions fairly - 1. Where does the money paid to the Government, as Customs duties come from finally ? 2. Which tax, land or Customs, takes most out of the pockets of the workers?
I am, Sir, &c,
J. N. RICHARDS."
South Australian Register, Monday 4 January 1886
DEATH OF MR. J. N. RICHARDS: - On Tuesday norning, August 24, Mr. John Norman Richards, editor and proprietor of the "Norwood Free Press", died at his residence, East Adelaide, at the age of 36 years. Mr. Richards served his apprenticeship as a compositor in Adelaide, and worked for a while in that capacity in the office of the "York'es Peninsula Advertiser" at Moonta. He went thence to the Northern Territory, where he remained for some time connected with newspaper correspondence and other matters. He was subsequently employed at the office of the "Kapunda Herald", and in conjunction with Mr. Angell started the "Gawler Standard", one of the first provincial penny papers. When the other partner retired from the business Mr. Richards alone conducted the "Standard", but he sold it to the proprietors of the "Gawler Bunyip" about a year ago. Mr. Richards then came to Adelaide, and after a short interval started with Mr. G. Howell a weekly paper at Norwood. He was an unobtrusive and amiable man, and was much liked by all those with whom he associated. As a youth he was prominent in athletic sports. In Gawler he took delight in advancing local movements of a semi-public character, and there, and likewise in Adelaide, assisted in promulgating the principles of land nationalization, in connection with which subject he contributed a large number of letters to the "Register". He was also a member of the Master Printers' Association. For some time past his health has been failing, and at last he succumbed to a complication of disorders. He leaves a wife and four or five children. 6
John married Ellen Vivian ("Nellie") CRASE, daughter of James CRASE and Mary Ann Vivian MOYLE, on 23 Mar 1878 in North Kapunda Hotel (Residence Of James Crase), South Australia 1 2. (Ellen Vivian ("Nellie") CRASE was born on 11 Jan 1854 in Kapunda, S.A., Australia 7 8, died on 13 Jul 1937 in 22 Beatrice St., Prospect, S.A., Australia 8 9 and was buried in North Road, Nailsworth, South Australia.)
Nellie Vivian Crase, age 24, status single, daughter of James Crase, and John Norman Richards, age 26, status single, son of William Richards
"On the 23rd March, at Kapunda, by the Rev. E. S. Casely, John Norman, eldest son of Mr. William Richards, of Stepney, to Nellie Vivian, youngest daughter of James Crase, of Kapunda."