Dr Richard Heath was born on 11 July 1809 at Bishop's Startford, Hertsfordshire to Joseph and Susanna (née Day). He was a Member of the Royal College of Surgeons England and held a License of the Society of Apothecaries London 1830 which was mandatory for all who dispensed. He had practised as a surgeon in London before migrating to Australia with his wife, Mary (née Davies) arriving in September 1858. In 1859 he published in Geelong a second edition of his book "Deafness: Its Cause and Cure".
The family settled at Mount Duneed. When the property was for sale in December 1868 it was described as being at the foot of Mount Duneed, and commanding an extensive and picturesque view, and containing 40 acres of rich black soil, several of which have been well trenched, and five acres planted with vines, 2½ acres being in full bearing order. The residence is a substantial and modern built bluestone dwelling house with a slate roof, containing a large drawingroom, diningroom, three bedrooms and dressing room, underground cellar, kitchen, servant's room, dairy, stabling and coach house.
He was one of the first Barrabool Shire councillors serving during 1865-66. He became the Member of the Legislative Assembly for the electorate of Geelong West on 1 February 1866 and served until 1 December 1867. He contested the seat of Geelong West in 1868 and East Geelong in 1871.
He became resident medical officer of the Benevolent Asylum in North Melbourne.
His wife, Mary, died on 22 September 1886. Her only surviving child was Mary. Dr Heath had a son, Richard, from a previous marriage. He was a dentist practising at the rooms over the Argus office in Market Square, Geelong before the passing of the Medical Act of 1890. He was a Member of the College of Dentists of England.
Dr Heath died on 10 February, 1888, aged 79, at his residence in Flemington Road, North Melbourne a few hours after his daughter Mary, aged 39.
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