Students at the University of Sydney

The first 24 students

Alexander Raby Riley

Alexander Raby Riley was admitted as a student at the new University of Sydney in the first cohort of students in 1852.


His early life

Alexander Raby Riley was born in Sydney in 1833, the only son of pastoralist and sketcher William Edward Riley of NSW and Honoria Rose Riley (née Brooks). Alexander's father died suddenly in 1836 and his mother in 1839. He and his two sisters were raised by their aunt and uncle.

Alexander's grandfather was pioneer pastoralist Alexander Riley who had come to New South Wales as a free settler in 1804 and who had acquired a land grant at Liverpool, named Raby, after his mother's family.

Alexander attended the school conducted by the Church of England clergyman, Dr William Woolls.

His student days at the University of Sydney

Alexander was 19 when he was admitted as a student at the new University of Sydney in the first cohort of students, and won a prize for Chemistry in his yearly examination in 1853.

He gained First class honours in Chemistry and Experimental Phyics in 1853 but did not complete his studies however.

His career

Riley lived at Clifton, near Tenterfield, New England. In 1855 he was appointed magistrate of the Territory and its Dependencies, and in 1860, Returning Officer of the electoral district of Tenterfield.

He married Harriet Anna Taylor in 1860.

He died in 1881 aged 47 and was buried in Rosedale Cemetery.

From NLA Australian newspapers.