Samuel Sneyd

Last Name


Given Name:


Middle Name:


Arrival in Queensland


Date of Birth

15 March 1811

Place of Birth

Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England

Date of Death

4 July 1885


Toowong Cemetery

Place of residence in Queensland



Catherine Margaret “Kitty” Mulcahy

Place Married



William Hartley (1837), James Goulbourn (1839), John Braidwood (1840), Ellen Mary (1844), Joseph Samuel (1846), Emma Martha (1848), Samuel Hartley Stafford (1849), Elizabeth Margaret (1853), Arthur Oliver (1855)


Margaret Hyland


Mary Catherine (1860), Brindley Stoke (1862), Robert McDowell (1863), Edith Blanche (1867), Hugh Herbert Hanley (1870), Annie Eda McDowell (1871)

Mounted Police, NSW
Chief Constable, Moreton Bay
Governor of Goal, Brisbane

Samuel Sneyd, born 1811 in Stoke-on-Trent, England, arrived in Australia in 1832 and joined the Mounted Police in New South Wales in 1838. Twelve years later, in 1850, he was appointed as Chief Constable for the Brisbane police. In 1859, he resigned and became the governor of Her Majesty’s goal. Sneyd was married to Catherine Mulcahy and later married Margaret Hyland in 1859 after Catherine's death in 1858. On 4 July 1885, aged 75, Sneyd died of a heart disease at his residence in Enoggera, Brisbane.

Samuel Sneyd was the son of Baptists Samuel Sneyd, a grocer, and Elizabeth Margret Oliver. He was born in Hanley, Stoke-on-Trent in Staffordshire, England on 15 March 1811. His sister Mary was born in 1814, and brother James in 1818.

In 1832, at the age of 22, he came to Australia with the “4th Battalion of the King’s Own” regiment. In the early days, he was selected along with other hand-picked men from the regiment to suppress bushranging in the colony.

On 13 February 1837, he married Catherine “Kitty” Mulcahy, originally from Black Rock near Cork, Ireland, at Wollongong Church. Catherine came to Australia on the ship “James Pattison”. They went on to have nine children.

A year later, in 1838, Sneyd joined the Mounted Police where he rose to the position of Sergeant-Major of the Goulbourn Division. Sneyd worked with the police in New South Wales, having been stationed in Wollongong, Bowen’s Hollow, and Goulbourn among other places. In 1850, he was appointed to Chief Constable for the Brisbane police as a replacement of William Fitzpatrick. At the time of his appointment, he was in Sydney, while his family remained in Goulbourn. Hence, he had to petition the Colonial Secretary for additional time to move his family to Brisbane, which was approved.

As evidenced by rising prosecutions for breach of conduct in the police, Chief Constable Sneyd was viewed as a meticulous man fond of rules and regulations and was well respected for his integrity and the execution of his duties.

On 25 July 1858, aged 46, Kitty died of an epileptic seizure. Sneyd then married Margaret Hyland and had six more children, five of whom grew to adulthood.

Soon after, in 1859, injuries obtained during Sneyd's service in the bush prevented him from maintaining his high standard of work, and led to his resignation as Chief Constable. As an expression of gratitude for his service, he was presented with a gold watch and Albert chain and key by the Brisbane police force. The watch was a Hunter Lever, and bore the following inscription on the inside of the case “Presented to Mr. S. Sneyd, Chief Constanble of the Brisbane police force, by the men serving under him, as a token of respect upon his retiring from the service Dec. 15, 1859 [sic]”.

Following a vacancy at Her Majesty’s goal, Sneyd was appointed to the governorship shortly after his resignation as Chief Constable in 1859.

On 4 July 1885, aged 75, Sneyd died of a heart disease at his residence in Enoggera, Brisbane.

If you have further information on the life of this person please contact the Harry Gentle Resource Centre ([email protected])

Prepared by Dr Anastasia Dukova and Constance Schoelch.


The Morals of Brisbane: Account of a local resident where Sneyd plays a part

The Moreton Bay Courier
27 Nov 1858, p. 2

Sneyd’s resignation

Warwick Argus and Tenterfield Chronicle
29 Jul 1868, p. 3

Resignation as Chief Constable

The Moreton Bay Courier
17 Dez 1859, p. 2

Brisbane police awarding Sneyd

The North Australian, Ipswich and General Advertiser
20 Dez 1859, p. 3

Appointment of Sneyd to governor of goal

The Moreton Bay Courier
26 Nov 1859, p. 2

Marriage notice

The Sydney Monitor
24 Feb 1837, p. 3

Death notice of first wife Catherine

The Moreton Bay Courier
28 Jul 1858, p. 2

Death notice

The Queenslander
11 July 1885, p. 67

Death notice

The Brisbane Courier
15 Jul 1885, p. 1

Cause of death

The Northern Miner
7 Jul 1885, p. 2

Death notice of Sneyd’s father

The Moreton Bay Courier
12 Jan 1856, p. 3

Death notice of son

The Telegraph
19 Jul 1905, p. 6

Online Resources

Samuel Sneyd Biography
Geni Entry Samuel Sneyd
Geni Entry wife Catherine