Dr. Samuel David Radley was born in Newton Abbott, Devon, England on the 29th of November, 1820. Dr. Radley was the 3rd of 6 children born to Dr. William Chapple Radley M.D. and the former Elizabeth Welch. His father was a general medical practitioner and his siblings were; Elizabeth Sarah Radley, William Radley, Mary, Emily Frances Radley and Caroline Radley (who died at the age of 7). Dr. Samuel Radley received his qualifications to practice medicine and pharmacy in England.
Dr. Radley married Emily Elizabeth Coombe on the 14th of July, 1848 in Devon, England. Mrs. Radley was born on the 25th of October, 1825, in Little Hampton, Devonshire, England. She was the daughter of James Coombe and the former Eleanor Searle. Mrs. Radley was born at Fishacre Mills, Little Hempton, Devonshire, England. She had an older brother named Benjamin and her father was a miller.
According to the obituary that appeared for Mrs. Radley, she and her husband emigrated to Canada on their honeymoon. They initially settled in Hamilton, and their daughter Frances Elizabeth Radley who was born in Hamilton on the 17th of September, 1849. Dr. and Mrs. Radley moved to Chatham in 1851. The couple had 6 more children born to them while they lived in Chatham; Mary Jane Radley was born on the 6th of August 1852, Samuel David Radley was born on the 5th of November 1854, Eleanor Annie Radley was born on the 21st of September 1858, Emma Radley was born on the 22nd of September 1860, William J. Radley was born on the 29th of September, 1863 and Edwin Coombe Radley was born on the 19th of June, 1866.
Dr. Radley’s grandson Victor Lauriston wrote in his book, A Centennial Chronicle of Kent Doctors, “Dr. Radley was fond of children and almost inevitably the capacious pockets of his black frock coat yielded peppermints or liquorice lozenges for their delectation. To give generously, as his uncertain means permitted, was indeed the dominant note of his life. He was generous to the less privileged, the deserving and the undeserving”
The Radley family resided on Lacroix Street near Harvey Street. They had a large estate, with a beautiful rose garden. Victor Lauriston recalled the long dining room table where the family gathered to celebrate the holidays.
Dr. Radley conducted business on the north side of King Street, near the foot-bridge to Tecumseh Park. He was a Trustee on the Public School Board for many years. It is reported that Dr. Radley provided good patient care to slaves who had escaped from the United States but opposed their admission to white schools.
In 1877 Dr. Radley was elected to the town council in Chatham and he served one year. Dr Radley appears in the 1877. In the 1882 Town of Chatham Directory, Dr. Radley is identified as a druggist on Market Square.
Dr. Radley died of tuberculosis at his residence on Lacroix Street on the 25th of April, 1893. He was buried at Maple Leaf Cemetery. After his death Mrs. Radley moved to 141 Richmond Street (in Chatham). In 1911 her daughter Emma (McKinnon) and her granddaughter Anne McKinnon lived with her.
Mrs. Radley died at her daughter’s residence on Richmond Street on the 5th of March, 1921. She was buried next to her husband at Maple Leaf Cemetery.
*Dr. Radley’s son Dr. Samuel David Radley Jr. practiced medicine in Constantine, Michigan. Dr. Samuel David Radley Jr. died a young man in 1883 and left behind 2 sons, Samuel David Radley III and Joseph Wells Radley.
**Dr. Radley’s son Edwin Radley became a veterinarian.
**Dr. Radley’s grandson Victor Lauriston became a well-known author and journalist. Victor Lauriston was born William Edward Park in 1885, the son of Mary Jane (Radley) and Robert Park. Victor Lauriston was a name he chose to reflect the celebrated author he would be become. He legally changed his name in 1918 and the rest as they say….is history.