Richard Simonds was born on April 24, 1789, at Portland, Saint John County, New Brunswick. He was of Colonial English, pre-Loyalist ancestry, the son of James and Hannah Peabody Simonds.

Richard Simonds was educated at the Portland Public School and located in Saint John where he engaged in the commercial enterprise established and conducted by his father.

His first wife, Ann, died July 2, 1827. On May 18, 1829, he married Mrs. Margaret Walker Newton, daughter of Thomas and Phoebe Millidge Walker.

First elected to the House of Assembly of New Brunswick as one of the members for Northumberland County at the general election of September 1816, he was re-elected in October 1819, June 1820 and June 1827, and sat as a member until 1828. On February 14, 1828, he was chosen Speaker of the House of Assembly and held that position until December 1828 when he resigned to become Treasurer of the province of New Brunswick upon the death of the Hon. John Robinson.

On December 22, 1829, he was called to a seat on His Majesty's Council of New Brunswick; he continued as a member of that council until its abolishment on December 31, 1832.

When the Legislative Council of New Brunswick was established by a Royal Commission on December 31, 1832, he was appointed one of the original members and continued as a member until his death. He also continued to hold the position of Treasurer of New Brunswick until his death.

The Weekly Observer, May 3, 1836 records the death of "Robert Simonds, Province Treasurer, last eve." (Graves reports his death February 14, 1836.)

Source - Speakers of the Legislative Assembly, Province of New Brunswick, 1786-1985. 1985, Legislative Assembly, Province of New Brunswick, Office of the Clerk, Fredericton, N.B.