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Robert Anderson

Robert Anderson, one of 189 convicts transported on the Duke of Portland, January 1807

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Robert Anderson
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 3rd April, 1770
Occupation: Soldier
Date of Death: 14th January, 1816
Age: 45 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 60 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Desertion from army
Convicted at: Halifax Court Martial
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Duke of Portland
Departure date: January, 1807
Arrival date: 27th July, 1807
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 194 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 396. Colonial Secretary letter of 11 Aug 1818, p258.
Source description: This record is one of the entries in the British convict transportation registers 1787-1867 database compiled by State Library of Queensland from British Home Office (HO) records which are available on microfilm as part of the Australian Joint Copying Project.

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Community Contributions

Alan Radecki on 5th September, 2017 wrote:

Robert was a baker by trade, and could both read and write. In 1788, at age 18, he enlisted as a gunner in the 1st Battalion, Royal Artillery, at Durham.

Robert was posted in Nova Scotia as early as 1790, when he met and married Mary Turner. They had six sons together in Canada.

By January, 1797, Robert was in Paterson’s Regiment, 2nd Battalion, at Halifax. During the summer of 1805, it became known that the regiment was slated to move to Bermuda. On June 6th, 1805, Robert along with Samuel Adams, deserted from their unit, taking their uniforms, guns and ammunition with them. It is presumed that Robert left because he did not want to have to leave his family when the regiment left in August, as Mary was expecting their sixth son.

A search for the missing men was commenced, and the Anderson home was searched, to no avail. The unit offered a reward of five guineas was offered, with a notice of such being published in the Halifax Weekly Chronicle.

The two were subsequently found, and on July 22nd, they were returned to Halifax onboard the brig Vixen (this means that they must have covered quite a bit of distance before being captured).

Robert and Samuel were charged and tried by court-martial in Halifax for desertion on August 8, 1805, and were sentenced to transportation for life. On September 7, 1806, Robert embarked on the Eagle for the Isle of Wight, where he was confined until being transported on board the Duke of Portland.

Glen on 30th May, 2018 wrote:

On 13 Jul 1818 application was made for the entry of a Thomas Anderson, age 7 into the male Orphan House at Sydney. His parents were recorded as Robert Anderson, deceased, and Mary Anderson, very poor. There was another Robt Anderson in the colony(arrived per Boddingtons 1793), also married to a woman named Mary, and even had a son named Thos, but was certainly not deceased until much later. Hence there is a strong possibility that this Robert Anderson had a son, and possibly descendants if Thomas survived. It seems unlikely that the woman Mary named in the ophanage document is his original wife, Mary Turner from Canada, but could easily be a convict woman of the era in NSW.

Convict Changes History

Alan Radecki on 5th September, 2017 made the following changes:

date of birth: 3rd April, 1770 (prev. 0000), date of death: 14th January, 1816 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

Glen on 30th May, 2018 made the following changes:

source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Number 396. Colonial Secretary letter of 11 Aug 1818, p258. (prev. Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 87, Class and Piece Number HO11/1, Page Nu

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