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Robert Campbell

Robert Campbell, one of 150 convicts transported on the Shipley, 18 July 1818

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Robert Campbell
Aliases: Cammell
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: -
Occupation: -
Date of Death: -
Age: -

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 56 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to 7 years

Crime: -
Convicted at: Perth Court of Justiciary
Sentence term: 7 years
Ship: Shipley
Departure date: 18th July, 1818
Arrival date: 18th November, 1818
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 149 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 88, Class and Piece Number HO11/3, Page Number 49 (26)
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

Maureen Withey on 15th March, 2021 wrote:

Colonial Secretary Index.

CAMPBELL, Robert. Per “Shipley”, 1818.

1818 Nov 24 - On list of convicts disembarked from the “Shipley” and forwarded to Parramatta for distribution (Reel 6006; 4/3499 p.167)
1822 Sep 23-Oct 21 - Sentenced to death; commuted to transportation to Port Macquarie. In reports of prisoners tried at Court of Criminal Jurisdiction (Reel 6023; X820 p.65)
1822 Nov 5 - Tried in Sydney. Sentence commuted to transportation (Reel 6070; 4/1265 p.9)
1822 Nov 19 - On lists of prisoners transported to Port Macquarie per “Lady Nelson” (Reel 6019; 4/3864 pp.17, 376-7)


MONDAY.—William Poole, Thomas Peacock, Robert Cammell, and Michael Clensey, were indicted for the commission of various felonies; and Hugh M’Cann, Henry Webb, and Michael Kanaun were arraigned as accessaries before and after the fact.  From the evidence of John Wiseman, an approver, it appeared that the four prisoners, viz. Poole, Peacock, Cammell, and Clensey, with himself, were crown servants to various individuals, and were employed in and about the new discovered country, and Bathurst.  Some time in May last, about the 21st, they absconded from their various masters, and took to the woods: this act being at the suggestion of the prisoner Poole, who had been for some weeks previous storing the minds of his follow prisoners with not only the probability, but also the possibility and certainty of making their way to Timor, through the trackless interior of New Holland; to which plausible tale they were the more readily induced lo give credence, from their knowledge of the prisoner Poole being a seaman, and consequently an active and clever fellow, and therefore well capacitated to conduct his little party to Timor, in which event they had the prospect of becoming altogether, though remotely, relieved from captivity. Poole told them this tale; it was believed; and preparations were for a length of time carried on with great secrecy.  Horses were stolen, cattle slaughtered, and huts plundered, till they were (as was imagined) amplv provided for the expedition; in which they were assisted, as proved by the approver, and confirmed as far as actions and words couid possibly extend, by the other three prisoners at the bar, who were hut and stock-keepers to gentlemen in the interior.  The party set out, and went on pretty rapidly, till a river, of which they had no previous conception, impeded their further progress.  A consultation was called ; and it was pronounced impossible to overcome this enemy to their fondest expectation ; viz. that of reaching Timor. The only expedient that appeared to be left, as not the least hope was entertained of tracing the river, was to fell some trees, and thus effect a pass ; but, to accomplish this Herculean task, the adventurers possessed no implement ; and it was found requisite to return, after having gone 200 miles from Bathurst, for an axe! The horses that had been stolen having been missed, together with the amazing quantity of property that had been purloined, Wm. Lawson, Esq. the Magistrate at Bathurst, sent a party in quest of them, under the command of Mr. Blackman, district constable ; and, after several weeks fatigue, this persevering officer succeeded in falling in with a part of the discoverers, who had only just before separated from their companions, and were in the act of about becoming concentrated, to renew their march to Timor. This caption (for such it may well be called) took place about 30 miles from Bathurst.  The other prisoners were shortly after taken into custody. Such were the principal features in this singular case; which, however, is not unprecedented in colonial annals. Many of our Readers may remember the expedition to China about 20 years since! As to the property that the prisoners had managed to get together, it was truly astonishing, as well for variety as comfort.  To afford some idea of the quantity of property, the enumeration of the articles nearly filled a side of foolscap; and, among the number, the prisoners had provided themselves with a Bible ! Our limits will not permit us to say much more upon this trial. The defence of the prisoners went merely to weaken, and to endeavour to destroy, the testimony given by the approver; but that was too ably borne out to be shaken by unsupported assertion.  The prisoners were found Guilty. Remanded.
Sydney Gazette, 11 Oct 1822.


MONDAY.—This day, at one o’clock, the Court reassembled : and the various prisoners, who had been found Guilty during the sessions, but upon whom sentence had not been passed, were now brought up to receive judgment.
…  William Poole, Thomas Peacock, Robert Cammell, Michael Clensey, …  severally received SENTENCE of DEATH !
Hugh McCann, —transportation for life.
Henry Webb and Michael Kanim—7 years transportation.
Sydney Gazette, 25 Oct 1822.


EXECUTION. - On Thursday morning last, William Poole was executed in the county gaol yard, pursuant to the sentence that was passed upon him in October last. The unfortunate man seemed prepared for his awful exit, having been sedulously attended during a confinement of some weeks by the Roman Catholic Minister, the Reverend Mr. Therry.  At the suggestion of the Minister, while on the platform, the hapless creature fully acquiesced in the justice of the sentence that has bereft him of temporal existence, acknowledging himself guilty of the crimes with which he had been charged and convicted.
As many of our readers may have forgotten the nature of this man’s offence, we beg leave to mention few particulars. At the criminal sessions in October last, William Poole, now executed, Thomas Peacock, Robert Cammell and Michael Clensey, were convicted of various felonies, and adjudged to suffer death, Poole, who was a seaman, was ringleader of this gang.
He had succeeded, in, misleading the other prisoners into the notion of being able to conduct them through the interior of, the country to Timor; in order-to carry which object in to effect, they had committed many robberies. the whole of these culprits were favoured with the merciful consideration of his EXCELLENCY THE GOVERNOR IN CHIEF, and were respited upon the condition of remaining at the settlement of Port Macquarie for the remainder of their natural lives, but if found at large, the sentence of the law to be carried into effect without further delay. Here justice and mercy MERCY were never more strikingly exhibited. After this wise display of Royal Clemency, no one could have supposed that such would have been contemptuously disregarded - that life would be thrown away. But the above determined character, whom the fear of present death could not influence, infringed upon the only condition upon which his existence was suspended, and fled from the place of banishment, from the only spot where life could be preserved. There is not the least doubt but this man’s death will he influential in preserving, many lives. Those characters, similarly circumstanced with their self-destroyed associate, will not venture to exercise that temerity which has ended, in this instance, in the necessary bereavement of life but will try to comport themselves as men fit, in some period or other, to be relieved from that sentence which now hangs over their every breath. By the clement interposition of our GOVERNOR they are now alive; and why should men, however hardened they may in principle be so daring as to court the deprivation of temporal existence, which may Be only the prelude to death eternal. It is be hoped also that this’ man’s death will have a salutary effect as far as regards the prevention of crime. Men have hitherto thought but little of infracting the laws, because they must generally calculate upon the risk of being apprehended, and if that event take place, as sooner or later invariably is the case, they are inclined to be sheltered sheltered from the certainty of death in the distant prospect of mercy ; but now, we think, and the Public accord with us in this opinion, that a barrier to this heretofore hope is successfully opposed in the instance that has now come forward to public notice. The man who is devoted to criminal enterprise, need not any longer flatter himself in the expectation of hastily, it ever, returning to the scene of depredation; and if MERCY, the prominent attribute of the CREATOR, is extended to preserve life in the first instance, he must be content to resign his liberty for ever. Let the only condition upon which life is dependent become violated, and the wrenched man’s life must justly pay the forfeit.
Sydney Gazette, 29 May 1823.

Maureen Withey on 15th March, 2021 wrote:

1828 Census Index.
Robert Campbell, per Shipley, sentence, Respite, (ie respited from Death sentence) Port Macquarie.

Maureen Withey on 15th March, 2021 wrote:

Convict Index 1791-1873.
Robert Campbell, Shipley 1818, Colonial Pardon, 1 Feb 1833.

Convict Changes History

Maureen Withey on 15th March, 2021 made the following changes:

alias1: Cammell, gender: m

This record was discovered and printed on ConvictRecords.com.au