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Robert Kirkwood

Robert Kirkwood, one of 224 convicts transported on the Isabella, 22 November 1831

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Robert Kirkwood
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1782
Occupation: Millwright
Date of Death: 25th July, 1859
Age: 77 years

Life Span

Life span

Male median life span was 54 years*

* Median life span based on contributions

Conviction & Transportation

Sentence Severity

Sentence Severity

Sentenced to Life

Crime: Forgery
Convicted at: Lancaster Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Isabella
Departure date: 22nd November, 1831
Arrival date: 15th March, 1832
Place of arrival New South Wales
Passenger manifest Travelled with 225 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 89, Class and Piece Number HO11/8, Page Number 237 (121)
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

D Wong on 4th May, 2014 wrote:

Robert Kirkwood was 50 years old on arrival in NSW.
He was convicted along with James Kirkwood, 20, who was tried for the same crime on the same date, and arrived in NSW on the ‘Portland 1831’.

1840: TOL Muswellbrook
3/1/1845: TOL Passport, Muswellbrook Bench.
30/9/1847: CP

16/3/1806: Married Sarah Jane Simpson - born 1785 and died 1858 in Uralla NSW.  They had 7 children, all born in Ireland.

Wife Sarah and the other children also came to NSW.

Robert came to the New England area from the Hunter in the 1840s. A master millwright, Robert established steam-powered mills in the area, the first person to do so, and in 1847 was granted permission to erect a steam powered mill on William Dumaresq’s “Heifer Station”. The cost was 800 pounds.
The family acquired land on Dumaresq Creek near the centre of Armidale,  Kirkwood Street taking its name from their property. Robert moved to Uralla during the time of the Rocky River gold rush and with his son Paul, established another flour mill.

25/7/1859: Robert died at Uralla.

Penny-Lyn Beale on 5th November, 2020 wrote:

New South Wales, Australia, Convict Indents, 1788-1842.

Name; Robert Kirkwood
No; 32-511. Indent No; 102
Age; 47   Est birth Year; 1795
Read & Write;
Married; four male and 3 female children
Religion; Protestant
Native Place; Belfast
Calling; Millright (complete)
Offence; Engraving plate for forged notes
Date of Trial: 8th Aug 1831
Sentence; Life
Height; 6 ft. 0 1/2
Complexion;  Ruddy
Hair; Brown
Eyes; Hazel
Noted against name; SON here “James” Per Portland

Dianne Jones on 11th April, 2021 wrote:


In 1831, the Kirkwoods petitioned for clemency. The following summary record from the National Archives outlines that process:

“HO 17/36/64 ... Prisoner name(s): Robert Kirkwood and James Kirkwood.

Prisoner age: Robert Kirkwood aged 46 and James Kirkwood aged 20.

Prisoner occupation: Millwright (Robert Kirkwood).

Court and date of trial: Lancaster Summer Assizes, August 1831 [or 6 March 1831].

Crime: Forgery (Robert Kirkwood); uttering forged notes (James Kirkwood).

Initial sentence: [Death], commuted to transportation for life.

Gaoler’s report: Robert in custody before for forgery. Both very bad characters.

Annotated (Outcome): Nil.

Petitioner(s): Robert Kirkwood and his son, James Kirkwood, the prisoners, undersigned by Sarah Kirkwood, [Robert Kirkwood’s wife], and five other people.

Grounds for clemency (Petition Details): This is the prisoner’s first offence; Robert Kirkwood has a wife and ten children dependent upon him.

Additional Information: Prisoners both tradesmen in Liverpool [Lancashire] at time of crime.” (see https://discovery.nationalarchives.gov.uk/details/r/C14596883)

Convict Changes History

Lorix Bertling on 4th May, 2014 made the following changes:

date of birth: 1782 (prev. 0000), gender: m, occupation, crime

D Wong on 4th May, 2014 made the following changes:

date of death: 25th July, 1859 (prev. 0000)

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