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Robert Thomas Palin

Robert Thomas Palin, one of 270 convicts transported on the Nile, 18 September 1857

Name, Aliases & Gender

Name: Robert Thomas Palin
Aliases: none
Gender: m

Birth, Occupation & Death

Date of Birth: 1834
Occupation: Shoemaker
Date of Death: 9th July, 1861
Age: 27 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: Burglary
Convicted at: Gloucestershire, Gloucester Assizes
Sentence term: Life
Ship: Nile
Departure date: 18th September, 1857
Arrival date: 1st January, 1858
Place of arrival Western Australia
Passenger manifest Travelled with 269 other convicts


Primary source: Australian Joint Copying Project. Microfilm Roll 93, Class and Piece Number HO11/18, Page Number 235 (119)
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

Eric Harry Daly on 1st January, 2013 wrote:

PALIN, Robert Thomas
Convict No 4606
Ship Name Nile
Ship Arrival Date 1 Jan 1858
Birth Date 1834
Deceased 9 Jul 1861
Place of Death Perth, hanged for burglary
Marital Status Unmarried
Occupation shoemaker
Literacy lit
Religion Prot
Sentence Place Gloucester
Sentence Province Gloucester
Sentence Country England
Court Assizes
Length of Sentence life
Crime burglary
Previous Conviction prev conv
Ticket of Leave Date 22 Jan 1861

Robert Thomas Palin was a convict transported to Western Australia. His execution in 1861 was the only time in the convict era of Western Australia that Ordinance 17 Victoria Number 7 was used to secure the capital punishment of a convict for a crime not normally punishable by death.
Born around 1835, nothing is known of Robert Palin’s early life except his criminal record. In 1851, he was sentenced to ten years’ imprisonment for housebreaking; in 1853, he was tried but acquitted of murder; and in March 1856, he was convicted of “burglary from the person” and sentenced to penal servitude for life. At the time of his sentencing, he was described as a shoemaker by trade.
Palin was transported to Western Australia on the Nile, arriving in January 1860. His behaviour was good both during and after the voyage. In April 1860, he was appointed a probationary constable and received his ticket of leave in January 1861. At that time he had a house in Fremantle from which he worked as a shoemaker and took in lodgers.
On 29 May 1861, Palin was charged with having broken into the home of Samuel and Susan Harding. Susan Harding gave evidence that her husband had been away and that she had woken during the night to find a man standing at the side of her bed. The man seized her by the arm and demanded money. When she said she had none, “he pulled the bedclothes down and felt about the bed… I thought he was going to commit some assault.” Harding then gave the man a number of valuables and he left. The following morning, the police followed a set of footprints to Palin’s house, where they found some wet boots whose tread matched the prints. They also recovered a number of the valuables that had been stolen.
Palin claimed to have been set up by William Cockrane, another ticket-of-leave man whom Palin said had a grudge against him. However, he was not believed and the jury found him guilty of robbery with violence, the violence being the “battery on the person of Mrs. Harding by seizing her by the arm while she was in bed.” Chief Justice Archibald Burt passed a sentence of death and Palin was hanged three days later on 9 July 1861.

Convict Changes History

Eric Harry Daly on 1st January, 2013 made the following changes:

date of birth 1834, date of death 9th July, 1861, gender, occupation, crime

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