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Mini Biographies of Scots and Scots Descendants (R)
Robe Family


Our earliest record of this family is when JAMES ROB married 4.3.1755 to JEAN WILSON at Keith Banffshire in the North of Scotland. Alexander ROBE was christened at 7.6.1756 at Keith to James and Jean Rob. Another two sons Archibald and Edward were also known as ROBE.

It seem that they were all seafaring men as they operated out of Bristol, England and in the slave trade when we read about EDWARD ROBE being Captain of the vessel ‘Alfred’ of 199 tons, out of Bristol. Apparently this Edward ROBE died at Bonny Nigeria on 19th April 1788 during his second voyage. The story goes that he had a daughter Sarah Ann ROBE, an only child who became an orphan and was adopted by her aunt - related to the Bostock family out of Liverpool and formerly Cheshire.

This Sarah Ann ROBE married Charles BOSTOCK R.N. b.1778, and who spent a lifetime in the Navy and died at Hampshire. It is interesting to note that he was only 12 years of age when he enlisted. Charles also owned a house at 30 Marine Crescent, Waterloo on the coastal strip of Liverpool. It was here that Sarah Ann went to live after Charles had died. We visited this property in 1995. The home had been for sale just prior to that time for 130,000. It sits gracefully among a row of Georgian houses facing the Irish Sea.

CHARLES BOSTOCK became an Honorary Freeman of the City of Liverpool on 8th Feb.1816. The Register states :- " Charles Bostock" Lieutenant R.N. was in servitude to John Roberts, Master Mariner to whom he was indented on 1st July 1790 for seven years. Petitioner said he regularly served under the indenture until the year 1795, when he was impressed into His Majesty’s Navy and has continued in the service ever since".

The Naval Press Gangs were operating around 1795 and later. They would visit pubs and similar haunts to take by force, those whom they thought would be useful in the service of the Royal Navy (i.e. impressed into the navy.) It was the time of the Napoleonic Wars and Charles had already served five years at sea, which made him a prime target.

In the lead up to war in Britain during times of unrest, this was a recognised method of recruitment and most enlisted willingly. Had Charles written a diary, he too would have had a compelling story to tell about his adventures on the sea and the Napoleonic Wars. He was a retired Naval Officer, when he died in 1839 aged 61 at Fareham in Hampshire. Sadly it took 30 years for his will to settle 1872 and as Sarah had died before this,the estate was delivered to Elizabeth Ann Bostock, spinster, 30 Marine Crescent, Waterloo, Liverpool. Effects under 20.

CHARLES and SARAH Bostock had issue:-

Elizabeth Anne (Elise) Bostock born on the "Temeraire" at Azores near Africa.
Margaret Amelia Bostock who married John Pollit of Liverpool, U.K.
Maria Bostock who married Capt. Wetherell (Wethered)
Charles Henry Bostock who went into the Royal Navy and died at sea.

Edward Robe Bostock b.c.1820 went into the merchant service and thence to Van Diemen’s Land and Port Phillip (Melbourne) inspired by his cousin KEITH JACKSON KING.

I am compelled to write this as my story surrounds the life of EDWARD ROBE BOSTOCK a son of Charles Bostock and SARAH ANN ROBE. Edward achieved a great deal during the time he resided in Australia, being firstly in Van Diemen’s land and working with the Clyde Company.

Edward Robe Bostock married Mary Mackersey the daughter of John Mackersey of ‘Greenhill’ Macquarie Plains in central Tasmania.

Mary was the daughter of James and Eliza (nee Letham) Mackersey of Edinburgh. James had a brother the Rev John Mackersey who was minister of the Church at Macquarie Plains for many years. The family memorials remain a testimony to the fine family life that they all shared in the region, including the Kirklands Manse - a lovely story.

From there Edward went to Port Phillip, where he owned tenements, continuing to the country and bought leashold runs at ‘Dueran’, Mansfield district. Edward and mary held ‘Jellalabad’ at Darlington, until he resolved to return to England to act as agent for his families and friends in pastoral pursuits. Indeed it was Edward who purchaed the champion bull "Master Butterfly" in London for Jeremiah Ware of ‘Minjah’.

Edward and mary returned to live at Highbury, London in 1853. They had issue of :-

1. CHARLES JAMES BOSTOCK married Emily Elizabeth- issue dau. Lucy Adele Mary Bostock
2. SARAH LETHAM BOSTOCK born 1852 in Victoria
4. JOHN EDWIN BOSTOCK born c1855 Islington, London - d.1926 ‘Sesbania’ Qld,Australia.
5. LOUISE BOSTOCK probably born and died in England.
6. MARY BOSTOCK 1867/1877 in England
7. LUCY MARIA BOSTOCK ? Lucy Bostock found in Winton after death of her parents in U.K.
8. EMILY MARGARET BOSTOCK married Mr.Cassidy and lived in South Africa - Son Ardagh.
9. EDWARD ROBERT BOSTOCK d.y.1895 on ‘Sesbania’ in Qld.

EDWARD ROBE BOSTOCK died at Highbury, London 1869 and Mary (Mackersey) BOSTOCK died in 1879. They are both buried in the Highgate Cemetery there.

The ROBE - MACKERSEY story has always held a fascination for me and I would happily share all the research I have done over 15 years or so to anyone with links to ROBE or MACKERSEY families, both of whom came out of Scotland.

Thelma (Bostock) Birrell of Maroochydore, Queensland, Australia.

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