Sergeant Robert Higgins (1762..1843)


Back To . . . The New South Wales Corps. ( Rum Corps. ) "Renamed 102nd Regiment
  • Born : Circa 1762
  • Where Born : England
  • Occupation : Soldier ,
  • Date Arrived : 27. September 1791
  • Ship Arrived on : "Queen"
  • Rank attained : Sergeant
  • Date of Enlistment :
  • Where Enlisted :
  • Date Transferred R.N.S.W. corps : 3. February 1791
  • Date Transferred 73rd Reg : 24. April 1810
  • Date of Discharge :
  • Where Discharged : Sydney
  • Died : 8 . March 1843
  • Where Died / Buried : Camden / St Peter's Church Campbelltown New South Wales
  • Parents Names :
  • Spouse's Name : Lydia Farrell
  • Born : Circa 1757
  • Where Born :
  • Occupation : Home Duties
  • Date Arrived : 14 February 1792
  • Ship Arrived on : " Pitt "
  • Date Married : 9. July 1810
  • Where Married: St Phillip's Church Sydney
  • Died : 30 August 1823,
  • Where Died / Buried : Cowpastures Camden / St Lukes Church at Liverpool.
  • Spouse's Parents :
  • Descendants
    This information and the story below were kindly supplied by Marion Starr E-mail address twinks@ozemail.com.au
    Area Settled :
    Children :
    1 . Mary Higgins (b.1795.Sydney...d.24/10/1867 Dapto ) 1st m 15/3/1814 Thomas Seymour (b......d.) he arrived on the Admiral Gambier on 29 September 1811 2nd m 1827 William Ryan (b....d.)
    2 . Elizabeth Higgins (b.1797.....d.10/4/1827 Upper Minto ) m 1827 Thomas Campbell (b......d.)
    3 . John Higgins (b.1799......d.24/8/1847 Campbelltown ) m 6/11/1823 St Peter's Campbelltown Hannah Ann Winfield (b.....d.)
    4 . Sarah Higgins (b.1800.....d.6/12/1870 Camden ) 1st m George Griffin (b....d.) 2nd m 18/7/1824 Richard Boyd (b.......d.)
    History & Achievements :

    Life in Australia:

    When the Queen arrived in Sydney on 26 September 1791 with the first shipment of Irish convicts, on board
    was Robert Higgins from Wiltshire, England. He was aged 29 and was a soldier in the 102nd of Foot Regiment. With previous military experience, he had enlisted in Major Grose's newly formed NSW Corps, on the 3 February 1791.
    The Queen was part of the Third Fleet of eleven ships that had left England early that year and arrived
    between July and October. Under the command of Richard Owens, the Queen was a ship of 400 tons, and after taking aboard 175 male convicts, and 25 female convicts, she sailed from Cork in April 1791. The ship arrived in Sydney after seven deaths during the voyage, the survivors emaciated and complaining that they had not received their proper allowance of provisions. An enquiry later found that the second mate, Robert Stott had cut back the convicts rations of dried fish and beef, but no action was taken by the British authorities as they did not want to discredit the transportation system.
    The NSW Corps were to replace the Royal Marines who had accompanied Governor Phillip on the First
    Fleet, and who objected to supervising convicts, and being part of the civil administration.
    This was to be the new regiments primary role. They supervised the convicts on public works and guarded
    them in transit within the colony. They also provided guards for Government House; the Court House and the Commissariat Stores. The Officers served as District Magistrates, jurors and public servants; and the Commanding Officer of the Regiment was second only to the Governor. The NSW Corps were an essential and very influential force in the new Colony.
    Although the NSW Corps have often been the subject of controversy because of the position of power
    attained by many of the officers, the majority of the soldiers have been described as ordinary wage earners unable to find employment, and were recruited from poor rural and urban labourers.
    The remaining group of the NSW Corps arrived in Sydney on the 14 February 1792 with Major Grose, on
    the Pitt as part of the Fourth Fleet. At 775 tons, it was the largest convict ship to have come to Australia and carried 410 convicts. One of the 58 convict women aboard was Lydia Farrell, who had been convicted at Stafford Assizes on 21 July 1790 and transported for seven years.
    As a convict woman in 1792 in the Colony, she was one of a small minority. As soon as the ships arrived
    convict women were usually employed in domestic work in the settlement.
    In the summer of 1792, Robert Higgins was promoted to Corporal and was assigned Lydia Farrell as his
    servant. She was to be freed by servitude by this action, and on 11 February they both arrived at Norfolk Island on board the Kitty.
    Robert Higgins formed part of the detachment under the command of Captain Abbott who had been at
    Norfolk Island for several years. On 6 November 1794, the troops were ordered to return to Sydney, and Robert Higgins and Lydia Farrell departed from Norfolk Island on the Daedalus.
    In the early 1800's, Sergeant Higgins was part of Captain Abbott’s detachment at Parramatta and was
    probably involved in the Castle Hill Rebellion in 1804. By 17 July 1809 he was living at High Street, Sydney leasing a small area of land near the army barracks.
    In 1810 on 24 March Robert Higgins was transfered to the 73rd Highland Regiment that had arrived with
    Lachlan Macquarie. This was a special Invalid and Veteran Company of about 100 men who were no longer fit for active service.
    As part of his social reforms, Macquarie encouraged formal marriages to replace the casual relationships
    that were common in the Colony. On 9 July 1810, Samuel Marsden married Lydia Farrell and Robert Higgins at St Phillips Church. It was one of the first marriages in the new church that had been completed that year. By the time of their marriage they had four children: Mary, aged 15; = Elizabeth, aged 13; John, aged 12; and Sarah, aged 10.
    Macquarie adopted a policy of establishing small farm developments and offered land grants to retiring
    soldiers if they stayed in the Colony. In July 1811, Robert Higgins was granted 50 acres of land at Elderslie, east of Camden on the Sydney side of the Nepean River. He was also assigned a convict servant, Thomas Seymour, who arrived on the Admiral Gambier on 29 September 1811, and married Mary Higgins in 1814.
    In 1822 John Macarthur at the Camden Park Estate employed both Robert Higgins and his son John.
    Sarah Higgins also worked on the estate as a washerwoman, and married Richard Boyd who was employed as a groom.
    On 30 August 1823, Lydia died at Camden and was buried at St Lukes Church at Liverpool. Robert lived
    for another 20 years at Camden where he died on = 8 March 1843, and was buried at St Peters Church, Campbelltown.
  • References
    Military records  ,Pay rolls, Pay Musters, Cemetery Records, Church Records & General Muster Records, Mitchell Library ,Sydney Australia
    The information is intended for short Historical value only,
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