Tuesday, 25 June 2019



For so many years, there has been numerous discussions and hopes raised about the Hobbs millions...it seems that there are so many descendants who were living in hope of being among the chosen to inherit...at least a part of the millions... Even my own grandfather told me about them. 
"You know, girlie, that one day, we'll all be very rich, because we are in line to inherit a good slice of the Hobbs millions!" 
Image courtesy of Pixabay
Mmm, we'd need an awful lot of these...

It didn't really impress me as Pa had a way of telling good tales that had very little assistance from the truth.. that was Pa and we loved him regardless. I'd just say something like "that's great, what would you do if you had lots of money?"

"Go to England again, of course... with all that money, there's sure to be a castle somewhere in the family." Of course, Pa wasn't telling one tale, he was always talking about the War of the Roses and how 'our family' were involved.. well, yes, his mother was Catherine Elizabeth Harriet Rose, not that I found that out till I was at least in my teens... I did know what he was referring to when he spoke about going to England again, he'd been there for awhile in WW1. Funnily enough, he said he didn't have time to visit castles then... and so I dismissed all the chatter though dutifully listened to his tales, which could be very funny at times, especially when he'd had a 'few lemonades'. Strangely enough, lemonade didn't seem to affect anyone else in the same way.

 But how does this connect to the Hobbs and the promised millions? I am but one of hundreds who are descended from Robert Hobbs, a convict, who was given a free passage from England on the good ship "Active", part of the Third Fleet, which arrived in Sydney in 1791. Robert Hobbs is my 4th great grandfather.. Bridget Eslin/Heslin Hobbs is my 4th great grandmother.

Convicts at Botany Bay from Captain Watkin Tench's Narrative of the Expedition to Botany Bay. First published in 1789.

You can read much about his life in another of my blogs here a compilation of research by various Hobbs cousins... If you take a few moments to read this, you will soon see that some of the following stories are far fetched to say the least. Still, they got lots of attention...

The Third Fleet mostly departed from Portsmouth

Back to the fortune awaiting us... there have been many newspaper stories, a lot based on conjecture..the following selection will give you an idea.

Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), Friday 28 May 1926, page 6
National Library of Australia           http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85951372
As always, you can enlarge by clicking on the image...

From convicts to pioneers...

View of Windsor, NSW

Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), Friday 2 July 1926, page 12
National Library of Australia http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85949238

Not much credence can be given to the story above if the marriage details aren't even correct...

HOBBS - Robert 1815 marriage

Eventually it seemed that some sense prevailed..

Windsor and Richmond Gazette (NSW : 1888 - 1954), Friday 30 January 1931, page 3
National Library of Australia   http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article85889238

Wingham Chronicle and Manning River Observer (NSW : 1898 - 1954), Friday 7 August 1931, page 7    National Library of Australia  http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article166286371

The seals mentioned above had a story all their own, as depicted in my earlier post linked earlier. Another story about them was told when the first Hobbs reunion was held in 2010...it appeared in August 2010 in the South Coast Register.. featuring cousins and avid researchers, Bev Woodman and Robyn McNamara
Please click to enlarge..

 It was with great pride that a number of descendants contributed to the cost of a plaque to be placed with Robert's headstone in the Church of England Cemetery, Pitt Town, NSW.

 They are also honoured on the WELCOME WALL in Sydney, New South Wales. Millions or not, we are proud to be part of this great pioneering family.

How can I have such sympathy for my convict ancestor? I think this summary from another cousin, Robyn Winley, sums it up... especially her last line... posted with permission...

When researching our family history, many of us will have found that Robert Hobbs was before the courts, and occasionally incarcerated, before he was transported for the “theft of thirty-eight pieces of calico”.
The first account that I located was heard at the Old Bailey on 10th December 1788 for, on 1 November 1788, breaking and entering into a shop and the subsequent theft of “one piece of velveteen containing thirty-nine yards”. He was charged at the Old Bailey, along with Solomon Bockerah. Robert was found not guilty. Bockerah was found guilty and sentenced to death, later commuted to transportation to life. He was placed on board the Scarborough to sail with the Second Fleet, arriving in the colony on 28 June 1790. He was buried Sydney on 16th July 1791, 2 months before Robert arrived in the colony.
On 8th July 1789, for the misdemeanour of obtaining three kits of pickled salmon by false pretences, he was sentenced to be imprisoned for one month and to be whipped.
On the 27th October 1790 Robert Hobbs was charged with the theft of thirty-eight pieces of calico and sentenced to transportation for seven years.
But wait - there’s more: This morning I found the following: Robert Hobbs – theft of a hamper from a cart. This seems to have a date of December 1788, but I cannot locate any other details.
After Robert’s arrival in 1791, temptation took over once more: he was charged with the theft of a hat and a pair of shoes. He admitted guilt and was sentenced to 150 lashes.
This appears to be the last time that Robert Hobbs thought he could make better use of someone else’s property than the owner, and he seems to have lived a law abiding life until his death in 1839.
He seemed to have been attracted by food and cloth/clothing – the necessities of life. This may afford us some insight into his living circumstances in London.

Further reading:
The second reunion was held Oct 30 2015... maybe time for another next year?

* Lists of convicts on the Third Fleet....

* Biography Robert Hobbs

* Convict ship 'Active' Jen Willetts

* Convict records Robert Hobbs

* Trove Tattles.. a little about Bridget

There is so much more to the Hobbs story...far more than bears posting here..and it all makes such interesting reading. There is a Facebook Group if you are connected to the family.. we'd love to hear from you.


  1. What a fabulous story! I enjoyed readin it - so many conflicting twists to it.

    1. Thank you, Katrina...I'm so glad you enjoyed it. Every now and then one of the cousins finds out just a little more... I've been intrigued with this story for ever so long now, and as well as ever more chapters being added, the best part is finding and meeting more cousins.


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