Robert Forrester and Richard McDale were
sharing a bed with a third man, Simon Hughes, in a
London boarding-house on the night of 29 April 1783.
They were accused of stealing six guineas in gold coin
from their bedfellow, tried at the Old Bailey, found
guilty and sentenced to death. They were later reprieved
and sentenced to seven years transportation.
Robert Forrester arrived in Australia aboard Scarborough aged
about 29 years. There is some confusion about his next
movements. He has been said to have been married to a
Mary Frost and gone with her to Norfolk Island. He may
have received a grant of land there and become a farmer.
If this man was the First Fleeter Robert Forrester, he
must have left Mary and Norfolk Island, because in 1794
he was back in the Colony and settled on 30 acres
at Mulgrave Place. Living with him was
Isabella Ramsey who had been married for a short time to
James Manning, a marine private. Isabella bore her first
child to Robert Forrester on l6 March 1794. She was to
bear him seven more children during their life together.
Forrester became a successful farmer. In 1806 he is
recorded as "holding 130 acres with 24 in grain, half an
acre as orchard and garden, the rest fallow or pasture
for his stock (30 sheep, 50 goats, 10 hogs)."
After 1814, Robert seems to have left Isabella and was
living with Jane Wilson on a new grant of 30 acres along
the Hawkesbury. The records show him continuing as a
successful farmer until his death on 14 February 1827.
He was buried in St Matthew's, Windsor, leaving behind
a large family of children and grandchildren, all
descended from Isabella (Ramsey) Manning.