Early Clyde Families
1854, ROBINS - Richard, 71 (1812-1883)
Sentenced to Death
Richard, son of a chemist, was born in Birmingham England, in 1812. When he was twenty years old he broke into a house was caught by the police and taken to court. On September 6th he was sentenced to death but this was commuted to transportation to Australia. Three months later on 13 December 1832  he began the 154 day journey from Portsmouth to Hobart via Rio aboard the “Lotus” arriving in May 1833.

It was 13 years before Richard Robins legally became a free man. Obtaining a Ticket of Leave eight years after arriving in Tasmania meant he could work for a wage but always had to carry this Ticket with him. Four years later, in 1845, he was given a Conditional Pardon which allowed him to live anywhere in Australia but not allowed to return to Britain. Many ex-convicts crossed Bass Strait for work in Victoria. Newly developed farms and industries needed employees. We assumed by newspaper articles that Mr Robins came first to Geelong, on a free trip, offered by the Geelong Immigration society and eventually he worked in Collingwood Melbourne as a carpenter.

At 38 years of age, he married Eliza Thompson, newly arrived from Ireland. In 1854 following the birth of their third child he purchased his first block land in Clyde at the corner of Tuckers and Patterson Road. Like all pastoral pioneers, sometimes called colonists, it was hard persistent work that provided for his family and developed the land. His effort enabled him to purchase another block of land on the adjacent corner of  Tuckers and Patterson’s Road. Local respect for Richard Robins was demonstrated in appointing him a member of the School board and permitting him to build the school house and classroom.
Upon his death at 71 years it could be said that he was a wealthy man.

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Early Clyde Map (Block 51 - Melway 135- C 7)
Map before 1888 showing land owned by Richard Robins on both corners of Patterson and Tuckers Road.
The Clyde Creek ran through one of his properties. The second block of land had been bought sometime in or before 1863. The railway line perhaps had been built and it was pencilled in.
Alexander Cameron's land had yet to be acquired for the Clyde Township.
1. State Libray of Victoria Map Collections.
2. See Historical Maps of Clyde in "Roads and Maps" to learn how to find these maps
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Eliza Robins 88, (1833-1921)
Irish Bounty Girl
Eliza Thompson was born in 1833 in Southern Ireland. As a 15 year old and poor circumstances, Eliza left her own country and headed for unknown Australia, together with fifty-eight other destitute, teenage Kilkenny girls, under the Earl Grey scheme, to become workers and wives for the new colony. Mr Joseph Jennings of Melbourne paid for her fare with the understanding that Eliza would work for 12 months for him. Seven months after arriving she had met and married Richard Robins in March 1850. Several children were born to her before the family made the move out to Clyde. There Eliza, along with her husband carried on a successful dairy farm and eventually they owned two properties. In her early days in Clyde the Robins lived near to the Bunurong tribe who camped at intervals along the Cardinia Creek.

She outlived seven of her fourteen children. Following the death of her husband, Richard in 1883 the remaining family moved to Cranbourne where she lived as a widow for the next 38 years.  Upon her death in 1921 at 88 years she was considered a wealthy woman. Nine years before her death she donated a large sum of money that enabled the Church of England to build a hall next to their church. It has served the community for a hundred years. She came to Australia with nothing but was able to give back to a country that adopted her. She was a strong minded person known to smoke a corncob pipe and drive around in a carriage with her own coachman. Illness in 1920 prompted her to write her will . Six months later she died of shock and burns after stumbling with a candle in her Cranbourne home.

Newspapers report that she had 47 grandchildren and 29 great grandchildren. Eliza Robins was acknowledged as being a colonist of 72 years.

Bounty Girls Irish Famine Memorial

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Children of Richard and Eliza Robins
Emily Eliza Rebecca, 44 (1851-1895) m. 1872 Cranbourne, James Henderson from Clyde. (Born in Ireland)
Richard (1), 17 (1852-1869) Died as result of accident in Melbourne
Harriet Sarah, (1854-  ) m.1 Charles Vale
     2 Griffiths
Miriam, 81 (1855-1937) m. 1879 John Francis William Casey
Sarah Beatrice, 97 (1857-1954) m. 1876 Clyde, Donald William McKay
Georgina, 31 (1859-1890) m. 1879, William Henry Bond
William Henry, 86 (1860-1946) m. 1885 Charlotte Queley
Helen, 50 (1862-1913) m. 1880, George Thornell, Somverville
Amy Alice, 23 (1864-1888) Died in Clyde
Rosa (1), 18 months (1866-1868) Died in Clyde
Rosa (2), 83 (1869-1952) m. 1889, Edward Henry Bensely
Richard (2),, 76 (1870-1947) m. c1901 Katie May Whitely
Florence, 78 (1873-1951) m. William Russ
Ada, 89 (1874-1963) m. 1902 Ernest Malcolm Swanson

Grandchildren of Richard and Eliza Robins who lived in Clyde

Children of Donald William and Sarah Beatrice McKay (nee Robins)
The McKay story is told under James McKay
1 Donald William, 10 1877-1887  
2 John Richard, “Jack”, 78 1878-1957  
3 Archibald James “Tom”, 80 1881-1961 m. 1909 Florence Stick
4 Elsie May, 85 1883-1968 m.  John McDonough
5 Grace Evelyn, 66 1886-1952 m. 1912, Clyde, Frederick Lineham
6 Edith Miriam, 70 1889-1959 m. 1917 Henry John Jones
7 Stella Rose (twin), 79 1893-1972 m. Fred Oldknow
8 Donald William (twin) 1893-1893  
9 Sarah Beatrice, 82 1897-1979 m. Harry Sells

Great Grandchildren of Richard Robins who were born and/or lived in Clyde

Grand Children of Donald and Sarah McKay
Children of Archibald “Tom” McKay and Florence McKay (nee Stick )
1 Daughter 1921- m. Ernest G Frost

Children of John McDonough and Elsie May (nee McKay)
1 Helena Catherine, 92 1903-1995 m. Arthur Oakley
2 Archibald E McDonough, 91 1909-1990 m. Ailsa Milbourne
3 Henry J. “Harry “McDonough, 71 1913-1982 m. Maisie  (?)

Children of Frederick and Grace Lineham (nee McKay)
1 Thomas Frederick, 1 wk    
2 Frederick James  “Jimmy:”, 63 1914-1977  

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1. Kath Soulsby – Robins Family historian
2. Maureen Cooney - Robins Family Historian
3. Trove: The Argus Newspaper digitised and online.
4. State Library Victoria - Map Collection
5. Ancestry.com
6. Historic Community Hall
7. State Library of Victoria Map Collections
8. Baillerie's Post Office Directories 1868 (Victoria's First Directory)    Hathi Trust Digital Library - Clyde Entry Page 45 , Cranbourne Entry Page 49
9. Cranboure Shire Rate Books
10. Clyde North School History 118
11. Convict Records:     http://foundersandsurvivors.org/pubsearch/convict/chain/c31a31370297
12. Irish Bounty Girls