Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Charles Cameron - Settler

Map 6

Charles Cameron was born on 26 July 1779 at Driminasalie, Kilmallie, Inverness-shire, Scotland, the son of Donald and Catherine Cameron. He entered the 3rd Regiment by exchange on 12 April 1800 and was promoted captain in 1804.

In the Peninsular war between 1808 and 1814 he fought on the Douro, at Talavera, Busaco, Albuera, Vittoria, in the Pyrenees and in southern France. He was promoted major in 1813 and lieutenant-colonel in 1819. [3]

Arrival in Australia

Lieut-Col. Charles Cameron arrived in Australia in May 1822 in command of a detachment of the 3rd Regiment, Guard on the convict ship Phoenix.[1]

After discharging 182 male convicts in Hobart, he sailed to Sydney as a passenger on the Phoenix.

Port Dalrymple

He was appointed Commandant at Port Dalrymple, Van Diemen's Land on 14 Dec 1822, and sailed on the Caledonia late January 1823 arriving there with a detachment of the Buffs.

Land Grant

He was relieved of his position of Commandant in April 1825, returned to Sydney and applied for two thousand acres at Merton in the Hunter Valley where he intended to settle after he retired.
Alexander Anderson J. Bettington George Blaxland Charles Cameron Peter Cunningham Cyrus Doyle John Hoskins John McGarvie William Ogilvie William Ogilvie Thomas Arndell James Arndell James Robertson Early Hunter Valley Settler Map 6

Departure from the Colony

Two years later, when the Woodford departed Sydney, Lieut-Col Cameron and a detachment of the 3rd Regiment embarked on her for Hobart bound for Madras. In Hobart they loaded fresh stores including 7 tons of potatoes before departing for Madras.


Charles Cameron left his wife and children in Sydney when he left on the Woodford and he was never to see them again. Along with many others in the Regiment, he succumbed to Cholera, dying in May 1827.

Notice from the Sydney Gazette: -

It is with deep regret we have to announce that Colonel Cameron of the 3rd Regiment, or Buffs, died at Chinsurah, three or four days after his arrival there. Thirty private soldiers and many of the women and children, who proceeded with the Regiment, have also died. The demise of Colonel Cameron will be sincerely regretted by many, as he was a long tried gallant Officer, and a humane and excellent man.

The title deeds to this land eventually passed to Ewen Wallace Cameron son of Charles Cameron [2]


[1] Hobart Town Gazette 25th May 1822

[2] Wood, W. Allan, Dawn in the valley : the story of settlement in the Hunter River Valley to 1833, Wentworth Books, 1972. p.62

[3] Lieut-Col Charles Cameron at Australian Dictionary of Biography Online