Free Settler or Felon
Convict and Colonial History

Robert Dobie R. N.,

Convict Ship Surgeon-Superintendent

Date of Seniority Royal Navy 24 October 1814

Robert Dobie was born in Scotland c. 1793. He was appointed surgeon to the Dominica in 1814[1]

He was appointed to the Wasp under Captain John Fisher in 1814 - 1815. [2] He may have been serving when Lieutenant Benjamin Andrews joined the Wasp on the Halifax station in November 1814. [3].

Robert Dobie was on the List of Medical Officers who had served at War. He was officially noticed for his services when Surgeon of the Melpomene at the capture of Washington. [7]

Robert Dobie was appointed to the Tagus in 1817[4]

In March 1836 he was appointed to the Vanguard. The Vanguard carried 80 guns and 630 men.

Surgeon Superintendent

He was employed as surgeon superintendent on the convict ship Garland Grove to Van Diemen's Land in 1841. He kept a medical journal from 26th April 1841 to 16th October 1841

He was appointed to the Ratcliffe in 1845 (also to VDL). He kept a medical journal on this voyage from 7 April to 4th September 1845.

1851 Census

In the 1851 Census Robert and Julia Ann Dobie are recorded residing at 7 Houghton Place, Middlesex. Roberts occupation Doctor Royal Navy, on half pay. Both are aged 58 years. Julia Ann's place of birth is given as Westminster. They have two servants - a cook and a housemaid.


Robert Dobie died on 5th November 1873 at his residence Houghton-place, Ampthill square. [5]

He was survived by his widow Julia Ann Dobie. He died a very wealthy man as his personal effects were listed as under £30,000[6]

Notes and Links

1). The Naval Database - Melpomene, 1794 Type: Frigate ; Armament 40 Taken from the French, at Corsica, 10 Aug 1794 ; Disposal date or year : 1815

2). The War of 1812: Writings from Americas Second War of Independence - British Depredations in Chesapeake Bay August 1814 - In March 1814 Robert Rowley captain of the British frigate Melpomene (38 guns) set sail with three hundred troops from the dockyard at Chatham, England for the North American Station


[1] The Naval Chronicle

[2] The Navy List

[3] A Naval Biographical Dictionary

[4] Blackwoods Edinburgh Magazine

[5] The Standard 14 November 1873

[6] England and Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1861-1941 [database on-line].

[7] The New Navy List