The Wilson family owned orchards at the Gong Gong (now Ballarat East). They grew all varieties of apples, pears, cherries, raspberries and even gooseberries. Little snowy apples, or large Alexanders and fresh juicy Jonathon’s are almost unprocurable today.

The list (left) shows the varieties of fruits that the Wilson family trialled in Victoria. Cherries, plums, pears, apples, and raspberries, gooseberries, and black & red currants were a few of the fruits that the Wilson orchards near Ballarat produced.

Many apples are on the list.

The ticks on some types are presumably those preferred for the Australian climate. The list includes: Brownless Russett; Calville Blanched; Court Pender Plat; Count of Nick; Downs Isle Pippin; Screveton Golden Pippin; Scarlet Golden Pippin; Guernsey Pippin; Isle of Wight Pippin; White Junathon (Jonathon?); White Nonpareil; Winter Pinch; Lamb Abbey Pearmaine; Rushworth; Herefordshire; Pearsons Plate; Reinetter Rouge Hative van mons; Spring Ribston Pippin; Boston Russet; Pine apple; Thorle Pippin; Victoria Hubbert; Nyken Pippin; Afriston; Baron Ward; Bedfordshire Foundling; Betty Geeson; Bess Pool; Brabant Bellefleut; Dutch Codlin; Dumelomo Sedling; Fearns Pippin; Flanders Pippin; Gloria Mundii;Large yellow Bough; Yellow Codlin; Round Nonsuch; Northern Greening; Ryment; Reinsetta Blanche de Espagne; Rhode Island Greening; Donalds admirable; Striped Beautiful; and many others.



I had no convicts in my family and desperately wanted one! Imagine my surprise when the convict I found was Robert Wilson who was convicted for the embezzlement of about £6,000, a tidy sum in 1856!! The Daily Post Wednesday 20 February 1856 announced the ALLEGED EMBEZZLEMENT OF £6,000 IN LIVERPOOL, BY A CASHIER. Robert was tried, convicted and transported to Australia for 14 years.

In chapter XI of the Wapentake of Wirral by R. Stewart-Brown (published in 1907) an account of the embezzlement, court case and subsequent happenings is outlined. … In 1856 Messrs. Thomas & Ralph Brocklebank were carrying on the business of merchants and shipowners which still exists in Liverpool as T. & J. Brocklebank. They had a cashier named Robert Wilson, a confidential clerk, entrusted by them with large sums of money, who maintained a large private establishment on the Cheshire side of the mersey. In February 1856 Wilson absented himself from Messrs. Brocklebank’s counting-house, and it was then discovered that a oncsiderable quantity of money and securities had been taken away by him. A reward of £200 was offered for his apprehension, and he was arrested in a few days in Low Hill, Liverpool.

Money and securities to the amount of £2900 were found upon him. He was charged with embezzlement, and committed to the assizes for trial. Besides the moneys he had carried off, Wilson for several years had misappropriated sums amounting in all to some £7,000, with which, it was said, he had purchased lands and house property. … Wilson was tried at the Liverpool spring assizes before Baron Martin, and at first pleaded not guilty, but afterwards withdrew this plea. Baron Martin, in sentencing him, said that it was the very worst case of embezzlement he had ever known, and he must inflict the severest possible punishment, namely, transportation for fourteen years. 

So far as can be ascertained what followed was this. Moreton and Grace were quite alive to the mediaeval right conferred but he Crown grant of 1820 on the Lord of the Hundred of Wirral to the goods and chattels of a felon; and so soon as Wilson was convicted they hurried over the river to Thornton Hough and took possession of Wilson’s house. Wilson’s wife and family were summarily turned out (a witness is alive who saw them deported in the road), and the house was occupied by Moreton.

The rest of Wilson’s property was given over to a receiver, with court cases ensuing between Moreton and Brocklebank. Stewart-Brown writes that: Eye-witnesses have described how proceedings in the courthouse were usually presided over by Robert Grace, who, more often drunk than sober, gave verdicts which incensed the public. As before the proceedings were always followed by sumptuous dinners paid for out of the ‘takings’ and frequently absentees from the celebrations were even find for contempt.


1851 CENSUS for the Parish of Oxton

Poplar Road: Robert Wilson, Head, Marr, 45 years, merchant, born Carlisle, Cumberland; Ann Wilson, wife, Marr, 41 years; Mary Ann, daughter, unmarried, 21 years born Everton, Lancashire; Darley, son, unmarried 19 years, Nurseryman’s Apprentice, born Everton; Augustus, son, 17 years, Engineer’s Apprentice, born Everton; Charles Nicholas, son, aged 15 years, Scholar, born Everton; Thomas, son aged 13 years, Scholar, born Everton; Robina, daughter, aged 10 years, Scholar, born Oxton, Cheshire; Frederick, son aged 8 years Scholar, born Oxton; Robert Edwin, son aged 5 years, Scholar, born Oxton; Francis, son, aged 2 years born Oxton and Charlotte Jones, servant, unmarried, born Liverpool, Lancashire.


1841 Census, Oxton, Cheshire

Robert Wilson, accountant, is listed in the 1839 Liverpool returns at Breck Road, Everton, while in 1841 he is listed as a bookkeeper in Oxton, Cheshire (Oxton is included in the directories but not in the Liverpool census returns.)


The Census returns suggest that the Wilson family moved from Everton in Lancashire to Oxton between 1838 and 1841 and from Carlisle to Everton before 1830.



Robert Wilson arrived in Perth, Western Australia on the Nile, on 1 January 1858 (4667). He was described as being born in 1802, married, with 8 children. A clerk, he was literate, and Protestant. Convicted in Liverpool for larceny, he obtained his Ticket of Leave in Perth, Australia, on 27 May 1859, a Conditional Pardon 16 December 1861 in Perth, and worked for himself as a painter.Vol. 2 West Australia ‘Bond’ 1850-1868

He was born to Thomas Wilson (1771) and Isabella Black (1767-1813) on 24 April 1805 in Carlisle, Cumberland, England.

Robert married Ann Kinnish (according to the Lancashire Church of England Marriages) in Liverpool, England. Ann Kinnish was born in 1804 to Nicholas Kinnish (spelt variously Kennish, Kenish) and Margaret Casement. She was baptised at Moresby, Cumberland, England on 12 January 1805. Her family originated from the Isle of Man. Nicholas and Margaret were married at Holy Trinity Church, Whitehaven, Cumberland on 13 November 1799.

Nicholas had been baptised at Maughold (pronounced Macold) on the Isle of Man on 18 February 1770. His parents were Peter Kennish and Ann Cowin who had married on the Isle of Man on 16 February 1760 at Malew and 17 February 1760 at Andreas. Some folks married in two parishes or two churches at that time. Peter had been baptised on 29 June 1735 at Maughold, his parents being William Ceanish and Margaret Corkhill. William Ceanish married Margaret Corkill 21 July 1720, Maughold.



By 1851 the family had prospered and were living at 155 Poplar Road, Oxton, Parish of Woodchurch. Robert was listed as the Head of the House, aged 45 years and a merchant. When Robert was arrested Ann with her children were essentially thrown out of their home.

At the age of 53 years Ann Wilson (nee Kinnish) boarded the Morning Light and departed England on 7 August 1857. With Frederick 11, Robert 10, Augustus 24 and Francis 9 years of age, Ann arrived in Melbourne in November 1857. She may have thought she was coming to Australia to be with her husband, but she arrived in Melbourne and Robert was sent to Perth.



Robert (1805 St Cuthbert, Carlisle) was one of the sons of Thomas WILSON (26 December 1771, Stanwix, Carlisle) and Isabella BLACK (2 December 1767, St Michael, Workington). Robert had brothers John (1799 Brampton); David (1802 St Cuthbert, Carlisle); William (1808 St James, Whitehaven); and Thomas (1801 St Cuthbert, Carlisle). The church of St Cuthbert is historic and is 0.1 miles from the Carlisle Cathedral. The cathedral at Carlisle has many many masons’ marks and apopotraic signs.

FRANCIS (Frank) WILSON was the youngest child born to Robert Wilson and Ann Kinnish. Francis was born on 10 August 1847 at Woodchurch, England.  He married Martha Ellis on 17 November 1886 at Glen Park, Martha’s birthplace. They had 10 children. In 1886 Frank was 39 years of age and Martha aged 23 years. They produced Robina Norwood Wilson, Emilie, Martha (Mattie) Frances, Francis (Frank) Norwood Wilson, Lillian, Frederick, Edward (ned) Henry, Rupert Victor, Albert Eric and Sylvia May.







Emilie Kinnane (Wilson)