Robert Lorn Pattison
|Robert Lorn Pattison was
born at Preston Pans on 27th March 1807.
He arrived in Australia in 1837 and was engaged on
ships sailing out of Sydney Harbour until 1840
when he was placed in command of the
Rose steamer. He resided in
Morpeth in a
four-roomed cottage near the steamer wharf. He
married Jane Hill in 1849 and together they
departed the colony for San Francisco in that same
year. Jane Pattison died in San Francisco age 30
and Captain Pattison returned to Australia where
he married Jane Bailey, the daughter of publican
Samuel Bailey in 1853.
Pattison was granted a publican's license for the
Caledonia Hotel in Newcastle in 1853.
He died in 1877 two years
after being hit by a coal train in Blane street
Newcastle. His courage in saving lives over many
years was reported in newspapers throughout the
afternoon (the Newcastle Herald states) a veteran
seaman, well known in Newcastle for his deeds of
bravery in saving life, died at the ripe ago of 70
years Captain Robert Lorn Pattison arrived in the
colonies about forty five years ago, and resided
for many years in Morpeth and Sydney, and
afterwards in Newcastle.
He 'was for
twenty five years a captain in the A S N Company's
service, during the greater part of which he
commanded the Rose, and was also for a short time
with the 2nd R N S N Company His death occurred at
his residence in Sydney street, and is attributed
to injuries received by him at the crossing in
Blane street, Newcastle some two years since, when
he was knocked down by a coal tram, and since when
he had been confined to his bed.
Pattison's renown in saving lives was well known,
and the following particulars will prove
interesting to the friends who will mourn his loss
In the year 1826 he saved a lad from
drowning, who fell into Leith Harbour.
jumped over board and saved a lady in Leith, who
fell from the gangway in leaving the steamboat.
He saved the life of Mr Samuel Bailey, of
East Maitland, who was knocked overboard from the
steamer Victoria by a heavy sea off Nobby's, and
was guided to him by the seagulls hovering over
him as he was floating in the water.
1842 he saved a man named Warter, who jumped over
board from the Rose, steamboat, twenty two miles
In 1843, with others, saved
ten hands from a schooner at sea. She was run over
in a dense fog by the steamer Rose.
1842, he saved the life of Mr Pitt, of East
Maitland, who fell from the gangway of the Rose,
when leaving the wharf.
In 1843, saved the
Rev. Mr Bolton from drowning, who also fell from
In 1846, with others, saved
the crew of the Paterson Packet, which capsized in
a heavy thunderstorm off Broken Bay.
1853, the brig Dover went on shore on the Oyster
Bank at Newcastle. The lifeboat went to her
assistance, but got swamped. Pattison then swam
through the surf with a line, and succeeded in
getting all hands, including the lifeboat crew, on
shore, with the exception of one man named Long
Dick, who was drowned.
In 1854, saved the
life of a man named Lanagan, who fell into the
river from the Ben Bolt.
In 1858 saved the
life of Mr O'Brien, who fell from the gangway of
the Paterson steamboat
In 1837, a man
named McDonald fell into the hold of the ship
Strathilsa, then under fumigation for the
destruction of rats. Pattison, no one else being
willing to incur the risk, went into the hold with
the intention of rescuing McDonald, and very
nearly lost his own life, was insensible on
getting out; McDonald was afterwards taken out
In 1859 saved Mrs Sutcliffe, who
fell from the
Sophia Jane, at Morpeth She was
five minutes in the water before being rescued
Brisbane Courier 18 October 1877
Notes & Links:
Sarah Morris - from mother to convict to publican
- By descendant