Robert Cheyne

#164, (circa 1853-1 March 1913)
FatherJames McCheyne (c 1805-b Nov 1862)
MotherElizabeth Hawthorne1 (1819-5 Mar 1885)
ChartsBarbara Nicholson - ancestors
Last Edited11 May 2021

Short Biography

     Robert was born to Irish parents in the port town of Greenock near Glasgow, Scotland in 1853. His father died when he young, and his mother had difficulty keeping the family together. At 18 he was a carpenter/ joiner and remained at this trade all his life. He emigrated to New Zealand at 21 where he met a Norwegian, Agnette Sorum, and had children with her. After fouteen years, they sailed for Australia where they had another two children. Agnette died in 1901, followed by their 19 year old son six years later; Robert died in 1913 at the age of 60.
Robert Cheyne
     NOTE: The information on this page is my research to date and is subject to change as I become better informed. I very much welcome any corrections or additional info you might have - my email address is at the bottom of this page. Whilst historical facts are not copyright, my writing about these facts are. If you wish to use any text from this site on Ancestry or on any other website, please ask me first - Tim Hill.
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Robert Cheyne may have been born circa 1852.2 Robert was born circa 1853 at Greenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland.3,1 He was the son of James McCheyne and Elizabeth Hawthorne.1 Robert Cheyne was also known as John Robert.4

His father died between 1852 and 1861.

Robert was charged with theft and imprisioned on 30 January 1866:
Robert M‘Shane, 14 years of age, and Robert Docherty, 12 years of age, were charged with the theft of vest and a bible, the property of Henry Hamilton Hunt, from board the barque Orange Grove, Saturday last. Both pled guilty, and stated that they went down into the forecastle of the vessel to see if they could get some tobacco but, seeing a chest open, they took the articles. Both bad been previously convicted of theft, and Docherty’s father said he was perfectly agreeable that the son, who was out his control, should sent to the reformatory. Both boys were then sentenced to 14 days’ imprisonment, and thereafter to 3 years in the Reformatory School.2,5



His mother also was involved and was imprisioned for 20 days on 30 January 1866:
Resetting Property Stolen by a Son.— Elizabeth Hawthorne or M‘Shane was charged with the reset of a vest and bible, in the house occupied by her in the Vennel, on Saturday, which articles had been stolen by Robert M'Shane (her son) and Robert Docherty from the barque Orange Grove, she well knowing that the said articles were stolen. Panel pled not guilty. From the evidence led it was shown that the boy M' Shane had taken the articles to his mother. When charged with the reset of the articles, she gave up the bible, but denied all knowledge of the vest. When being about to be locked up she told that she had hid it in ashpit, where it was found torn all to pieces She was found guilty, and sentenced to be imprisoned for 20 days.2,5



If the sentence was carried out, then Robert was imprisioned until mid February, and then in the reform school until Feb 1869.2

Robert used the surname 'Cheyne' in the surviving historical records. However, his family also used the surnames 'McCheyne', 'McShan' and 'McShane.'

He was recorded as living with his mother, his sister and two neices in the 1871 census at 23 Oswald Street (now Heron Street), Calton, Bridgeton, Lanarkshire. He was recorded as being 19 years old.6 His occupation was recorded as being a joiner in the census.1

Robert Cheyne emigrated from Glasgow on 8 April 1874 on the 'Cartsburn', a 1300 ton sailing ship.7,8 He arrived on 14 July 1874 at Otago, New Zealand.7

He was a joiner in 1885.7

A named Robert Cheyne was charged with drunkenness at the magistrates court on Thursday, 17 September 1874 and fined 10 shillings, with the option of three days jail.9

A Robert was brought before the City Police Court on Thursday, 10 February 1876 on a charge of drunkenness, and was fined 5 shillings.10

A man named Robert Cheyne had an overcoat and a pair of boots stolen from him in March 1877. The thief, John Cahill, was sentenced for this and other offences to 3 months imprisionment with hard labour for each offence.11 Robert (and presumably his spouse Agnette) lived in 1880 at Dowling Street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.12

The four births recorded to Robert and Agnette in New Zealand (and their first child born in Australia) are all recorded under the surname 'Sorum'. Was this a reflection of them being unmarried? Or an issue with record keeping?

Robert was found insolvent by the Supreme Court on Friday, 29 April 1881 with liabilities of £103 but assets of only £20. He was due to meet with his creditors in the following week.13,14

He may have married Agnette E. Sörum, daughter of Evan Evanson, circa 1882 at New Zealand. Robert's death certificate indicates that he was married at the age of 29, and Agnette's stated she married at age 28. However, the birth certificate for their second child (born in 1884 when they were both older than these stated ages) indicates that they were not, at least at that stage, married..3,15,16

On Friday, 24 March 1882 in the Resident Magistrates Court, an A. Sorum claimed £5 2s from an R. Cheyne - was this Robert and Agnette? The defendant didn't appear and so was required to pay the outstanding amount with 14 days, or do a week's gaol time.17 Robert (and presumably his spouse Agnette) lived in 1887 at Castle Street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand.18

Robert and his wife Agnette emigrated from New Zealand circa March 1888.15 Robert and his wife Agnette arrived at Melbourne circa March 1888.15

Robert Cheyne signature
Source: his daughter's wedding certificate 1889
Robert and Agnette E. Sörum became the parents of Violet Barbara Cheyne on Thursday, 11 April 1889 at Flemington Road, in North Melbourne, Victoria. Violet was probably born at home. On her birth certificate, Violet has the fore-names of "Violet Barbara Cheyne" and the place where her father's details and the date and place of their marriage is blank (so her birth is listed under her mother's surname). However, Robert Cheyne is the informant and stated he was the father. It may be that this was due to two factors. Firstly, Robert may have felt that he was somehow still liable for repercussions due to his run-ins with the law when he was a teenager, and because he and Agnette were likely unmarried..19

The family lived in three houses in quick succession; in 1891 they were firstly at 63 Flemington Road, North Melbourne; then at 16 Gardner street in Richmond, then at 10 James Street Fitzroy where they settled and stayed until the turn of the century. This was a 5 room house owned by a Henry Wernberg.20,21,22,23 Robert Cheyne witnessed the confirmation of his daughter Lily Hawthorne Cheyne on 11 July 1897 at St. Peter's Eastern Hill, in Melbourne.24

In October 1898 the railways accepted his tender for the contract "for the construction of the sliding doors of four corridor cars, labor only, at £87 10s."25

In March 1901 at the approximate age of 15, Albert's and a Robert Patchett pleaded guilty to a charge of shop-breaking. They had attempted to break into the shop of Matilda Rutter at the Eastern Market and were caught meddling with a padlock.
They were treated leniently by the court; the judge asked that someone would take responsibility for them for three years. They were given a suspended sentence of 3 months of hard labour at Castlemaine Gaol, and asked for £1 recognisance from both as well as a £25 surety; Robert Cheyne provided this for his son. It was stated that the boys were from respectable parents, and were allowed to go home.26,27,28,29,30 He presumably lived with his spouse Agnette at at 116 Fitzroy Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy in July 1901.16,31

His wife Agnette died 19 July 1901 at the aproximate age of 50, leaving him a widower.16 His daughter Daisy left Australia of 6 January 1903 as part of a tour of the Pollard’s Lilliputian Opera Company. The was one of about 30 children who visited Manilla, and then went on to Canada.32

Albert Robert Cheyne was arrested at his home at at 307 Young Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy for theft, and the house searched.33,34 Robert lived in 1905 at at 121 Kerr Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.35 Although there is no evidence to confirm that he attended the wedding, his oldest daughter Lily married Henry John Barrett in 1906 at the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.36

On 14 May 1907 his son Arthur died at the approximate age of 19.

Tragedy struck again in 1907 with the death of his second son. Arthur was only 19 when he died. Robert, as the father of the bride, attended Violet Barbara Cheyne and Albert Edward Oaten's wedding at at the manse 101 Gore Street on Wednesday, 24 November 1909 at the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy.. Albert was a boot-last maker.37,38 Robert Cheyne was an employee at at Newport railway workshops in the Melbourne suburb of Newport.39,40,15 Robert lived circa March 1913 at at 868 Nicholson street in the Melbourne suburb of North Fitzroy.15

Robert died on 1 March 1913 at 609 Little Collins street, in Melbourne, of heart disease. He was about 60 years of age.15,41 His body was interred at Melbourne General Cemetery on 2 March 1913 at the Melbourne suburb of Carlton. Section DD, Grave number 1244A. The inscription reads: "In loving memory of our dear parents Agnette CHEYNE died 19 Jul 1901 age 50 yrs. Robert CHEYNE died 1 Mar 1913 age 60 yrs also their son Arthur Alfred died 14 May 1907 age 19 yrs".42,15

Timeline

DateEventPlace
Family
1852Birth-Candidate2
1853BirthGreenock, Renfrewshire, Scotland3,1
1
1866Quotation type 12,5
1866Note memo only CR CR2
1871Note memo only CR CR
1871Occupation1
1874Emigratn-newGlasgow7,8
1874Immigratn-newOtago, New Zealand7
1885Occupation7
1874Note memo only CR CR9
1876Note memo only CR CR10
1877Note memo only CR CR11
1880ResidenceDowling Street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand12
1880Occupation-hide12
Note memo only CR CR
1881Note memo only CR CR13,14
1882Marriage-candidateNew Zealand3,15,16
1882Note memo only CR CR17
1884Occupation-hide43
1885Residence-hideDunedin, Otago44
1885Occupation-hide45
1885Occupation-hideLondon Street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand45
1887ResidenceCastle Street, Dunedin, Otago, New Zealand18
1888Emigratn-newNew Zealand15
1888Immigratn-newMelbourne15
1890Residence-hideDunedin, Otago46
1891Note memo only CR CR at 63 Flemington Road in the Melbourne suburb of North Melbourne20,21,22,23
1891Residence-hideNorth Melbourne20
1892Residence-hide at 16 Gardner Street in the Melbourne suburb of Richmond21
1892Residence-hide at 10 James Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy22,23
1892Occupation-hide23
1894Occupation-hide47
1894Residence-hideFitzroy48,47
1895Residence-hideFitzroy49
1896Residence-hideFitzroy50,51
1896Occupation-hide52
1897Residence-hideFitzroy53
1898Note memo only CR CR25
1898Residence-hideFitzroy54,52
1898Occupation-hide51
1899Residence-hideFitzroy55
1900Residence-hideFitzroy56
1903Occupation-hide57,58
1903Residence-hide at 116 Fitzroy Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy57,59
1904Residence-hide at 307 Young Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy60
1905Residence at 121 Kerr Street in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy35
1906Residence-hideFitzroy61
1907Residence-hideFitzroy62
1907Note memo only CR CR
1908Residence-hideFitzroy63
1909Residence-hideFitzroy64,65
1910Residence-hideFitzroy66
Occupation at Newport railway workshops in the Melbourne suburb of Newport39,40,15
1913Residence at 868 Nicholson street in the Melbourne suburb of North Fitzroy15
1913Death609 Little Collins street, in Melbourne15,41
1913Burial at Melbourne General Cemetery in the Melbourne suburb of Carlton42,15

Family

Agnette E. Sörum (c 1849-19 Jul 1901)
Children

Citations

  1. [S954] National Census for Scotland, 1871 (online image) 3, Oswald Street, Calton, Bridgeton, Lanarkshire, Scotland.
  2. [S1000] The Greenock Telegraph and Clyde Shipping Gazette, Renfrewshire, Scotland, Tuesday 30 January 1866, p.2.
  3. [S326] New Zealand Birth Certificate, Central Registry 1884 No.3218 (14/18A 486).
  4. [S265] Victoria, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1907 No.5454 (index only).
  5. [S999] The Greenock Advertiser, Renfrewshire, Scotland, Thursday 01 February 1866 p.2.
  6. [S954] National Census for Scotland, 1871 (online image) 3, Oswald Street, Calton, Bridgeton, Lanarkshire, Scotland (644/3 58/ 20) Page 20 of 22.
  7. [S757] New Zealand Passenger Lists, 1839-1973 www.familysearch.org, Name: Robert Cheyne; Event Type:      Immigration; Event Date: 14 Jul 1874; Event Place: Otago, New Zealand; Departure Port: Glasgow; Departure Place:      Glasgow; Departure Date: 1874; Arrival Port: Otago; Arrival Place: Otago; Digital Folder Number: 004412087; Image Number: 00027.
  8. [S994] Scottish Built Ships (http://www.clydeships.co.uk) http://www.clydeships.co.uk/view.php (for type and tonnage).
  9. [S1251] The Evening Star, Dunedin, New Zealand, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/…

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
    Evening Star, Issue 3610, 17 September 1874, Page 2.
  10. [S1251] The Evening Star, Dunedin, New Zealand, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/…

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
    Evening Star, Issue 4043, 10 February 1876, Page 2.
  11. [S1250] The Otago Daily Times, Dunedin, New Zealand, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/…

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
    Otago Daily Times, Issue 4715, 29 March 1877, Page 2.
  12. [S932] New Zealand - Electoral Rolls 1853-1981, Region of Otago, District of Dunedin 1880-1881 p.2.
  13. [S1250] The Otago Daily Times, Dunedin, New Zealand, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/…

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
    Otago Daily Times, Issue 6003, 7 May 1881, Page 1 (Supplement).
  14. [S1251] The Evening Star, Dunedin, New Zealand, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/…

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
    Evening Star, Issue 5659, 29 April 1881, Page 3.
  15. [S265] Victoria, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1913 No.2898.
  16. [S265] Victoria, Death Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1901 No.9587.
  17. [S1250] The Otago Daily Times, Dunedin, New Zealand, https://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/…

    BIBLIOGRAPHIC DETAILS
    Otago Daily Times, Issue 6227, 25 March 1882, Page 3.
  18. [S933] New Zealand Directories,New Zealand (1866-1954), 1887-1888 Dunedin p.150.
  19. [S8] Victoria, Birth Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 13272/1889.
  20. [S355] Sands and McDougall Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1891 p.692.
  21. [S355] Sands and McDougall Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1892 p.684.
  22. [S355] Sands and McDougall Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1893 p.654.
  23. [S929] Victoria, Rate Books, 1855-1963 City of Fitzroy [copy of VPRS 377] [1864-1901] James Street 1892.
  24. [S953] Various, Extracted Parish Records, 1872-1955 Name: Lily Hawthorn Cheyne; Gender: Female; Birth Year: abt 1884; Confirmation Date: 11 Jul 1897; Confirmation Age: 13; Confirmation Place: Melbourne, Bourke, Victoria, Australia; Parish: St Peter.
  25. [S921] The Age, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1898 'PUBLIC CONTRACTS.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 6 October, p. 5. , viewed 17 Dec 2016, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article192582127
  26. [S1031] The Herald, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1901 'YOUNG OFFENDERS.', The Herald (Melbourne, Vic. : 1861 - 1954), 29 March, p. 8. , viewed 29 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article243020615
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  28. [S1180] The Bendigo Advertiser, Bendigo, Victoria, Australia, 1901 'A DISHONEST LAD.', Bendigo Advertiser (Vic. : 1855 - 1918), 9 November, p. 5. , viewed 29 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article89435063
  29. [S921] The Age, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1901 'NEWS OF THE DAY.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 30 March, p. 8. , viewed 29 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196063698
  30. [S921] The Age, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia, 1901 'NEWS OF THE DAY.', The Age (Melbourne, Vic. : 1854 - 1954), 22 March, p. 4. , viewed 29 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article196063376
  31. [S355] Sands and McDougall Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1901 p.835.
  32. [S1246] Victorian Government,"Passenger List of the 'Changsha'," Passenger List, Outwards passenger lists (1852-1923) , 6/01/1903. Currently held by Public Record Office Victoria, Melbourne.
  33. [S1181] The Coburg Leader, Coburg, Victoria, Australia, 1904 'BRUNSWICK POLICE COURT.', The Coburg Leader (Vic. : 1890 - 1913), 9 April, p. 4. , viewed 29 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article67428823
  34. [S323] The Barrier Miner, Broken Hill, NSW, Australia, 1904 'Victoria.', Barrier Miner (Broken Hill, NSW : 1888 - 1954), 18 March, p. 2. (SECOND EDITION), viewed 29 May 2020, http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article44326857
  35. [S355] Sands and McDougall Directories,Victoria, Australia (various dates), 1905 p.914.
  36. [S264] Victoria, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1906 No.6463.
  37. [S264] Victoria, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1909 No.9213.
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  40. [S264] Victoria, Marriage Certificate, Registry of Births, Deaths & Marriages 1919 No.9213.
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  44. [S933] New Zealand Directories,New Zealand (1866-1954), 1886 Dunedin.
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