People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Robert Atcheson (1829–1858)

by Chris Cunneen

This article was published:

Robert Atcheson, also known as Robert Aitchison (1829-1858) miner killed at work

Birth: 1829 in Tyrone, Ireland, son of Robert Atcheson, stone mason, and Agnes, née Ferry. Marriage: 15 March 1852 at Southwick, Durham, England, to Mary Donnan (1830-1884). They had one daughter and two sons, the youngest was aged three months at his father’s death. Death: 24 May 1858 at Borehole, Newcastle, New South Wales. Religion: Presbyterian. 

  • Was a labourer working at Heworth, Durham, England by 1851.
  • Arrived in NSW as an assisted immigrant with his wife and family aboard the John Bunyan in October 1857. He was described as an agricultural labourer and like his wife could read and write. Mary had two cousins, Francis and James Donnan, living near Newcastle, NSW.
  • Robert was working at night in May 1858 in the Australian Agricultural Company’s Borehole coal pit. He fractured his head and back when he fell down the shaft of the pit. The coroner’s verdict was accidental death.
  • A subscription list for the relief of the widow and family collected £20 by the date of the inquest, including £5 from the AA CO’s manager and £1 from the coroner.

NSW, Assisted immigrant Passenger lists, 1828-1896, NSW Archives, via; inquest, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 May 1858, p 2:

Additional Resources

  • inquest, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 May 1858, p 2

Citation details

Chris Cunneen, 'Atcheson, Robert (1829–1858)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 14 April 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Aitchison, Robert

Tyrone, Ireland


24 May, 1858 (aged ~ 29)
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death

mining accident

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

Passenger Ship
Key Organisations