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Margaret Poultney (c. 1811–1855)

Margaret Robertson (c.1815-1855), the daughter of William Robertson and Marion Somerville, was born at Prestonpans, Mid-Lothian, Scotland. She was found guilty on 16 March 1838 at the Edinburgh Court of Justiciary of robbing a person. Sentenced to 7 years transportation she arrived at Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) aboard the Nautilus in August 1838. According to her convict's report she had been of a 'quiet disposition' while in gaol and had been convicted and imprisoned before for three weeks for disorderly conduct. She had lived with William McDonald for three years and had been two years on the town. The ship's surgeon reported that she was well-behaved during the journey and was 'always neat & promises well'. Her occupation was given as house servant/plain cook and she was described as being 20 years old, 5 feet 1 inch (155 cms) tall, with a dark complexion, brown hair and brown eyes.

Robertson married fellow convict William Poultney, an overseer, on 9 February 1841 at the Anglican Church in Hamilton; both signed the register with their mark. The couple had at least five children.

Described as a carrier's widow, Margaret Poultney died of consumption on 18 October 1855 at Hamilton in Tasmania. Her age was given as 55.

Citation details

'Poultney, Margaret (c. 1811–1855)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 19 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Robertson, Margaret

c. 1811
Prestonpans, Mid-Lothian, Scotland


18 October, 1855 (aged ~ 44)
Hamilton, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death


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.

Passenger Ship
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Edinburgh (Scotland)
Trial Date: 16 March 1838


Occupation: domestic servant


Children: Yes (5)