Robert Rope had a very interesting young life and then disappeared from the records after going on a whaling trip. His final resting place is a mystery.
Robert was born in Sydney Cove in October 1788. He was accused of murder after shooting a man in Windsor in 1808. He was aquitted of this crime. He married Esther Mary Gamble on 9 March 1812 at St Matthews, Windsor . They had 2 children as per the muster in 1814. The next record found for him shows him in a Tasmanian muster in 1816.
Esther Mary GAMBOL was born c1797, in England. Sentenced to death and then reprieved for stealing lace, she arrived on the "Friends" ship on 10 Oct 1811.
After Robert disappeared she mothered 2 girls to John Bevan in 1822 and 1824, she was then known as Mary ROPE. After her death, her daughters were put into the Orphan Institute at Parramatta.
She died as Mary Rope in April 1825, at Parramatta.
After her marriage, Esther was known as Mary Rope. All convict women had to present to musters under the name as per their convict record - so for Mary she presented as Esther Gambol / Gamble. Note that Elizabeth always presented as Elizabeth Pulley (not ROPE) until the 1828 Muster.
Mary's burial record states that she arrived on the Friendship and she was 51 years old when she died. This information is incorrect.
My theory is that when she was dying she was asked what ship she came on and she said: the "Friends" ship and she was 14 years old when she came.
This has been misunderstood as the Friendship, which had arrived 37 years before her death. A church cleric would have added 14 yrs of age to 37 years in the colony , then you have a woman of 51 years of age. There was no family or friend around her to care or to say otherwise.
I have a great deal of research on her sad, short life and it appears that poor Mary was only about 28 years old when she died.
This Web Site was last updated on 20 September 2012 ✉E-mail  ✵Site Map