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Edward Abbott (1766 - 1832)

Edward Abbott
Born in Montreal, Canadamap
Ancestors ancestors
[sibling(s) unknown]
Husband of — married 29 Apr 1799 in Englandmap
Descendants descendants
Died in Launceston, Tasmania, Australiamap
Profile last modified | Created 2 May 2017
This page has been accessed 521 times.


Edward Abbott was a soldier, judge-advocate, public service administrator and parliamentarian who served at Sydney, Parramatta, the Hawkesbury River and Norfolk Island in the Colony of New South Wales, now a State of Australia. He also served at the settlements of Hobart and Port Dalrymple (Launceston) in Van Diemen's Land (now the Australian state of Tasmania), which was part of New South Wales until 1825, when Van Diemen's Land became a self-governing colony. He was involved in both suppressing the Irish convict revolt in 1804 and in the event that triggered the Rum Rebellion.

Edward Abbott was born on 9th November 1766 at Montreal, Quebec, Canada, the son of Lieutenant Edward Abbott, Royal Artillery, and Angelique Trottier Desrivieres.[1]

He was commissioned as an Ensign in the 34th Regiment of Foot on 22nd October 1779. He was promoted to Lieutenant March 1785, however went onto half-pay in 1788. In October 1789 he, so as to again have full-time service, transferred to the newly-formed New South Wales Corps and embarked aboard the Scarborough for the far-flung penal colony.[2]

Upon arrival at Sydney, Edward was despatched to the secondary penal settlement at Norfolk Island, where he was stationed from 1790 to 94, at which time he took command of the settlement at the Hawkesbury River. He was promoted to Captain in 1795. He returned to England on leave in September 1796 aboard HMS Reliance.[2]

Before returning to New South Wales, Edward married Louisa Smith on 29th April 1799.[2]

After the wedding, Louisa accompanied Edward back to New South Wales, where he was stationed in Sydney (1799-1801), Norfolk Island (1802-03), and Parramatta (1803-10). In the last role he was involved in squashing the Irish convict revolt of 1804, for which he was granted 1,300 acres of land. He was also appointed a magistrate at Parramatta. Edward was one of the key corps officers involved in the January 1808 military coup that deposed the governor of the colony – the Rum Rebellion; in that it was his and Captain John Macarthur's trial for importing a still to New South Wales that triggered the events leading directly to the treasonous mutiny.[2] He was promated to Major in May 1808.[3]

The family accompanied Edward to England in 1810 when they corps was 'sent packing'. Facing an uncertain future, at that time he sold his land holdings. Edward resigned his commission in 1811 and secured an appointment as deputy judge-advocate of the lieutenant-governor's court in Hobart, Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania). They sailed in 1814, with three children.[2]

When the position came to an end in 1924, the family once more returned to England where, on this occasion, Edward secured appointment as civil commandant of Port Dalrymple, Van Dieman's Land (Launceston, Tasmania) and as a member of the legislative council in that colony. He was also granted 5,210 acres of land.[2]

He died at Launceston on 31st July 1832.[2] or 2nd August 1832 in Launceston, Tasmania [4] Occupation given as civil commandant of Port Dalrymple. Having made Launceston their home, his widow lived until 1844.


  1. Wikipedia: Edward Abbott (jurist) [1]
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 Flynn, Michael. The Second Fleet: Britain’s Grim Armada of 1790. Library of Australian History. Sydney, 1993. ISBN 0 908120 83 4.
  3. Wikipedia profile: Edward Abbott (jurist); accessed 2 Oct 2019
  4. "Australia, Tasmania, Civil Registration, 1803-1933," database with images, FamilySearch ( : 16 March 2018), Edward Abbott, 02 Aug 1832; citing Death 02 Aug 1832, Launceston, Tasmania, Australia, line #2630, Archives Office of Tasmania, Hobart; FHL microfilm 7,368,132.
  • Australian Dictionary of Biography: Abbott, Edward (1766–1832)
  • Colonial Secretary Index, 1788-1825 [2]

by W. A. Townsley [3]

  • Rootsweb: [4]

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