Robert Scollay
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Robert Scollay (1834 - 1916)

Robert "Captain" Scollay
Born in Mid Yell, Yell, Shetland, Scotlandmap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married 1858 in Emerald hill, Melbourne, Australiamap
Descendants descendants
Died in New Zealandmap
Profile last modified | Created 9 Jan 2016
This page has been accessed 783 times.


Robert Scollay was born in 1834. [1]

Married Margaret at Emerald Hill Melbourne, Australia 1857.

Robert Scollay arrived in NZ on the "Queen of Perth" 1860, he settled at Half Moon BAY, on Stewart Island, New Zealand [2]

He established an oyster fishery on Stewart island in the 1860s. [3]

For a few years, he lived in Invercargill while his family remained on Stewart Island, running a number of lighters from overseas vessels in the the Moko Moko and Lower Pool, to Invercargill township. [4]

He then returned to Stewart Island to supervise the work of the sawmill.

As a seaman, he never settled down the land, and built boats for the coastal trade around Otago. Robert Scollay built the cutter Lerwick and schooner Jane to transport his oysters from Stewart Island to Bluff. [5] [6]

He and his family ran a large boarding house in Oban, Half Moon Bay, which was destroyed by fire in 1894 [7]

Robert Scollay died aged 94 years and was buried in Anderson's Bay Cemetery, Dunedin on the 31st July 1916; block 30 plot 129 [8]

New Zealand Times 4 August 1916 page 3 [9]
The death is announced of Captain Robert Scollay, known as the “patriarch of Stewart Island."
He was born in the Shetland Islands eighty-three years ago.
Captain Scollay came to Australia ia 1859 an an officer of an immigrant ship bound for Melbourne.
Captain and Mrs Scollay, with their young family, arrived in Now Zealand in 1861, by the ship Queen of Perth, with a Cargo of saw milling timber and a complete sawmill plant for Stewart Island, Captain Scollay being under engagement to erect the first sawmill that was destined to cut into the magnificent timber areas of Kataura. He was a practical shipbuilder and buill many vessels, including the Enterprise, with which Captain Catling made two attempts to recover the General Grant's gold from the Auckland Islands. Captain Scollay traded up and down the coast for years.
He leaves one son and seven daughters. Two sons were drowned at sea.


  1. North Isles Family History - Robert Scollay
  2. Southland Times, Issue 2051, 13 January 1875, Page 2
  3. Southland Times, Issue 1153, 25 October 1869, Page 1
  4. Southland Times, Issue 17564, 28 October 1915, Page 6
  5. Southland Times, Issue 2152, 16 July 1875, Page 2
  6. Southland Times, Issue 2357, 28 April 1876, Page 2
  7. Otago Witness, Issue 2122, 25 October 1894, Page 15
  8. Dunedin City Council Cemeteries Search
  9. New Zealand Times, Volume XLI, Issue 9419, 4 August 1916, Page 3

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Hello Anita,

Here we should clean up the biography after the merge.


posted by Guy Constantineau

S  >  Scollay  >  Robert Scollay

Categories: Stewart Island, Southland | New Zealand, Ship Builders