Australian Dictionary of Biography

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Robert Littlejohn (1756–1818)

by Janet Somerville

This article was published:

Robert Littlejohn (1756-1818), gardener, was a Scot who, accompanied by his servant Thomas Littlefield, sailed as a settler in the Ocean with David Collins's expedition to Port Phillip and the River Derwent in 1803-04, with the promise of an immediate grant of land. They were so successful in cultivating their gardens that in December 1805–January 1806, Governor Philip Gidley King granted them 100 acres (40 ha) each, to Littlefield at Stainsforth's Cove (New Town Bay), and to Littlejohn, at Miller's Bay, Glenorchy (Prince of Wales Bay), along the foreshore from New Town Creek to Humphrey's Rivulet.

Littlejohn died on 26 October 1818, 'a man of wealth of learning and a naturalist of repute'. He is associated with the Veronica derwentia littlejohn, figured and described in H. C. Andrews, The Botanists Repository for New and Rare Plants, 531, (London, 1797-1814), and with plants and seeds sent to A. B. Lambert at Kew, and to Robert Brown at the British Museum. Although probate was granted to his nephew, Robert Ogilvie of Hobart Town, in March 1819, unfortunately the deeds for his grants were never issued, and the land commissioners disregarded them.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of Australia, series 3, vol 1
  • Hobart Town Gazette, 28 Nov 1818.

Citation details

Janet Somerville, 'Littlejohn, Robert (1756–1818)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 18 April 2024.

This article was published in hardcopy in Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 2, (Melbourne University Press), 1967

View the front pages for Volume 2

© Copyright Australian Dictionary of Biography, 2006-2024

Life Summary [details]




26 October, 1818 (aged ~ 62)

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.