Australian Dictionary of Biography

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David Reid (1777–1840)

by Charles Bateson

This article was published:

David Reid (1777-1840), naval surgeon, was born at Aberdeen, Scotland. He entered the navy as assistant surgeon, was promoted surgeon in April 1799 and served at Trafalgar in the Bellerophon. As surgeon-superintendent of convict ships he went in the Baring to Sydney in 1815 and to Hobart Town and Sydney in 1819, and in the Providence to Hobart and Sydney in 1822. He settled in New South Wales in 1823 and in March received a grant of 1000 acres (405 ha), which was increased to 2000 (809 ha) next January, in the Bungonia-Marulan district. By 1824 he was residing on his grant, which he had named Inverary Park, and by August 1826 had fifty-six acres (23 ha) under cultivation. He was appointed a magistrate, and commissioner for taking affidavits. In his district he was considered an efficient pastoralist, and 'one of the best practical agriculturists'. In 1829 his report on the activity of bushrangers led to the stationing of two military detachments in the area and later to the strengthening of the mounted police. On 25 June 1839 he was declared unfit for sea service and on 9 April 1840 he asked to be retired on half-pay, but not having been employed in naval service since 1822, was told that he had 'not the smallest claim' to a pension. He died on 7 July 1840 at Inverary and was buried in the Church of England cemetery at Bungonia. His wife Agnes, née Dyce, whom he had married in 1817, died in October 1860 and was buried at Wangaratta.

Select Bibliography

  • Historical Records of Australia, series 1, vols 10, 12, 13, 15, 18, 19
  • C. Bateson, The Convict Ships, 1787-1868 (Glasgow, 1959)
  • E. A. Mackay, ‘Medical Men as Pastoral Pioneers’, Medical Journal of Australia, 13 Oct 1934, pp 476-83
  • J. Jervis, ‘Settlement in the Marulan-Bungonia District’, Journal and Proceedings (Royal Australian Historical Society), vol 32, part 2, 1946, pp 107-42
  • Society of Australian Genealogists, Sydney, records.

Citation details

Charles Bateson, 'Reid, David (1777–1840)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, published first in hardcopy 1967, accessed online 17 June 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]


Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland


7 July, 1840 (aged ~ 63)
Bungonia, New South Wales, Australia

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.

Religious Influence

Includes the religion in which subjects were raised, have chosen themselves, attendance at religious schools and/or religious funeral rites; Atheism and Agnosticism have been included.

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