QSwharfth.jpg (4017 bytes)Manly Quarantine Station

Robert Cross



in 1999

on site

in the past

Before 1900

1900 - 1920

1920 - 1950

1950 - 1984


Robert Cross and the Plague Ship

Robert Cross and his wife have many descendents living in Sydney. One of them, Robin Partos, has provided the details, newspaper clipping and picture for this page. Robin Partos is married to Andrew Partos who was in 1953 taken to the Quarantine Station on his arrival in Sydney.

Robert Cross was convicted of Robbery and in 1814 was sent to the colony of New South Wales aboard a ship named "Surrey". This ship became known as the "Plague Ship" because typhoid broke out amongst the passengers but also spread to the crew - killing the surgeon-general, members of the crew and even the Captain!

The "Surrey" was drifting off the coast of New South Wales with no able seamen able to bring her into the harbour when the "Roxberry" came to her rescue. There was a convict on board the Roxberry who was married to Robert Cross. Back in England she had tried to smuggle a file into the prison to help Robert escape but she was detected and imprisoned and sent out to New South Wales.

QSRCross.jpg (8542 bytes)
Robert Cross likeness
created from  detailed descriptions
in the recorded history.

QSmdaily.jpg (42680 bytes)
Clipping from "The Manly Daily" newspaper.
April 1999

No one wanted to go aboard the Plague ship really but finally one brave man did so and guided the ship into the harbour. Governor Macquarie would not allow the Surrey to dock in Sydney Cove carrying typhoid so she was moored in a bay somewhere near where the Quarantine Station was subsequently built. There is some dispute about the actual location of the bay.

There was a naval enquiry held into the conditions aboard the Surrey that resulted in so many deaths. The enquiry found that the convict quarters were never cleaned and that the Captain was negligent in his duties.

Click to see past residents at Manly Quarantine Station who are grouped as follows:-

Before 1900

1900 - 1920

1920 - 1950

1950 - 1984

This page was created 9th June, 1999, by Judith Bennett,  Friends of Quarantine Station,
and was last modified 20th January, 2007.