Earliest death in Willunga in 1840

Event Dates:

17 June 1840

The earliest known death to occur in Willunga was in June 1840. Robert Bell was born on 21 Jan 1820 in Ballyclare, Lower Belfast, Antrim, Ireland. He was the son of Richard Bell (1778-1831) and Ann (née Langtry) (1782-1863) of Greenhouse Farm. Robert Bell, aged 20 years, arrived on 24 Feb 1840 as a cabin passenger aboard India (493 tons, Captain Hugh Campbell) from Greenock, Scotland, via Cork, Ireland and Porto Pria. Note – Robert Bell did not arrive by Indus from Leith (arrived on 26 Feb 1840) as is reported in some newspaper accounts of his death.

Robert Bell, aged 20 years, died at Willunga after a 5-week illness on 17 June 1840 and he was buried at Willunga. He may have been travelling with his brother George Bell (1817-1882). George Bell evidently settled in South Australia for a while as he is listed as resident at Greenhouse Farm (at Fullarton?) in 1841 and he held a depasturing license in 1843.


Passengers in History Database – South Australian Maritime Museum
1840 ‘COMMERICAL INTELIEGENCE‘, South Australian Register 29 February, p. 3. , viewed 12 Feb 2024,
1840 ‘THE LAST GAZETTE‘, South Australian Register 27 June, p. 6. , viewed 12 Feb 2024,
1841 ‘THE PROTEST‘, Southern Australian 18 May, p. 1. (SUPPLEMENT TO THE SOUTHERN AUSTRALIAN), viewed 12 Feb 2024,
The Belfast Newsletter 4 Dec 1840

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