Robert Officer

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Robert Officer

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  • Sir Robert Officer

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Dates of existence

1800-1879

History

Sir Robert Officer (1800-1879), medical officer and politician, was born on 3 October 1800 near Dundee, Scotland, the son of Robert Officer, of Jacksbank, and his wife Isabella, née Kerr. In 1821 he obtained his diploma as a member of the Royal College of Surgeons, London. As ship's surgeon in the Castle Forbes he arrived at Hobart Town in March 1822. By May he was a supernumerary assistant surgeon at 3s. a day. On 25 October 1823 at St David's Church he married Jemima, daughter of Myles Patterson of Hunterston on the Shannon River. In 1824 Officer was moved to New Norfolk, allotted a district 'seven miles [11 km] along the Derwent River', and given a forage allowance. By 1827 his district had increased to 'thirty five miles [56 km] through populous districts'; he also acted as surgeon to the military garrison and their families and had charge of the New Norfolk Hospital, of convicts on many public works and of the gaol where he attended all corporal punishments. For these duties his pay was increased to 7s. a day and he was promoted district surgeon and appointed a magistrate. In 1831 he was criticized for sending convicts from road-gangs to New Norfolk for treatment, thereby interfering with their discipline; his reply was that he had 'no desire to be known as a mere slave driver.
For more information see http://adb.anu.edu.au/biography/officer-sir-robert-2519

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AU TAS UTAS SPARC H8

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