Robert Dare

#1318, b. circa 1782, d. 20 August 1854

From the Sydney Morning Herald Monday 12th October 1846 page 2

Individual's Timeline

Birthcirca 1782Robert Dare
Marriage22 August 1820Robert Dare1
Marriage of Son17 September 1845John Dare2
EmigratAU24 September 1846Robert Dare3
Death20 August 1854Robert Dare4

Primary events

  • Birth: Robert Dare was born circa 1782 in England Possible christening from IGI extracted record is Robt. born 29th November 1782 and christened 29th Dec 1782 in Independent, Charmouth, Dorset. Parents Robt. and Mary DARE.
  • Marriage License: He and Jane Bennett obtained a marriage license on 21 August 1820 in St John the Evangelist, London, Greater London, England; certificate 0181837. Robert Dare appeared personally and made oath that he is of the parish of St John the Evangelist *unreadable* in the county of Middlesex, a bachelor of above 21 years. He took out a license to marry Jane Bennett a spinster of the same parish (for at least 4 weeks past) on 21st August 1820. The license was issued by the Dean and Chapter of Westminster**.1
  • Marriage: Robert Dare married Jane Bennett, daughter of Philip Bennett and Elizabeth Roberts, on Tuesday, 22 August 1820 in St John the Evangelist, Smith Square, Westminster, London, Greater London, England. from a copy of the actual Marriage Register Entry as supplied by City of Westminster. Witnesses were Charles PIGDEN and Prudence BRISTEE. * Details of this fascinating church, which is now a concert venue with a restaurant in the crypt, can be found at,_Smith_Square.1
  • Marriage of Son: His child John Dare was married on 17 September 1845 in Kensington, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.2
  • Death: Robert died on 20 August 1854 in Bowden, South Australia, Australia, It is also noted in the first volume of The Register, page 269. This is a list of the notices that were put in the South Australian News Paper "The Register" between 1836 and 1859 which have a Dorset Connection. These entries were extracted by Jill Morley from. 'Register Personal Notices' Edited By Reg Butler and Alan Phillips and published 1990 by Gould Books in South Australia. Some explanatory notes have been added by Jill Morley.4

Secondary circumstances

  • Occupation: Robert was Currier, a type of tanner.5
  • EmigratAU: He emigrated to Australia on 24 September 1846 in ship 'Competitor' from England. This is most likely Robert's arrival. See research tag. See exhibit newspaper clipping dated 12th October 1846.3

Census details

Some aspects of Robert Dare's life. The Wesley Connections

It is well known that John Benjamin Wesley, the founder of Methodism, was born at Epworth in Lincolnshire. What is not so well known is that his Samuel his father, John his grandfather and great-grandfather, Bartholomew all came from Dorset. When we learn of the lives of these men it would seem that John Wesley was simply carrying on the family business.

Bartholomew Westley

It is not known where John Wesley's great-grandfather was born. Indeed very little is known of the early life of Bartholomew Westley. All we do know that that he attended university where he was diligent in his studies, which included physics and divinity.

Bartholomew Westley lived for some time at Bridport, and is known to have preached in the town's western suburb of Allington, (The pulpit which he used there is still preserved in the Wesleyan school-room at Bridport.) after which he held the livings of Charmouth and Catherston, from which he was ejected, even before the passing of the Act of Uniformity, in 1662.

He resided for some time at Charmouth where he practiced medicine, for which he was fitted by his university training, and continued as an itinerant preacher in the West Dorset area. He was eventually forced to leave Charmouth by the Five Mile Act.

The last years of his life were spent in seclusion at Lyme Regis where at about the age of eighty-five he died in 1670, and was buried there on February 15 of that year.

John Westley

Bartholomew's son, John Westley, was born about 1636 probably at Bridport, although some authorities claim he was born in Devon. His early education was gained at Dorchester Grammar School and afterwards at New Hall, Oxford.

On leaving Oxford, he joined an ‘associated' church, and was appointed an evangelist, and preached at Melcombe Regis, Radipole, and other places in Dorset. John was never episcopally ordained but in 1658, approved by Cromwell's 'triers,' and appointed to the living by the trustees, he became Vicar of Winterbourne Whitchurch.

It was not long after before he married the daughter of John White the celebrated Puritan who a notable figure in the Westminster Assembly of Divines and known as the Patriarch of Dorchester. Like has father and father-in-law, John Westley laid aside the Liturgy', and introduced the Presbyterian or Independent form of worship.

These were difficult times for the nonconforming clergy and it was not long before frivolous articles were drawn up against him, and he was imprisoned for more than five months. Early in 1662 he was seized when coming out of church and again cast into prison, and after a time once more set free. This was within a month of August 24, when he and two thousand more were ejected from their churches and their homes.

Soon afterwards his son Samuel was born and early in the following year he moved to Melcombe Regis but was driven from the town, and a fine of £20 was imposed on his landlady, and five shillings a week upon himself. By the generosity of an unknown friend, a home was provided for himself and family at Preston, where he moved in 1663 and several of his children were born.

When he had opportunity John continued to preach at Weymouth and places in the vicinity, though after 1664 he was prevented from preaching by the passing of the Conventicle Act. However he could not be silenced, and began to preach in private at Preston and elsewhere. He afterwards became pastor to a small company of people at Poole, with whom he continued until his death at the early age of thirty-three or thirty-four, about the year 1670.

Samuel Wesley

Samuel Wesley, the son of John Wesley, was baptized December 17, 1662 at Winterbourne Whitchurch. He received his education at the Dorchester Free School, where he remained until he was fifteen years of age. His widowed mother being at this time very poor, he was sent, through the kindness of Dissenting friends, to an academy at Stepney, in the hope that he would enter the Dissenting Ministry.

Encouraged by the offer of an exhibition of £10, he decided to go to Oxford. Entering himself as a servitor of Exeter College, he supported himself for five years, took his degree, and moved to London, where he was ordained deacon on August 7, 1688.

Samuel obtained a curacy, with an income of £28, and afterwards a then a chaplaincy on board a man-of-war. He then obtained another curacy, and soon after married Susanna the daughter of Dr. Annesley, a leading Nonconformist divine.

In 1691, he was appointed to the parish of South Ormesby, with an income of £50 and a house. Here he spent nearly six of the best years of his life, and wrote some of his most able works. Five of his children were born were born here. It was about 1696 or 1697 he moved with his wife and family to Epworth.

It was into this family, on the seventeenth day of June, 1703, that the eleventh child, and fourth son, of the nineteen children of Samuel and Susanna Wesley, was born at Epworth parsonage, a few hours after his birth, being weakly, he was baptized by his father. The baby was named John Benjamin.


His death was commemorated by an obituary in the Bowden newspapers on 22 August 1854 in SA Register Newspaper, South Australia, Australia, Page 2 column A. Died at Bowden after an illness of 8 days. Late of Sturminister Newton, aged 72.6

Research Notes

  • Research note 01: Robert was in England in 1841 for the census and died in South Australia in 1854. He had a son Robert who was also in England for the 1841 census and who died in Victoria in 1899, but this son may have traveled at any time between those dates, and may not have arrived in South Australia at all. Robert Junior's death certificate may show when he arrived and if he was ever in SA..
  • Research note 02: There is a Jane DARE, unmarried and born in Dorsetshire in 1798, living with an Independent Minister and his wife and children living in Hounslow in 1871 census. Could Jane be a relative? This lady was not found in 1841, 8151 nor 1861, and died in reg dist Brentford Mar qtr 1872 aged 75 3a/40.
Background information on Sturminster Newton, Dorset, England, - Sturminster Newton is a traditional Dorset town, which built up to serve the surrounding agricultural area of North Dorset. It stands halfway between Blandford and Sherborne on the River Stour, across which spans a six-arched 17th century bridge of medieval origin.
On the south side of the Town Bridge is Sturminster Newton Mill which has been restored to working order in the 1980's and where the public can see the grinding machinery working. It is of particular interest as the less efficient water mill was replaced by a then state-of-the-art water turbine in 1904. The history of Sturminster and its people and industry is shown in the Mill.

Also south of the bridge is the castle, ruins of a small 14th-century building set within the crescent-shaped grassy mound possibly of an Iron Age fort. Across the bridge, near the mill and castle are thatched cottages and an old coaching inn, The Bull.

The parish church was rebuilt in 1486 by one of the last abbots of Glastonbury and the carved wagon roof is of this period, although much of the remainder is of 19th-century rebuilding. The beautiful carved screens are by local craftsmen. The church is set back from the main street which leads into the triangular market square. The base of the old market cross stands at one end of this in between two 15th to 16th-century houses. Also old are the nearby thatched White Hart Inn of 1708 and a bow-fronted Georgian shop. The Assembly Rooms date from about 1800 and the nearby brick-fronted Swan Hotel is a mid 18th-century structure.

Market stalls fill the square on Mondays even though what was the largest calf market in Britain has long since closed. As also has the Artificial Insemination Centre at nearby Rivers Corner, which was set up in 1947 and served the whole of south-west England.

The town has strong literary links - the Dorset poet William Barnes was born and educated in Sturminster Newton, where the small stone school survives. Thomas Hardy, Dorset's most noted author wrote The Return of the Native during the two years he lived in the town.

Children of Robert Dare and Jane Bennett


  1. Certificate or Original Parish Reg Entry, Extract from original records.
  2. International Genealogical Index (IGI), patron sheet 0960640 - 1553382 Film NONE.
  3. Family History South Australia Info, online, DARE Robert arrived 1846-09-24 on Competitor from London 1846-05-21 [Source:6,7].
  4. Digger - South Australian Deaths 1842 - 1915, Surname: DARE
    Given Names: Robert
    Date: 1854-08-20
    Sex: M
    Age: 72y
    Status: N
    Relative: Joseph DARE (PR)
    Relative 2:
    Residence: Adelaide
    Death Place: (not recorded)
    District Code: Ade
    Symbol: F
    Book: 3
    Page: 78.
  5. John Dare, Death certificate for John Dare.
  6. The Abbott Index of SA newspaper contents, from 1836, Page 2 Col A.
  7. International Genealogical Index (IGI), England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8)
    spouse:     Robert Dare
    record title:     England and Wales, Non-Conformist Record Indexes (RG4-8)
    name:     Philip Dare
    event type:     Baptism
    christening date:     06 Nov 1825
    christening place:     Shaftesbury, Dorset
    father's name:     Robert Dare
    mother's name:     Jane Dare
    record set:     RG4_0466.