Free Settler or Felon?

Arnold Fisk


First Name

Surname / Subject


Arnold Fisk

Newcastle Harbour Pilot

ARNOLD FISK was born at Rhode Island, U.S.A.

He was a mariner and first arrived in Australia on the L'Enterprise in 1802.[3]

In 1808 he was employed as First Mate on the brig Harrington when she was seized by convicts and by 1809 he was employed as Master of the vessel Favorite. He led an adventurous life sailing to Fiji and China in search of sandalwood. [2]

He was married to Mary Ann Bunker, daughter of Eber Bunker and later abandoned sea-faring and settled to life on the land in Hobart where he and Mary Ann produced a large family of ten children. He was known as a pioneer of Tasmania.

Arnold Fisk came into financial difficulties which resulted in him taking up an appointment as landing waiter and pilot at Newcastle in August 1828.[1]

In 1829 his large family were left destitute when he died suddenly at Newcastle. An appeal was made and despite the difficult financial times, hundreds of people from all over the colony contributed donations including livestock, to assist the family.[5] Mrs. Fisk and one of their daughters later opened a school in Phillip St. Sydney.

Arnold Fisk was buried in Christ Church Cathedral burial grounds at Newcastle [4]

His duties as pilot were taken over by James Pawsey.

To find out more about Arnold Fisk read the fascinating and comprehensive biography of his life - 'Brought To This Distress'. The Life of Captain Arnold Fisk, A Colonial Loser. by M.D. Cobcroft, 1987


1). Success of the Whaling Industry

2). Buccaneer William Campbell - Loot from Spanish Prizes

3). Romance of Hobart Rivulet - Arnold Fisk is said to have built the first Mill in Hobart - Water ppowered, known as the Upper Mill, erected on the Hobart Rivulet between Molle and Gore Streets. Built and working in 1815

4). A Waiuka Centenarian - Mrs. King, daughter of Arnold Fisk - Born in Hobart 11 January 1816


[1]. Sydney Gazette 6 August 1828

[2]. Sydney Gazette 20 August 1809

[3]. Brought To This Distress'. The Life of Captain Arnold Fisk, A Colonial Loser. by M.D. Cobcroft, 1987

[4]. Register Book of Christ Church Cathedral, Newcastle p.8

[5].Sydney Gazette 8 September 1829



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