John & William Robley of Scarrowmanwick, Cumberland & Pictou County, NS

John and William Robley were the eldest sons of Thomas Robley and Elizabeth Dixon of Scarrowmanwick, Cumberland. Scarrowmanwick is situated to the south-east of Croglin village, but is in Kirkoswald parish.

William Hutchinson in The History of the County of Cumberland remarks, "Öin this tract of country . . .occasional strongholds were necessary to the inhabitants, who were, in ancient times, frequently harrassed by small parties descending from the mountains; in the neighbourhood of Croglin, is a place of resort in times of peril, called Scarromanwick."


As well as farmers, Thomas and Elizabeth were innkeepers and the house was called the Ship Inn. They had 10 children. The family were noted wrestlers in the Cumberland & Westmorland style. John won the wrestling at the Melmerby Rounds two years in succession.

In Robinson & Coward, Wrestlers & Wrestling it is recorded:

"About 1818, John Robley, Scarrowmannock

About 1819 John Robley, Scarrowmannock

Robley emigrated to America several years after this date."

Although it has not been possible to procure a passenger list, it seems likely that John and William were on the ship the Mary Ann, which sailed out of Whitehaven in 1822. It took 52 days to reach the port of Pictou, and there were 39 English passengers on board.

John settled at Lyons Brook a few miles from Pictou town. William lived only 3-4 miles upriver, from John, at Cornhill Farm, Head of Pictou Harbour.

The old John Robley homestead (centre), Lyons Brook, Pictou,

Nova Scotia, Canada. The house is altered - and of course the outbuildings are not the same

John (Jackie) married Nancy Rogers at the Anglican Church in Pictou on 25th March, 1830. They had one child Thomas born 11 February, 1831. Thomas later settled in California. John, widowed, was remarried 4 years later to Ellen Patterson and they had a large family.

The present day Robleys in Pictou, NS, are descended from their son Isaac, who married Catherine Jane McKenzie on 2 February, 1884. Isaac moved to Rogerís Hill, Durham and had 7 children.

Isaac Robley

One of Isaacís sons Roderick McKenzie Robley stayed on the farm at Rogerís Hill. He married Eva Jessie Waters on 23 January 1918. Together they had 6 children. Greg Robley who still lives at the farm at Rogers Hill, is the grandson of Roderick through Harold Vernon Robley.

William married Catherine Fraser, and they had 2 sons and 3 daughters. His descendants are scattered, and many live in the USA. He died at Cornhill farm in 1866. John lived until 1876, and is buried at the Anglican Cemetary, Pictou, NS. His headstone reads, "John Robley, a native of Cumberland, England."

John Robley's Headstone

Written by Beverley Campbell and Marian Robley

[Beverley Campbell is a direct descendant of John Robley of Scarrowmanwick, and Pictou, NS.

Marian Robley is a direct descendant of Joseph Robley of Scarrowmanwick. Joseph was the third son of Thomas Robley and Elizabeth Dixon. and he remained in Cumberland.]