When Robert Knopwood was 8, his father died, leaving massive debts which required that part of the family estate be sold. He went to Cambridge to study for the ministry, but got in with the “hunting and shooting set”. By the time he was ordained as a priest, he was heavily in debt, and had to sell half of his property in 1789, and he must have continued in those ways, because in 1795, he had to sell the remainder.
Clearly, he fitted in well in a colony where the governor (Collins) had a convict mistress. In Sydney, Lachlan Macquarie had a low opinion of Knopwood.