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Elizabeth Clark (c. 1766–1788)

Elizabeth Clark (c.1766-1788) was found guilty on 11 January 1785 at the Derby Assizes, Derbyshire, of stealing a quantity of wearing apparel valued at 6 shillings 6 pence. Sentenced to 7 years transportation, she was sent to the Dunkirk hulk two days later and was discharged to the Friendship in March 1787. Transferred to the Prince of Wales at the Cape of Good Hope in August, she arrived at Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Clark was charged with abusing Private William Norris while in a state of intoxication on 27 May 1788 at Sydney Cove. She was sentenced 'to be tied to a cart's tail and flogged publicly once up and down the women's camp, on the western side of the cove'.  The case was re-opened and the sentence was countermanded after it was learnt that the two had been intimate on the Friendship — and that Norris had struck her, calling her a whore.

Clark was listed as buried in the colony on 4 September 1788.

information from

  • Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), p 70
  • Cheryl Timbury, 'Elizabeth Clark', First Fleet Fellowship website, — accessed 30 March 2021

Citation details

'Clark, Elizabeth (c. 1766–1788)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 21 June 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Clarke, Elizabeth

c. 1766
Derbyshire, England


3 September, 1788 (aged ~ 22)
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Cause of Death


Passenger Ship
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years
Court: Derbyshire
Trial Date: 11 January 1785