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William Clarke (c. 1764–1822)

William Clarke (c.1764-1822) was found guilty on 14 January 1784 at the Old Bailey, London, of the theft of  wooden cask containing five gallons of rasberry brandy from a public house. His death sentence was commuted to 7 years transportation. He was sent to the Censor hulk in August 1784, where he remained until he embarked for New South Wales on the Scarborough in February 1787, arriving in Sydney in January 1788 as part of the First Fleet.

Clarke was sent to Norfolk Island on the Supply in February 1789. He may have been the William Clarke who received 50 lashes for neglect of duty in June 1790. In July 1791 he was subsisting two people on a Sydney Town lot. He married Sarah Cumberland in a mass wedding ceremony on the island in November 1791. In 1794 he was hired as a labourer for six months by Stephen Martin.

Clarke left Norfolk Island (alone) for Van Diemen's Land (Tasmania) on the Porpoise in December 1807, settling on a 31 acre lot at New Norfolk. He died on 15 October 1822 at Richmond; his age was given as 52.

* information from Mollie Gillen, The Founders of Australia: A Biographical Dictionary of the First Fleet (1989), pp 72-73

Original Publication

Other Entries for William Clarke

Citation details

'Clarke, William (c. 1764–1822)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University,, accessed 26 May 2024.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Clark, William

c. 1764


15 October, 1822 (aged ~ 58)
Richmond, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

alcohol poisoning

Cultural Heritage

Includes subject's nationality; their parents' nationality; the countries in which they spent a significant part of their childhood, and their self-identity.

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Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years