People Australia

  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites
  • searches all National Centre of Biography websites

Browse Lists:

Cultural Advice

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people should be aware that this website contains names, images, and voices of deceased persons.

In addition, some articles contain terms or views that were acceptable within mainstream Australian culture in the period in which they were written, but may no longer be considered appropriate.

These articles do not necessarily reflect the views of The Australian National University.

Older articles are being reviewed with a view to bringing them into line with contemporary values but the original text will remain available for historical context.

Clarke, William (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

  • People Australia, 3 July 2020

Other Entries for William Clarke

Citation details

'Clarke, William (c. 1764–1822)', People Australia, National Centre of Biography, Australian National University, https://peopleaustralia.anu.edu.au/biography/clarke-william-30551/text37871, accessed 19 June 2021.

© Copyright People Australia, 2012

Life Summary [details]

Alternative Names
  • Clark, William
Birth

c. 1764
England

Death

15 October 1822
Richmond, Tasmania, Australia

Cause of Death

alcohol poisoning

Cultural Heritage
Passenger Ship
Occupation
Key Events
Key Places
Social Issues
Convict Record

Crime: theft
Sentence: 7 years