The accounts of these murders, both oral and printed, and the description of them as given in Smith’s evidence are so various, that it would be folly for me to pretend to give the correct version. Putting the odds and ends together I came to the conclusion that a certain squatter made the plan up, that James Griffin did the telegraphing, and the Clarkes and Bill Scott the shooting part. Continue reading BUSHRANGING AND OUR POLICE SYSTEM (Part Eight)
This month we look at new book releases, a petition for the Clarke bushrangers, an update on developments in Glenrowan and more. Continue reading Bushranging Gazette #21
When we came out we heard some one walking ahead. We both (senior sergeant C. and myself) stood behind a tree. Tommy Clarke came out and stood listening about twenty yards from us. I was levelling my rifle at him, and wanted C. to call on him to surrender, but he would not, and told me if I dared to speak, or make any attempt to take him, he would suspend me from service. I could easily have put a bullet through his thigh, but was obliged to obey orders. Before coming out I had been told that Tommy and John Clarke were there, and Tommy’s wife, and that Tommy was sick. Tommy stood listening for about five minutes, and then went back again. Now, here we could have taken Tommy Clarke, or have shot him, and Johnny would have run for his life when left alone. We could have done a clean, clever trick that day, and even if John Clarke had stood to fight we were as good as they, and our camp was hardly a mile below us, and they would hear the shots. Continue reading BUSHRANGING AND OUR POLICE SYSTEM (Part Four)
Just as the tracker came up I saw Clarke about forty yards off, running up the range. I pursued and called upon him to stand, but he replied that he would b— soon make me stand, and he stood as if he meant mischief. He had a Colt’s revolver in each hand. As soon as he went to raise them I let go mine at him. As soon as I fired my horse began plunging mad; but every time I got a chance I fired. At the fourth shot Clarke fell, and I thought he was shot; so I stood looking at the place for a few moments, thinking about it. I could not see him on account of a low scrub which grows about four or five feet high. Continue reading BUSHRANGING AND OUR POLICE SYSTEM (Part Two)
The Solicitor-General, in opening the case said the jury had a duty of a most difficult nature to perform. They were called upon to try the prisoners at the bar on a capital charge and it devolved upon them to weigh the evidence carefully as it applied to one or both prisoners Thomas Clarke was outlawed by an Act of the Legislature for several felonies. It therefore became the duty of the police to pursue him and secure his apprehension. In the discharge of this duty, it is alleged by the Crown that a constable was shot at and wounded by Thomas Clarke. With regard to the prisoner John Clarke, it was alleged that he also, in company with his brother, fired upon the police sent to arrest them, and that by Thomas Clarke constable William Walsh was wounded. He was not anxious to anticipate any portion of the evidence; but he believed it would be such as to bring the charge, from the lips of three or four witnesses, conclusively home to the prisoners. Continue reading Spotlight: Conviction of the Bushrangers, Thomas & John Clarke (1 June 1867)
At the top of a street in the ancient gold diggings town of Nerrigundah, N.S.W., stands this monument on a small plot of grass-covered ground, that has been reserved from the pick and shovel of the gold-seeker, although rich claims were worked just a few vards from the monument. It stands opposite the site of the old police barracks, erected after the death of the brave fellow. It is of substantial construction, and is of sandstone, enclosed with iron railings.
Mount Alexander Mail (Vic. : 1854 – 1917), Wednesday 26 June 1867, page 3 LATEST INTELLIGENCE [PER GREVILLE AND CO., REUTER’S AGENTS.] (BY ELECTRIC TELEGRAPH. ) Sydney, June 25. The convicted bushrangers, Thomas and John Clarke were executed at 9 o’clock this morning. The scaffold was erected in the yard of Darlinghurst Gaol. There were only about the usual number of officials and spectators present, and nothing special marked the ceremony. The men bad been most assiduously attended by their spiritual advisers, and a subdued and quiet manner, with expressions of penitence for their crimes, marked their last moments. In … Continue reading Spotlight: The Execution Of The Clarke Brothers As It Was Reported
It always astounds that so few books have been published about the Clarkes. Of course, this likely has to do with the fact that for the longest time it was a taboo and much of the story has been lost as subsequent generations disappeared, a phenomena not suffered by Ned Kelly or Ben Hall. So it is with much excitement that one approaches a tome that tries to shed new light in the dark corners of this complex and intriguing story. Judy Lawson’s book, may appear slim and a quick and breezy read but it is quite deceptive in this … Continue reading The Clarke Bushrangers: A Clash of Cultures, First Edition (Review)
They were known as the “bloodiest bushrangers” and pushed their community into so much mayhem and chaos that for decades people refused to talk about them. Robbery, murder and gunfights were their stock and trade.
They were the Clarkes. Continue reading The Clarke Gang: An Overview
The Clarke gang were protected by a syndicate of sympathisers but the NSW government was determined to bring it crashing down – it would be a plan that would go tragically wrong. Continue reading The Bloody Pound: The Wrath of the Clarke Syndicate