As soon as we got them in the room Dr. Patterson examined John Clarke, and found he had been wounded on the top of the arm near the shoulder, the ball passing just above the bone. Tom Clarke was wounded in the top part of the thigh with a slug, that had to be left in. John Clarke had no other wounds except the one recently done, although it was confidently reported that he had been hit several times before. Tom Clarke was riddled through the legs. I asked him where he got all the shot marks, but he refused, saying “It’s no odds.” I asked him if I ever touched him. He looked very hard at me, and said, “No”, though I believe I did. I asked him about the shot I fired at him when John Connell was with him, when I fired at him full gallop with the rifle? He said, the bullet just grazed the top of his head, and that he felt the heat of it. I asked him a great many questions; some he would answer with truth, and others he would turn off. Anything that would implicate any of his harbourers he would deny with a look you would believe to be sincere. I don’t think there was a better dissembler in the world than Tom Clarke. He would look at you as innocent as a child, and tell you all the lies imaginable. John Clarke would say very little, and put on the face of innocence. Tommy wouldn’t allow him to say much. Continue reading BUSHRANGING AND OUR POLICE SYSTEM (Part Nine)
After the surrender Tom Clarke was very communicative, and spoke of the many hair-breadth escapes he had had with particular gusto, and this man’s mind and feelings are so deadened that he looked upon the awful position he was then in as a piece of by-play. His brother, on the contrary, was extremely morose, and it was with some difficulty that he would allow Dr. Pattison to dress his wound, which was a very bad one, the shot having taken a piece of his shirt into the orifice. The doctor had to probe the wound, at which he called out lustily. The ball passed right through the top of the left arm.
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)
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