Clarkson from Yorkshire to Western Australia. :: Genealogy
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Clarkson from Yorkshire to Western Australia.

Journal by janilye

Warning: This resource may contain references to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who may have passed away

Michael and James Smith CLARKSON arrived on the brig "Tranby", in Swan River Colony in 1830 from Yorkshire, England. They were two of the six children born to Barnard CLARKSON 1748-1826 and Elizabeth, nee SMITH 1779-1833.
A third brother Charles Foster CLARKSON arrived on the CYGNET on 27 January 1833 with Charles in Steerage and his widowed father Barnard Clarkson in Cabin refer Shipping Intelligence
The three brothers were of a well known family of yeoman descent. Namely;
Michael Clarkson b: 7 June 1804 in Bubwith, Yorkshire, England and died 2 March 1871 in Toodyay, Western Australia. he married Jane DRUMMOND 1813-1905 in the Swan Colony on the 6 November 1833. Michael and brother James, were given land on the Swan River where Maylands now is and later in the year they disposed of this grant and took up another of 18,261 acres in the newly - surveyed Avon district on November 25th 1830.

The children of the marriage between Michael and Jane were:-
1.Deborah Wilberforce CLARKSON 1834?1918 m. Alfred DURLACHER 1822-1869 in Geraldton on 1 October 1864.
2.Barnard Drummond CLARKSON b: 11 Dec.1836 York d: 23 Mar. 1909 Mt.Anderson m. Isabella Jane Lukin in 1867
3.James Smith CLARKSON b:1837 d: 7 December 1910 Toodyay, m. Eliza Selina GREEN at Newcastle WA in 1872
4.Thomas Michael CLARKSON 1841 ? 1845
5.Edward Ellis CLARKSON b:1844 Toodyay d:1865 WA See notes
6.Sarah CLARKSON b: 1 Sept 1847 'Nunyle, Toodyay d: 27 July 1912 Northam. m.(1)Frederick Mackie ROE 1843-1877 in 1871 (2) Andrew DEMPSTER 1844-1909 on 21 January 1891 at Northam WA. See Notes 3
7.William Bell CLARKSON 1848 ? 1877

James Smith Clarkson b:1806 in Yorkshire, England and died in 1872 in Western Australia.

Charles Foster Clarkson b: 12 May 1812 in Holme Upon Spalding Moor, Yorkshire and died on the 16 December 1863 on the Ballarat Goldfields
It is not known what occupation Charles Foster followed but he did build himself a fine two-storeyed home on the then waterfront, on portion of the land now occupied by the Temple Court buildings.
On the 2 March 1837 Charles Foster married Hannah Eliza LEEDER 1818-1901 (the suburb of Leederville was named after her father, who was the first settler there), who had arrived from England as a small child in the ship "Rockingham" in 1830. They reared a family of seven children, five boys and two girls.

1.Elizabeth Smith CLARKSON 1838 ? 1891 m. Robert Thomas READHEAD 1829-1878 at Geraldton on 10 January 1865.
2.Hannah Eliza CLARKSON 1840 d:1915 Perth. m Edward KEY 1839-1879 at Pinjarra, in 1869
3.William Wilberforce CLARKSON b: 1843 Swan River Colony d: 1874 Hooley's Well, North West of WA, Australia (see notes)
4.Edward Winteringham CLARKSON b:1845 Swan d: 9 Nov. 1927 Dongara. m. Sarah Ann GRANT 1850-1927 in 1875
5.*Henry James CLARKSON b:1847 Swan River Colony d: 1874 Hooley's Well, North West of WA, Australia see notes1
6.Joseph Charles CLARKSON b:1849 Swan River Colony d: 1890 Perth, Western Australia, Australia see notes 2
7.Robert Leeder CLARKSON b:1851 d: 5 Dec.1907 Dongara. m. Margaret Placida MCCOURT 1847-1940 in 1889 at Karratha Station, Roebourne

At the time of the gold rush in Victoria, Charles Foster went to Ballarat and was not heard of again.

His wife Hannah next married John Enoch HAMMOND 1827-1892 and they had four children, two boys and two girls. One of the boys Jesse Elijah HAMMOND 1855 ? 1940 wrote a book called "Western Pioneers." Telling his life in the Swan Colony as well as the story of the Clarkson disaster which occurred in 1874 when William Wilberforce Clarkson and Henry James Clarkson were killed by the natives while they were searching for water whilst taking 800 cattle and 70 horses to the Murchison for stud purposes. When their bodies were found they were brought south and buried in the Greenough Flats cemetery.

Death of Edward Ellis CLARKSON 1844-1865
The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times (WA : 1864-1874) Friday 18 August 1865

Since our last issue we have been enabled to obtain but few particulars relative to the death of Mr. Edward Clarkson, whose murder by a party of natives at his station, somewhere about 80 miles to the Eastward of Newcastle, was then adverted to. It seems that Mr. Clarkson' s station was visited by a party of aborigines on the evening of the 31st ultimo, one of whom discharged a spear which entered just under the last rib on the right side and penetrated nine inches upwards towards the left shoulder. The lad who was hut-keeper to Mr. Clarkson was present on the occasion, and immediately seized a gun to defend themselves with but the natives took to their heels and ran away. On the next day, the 1st instant, this lad went out to look for the sheep, returning in about an hour afterwards. On his return to the station he found that the natives had paid Mr. Clarkson another visit and were in the act of torturing him, by jabbing in the arms, hands, and legs with spears, but on seeing the boy they ran away. Poor Clarkson lingered in great agony until the night of the 5th instant, when he expired, and the lad then left and made his way to an out-station belonging to Mr. Dempster, from whence information was immediately forwarded to Newcastle. Mr. Clarkson' s remains were taken to Newcastle on Tuesday evening, and we understand the Police have succeeded in obtaining the names of the murderers, and have gone to the eastward in search of them, but it is feared without much chance of success as the country is totally devoid of water.

The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times (WA : 1864-1874) Friday 1 September 1865

WE learn that the police who went in search of the murderers of Mr. Clarkson have returned unsucessful in capturing them. They ascertained that the murder was committed for the sole purpose of enabling them to appropriate the stock of flour, and that six natives only were concerned in it. The police succeeded in surprising a camp where the murderers were, but they managed to make their escape into a neighboring thicket, and their pursuers were obliged to content themselves with three poor fellows who confessed to having eaten some of the flour. They also found the gun and other articles which had been taken from the station.

The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times (WA : 1864-1874) Friday 3 November 1865

To the Editor of the Perth Gazette & W. A. Times.
SIR,-In your issue of the 21st ult., it was said that the capture of one of the natives for the murder of the late Mr. Clarkson was made by police-constable Edwards, and no mention was made of any other officer. Without opposing Mr. Edwards, but injustice to a zealous and enterprising officer, I beg to say that the capture in question was made by police-constable Charles Wisbey, who on this as on other occasions, has proved himself to be an officer of superior merit, and it is to be hoped will meet with due reward.
I am Sir, Your obedient servant, NORTHAM.

The Perth Gazette and West Australian Times (WA : 1864-1874) Friday 12 January 1866

The Trial

Ngowee, an aboriginal native charged with the
murder of Edward Ellis Clarkson.

David HACKETT :- On the 10th July last was at Mr. Clarkson' s sheep-station with Edward Clarkson; on that day I was reading at the tent about 15 yards from the hut, when I saw four natives in the act of rushing upon me, prisoner was one of them, I took up my gun and it snapped. I knew only one of the four, his name is Jack Barlem. I clubbed my gun and struck one of them, but they broke one bone of my arm and two held me down, and the others went into the hut and took flour, tea, and sugar, my gun, powder, and caps. On Monday, 31st July I saw the same four natives creeping about 200 years off, they had my gun, some spears, and dowaks. They called out to me to give them all that was in the hut or they would shoot me. I had a loaded gun, and told them they had better come and take it, and they went away in a great rage. On the evening of the same day Mr. Clarkson and myself were eating our suppers at the tent just after dark, sitting about a yard apart, when six spears came all at once, one of which struck Mr. Clarkson on the right side just under the ribs, and one grazed my right arm. I could not see the natives, but they kept about all night. I assisted Mr. Clarkson into the tent; the shirt produced is that worn by him; next morning he told me to go out with the sheep, but I did not go more than a quarter of a mile away and returned, as I thought the natives would come back, and when I got in sight I saw four natives outside the tent, one drinking some tea I had left at Mr. Clarkson' s head, the other three were jabbing their spears at him through the tent, the prisoner was the foremost of the three. I was then about 200 yards off and I fired at them. One of the natives gave a scream and they all ran away. On going in to Mr. Clarkson I found he had been speared in both hands and his thigh; there were three fresh wounds, I pulled the spears out and also cut off close to the body the spear that was in his side; I did it with a saw. The piece of spear produced is that which remained in the body and was taken out after death.
I remained with Mr. Clarkson until he died in my hut five days afterwards, and the next morning after I had covered the body up I started off to report what had taken place.
Police Serjt. Kelly :- I went to Mr. Clarkson' s station on the 11th August, found the body of Mr. E. Clarkson lying in a hut, and from the right side there protruded about one inch of the spear head produced. The body was so much decomposed that no marks of wounds remained.
Police constable Edwards :- deposed that on the 9th October, in company with P.C. Wisbey, arrested the prisoner about 100 miles from York, and told him I did so for killing Mr.Clarkson. He said he did not want to do so but Ejup made him " windang" and said that he must do so.
Jyugyuth, a native, deposed ;_ that the prisoner told him he was threatened to be shot and he speared Mr. Clarkson. He only knows what the prisoner told him, and that it was in consequence of the natives having taken the flour the gun was fired.
The deposition of this witness before the magistrate was read, and in that he is stated to have said that he was present when Mr. Clark- son was speared through the tent, but he now refused to acknowledge so much.
Jedjeeput, a native interpreter, stated that he was present in the Newcastle Police Court when the prisoner stated there that he was persuaded by other natives to spear.
The prisoner now being asked if he wished to say anything said that the natives bothered him to spear Mr. Clarkson until he agreed to it.
The Jury found the prisoner Guilty and sentence of Death was passed.
The foreman of the Jury then informed His Honor that to mark their approbation of the conduct of the young lad HACKET (14 years of age), a subscription had been entered into among them, the proceeds of which he begged to place in His Honor's hands, to apply for the boy's use in the manner he considered most ad-
visable.His Honor expressed his concurrence with the sentiments entertained by the Jury, and ob- serving that he should deposit the money in the Post Office Saving's Bank, with an addition of ?1, from himself, said that he should be happy to receive any amount which other persons might like to contribute.
His Honor then directed Hacket to be brought before him, when he addressed the lad, express- ing his own and the Jury's approbation of his conduct, and expressing a hope that his future life might be equally worthy of the approbation of his fellow men. His Honor also told him that when at anytime he wanted money for any particular purpose of which he should approve, he would let him have it from the fund.
[Since the above we understand the Government have added ?12 to the amount in His Honor's charge.]

William Wilberforce 1843-1874 and Henry James CLARKSON 1847-1874

[Extract from Cemeteries of Geraldton-Greenough, Mid West Heritage Series Western Australia by Gary Martin Held in the Geraldton-Greenough Regional Library The first newspaper account of a funeral held at this cemetery appeared in The Herald of 20 March 1875. The reporter wrote that a large crowd came to witness the burial of the remains of William and Henry CLARKSON. Prior to the funeral an inquest had been held at the Greenough Court House to ascertain the deaths of the brothers. The bones of the deceased (their bodies having been ravaged by wild dogs) had been found at a place called Hooley's Well on the road to Nichol Bay, and returned to Greenough where it was judged that Henry had been murdered by persons unknown and William had died of exhaustion. What is now the largest gravestone in the cemetery was erected as their memorial.]

Joseph Charles CLARKSON 1849 ? 1890 Joseph went north and entered the pearling industry at which he made a considerable amount of money and following this he settled in Perth, where he either built or bought a fashionable home.

[[Notes 2.
b] Joseph Charles Clarkson 1849-1890

Western Mail (Perth, WA : 1885 - 1954) Saturday 15 November 1890
(Beforethe Acting Chief Justice.)
Mr. S. H. Parker, Q.C., who was for the petitioner, Robert Leeder Clarkson, moved the Court to confirm the report of the Master of the Court.
The Master had, in accordance with a commission, inquired into the person and property of Mr. Clarkson, and found he was incapable of managing himself or his affairs.
He had also found as to the heir-at-law and the next-of-kin, and suggested that , Mr. George Randell was a fit and proper person to be a committee of the estate and person of the lunatic, and other matters. His Honour had, the learned counsel said, confirmed the report, but the notice of motion was given at His Honour's request, in order that it might be considered in open Court. The solicitor who instructed, him was the solicitor for the other parties who had consented to the terms of the motion. .
His Honour confirmed the report as, to the appointment of a committee and as to the general scheme for the management of the property of the lunatic. The sales of the property to be subject to the approval of the Court, with liberty to apply.]

Notes 3.

Sarah Clarkson Obituary

The West Australian Tuesday 30 July 1912

Relatives, old colonists, and friends in all parts of Western Australia will learn with deep regret of the death of Mrs. Andrew Dempster. The deceased lady was 64 years of age, and of recent years had been in ill health. Her death, which took place at her residence, Chidlow street, Northam, on the morning of Saturday last, was the result of a long and painful illness, borne with great fortitude. The deceased was a native of Western Australia. She was the second daughter (Sarah), of the late Michael And Jane Clarkson, and was born at "Nunyle," Toodyay, on September 1, 1847. She had one sister (Deborah), now Mrs. Durlacher, of Toodyay, and five brothers Barnard (one time M.L.A. for Toodyay), James, Tom, Willie, and Edward, all of whom have pre deceased her. Her mother before her mar- riage was Miss Jane Drummond, and came to Western Australia in the now historic Parmelia in 1829, the Parmelia being convoyed by the sloop of war Sulphur, with Governor Stirling on board. Michael Clarkson, the father of the deceased, came to Western Australia two years later, and acquired the property now owned by the Hamersley family, and known as "Wilberforce."
In view of present land values, it is inter esting to record the fact that the price at which Mr. Clarkson sold "Wilberforce" was 1s, 6d. per acre. The Clarkson family par ticipated in much of the pioneering work of Western Australia, and like many other of the old families paid its contribution to the heavy tax of human life extorted by the young colony. The youngest son (Edward) was treacherously speared by the blacks at "Dalbercutting," near Doodlakine, in 1865, and died five days afterwards, attended only by David Hackett- a boy only 12 years old who bravely stayed with him until his death, and then made the journey through the bush alone to Buckland, near Northam. Mrs.Dempster, then a girl of 18, was staying with some friends at Geraldton, and on learning of her brother's death she took the first available ship for home. This chanced to be a whaler, and she was the only passenger. The voyage to Fremantle occupied over three weeks, and Mrs. Dempster always referred to it as one of the most trying incidents of her life.
The subject of this notice was first married on June 1, 1871, to Frederick Mackie Roe, fifth son of the late Captain Roe, R.N., (also a Parmelia passenger, and the first Surveyor-General of Western Australia, which office he held for 42 years). There were two sons of the marriage - Gus, now of the North-West, and formerly of Northam, and Willie, of Grass Valley-and one daughter, who died in infancy. Mr. F. M. Roe died in 1877 at the age of 33, as the result of an accident at his station, "Dumbo,' Wongan Hills, leaving his widow, aged 30, with three young children. She resided in Toodyay until 1891, when she was married to the late Mr. Andrew Dempster, of Muresk. Since his death in 1909 she has resided in Northam. Closely associated with the early history of Western Australia. Mrs. Dempster was related to or connected with most of the famnilies whose names are written on the records of the pioneering days of the colony-notably, the Clarksons, Roes, Drummonds, Durlachers, and Dempsters. She was best known to the present generation as the hospitable and charming hostess of "Muresk," where a warm welcome always awaited visitors and travellers. Gentle, kindly and generous of disposition, it was always her aim to make those about her happy and comfortable. She was loved by all who were privileged to know her, and will be deeply mourned by a very large circle of relatives and friends in all parts of the State. The funeral, which took place at Northam on Sunday afternoon, was very largely attended, the company that assembled round the grave in the Anglican cemetery including many visitors from Toodyay, Wilberforce, Muresk, and other districts, as well as a very large and representative gathering of Northam residents."

The photograph below of William and Henry CLARKSON
appears the book "The journal of the Brockman Droving Expedition of 1874-75 to the North West of Western"

by janilye Profile | Research | Contact | Subscribe | Block this user
on 2011-07-31 00:23:41

janilye - 7th generation, Convict stock. Born in New South Wales now living in Victoria, carrying, with pride 'The Birthstain'.

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by ngairedith on 2011-07-31 00:30:21

hi janilye,

when Robrt Leeder Charkson died it was recorded he was a "squatter"

by janilye on 2011-07-31 00:51:33

He started as a sheep farmer with his brother Joseph but then got into mining. After he got married he moved to Peak Hill, Coolgardie in 1903 and from there in 1906 he went to Meekatharra. (mining)
I'm not sure when he went to Dongara. He died in Dongara.

by ngairedith on 2011-07-31 01:24:20

that is a very interesting note about the Greenough Cemetery

by Kay_Defries on 2013-11-16 19:58:59

Hi Janilye
I am also a descended of the Clarkson. Thought I would let you know that the details for Barnard Clarkson are incorrect. The ones shown here are for Michael, James and Williams' Grandfather. Their father was Barnard born Oct 1774 Bubwith Yorkshire England died 13 April 1836 WA. The boys Grandfather also Barnard was born 7 Sept 1774 Bubwith Yorkshire died 23 Jan 1826 Bubwith Yorkshire. Barnard married Deborah Wilberfoss 15 June 1773 Budwith(she had previously be married to Marmaduke Guy) hope this helps

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