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CLARKE HANCOCK HART in Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire

I am TRYING TO FIND the UK details of just one person : Richard CLARKE born 1831/1832, most probably in Cambridgeshire, son of an Eliza and [Blank]. This is a long post, but I want to lay out what I know, to save unnecessary searching. Working backwards, this is what I know:

Fact: NSW Death Certificate
Richard CLARKE, Farmer, 81 years, 21st October, 1912, Stony Creek nr Mudgee, NSW
POB Town Unknown, Kent*, England, about 54 Years in NSW.
Father John CLARKE, Labourer, Mother Eliza HANDCOCK (sic)(Only time I have seen the D in Hancock)
(*Note: This is the only time any document regarding Richard mentions Kent as POB)

Fact: NSW Marriage Certificate
Richard CLARKE, Batchelor, Labourer, Guntawang nr Mudgee NSW
Catherine DELANEY, Spinster, Domestic Servant, Guntawang, NSW
26 November 1863, Mudgee NSW RC Church Mudgee.
(Note: Birthplaces, Ages, and Parents all [Blank].)

Fact : Index to “Australian Men of Mark”, published 1889, presumed written by Richard CLARKE as this was a paid insertion to a ‘Who’s Who’.
“CLARKE, Richard, was born in Cambridge, England, in 1831 (note: some versions have 1861 but clearly a typo), and there received his education. For two years, he worked as a farm hand, and for the succeeding eight years was employed on the railways, and engaged afterwards in various occupations until 1857, when he came out to Brisbane. Here he was employed in farm work, droving, and fulfilling fencing contracts. Eventually he settled on his present flourishing farm, which comprises 120 acres, all cleared and fenced. Mr Clarke owns several head of horse, and valuable cattle, and has the latest modern machinery. In 1863 he married Miss Delaney, and has three daughters and two sons. He is an advocate of Free Trade.”

Fact: Richard Clarke is shown on the List of Immigrants (Single Men) arriving on the PARSEE Feb 1857 in Moreton Bay (Brisbane). He was recorded as from Cambridgeshire, aged 25, single, CE, Read and Write, Father John Unknown, Mother Eliza Dead. (Name and situation of parents.) This is the only Richard Clarke found on arrivals into Moreton Bay or Sydney in that timeframe. The PARSEE left Southhampton Nov 1856 arriving Feb 1857. Richard Clarke was an ‘Assisted Immigrant’.

The assumptions made from the above known facts are that Richard CLARKE was born 1831/32 in Cambridgeshire. Until recently, I have always assumed that Richard was the son of a John CLARKE and an Eliza HANCOCK. Although Kent is a possibility for Place of Birth, this information was given after his death and may not have been accurate. I have never found a Kent record.

I have searched for details of Richard’s birth/baptism/place of birth, and parents, since 1979. I have used (paid) researchers. All to no avail.

However, I feel that the following recent discoveries and contributions by several friends on various sites may be worth further investigation. In a nutshell, I am becoming inclined to the view that Richard was born (somewhere) as the illegitimate son of an Eliza CLARKE, the daughter of a William CLARKE and Mary HANCOCK CLARKE of Fulbourn, Cambridgeshire. I am suspecting that Richard chose to state his mother’s name as Eliza HANCOCK - after Eliza’s mother - and his father as John, after one of Eliza’s brothers or uncles. However, there were plenty of other Johns around including John CLARKE and Richard CLARKE of the same parish. :biggrin: But, I want to find some evidence.

The following facts come directly from the indexed records CD of the Fulbourn All Saints church, or the Census transcripts:

- William CLARKE and Mary HANCOCK married Sep 15, 1800
- Eliza CLARKE, dau of William and Mary, was baptized Jun 3, 1810
- Dec 16, 1836, an Alfred Clark was baptised, son of Blank and Eliza Clark otp, at her mothers (residing at).
- Feb 9, 1839, James HART, bachelor, married Eliza CLARKE, spinster, dau of William and Mary.
- Census 1841. James HART 35 and Eliza HART 36 and children Richard HART 10 =1831, and Alfred HART 4 =1837, Harriet HART 1, living with the widow Mary CLARKE 61 and her youngest son, George, 21.
- Eliza HART burial 1845
- Census 1851. Two missing from that family now – Eliza dead, and Richard. But there is a Richard CLARKE as a lodger in Judges Passage, Cambridge in the house of a glovemaker, Sarah Ann POOLEY of Ilford?.
- Census 1861. Alfred HART is missing from the family, but there is an Alfred HART living elsewhere as a lodger. When Alfred married Ellen MORLEY in 1862, his father and mother are [blank] !! (of course.)

Finally, if naming patterns and naming conventions of that era are any guide, Richard CLARKE and Catherine DELANEY named all their children after the names which occur in the previous generation, viz: ALFRED James, MARY Ellen, ELIZA Jane, ANDREW, CATHERINE, JOHN Joseph, and RICHARD Francis. Andrew and Catherine were his wife’s father and mother. Subsequently, when the son Richard married (my Grandfather), his children included RICHARD, ANDREW, WILLIAM and GEORGE. Coincidence, or pattern?

By listing all of the above notes, I am not settling on this Richard HART mystery person as "my" Richard CLARKE, but I’m coming to the view that when Eliza CLARKE HART died, her children of a former union (or unions), Richard and Alfred, reverted to CLARKE. But I do need stronger evidence. If this Richard HART proves not to be "my" Richard CLARKE, then it is one more person I can strike off the list of suspects. I am trying to solve this mystery, before I also become ‘family history’. I hope this is my Richard, but I have been at this far too long to just 'cop out' and accept an assumption.

Can anyone help me? Is anyone researching HART HANCOCK MORLEY PATTEN in Cambs, especially around Fulbourn? All replies, of any nature, will be very welcome. And please don't assume that I have checked the obvious.

Thank you for reading this mystery novel.

Last edited:
More grist for the mill, re Alfred CLARK, and perhaps a further building block regarding Richard Clarke and his background?

- Fulbourn All Saints, May 4, 1862. Alfred CLARK, bachelor, son of [blank], married Ellen MORLEY, spinster, daughter of James. A witness was Mary Ann HART.
- Ellen Morley's sister Lucy married John PATTEN, at All Saints, Jan 1, 1854.
- In 1841, Alfred HART (Clarke?) was living in the widow Mary CLARKEs house next to a PATTEN family.
- In 1861, Alfred CLARKE was a lodger with a PATTEN (the wife being Lucy MORLEY).

I'm feeling that Alfred HART is almost certainly Alfred CLARK, son of Eliza.