Freotopia > Early Days: Journal and Proceedings of the Royal Western Australian Historical Society

Early Days: Volume 2, 1932-1936

George Clifton, 1829-1913

F.I. Bray

Bray, F. I. 1936, 'George Clifton, 1829-1913', Early Days, Vol. 2, Part 20: 1-25.

Western Australian agricultural pursuits, industrial development; public service and art have been greatly influenced by the Clifton family which, for several generations, has rendered splendid service to the people of Western Australia. The object of this paper is to place on record a few details of one member of the family whose services to the Colony are in danger of being forgotten, if they are not already forgotten.

The founder of the Clifton family in Western Australia was Marshall Waller Clifton, born November 1, 1787, who married Elinor Bell at Putney on July 2, 1811. Mrs. Clifton was born on October 3, 1792. They lived and married in the days of big families, and following the usual fashion, in time surrounded themselves with a family of 15 children, who arrived in the following order: Francis, born April 18, 1812; Waller, born May 2, 1813 ; Louisa, born September 26, 1814; William Pearce, born January 3, 1816; Robert William, born May 22, 1817; Joseph, born October 21, 1$19; Elinor K., born October 11, 1820; Mary, born March 14, 1822; George, born March 15, 1823; Gervase, bom August 25, 1825; Charles H., born May 29, 1827; Lucy, born July 14, 1829; Leonard, born November 19, 1830; Rachel K., born March 10, 1833; Caroline, born May 2, 1835.

George Clifton, the subject of this paper, was born, as set out above, on March 15, 1823. He did not accompany his parents when they arrived in Western


Australia in the Parkfield in 1841 to establish the Australind settlement, for the full and sufficient reason that he was on active service as a midshipman in the British Navy at the moment, busily engaged in persuading Mehemet Ali, the Khedive of Egypt, that he could not shake his fist in England’s face with impunity.

George Clifton had been born and bred in troublesome times, and in the year that saw the youthful Queen Victoria ascend the throne, behold him, a lad of 14 years strutting the decks of Her Majesty’s Ship Royal Adelaide, a cadet of the Royal Navy. The following year he was appointed to Her Majesty’s Frigate Talbot, under Captain Codrington, with whom he sailed for the Mediterranean where, later still, he was transferred to the Bellerophon and served on that ship, under Captain Charles J. Austen, from June 4, 1838, to April 13, 1841, as a Volunteer First Class, being present at the Blockade of Naples in 1839. He was at the Blockade of Alexandria in 1840, and was present at the bombardment of Sidon, Beirut and Acre. He took part also in the guarding of the Dog River Pass which separated the Egyptian from the English Army. At the bombardment of Acre he was wounded while superintending the refitting of rigging that had been shot away, and shortly afterwards, he was transferred from the Bellerophon to the Thunderer. As a midshipman he remained on the latter vessel, under Captain M. F. F. Berkeley, and, subsequently, Captain Dan Pring, from April 14, 1841, to July 27, 1842, when, in consequence of his wounds at Acre, he was invalided home and discharged from the Caledonia at Devonport on November 28, 1842, at the age of 19 years. Both Captain Berkeley and Captain Pring certified that Clifton had conducted himself “with diligence, sobriety, and attention, and was always obedient to command.” Captain Alexander Milne, of the Caledonia, also recorded similar views so far as Midshipman George Clifton’s service on the Caledonia was concerned.

George Clifton resented his retirement from the Navy. He stated, as late as 1882, that he had been “compelled most unwillingly to quit the service,” and he added that he had “suffered much ever since from the injury sustained at Acre, but, owing to the fact that the Principal Medical Officer had omitted to record the


occurrence in his official journal, I received no pension for same.” For his services he was awarded a medal for the Syrian War, and he also received the Turkish one for ihe siege of Acre.

Little is known of George Clifton’s movements in the succeeding seven years up to the end of 1850, but an interesting item can be written down for 1851 when, at the Great Exhibition of that year in London, he exhibited, and was awarded two medals for a display in the Natural History section. At some time during this period there is reason to believe, however, that he met Captain Edmund Y. W. Henderson, who had been appointed to the responsible position of Comptroller General of the Convict Establishment of Western Australia. Captain Henderson brought out the first party of 75 convicts to Western Australia, and they arrived at Fremantle on the Scindian on June 1, 1850. In addition to the convicts, the Scindian brought 50 pensioners, 46 women, 78 children, and 14 emigrant girls. It has been said that the landing of the unfortunate convicts was an impressive, even a weird sight. All of the convicts had undergone a period of imprisonment in the congested prisons of England, and, after their long incarceration there and on board ship, the view of Fremantle, with its few houses and background of gloomy uncleared bush, seemed to dumbfound them. Moreover, instead of being received by an efficiently armed force and marched under its guidance to a musty prison, they observed but two stern officials, and they were housed for the time being in Captain Scott’s premises, adjacent to the Esplanade Hotel at Fremantle.

Six months after the arrival of the convicts, George Clifton came to Western Australia. He arrived some time prior to January 9, 1851, for on that date he received a communication from the Colonial Secretary (Mr. C. A. J. Piesse) advising him of his appointment as Inspector of Water Police at Fremantle, at a salary of £90 per annum. The appointment was a provisional one until it received the approval of the Secretary of State. Clifton was told that it was quite possible his salary would be increased to £100 at a future period, if his conduct in the service met with His Excellency Captain Fitzgerald’s approbation. He was then 27 years of age.


The Colonial Secretary (Mr. C. A. J. Piesse), who advised Clifton of his appointment, was also a recent arrival in Western Australia, and it will not be out of place to quote here an exciting experience that befel this official just prior to his leaving London to take up his appointment in Perth. The extract is from the Perth “Inquirer” of October 30, 1850, and reads as follows:—

“In the ‘Morning Post' July 5th, we find among the list of presentations at Her Majesty's Levee, that of 'Mr. Charles A. J. Piesse, on his promotion as Colonial Secretary of West Australia from the Irish Civil Service. Our new Colonial Secretary arrived In Perth on Monday evening, and we are happy to state that he has nearly recovered from the effects of his accident. We give the following extract from the 'Globe' relating to an attempt made upon the pockets of Mr. Piesse, and the speedy Justice which overtook the culprit:—

" We hear much of the law's delays. It is well now and then to know that Justice can be quick as well as sure. As the Hon. Charles Piesse, the Colonial Secretary for Western Australia, was passing along Whitehall on Monday, about twelve o’clock, he felt a snatch at his pocket. Casting his eyes round, he saw a suspicious-looking character, and at the same moment missed his purse. The man moved off. Mr. Piesse followed—the thief ran—the Hon. Secretary gave chase, and finally ran in his game in Whitehall-yard, just behind the Chapel Royal. The ruffian shewed fight, aided by some of his companions, but speedily threw down the purse, and attempted to make off. With the aid of a bookbinder employed in the War Office, the Secretary, however, secured the thief, called a cab, and forthwith conveyed him to Bow-street. Here Mr. Hall immediately heard the case, and, on the evidence, committed the man—who gave the name of John O'Connell—for trial at the current sessions. The next morning a bill was sent before the grand jury, found to be a true bill, and the prisoner was forthwith put on trial. Utterly unable to deny the facts, he pleaded guilty, in hopes of a mitigated punishment. But, as it turned out on inquiry that he was a known thief, burglar, and returned transport, Sergeant Adams sentenced him to be transported for 10 years. This sentence was pronounced within twenty-two hours of the commission of the offence. The public are indebted to Mr Piesse's gallantry for the arrest of this desperate ruffian, who, it appears, is well known to the police, and lately jumped out of a first floor window to escape after committing a burglary.' (‘Globe' July 4.)

“Mr. Piesse took the oaths and his seat yesterday."

George Clifton’s duties mainly concerned the close inspection of all ships, and it was particularly required of him that he should be ever watchful against convicts attempting to escape. For some reason the title of his position was changed from that of Inspector of Water Police to that of Superintendent of Water Police, on January 9, 1852. Perhaps the title of Superintendent was a little more impressive than that of Inspector. However, he had to submit weekly a journal respecting shipping events, etc., at Fremantle, and a great number of his journals are filed in the State Archives. They are most interesting, and informative as to the varied


nature of his work. They show that he was very attentive to his duty of reporting the arrival and departure of ships, and here and there they contain information indicating his all-round ability as a seaman. For instance, on May 27, 1851, His Excellency directed the Colonial Secretary (Mr. Thomas N. Yule) to instruct Clifton to set up weather guys afresh on the Challenger Rock, and then, on July 14, 1851, the Colonial Secretary wrote to Clifton in reference to some rescue work, in the following terms:—

“I have the honour to acknowledge the receipt of your weekly report of the 12th instant, and feel much pleasure, by His Excellency’s instructions, in conveying to you the Governor's unqualified satisfaction at the courage and intrepidity displayed by yourself and the crew of the Water Police Boat, in so gallantly venturing into an imminently hazardous situation to rescue the crew of the boats which had upset.

“That your exertions were successful is mainly attributable to the coolness displayed on the occasion, and His Excellency has much delight in perceiving that British sailors preserve in this remote portion of the world the prestige which attaches to them at home."

But Clifton had other work to do, and he did it well as the following extracts from his journals disclose:—

“Wednesday, 1st September, 1852.—Ships in port—William Jardine, Barque Eugene, Cutter Lapwing, and the William Pope. All employed painting boats.

“Thursday, 2nd September.—Inspected the William Jardine and reported to A.C.G. Mends that the whole of the Government stores had been landed.

“Friday, 3rd September.—Strong breezes and squally.

“Saturday, 4th September.—Took mail off to the Lapwing and had her well searched. 2 p.m. she sailed for South Australia.

“Sunday, 5th September.—Daylight—took the mails off to William Jardine, and had her well searched when she sailed for India. 2 p.m. got back to Fremantle.

“Monday, 6th September.—The news of the loss of the Eglinton reached Fremantle. 9 a.m. sent the police boat to the wreck, and followed myself in the William Pope. Sunset—Police boat passed under the stern of the Eglinton and found that she had been abandoned by her captain and crew. The coxswain then beached the boat astern of the wreck.

“Thursday, 7th September.—Police boat employed taking officers off to the wreck. 2 p.m. William Pope hove to about two miles to windward of the wreck. Came in over the outer reef in her jolly boat, and went off to the wreck. Reported to Lieutenant Wray, who I found on board, that the diving apparatus and party of three men were in the William Pope. While consulting with him and Mr. Bell on various matters, the jolly boat was taken by some of the salvagers and went off to the William Pope. I immediately jumped into the police boat and followed them, but they succeeded in getting on board, and directly filled upon the vessel. As soon as I came witnin hailing distance, I ordered the captain to round to, and square his head yards, an order which he unwillingly complied with. I went alongside, and took the apparatus and party out of the vessel, brought them in over the reefs, and put them on board of the wreck. The air pump was then moved up to the poop, and Rodriguez, who had previously been engaged by Lieutenant Wray, proceeded to rig it, and to prepare himself for going down into the after hold for the specie. At about 3 p.m., all necessary preparations having been made, Rodriguez went down


into the after hold (the water being at the time on a level with the lower deck) and commenced passing up the gunpowder, which was received by myself, Lieutenant Wray, Mr. Carphine, and a seaman by the name of Ellis, and carefully stowed away. The powder having: been removed, the diver proceeded to make a rope fast to the hatch over the Lazarette, which was then burst open by the united efforts of all parties on board. He then disappeared altogether for about twenty minutes, and then made a signal for a rope, which he made fast to one of the cases of specie and it was hauled up on to the lower deck. In like manner the second one was procured. They were then sent up on deck; buoy ropes and buoys were secured to them, and they were lowered into my whale boat, and just at dark landed safely on the north beach, where they were handed over to Lieutenant Elliott in charge of a detachment of the 99th Regiment. It is impossible to say too much in favor of Rodriguez, the diver; for upwards of two hours he was in and under the water, and contending and persevering against difficulties and dangers, only known to those present on the occasion."

The wreck of the Barque Eglinton was the sensation of the year 1852. She went ashore on the coast off Wanneroo on Friday, September 3, 1852. The site of the tragic happening is shown on our charts of to-day as Eglinton Rocks. As soon as the news of the wreck of the barque reached Fremantle, it was sent on by express messenger to Perth. The first tidings of the misfortune were conveyed to Fremantle by a passenger, Mr. John Henderson (a brother of the Comptroller General of the Convict Establishment) who, accompanied by the mate and one of the crew of the ill-fated vessel, had left the scene of the wreck on the previous day (Sunday). Keeping to the coast they accomplished the distance to Fremantle in 24 hours, a feat which, when the nature of the travelling and the previous privation they had undergone is considered, must be taken as a most praiseworthy instance of determination and perseverance. Immediately upon the arrival of the intelligence, every exertion was made at Fremantle to despatch assistance, and three or four boats reached the wreck the same afternoon, but were unable to hold any communication with the shore until the following morning. From Perth, a detachment of the 99th Regiment, under Lieutenant Elliott, marched about 1 o’clock, under the guidance of a native, and the distance from Perth being represented much less than it really was, a numerous party of gentlemen also proceeded on horseback, as likewise a few pedestrians.

George Clifton, as indicated in his journal, made haste to the wreck. In a subsequent statement he said:—

“The ship Eglinton with a large' quantity of specie on board for the Government was wrecked on the North-West coast, and the


fact was made known to His Excellency the Governor through the heroic efforts of the late John Henderson, who was a passenger on board at the time. On the news reaching Fremantle, a small schooner, by order of Captain Henderson, R.E., Comptroller General of Convicts, was hired to proceed to the wreck, and I was ordered on board of her with two convicts and a diving apparatus. On the following day I arrived abreast of the wreck, but separated therefrom by an outlying reef. I immediately decided to attempt to cross through the breakers on the same by myself in a small dinghy, and report my arrival to Captain Wray, R.E., who was supposed to be on board the Eglinton. I succeeded in doing so, and on finding my six-oared boat near the wreck, jumped into her and made the best of my way back to the schooner for the convicts and diving apparatus. In the meantime, those on board had found out by signals that Lloyd’s Agent had declared two-thirds salvage, and the captain immediately stood out to sea. I followed her and when near enough ordered the captain to round to. He took no notice, and I fired a yard wide of him: the secdnd shot went nearer and he did so. I then placed the convicts and the weighty apparatus on the boat, and, for the third time, succeeded in passing safely through the breakers. On getting under the stern of the Eglinton they were hoisted on board—an operation of great danger as the waves were breaking right up and around the wreck. With the assistance of Captain Wray, R.E., Mr. Fagan, D.A.C.G., Mr. (afterwards Sir) Luke Leake, the Chief Officer and myself, the two convicts succeeded, after the removal of several hundred casks of gunpowder which were covered with water in the after-hold, in reaching the boxes of specie, containing, I believe, 65,000 sovereigns. As they reached the deck I slung them myself and lowered them into my boat. (Note: Another account states that the value of the specie was £15,000.) We then got into her ourselves, crossed the reef on which the ship was stranded, and beached the boat through a heavy surf, and handed the specie to Captain Welman of the 99th Regiment. Had I not succeeded in getting the convicts out of the schooner (William Pope) with diving apparatus that day, the whole of the specie must have been lost. For 21 days afterwards I protected, with my boat’s crew, the Government property on the wreck, sleeping every night on the beach abreast of her. Great danger was daily experienced in getting on board of the wreck and beaching my boat on such an open and exposed coast. We had to sleep in the sandhills with only our sails for covering.”

The Eglinton was a barque of 464 tons register. She was from London, and had left the Cape on July 29, 1852. On the afternoon of Friday, September 3, 1852, Captain Bennett, after consulting his chart, told his passengers that they would see the land on the following morning, and he then somewhat shortened sail. That evening there was a festive celebration of the birthday of a young lady, one of the passengers, and about a quarter to ten the party in the cuddy were aroused by a cry of “breakers ahead,” and immediately afterwards the ship, which was almost running before the wind, struck heavily upon the outer line of reefs which bound our coast. Her rudder was carried away, but, happily, she was borne over by the sea, and carried forward to another reef about a mile from the shore, where she again struck and became fixed with her head out of water. On the following Tuesday her stern was out and her back was broken; in fact, the fore and aft parts of the ship were only held together by the iron-


work. Soon after she last struck, some of the crew took to plundering, and they broke open the passengers' baggage and appropriated all the portable articles of value, such as jewellery, plate, etc., they could find. From one of them a quantity of jewellery belonging to Mrs. Walcott was obtained upon her paying £5, which, however, was taken from the thief when the authorities arrived.

On the Saturday morning—the day after the wreck —a landing was attempted, but, of the three boats, the long boat and gig were dashed to pieces, one against the rocks alongside and the other upon the beach, upon which the surf broke very heavily. This made a landing almost impracticable without great assistance from the shore by persons running into the surf and seizing the boat and dragging her on to the beach. The third boat was launched and kept some distance off and clear of the rocks. The passengers were got into this boat by lowering them into the sea with a rope from the ship tied round the waist, and thus, supported by a lifebuoy, they were hauled to the boat one by one. Some of the passengers and the captain and some of the men did not land until the Sunday morning after the disaster. The boatswain, who was intoxicated, threw the chronometer into the sea, and, jumping after it, was drowned. On one trip the boat, which was full of women and girls, was completely turned over in the surf when attempting to land, and, with one exception, the whole were under her. On this occasion it was that another loss of life took place, Mrs. Bartram, wife of one of the passengers, and sister of Messrs Carter, of Fremantle, being unfortunately drowned. It is supposed that she was struck by the boat. Another woman, Mrs. Huxley, was seriously injured. Had the ship stuck when she struck upon the outer reef, it was conjectured that every soul on board, numbering 51 persons, would have been lost.

On the afternoon of Monday, September 6, nine of the crew, who had left the scene about seven that morning, arrived at Mr. Shenton’s at Wanneroo. They had been found upon the beach by a native herdsman. The baggage cart of the military arrived at Mr. Shenton's soon afterwards, and the men were persuaded


by Mr. Shenton to return to the wreck on the Tuesday morning. He sent with them his bullock cart In the evening the bullock cart returned with two women and a child, and they left for Perth the next morning (Wednesday). The remainder of the passengers left for Fremantle by boat on the same day.

A survey was held on the ship by Mr. Dyett, Lloyd’s Agent, on Tuesday, September 7, and she was declared a wreck. Arrangements were then made with the Fremantle boatmen to save as much of the cargo as possible, for which they received one-third as salvage. The coast for some miles was strewn with wreckage and articles of clothing, boxes, etc., which had been thrown overboard by the crew and passengers in the hope of their floating ashore, which they did, mostly, however, to the north, in which direction the current ran. Later, every box which came ashore was found to have been broken open, apparently by human hands, and not of the sea or rocks, as in all cases either the lock or hinges had been forced.

Public opinion demanded a strict investigation into the circumstances of the wreck. The captain stated that the error of his chronometer was 140 miles. It was thought locally that the captain, in view of his statement that land was near, should have made preparations for anchoring, and it was ascertained subsequently that he had no anchor ready at the bows, or even a cable on deck. It was considered that, had a single anchor been ready, it could have been used when the ship got over the outer reef, and, perhaps, the ship and her cargo and the lost lives would have been saved. Another statement made was that the captain did not know whether he was on an island or on the mainland, yet he acknowledged that he knew there was a lighthouse on Rottnest, the only island he could suppose he was on. It was admitted that the night was certainly a stormy one and very dark with rain, but it was maintained that had a man been sent at sunset to the masthead, the land, and especially the lighthouse at Rottnest, would have been seen. After the vessel was fast, several guns were fired, and they were heard in Perth by many persons. Eight guns were also fired


at intervals of one minute on the day after the ship was wrecked.

The passengers on the ship were:—Cabin: Mr. and Mrs. Fauntleroy, 3 sons, 1 daughter and servant. Mr. Henderson and servant; Mr. Gull; and Mr. Curtis. Intermediate: Mr. and Mrs. Bartram; Mr. and Mrs. Scotthorn; Mr. Duval; Mrs. Glaskin and child; Mrs. Huxley and one little boy. Steerage: Messrs. Bryant, Jones and Fretter. From the Cape of Good Hope:— Cabin: Mrs. and Miss Walcott, 2 sons and 2 servants.

While still at the wreck, George Clifton reported thus in his journal:—

"Wednesday, 22nd September, 1862.—Went off to the wreck. Salvagers employed getting the cargo on deck.' . P.M.—commenced loading the boats. A large quantity of valuable goods have been saved to-day.

"Thursday, 23rd September.—Daylight—went off to the wreck. Employed there In the usual manner. Bateman’s party still engaged loading the boats. Noon—the salvagers determined to abandon the wreck and return to Fremantle, as the weather appears very threatening. Found it necessary to send my coxswain back to Fremantle as he is suffering severely from dysentery.”

On succeeding days he recorded that the weather was squally; that he had been swamped in attempting to board the wreck, and then:—

"Thursday, 7th October.'—Mr. Scott’s party left for Fremantle. Noon—received my instructions to return to Fremantle. 1 p.m.— started. 4 p.m.—had to anchor under the reef for the night. Midnight—squally and wet. Let go a second anchor and got a sail over the forepart of the boat. Boat making a great deal of water.

"Friday, 8th October.—Weather moderating. Started again for Fremantle. Noon—strong breezes from S.W. Sunset—had to beach my boat in consequence of her leaky condition.

"Saturday, 9th October.—Daylight—launched my boat and started for Fremantle with a fair wind. 11 a.m.—arrived at Fremantle, after an absence of five weeks."

Although he had been away for five weeks on arduous work, he resumed routine duties at 2 p.m. on the day of his return, and reported in his journal:—

"Saturday, 9th October, 1862.—2 p.m.—took the mail off the Swan and had her well searched, when she sailed for Singapore.

"Sunday, 10th October.—Ships in port—Samuel and William Pope.

"Monday, 11th October.—Hauled the. whaleboat up. All hands employed scraping and preparing her for the carpenters."

Clifton received the thanks of His Excellency the Governor for his services in connection with the Eglinton. A copy of the letter of thanks is preserved


in the records of the Chief Secretary’s Department, and it reads as follows:—

“Colonial Secretary’s Office,
29th November, 1852.
“The Superintendent of Water Police,
“I have the honour, by direction of His Excellency the Governor, to convey his thanks for the exertions used by you in conjunction with others for the recovery of the treasure and Government stores from the wreck of the Eglinton.
“It is with pleasure that I fulfil His Excellency’s instructions, and at the same time am enabled to assure you that he highly appreciates the zeal manifested on the occasion; and that to the individual efforts made by all he attributes the ultimate recovery of Government property or considerable value. I deem it necessary to add that it has been owing alone to the pressure of official business that I have not been enabled sooner to convey to you His Excellency's feelings on this subject.
“(Sgd.) W. A. Sandford,
Colonial Secretary."

A few months afterwards a most important event in George Clifton’s life took place. It was his marriage to Eliza Naylor Roe, a daughter of Captain John Septimus Roe, R.N., the Surveyor-General of Western Australia. The wedding took place in St. George’s Cathedral, Perth, on February 10, 1853. It was a most happy marriage.

In the same year (1853), Mr. Clifton was appointed a Magistrate of the Territory of Western Australia, and on May 25, 1,853, Governor Fitzgerald conferred upon him the appointment of Deputy Superintendent and Acting Superintendent of the Convict Establishment. Later in the year, on November 8, he was appointed to the position of Deputy Superintendent of the Convict Establishment. He was only employed for about 12 months in these positions, and it is evident, therefore, that he was only a temporary occupant of them perhaps during the absence on leave of other officers.

Even though the appointments may have been of a temporary nature, there is no doubt that Clifton got plenty of excitement out of them, for he had to deal with a convict riot during his superintendency. The riot had to do with religion. Early in January, 1854, the Rev. Father O’Neil, Roman Catholic Chaplain, preached a sermon to the convicts which the Comptroller General (Captain Henderson) considered obnoxious. He immediately suspended Father O’Neil. The expressions were calculated to “subvert discipline and overthrow authority.” The Roman Catholic


prisoners took umbrage at the treatment of their chaplain, and a few of them made use of expressions of so mutinous a character that they were ordered to their cells. Before they could be seized, their co-religionists rushed to their assistance, and their yells were described as “fearful.” Even the townspeople heard the dreadful (din, and, fearing a general outbreak, some armed themselves and barricaded their doors. Clifton was crossing the prison yard when the outbreak occurred. He succeeded in collaring the ring-leader and holding him, in spite of severe ill-usage, until the arrival of 70 armed pensioners from the Barracks. The pensioners quickly quelled the disturbance, and, subsequently, the ringleaders were severely punished. Dr. Salvado who, in the absence of Bishop Serra, was administrator of the diocese, disapproved of Father O’Neil’s conduct, and withdrew him from the Establishment, appointing the Rev. Father T. Donovan in his place.

Clifton resumed duty as Superintendent of the Water Police on April 15, 1854. The Comptroller-General handed him a letter expressing His Excellency’s gratification at his services in the Convict Department, and he was further congratulated on his zeal and intelligence. At the same time he was appointed Emigration Agent and Deputy Immigration Agent to date from November 13, 1855, in addition to his Police position.

Clifton’s duties continued to be of a lively character. On May 24, 1855, the convict ship Stag, with 225 convicts and many other persons aboard, grounded on the Parmelia Bank during a gale. The Harbour Master refused to go off to her because, in his opinion, “no boat could live in such a sea.” As there were 500 souls aboard the Stag, George Clifton determined to run the risk, with Mr. Bennett, the late Captain of the Eglinton. They succeeded in getting aboard, whereupon Clifton made certain suggestions to the Captain of the Stag, and to Pilot Back, which, being adopted, the ship was saved. A board was appointed to inquire into the accident to the ship and, by direction of the Governor, Clifton received a letter from the Colonial Secretary’s Office, dated June 4, 1855, reading as follows:—

“I have the honour, by direction of His Excellency the Governor, to subjoin the following extract from the Report by the Board


appointed to enquire into the late accident to the Convict Ship Stag:—
‘The Board have much pleasure in testifying to the zeal and activity which the Superintendent of Water Police, and Pilot Back, and Mr. Bennett, displayed on the occasion, and to which, with the general good conduct of all on board, may be attributed the prompt landing of the whole of the prisoners and guard, and the anchoring of the ship in safety without any serious accident.'
“(Sgd.) Charles Sholl,
for Colonial Secretary."

At this time Governor Fitzgerald was approaching the end of his term of office, and he wrote to Clifton, under date July 10, 1855, as follows:—

“Government House,
10th July, 1865.
"My Dear Sir,
"My Government of this Colony being about to close by the arrival of my successor, I feel it a duty I owe you before quitting its shores, to express to you my entire satisfaction and approval of the manner in which you discharged the various and onerous duties I had Imposed on you for the last seven years: duties involving the constant hazard of life, in the midst of which I observed you met all your difficulties with the most untiring zeal, sound judgment, and cool courage on all and every occasion. I may further add that among my many regrets when quitUng the shores of Western Australia I know of none that pressed more forcibly on me than the fact of my being unable to promote you before my departure to a higher and more remunerative office.
"Believe me, with esteem.
Yours faithfully,
"(Sgd.) Charles Fitzgerald,
Governor, Western Australia."

In the midst of his other duties Clifton was asked, on December 21, 1855, to join some other officials and gentlemen in an investigation of a report on the formation of certain shoals at or near the mouth of the Swan River, and they were also requested to report on the “proprietary of piling certain sand cliffs in order that the navigation on the river may not be impeded.” The other members of the board were:—Captain Henderson, R.E., Captain Wray, R.E., the Harbour Master, Assistant Surveyor Phelps, Daniel Scott, and Henry Trigg. The board's conclusions have not been traced. Possibly in view of the developments at Fremantle, they would be of an interesting character.

Time marched on until January 26, 1858, when we find Clifton receiving a grant of £50 as a reward for his services in connection with a case of smuggling at the Vasse.

As most people know, some remarkable men were sent out as convicts to Western Australia, and Clifton, in view of his close association with the Convict Estab-


lishment, came in contact with them and knew them well. It is the custom with some people to decry the convict system, but it cannot be gainsaid that it inaugurated a flow of prosperity in Western Australia. As to the convicts themselves, it must not be forgotten that many of the men were sent out for most trivial and petty offences, for which to-day we would be ashamed to convict anyone. Of course, some bad men were sent here, but, generally speaking, the men who bore the ill-omened name of convicts did little here to merit reproach. Many of them, in fact, rendered invaluable service to Western Australia, and became really good citizens adding, without stint, to the aggrandisement of the Colony.

Here and there among the prisoners there were some most interesting personalities, and even though one must frown on their misdeeds, they exhibited at times qualities which must, by their very audacity, have caused George Clifton many a quiet chuckle when he thought of them, or met them in the course of his duties. In particular, the names of three men stand out. Their names and misdeeds have been published by various historians of Western Australia. Kimberley among others. Two notable men arrived by the Edwin Fox (or Edward Fox) on November 20, 1858. They were the Honourable the Reverend Beresford, and a man named Redpath. Beresford, a man of noble lineage, pursued a quiet and not unpopular career in Western Australia. After treading the degradations of the convict system he became a journalist, and also a tutor to a publican’s family at York. With the remittance he was understood to receive from his aristocratic relations he was liberal, and many were the hungry natives who obtained plenty from his simple charity. For some years he was a constant contributor to a Fremantle newspaper, but it is regrettable to say that the last years of this once promising but now sullied career were spent as an enfeebled, battered old man in an invalid depot.

Redpath's career would be considered a famous feat of imagination if written in story. It will be excusable to mention it shortly, as Kimberley gives it to us. He began life in a small way as a lawyer’s clerk, afterwards becoming a clerk in the P. and O. Company’s office


until he set up as a broker on his own account. Of a charitable turn, he gave the money of creditors to the poor, and was soon bankrupt. Then he obtained a clerkship in the Great Northern Railway office, rose quickly, and became assistant registrar, and finally registrar, with control of the share transfers. Both as assistant registrar and registrar he developed colossal frauds and launched out into extravagant expenditures.

He set up in a princely residence, and was known as a patron of art. Leading social and artistic people gathered round his board; his dinners were costly, and attracted the attendance of peers of the realm. But his costly extravagance was in unbounded charity; he headed subscription lists, and, not content, even sought out deserving cases. At Weybridge, his country residence, his name was revered by the poor. He was a governor of hospitals and a patron of other charitable institutions. When the crash came, there were pensioners and other recipients of his bounty who would not believe that so good a man had been for some years a swindler and a rogue. His detection was dramatic. The chairman of the, railway company observing a peer shake Redpath warmly by the hand, asked, “Do you know our clerk?” to which his lordship replied, “Only that he is a capital fellow, and gives the best dinners and balls in town.” Redpath had to be believed that he had been successful in speculation, but the chairman immediately required an audit to be made of his books. Redpath fled to Paris, whither police officers followed him. He secretly returned to London, where he was arrested while at breakfast at an obscure house. For a period of ten years this clever rogue had appropriated by forgery vast sums of money; the exact amount was never exactly made out. The false stock issued by him was estimated to have brought £220,000. His assets at the time of his arrest, in lands, house, furniture, and works of art, were valued at £50,000, even though he had lived at the rate of £20,000 a year. The stock market was greatly affected when the arrest was announced; society was convulsed. He was sentenced to transportation for life, and heard the mandate without showing emotion or surprise.

Redpath was not in Western Australia a great while before he received a ticket-of-leave certificate. He was


a tall man of good appearance and dress. Even in prison he never made his own bed or cleaned his own cell. These menial offices were obsequiously performed by some ignoble convict, anxious for the reward of the great man’s smile—a reward not frequently but judiciously bestowed. Among “ticketers” he preserved an equally elevated demeanour, and lived on the proceeds of sundry shipments of fancy goods consigned to him from English friends. His brother “ticketers” touched their hats to him; he wrote clever letters to the press under a nom-de-plume, and was the founder and honorary secretary of the Working Men’s Association, whose headquarters stood where Beaufort Street Bridge stands to-day. The leading settlers shunned him a “social agitator,” or a “complete scoundrel.” While in prison he did good service as a clerk in the Commissariat Stores. Governor Kennedy told Earl Grey’s Committee that a large saving was thus effected, and, of Redpath he said, “His conduct was exemplary, and he obtained his four marks which reduced his period of probation. On November 29, 1871, Redpath left Western Australia for Adelaide; he was afterwards understood to be thriving in Melbourne.

The career of another convict was somewhat similar. His name was Robson. Of humble origin, but well educated, he had considerable literary ability. He was the author of several plays; one—“Love and Loyalty”—achieved some success. He, too, began life as a law writer. He married on a salary of 20/- per week. His masters secured him an appointment as clerk in the Great Northern Railway Company, whence he passed to a better position under the Crystal Palace Company. Within a year he was chief clerk of the Transfer Department. His talents were such that soon the whole management of the Transfer Department was entrusted to him. Finally he yielded to temptation, issued bogus scrip without detection, until the defalcations amounted to £27,000. With the proceeds he lived a merry life, kept open house at Kilburn Priory, entertained literary, artistic, and dramatic celebrities, purchased a smart carriage, and attended race meetings dressed in approved fashion. Nemesis came in the form of a Mr. Fasson, who, while in the office, casually asked for certain certificates. Robson rumaged among his documents


and replied that they must be at Kilburn Priory. Mr. Fasson insisted on driving thither, and, upon arrival, Robson hospitably sought to entertain him. After persistent demands for the certificates, Robson at last went to his room, secured money and valuables, and, leaving Mr. Fasson in the house, levanted. He coolly drove to a favourite West End dining place, had dinner, and then with a woman (not his wife) took steamer for Copenhagen. He was arrested in Sweden, taken to London, and sentenced to two terms of transportation—one of twenty and the other of fourteen years' duration. He was conveyed to this Colony, where his conduct in prison was good, and where his services were utilised, in company with those of Redpath, in the Commissariat Department. He was early eligible to a ticket-of-leave, and in June, 1860, was re-arrested and sentenced to three months' imprisonment for embezzlement and obtaining goods by false pretences. He was for some time known in journalistic circles in Perth and Fremantle, and in 1881 projected and edited the ‘‘West Australian Literary Magazine" in Perth, which was continued for only four numbers.

Reverting to George Clifton's career, a most desperate attempt to escape was made by five convicts on January 25,1859. They were engaged on a public work at Fremantle, and, eluding a warder, they hurried into the bush, and proceeded to the Canning, and then to Melville Water. At Point Walter they seized a whaleboat, and, evading their pursuers, who, led by black trackers, were following their trail in the bush, pulled along the Swan River in the shelter of the banks and trees. By remarkable adroitness they managed to run the gauntlet of the look-out at Fremantle, and early in the following morning arrived at Garden Island. Entering the solitary cottage of a man named Reed, they bound him and his family, and robbed them of £150, provisions, firearms, ammunition, and a compass. Then, taking the whaleboat, they went out to sea under the command of a convict who had been a naval officer. George Clifton and his water police set out in pursuit, and, reaching Garden Island, they unbound the Reed family. Nothing more was heard of the convicts—all desperate characters—until February 1, 1859, when they were seen at Champion Bay. The whaleboat, stood off


land to northward, and was believed to have been swamped in a heavy gale which lasted for several days thereafter. Such was not their fate, however, because they were subsequently sighted, and George Clifton and his water police chased them for several hundred miles to the northward in a six-oared boat. During the chase Clifton and his crew suffered severe privations, but, ultimately, the convicts were captured. Only four convicts were in the whaleboat: they stated that the fifth had died of dysentery. Some suspicion arose, however, that he had been murdered for drinking more than his share of water; but his body could not be found. Some months afterwards Clifton volunteered to go north again in search of the body. He was accompanied by Dr. Arden, the surgeon of the 99th Regiment. The body was discovered, and showed every evidence of the perpetration of a diabolical murder. The convicts were subsequently tried: one was hanged, and the rest were found guilty of robbery under arms.

In later years Clifton stated that the convict chase was attended with great risks, dangers, and hardships, both to himself and boat’s crew. He maintained, also, that for years afterwards he suffered from the effects of the many weeks of exposure and sleepless nights in wet clothes. On his return to Fremantle he received two letters. Onewas from Alfred McFarland, who signed himself Chief Justice; and the other from Fred P. Barlee, the Colonial Secretary. They read as follows:

“Strawberry Hill,
2nd March, 1859.
“George Clifton, Esq.,
“My Dear Sir,
“I have heard of your safe return to Fremantle with sincere pleasure.
“A most arduous and dangerous duty was cast upon you, and it has been most ably and successfully discharged; had it been committed to other and less experienced hands, the result might have been very different, and very sad. I earnestly hope, therefore, that your exertions will be duly estimated and suitably rewarded in the proper quarter, and if, as a member of the Legislative Council, I can do anything in furtherance of such a just object, I shall ba very happy to do it.
“Dear Sir,
Most Sincerely Yours,
(Sgd.) Alfred McFarland."

4th March, 1859.
“My Dear Clifton,
“I should have written a few lines immediately on your arrival at Fremantle, but I naturally expected as your wife was in Perth,


you would turn your steps thither at once. I have just heard that you are very unwell and suffering much from the effects of privation of every kind; I am certain that you will acquit me of any intention to flatter you when I say, I am proud of the way you have followed those fellows, the pluck you have shown throughout the whole chase, and the admirable manner in which you carried out the whole business to so successful an issue. I believe my feeling is shared by everyone in Perth, and it shall not be my fault if some signal reward is not made both to your crew and yourself. I shall, if possible, come to Fremantle and see you, if not to-morrow, on Monday. I feel sure under the care of your good wife you will soon get round, and I shall enjoy hearing from your own mouth the history of your adventures. I do not believe there is another man in the colony who would have undertaken and carried thro' what you have done.
"I am, my dear Clifton,
Most faithfully yours,
"(Sgd.) Fred P. Barlee,
Colonial Secretary.”

Regarding the letter from Judge McFarland, Mr. Octavius Burt states that Mr. (afterwards Sir A.P.) Burt was the first Chief Justice of Western Australia. Mr. Burt claims there was no Supreme Court before Mr. A. P. Burt’s arrival in January, 1861. Judge McFarland was appointed to the Colony’s Bench from England in place of Judge Mackie, who had retired in May, 1857. Judge McFarland arrived in the Colony early in 1858, but he had a comparatively short term of office because, in February, 1861, he resigned and went to Sydney to practise as a barrister.

Reverting to Clifton and his capture of the convicts, it is pleasing to note that the Finance Board met on April 20, 1859, and recorded a minute as follows:—

“In considering the services rendered by Mr. Clifton, the Superintendent of Water Police, to whom alone is due the credit ot capturing these men, and of whom it is impossible for the Committee to speak too highly, they would recommend a grant of £50 as a very inadequate remuneration for the privations and sufferings he underwent, and the zeal and ability with which he carried out a duty involving so vast an amount of responsibility. The Committee believe there are few cases on record of officers willingly undertaking and following up a chase in an open boat, under an almost tropical sun for a distance exceeding 400 miles along a barren and rocky coast.
“The Committee believe that the result of the capture of these men will go far to deter many others from attempting to escape, and this effect is to be traced up to the energy displayed by Mr. Clifton, who persevered through all difficulties in a service surrounded by danger, and when suffering from a severe indisposition, and unable to procure a sufficiency of the bare necessaries of life.
”(Sgd.) A. Durlacher,

By this latest deed Clifton earned the high opinion of the Administration and received two additional appointments. The first on April 21, 1859, when he was made a member of the Local Committee of Educa-


tion, and the second on May 19, 1859, when he was appointed a Magistrate to the Convict Establishment.

Clifton’s life was apparently peaceful and uneventful for the next two years until 1861, when it was darkened by the death of his father—Marshall Waller Clifton—who passed away on April 10, 1861, at his residence Upton House, Australind. After the failure of the Australind settlement, Marshall Waller Clifton closely associated himself with the aspirations of the Colony. He took up his residence within the old townsite of Australind, at a charming point overlooking the wide expanse of the estuary and the dark-edged hills opposite. Near the beach he planted one of the finest gardens in Western Australia, notable for a splendid avenue of clustering vines—his peculiar care. A phenomenal rise of the tide cast the estuary waters over the orchard and destroyed it. In the Legislative Council Marshall Waller Clifton was a zealous advocate for settlers' rights. He was 73 years of age at his death, and was buried near his colonial home.

A month after the death of this notable pioneer, the Government set about organising the collection of articles for the Exhibition of 1862. For this purpose it decided to have a Central Committee in Perth, under the leadership of the Very Reverend Dean Pownall as chairman, and George Clifton was appointed to the Committee.

Clifton's purse then experienced a change of fortune. It will be remembered that he was appointed on a salary of £90 with a promise of an advance to £100 at a future period if his conduct met with His Excellency's approval. His Excellency, or rather their Excellencies—-there had been more than one—must have been stonyhearted and hard to please because it was not until November 15, 1861, that his salary had been increased to £150 per annum, in appreciation of his valuable and efficient services, and in recognition of the readiness and zeal with which he had always performed his duty. The board added that the increase was only provisional and that he would be required to execute a bond guaranteeing to refund the extra pay if the Secretary of State did not approve of the increase. They took no chances in those days.


An important event took place which greatly affected the subsequent career of George Clifton. It was the departure from the colony of Edmund Henderson, the Comptroller-General of the Convict Establishment, who had been appointed to a Lieut-Colonelcy. He left the colony in the York on January 31, 1863. Henderson had a warm spot in his heart for Clifton’s ability, and he wrote of him as follows:—

‘Comptroller General’s Office, Fremantle,
14th January, 1863.
“I cannot relinquish the Charge of the Convict Department in this Colony without placing on record, the very high sense I entertain of the long public service of Mr. George Clifton, who has for more than twelve years been employed in the Convict Service in this Colony.
“Both as Deputy Superintendent of the Convict Establishment, and as Superintendent of the Water Police Force, I have always found him prompt, active, devoted to his duties, and of the strictest integrity both in public and private life.
“I can only add to this my best wishes for his success in life.
“(Sgd.) E. Y. W. Henderson,
Comptroller General."

These were far from empty words, because, presumably, by arrangement with Lieut.-Colonel Henderson, Clifton applied for leave of absence and left for England at the end of January, 1864. Lieut.-Colonel Henderson had taken over the Chairmanship of the Prisons Board of Great Britain, and Clifton, as soon as he arrived in England, received the following letter from Henderson:

“45 Parliament Street,
20th May, 1864.
“George Clifton, Esq.
“I beg to acquaint you that Secretary Sir George Grey has been pleased, on my recommendation, to approve of your transfer from the Convict Department in Western Australia to the Convict Service in England, first as Deputy Governor at Dartmoor, and afterwards at Portland in the same capacity.
“The salary attached to the Office in question is £260 per annum with an annual increment of £6, until it reaches a maximum of £300, and quarters or a lodging allowance of 15/- per week in lieu thereof.
“(Sgd) E. Y. W. Henderson, Chairman."

I am indebted to Dr. Cyril Bryan for the following brief account of Henderson, the writer of the foregoing letter. Henderson was a Captain of the Royal Engineers when he came to Western Australia as Comptroller-General of Convicts with the first batch of convicts on the Scindian on June 1, 1850. He later was promoted Major, then Lieutenant-Colonel before being recalled


to London to become Chairman of the Prisons Administration of Great Britain. After holding that position for some years he was selected as Chief Commissioner of the London Metropolitan Police, being the second person to hold that office, during the tenure of which he was created a Knight Commander of the Bath.

Sir Edmund Henderson was responsible for many of the improvements in the police force as we know it to-day. When he took over the London Police there were but two or three detectives. He increased the number to 200 and gave them offices in Scotland Yard, so that he was the founder of Scotland Yard as the home of the world’s premier detective service. As well as that, before his retirement he was responsible for the purchase of New Scotland Yard.

When Henderson took charge of the London Police it was more or less of a go-as-you-please force. Henderson changed their fancy dress for a serviceable uniform; he did away with their rattles and gave them whistles; he stopped them just strolling about the city looking for trouble and instituted the beat system which goes on to-day; he gave them married quarters and single quarters and recreation rooms; he established suboffices; he changed them from a rag-time show to a body of men with some esprit de corps. But he was broken by the London mob. He took all precautions to guard certain streets from a mob which had assembled at Trafalgar Square in the eighties, but the mob went a different way and did enormous damage. Henderson was the Government’s scapegoat. But for all that he retired full of honour and with the air around him filled with his praises. His monument is seen to-day and forever in Scotland Yard, in every policeman who blows a whistle or walks a beat.

Clifton took up duty as Deputy Governor not at Dartmoor, but at Portland Prison, either in May or June, 1864. The date is not clear because in one portion of his manuscript he states that he took up duty on May 20, and elsewhere he mentions that he assumed duty in June, 1864.

He very soon discovered that gross irregularities and peculations were going on in the Stewards’ Depart-


ment at Portland Prison, and he brought the matter under the notice of the Governor, Captain Clay, who reported the fact to the Directors of the Prison. It was in turn referred to the detective police, and the latter discovered that extensive frauds connected with the stores had been carried out for a series of years, involving the Government in severe loss.

In July, 1864, on a change being made in the diet of the convicts at Portland, a serious mutiny broke out in the West Quarries. Six hundred men armed themselves with their tools and threatened to take the lives of their officers. George Clifton was on the spot at the time, and, although surrounded and murderously threatened, he succeeded in prevailing on the three ringleaders to give themselves up, and Clifton succeeded in taking them into the prison. On approaching the prison some officers went to Clifton’s assistance, but, apparently, the action was resented, and one of the officers was violently assaulted. Clifton recommended the Governor, who was ill at the time, to keep the whole of the convicts in their cells that afternoon. He declined to do so, and a similar scene took place in the West Quarries. On this occasion 50 prisoners armed with spades, pickaxes, etc., charged up the bank of the north side of the quarry just as Clifton arrived at the top of it. Clifton called to two civil guard sentries to come to his assistance. The convicts were ordered to retire, but instead of doing so, they flung a volley of stones at the official party, who thereupon fired low at them and wounded three convicts, with the result that the neck of the mutiny was broken.

Shortly afterwards Clifton was promoted to the Governorship of Dartmoor Prison, which appointment he received on September 21, 1864. Exactly twelve months afterwards he returned to Portland Prison to take over the office of Governor.

He had settled down and was looking forward to a bright future in his new position when he received the sad news of the death of his mother. She passed away on February 19, 1866.

Clifton became deeply immersed in the affairs of his office, and early in 1866 he received the first batch of


Fenian prisoners. Subsequently, those for transfer to Western Australia were received direct from Ireland in a man-of-war, and Clifton arranged for their embarkation and departure to this Colony. In 1868 he received the Manchester Fenians, and, lastly, the famous Michael Davitt was committed to his care.

When Clifton took over the Portland Prison in 1865, it contained 1,360 convicts. The cost of maintenance was then £48,839 per annum, and the value of labour executed was £33,894. On December 31, 1881, the number of convicts had grown to 1,600; but the cost of maintenance was still only £48,862, while the value of labour executed by them had gone up to £55,009, an increase of £22,000 a year. Little wonder, then, that his system became the envy of other countries, and on the files there exists documentary evidence of this. On June 18, 1867, we find Colonel Vaucher-Cremieux, Inspector General of Swiss Prisons, writing him a most appreciative letter following a visit he had paid to the prison, wherein the Colonel thanks God for the glorious career Clifton had been able to carve out for himself as a reformer of the penitentiary system.

From 1865 to August 10, 1872, when the breakwater was completed and the last stone was laid by H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, all the heavy work connected with the raising, loading and transporting of the material for its construction was carried out under Clifton’s immediate orders and organisation. And when he retired after 33 years in Her Majesty’s convict service, he was able to point proudly to the fact that he had had the honour of receiving 20 visits from members of the Royal Family, including King Edward and King George; also from the Prime Minister, several foreign princes and ambassadors; many other distinguished statesmen, including three Lord Chancellors, and naval and military officers. But there is another side to the picture, for during those 33 strenuous years, he had survived eight attempts on his life by convicts under his charge, in three of which he had sustained bodily injury; while on still another occasion, he was dangerously injured by a heavy ladder falling on him while assisting other officers to capture two convicts who had attempted to


escape from their cells on to the roof of a hall during a very dark and tempestuous night.

His retirement was not allowed to pass without notice, but there is room here for but one of the many tributes paid to him. It speaks for itself:—

“Greenhill House,
4th July, 1883.”
"George Clfton, Esq.
"My Dear Sir,
"I cannot tell you how sorry I am to learn you contemplate retiring from the Public Service, and giving up the appointment of Governor of the Portland Convict Establishment, which for so long you have well and worthily filled. Not only during the years I have been Mayor of this Borough, but also the long period I haven held the office of one of the County Coroners, I have continually been thrown in contact with you, and observed the marvellous way in which you discharged your numerous and onerous duties, the courtesy you evinced towards one and all, the kindness and care you gave to each convict, and the pains you took to understand their various complaints, and to see that they had proper attention has always spoken volumes on your behalf, and adds to the sorrow I have of your leaving.
"I trust your ‘otium cum dignitate’ will bring happiness, and you and yours have my hearty wishes for your future welfare in every way, and the private as well as public intercourse we have had together will always to me be remembered with pleasant recollections.
"I am, dear Sir, etc.,
"(Sgd.) R. N. Howard,
Mayor of Weymouth.”

George Clifton retired in 1883, and spent his leisure with his wife at Northwood, Lewes-road, Eastbourne, where, they celebrated their diamond wedding on February 11, 1913, and had the honour of receiving a telegram of congratulation from His Majesty King George the Fifth, to whom he was personally known, having had the honour of receiving His Majesty and the Duke of Clarence when they were cadets in the H.M.S. Bacchante, at Portland, on September 22, 1879.

Shortly afterwards—on August 12, 1913—he died in his 91st year. Only a few days before his death he was able to mow his lawn, and, after sweeping away the grass, he appeared for luncheon looking none the worse for the exertion. Mrs. Clifton survived her husband until May 3, 1925, when she died in her 89th year, at 16 Upperton-road, Eastbourne.

NOTE: The statements In this paper are based on manuscript particulars left by George Clifton. In explanation and in elaboration of the manuscript, I have taken advantge of the “Perth Gazette” and of Kimberley’s “History of West Australia.” In addition I have consulted official documents for information but I have made no use of official convict records in the compilation of the paper.—F. I. B.

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