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Clifton family

Marshall Waller Clifton and his wife Elinor (née BELL) arrived in 1841 with their eleven children. In 1841 Clifton was Chief Commissioner for the settlement at Australind. After Captain Henderson left the colony in 1863, Clifton and family moved into his house, The Knowle, remaining there until 1892.

CLIFTON, Marshall WaIler, b. 1.11.1787 (England), d. 10.4.1861 (Australind), son of Rev. Francis & Rebecca (nee Bingham), arr. 18.3.1841 per Parkfield with family & staff as the Chief Commissioner of the West Australian Co. to found a settlement at Australind. Two eldest children did not come to W.A. George followed later. m. 2.7.1811 (London) Elinor BELL b. 1792 (England) d. 19.2.1866 (Picton), dtr. of Daniel & Elinor (nee Turner). Chd. Francis b. 1812 d. 1892, Waller b. 1813, Louisa b. 1814 d. 1880, William Pearce b. 1816 d. 1885, Robert Williams b. 1817 d. 1897, Joseph Bingham b. 1819 d. infancy, Elinor Katherine b. 1820 d. 1904, Mary b. 1822 d. 1893, George b. 1823 d. 1913 (England), Gervase b. 1825, Charles Hippuff b. 1827 d. 1890, Lucy b. 1829 d. 1906, Leonard Wors1ey b. 1830 d. 1895, Rachel Catherine b. 1833 d. 1852, Caroline b. 1835 d. 1883. The proposed settlement failed, he built "Upton House" & bt. "Brunswick Farm" & "Rosamel". Later made his home at "Moorland". JP 1841. Non- official MLC - agitated for Responsible Govt., elected Fellow Royal Society. C/E. Wife Quaker.

Staples 1969:
Without misrepresentation by the press, Clifton might have led a determined body of opinion favouring liberal views on finance and constitutional development against the settler influence which became entrenched for the rest of the century. Dubbed 'King Waller' by Rev. John Wollaston for his grand manner and arrogance when crossed, Clifton seems to have commanded great respect rather than affection, though his hospitability was bountiful and his spirit elastic. He was widely known for his horticultural experiments. His vigorous intellect and long administrative experience added weight to his opinions, advanced with rare skill in debates and belying the shortness of his stature. His aim was the welfare of the majority rather than the increasing prosperity of the wealthy. His strong-minded wife continued Quaker observances all her life and helped to influence their descendants. Among them were his grandsons, Robert Cecil Clifton, I.S.O., under-secretary for lands, and Harry F. Johnston, surveyor-general; and their sons, Edmund Cecil Clifton, registrar of titles, and Frederick Marshall Johnston, Commonwealth surveyor-general.

Another son, Leonard Worsley Clifton (1830-1895) was Collector of Customs 1862-1891 in buildings in Marine Terrace between Henry and Collie Streets. According to various Library pages, he lived at various times in The Knowle (after Henderson left) and in Henry Wray's former residence.

One daughter, Louisa, left diaries which are available in full on the website of the Australind Family History Society, as well as in part in the article by Mrs Chase below. Louisa married George Eliot, then Govt Resident for the district of Bunbury, where the couple lived.

There was a Clifton Street close to the sea in North Fremantle, running between the river and John Street. It may well have been named after a member of the family, probably Leonard, as his important office was in Fremantle.

George Clifton was Superintendent of Water Police 1851-1864.

References and Links

Cameron, J.M.R. & Phyllis Barnes 2017, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861, Hesperian Press.

Clifton, E. 1927, 'The Founding of Australind'Early Days, vol. 1, part 1: 38-45.

Chase, Mrs E. 1927, 'Early days at Australind'Early Days, vol. 1, part 1: 45-54.

McKeough, Michelle 2000, Rescues, Rogues and Rough Seas: 150 years of Water Police in Western Australia, WA Water Police, Fremantle.

Staples, A. C. 1965, 'Marshall Waller Clifton', Early Days, vol. 6, part 4: 53-74.

Staples, A.C. 1969, Bio in ADB.

Garry Gillard | New: 11 April, 2021 | Now: 17 October, 2023