Wednesday, 10 January 2018

10th January 1818: The Luddite John Clarke (aka 'Little Sam') arrives in Australia

'View of Sydney Cove from Dawes Point' by Joseph Lycett, c.1817/1818
On Saturday 10th January 1818, the transport ship 'The Ocean' arrived at Port Jackson, Sydney, Australia after a voyage of 142 days and carrying 180 male convicts.

Among them were two prisoners called John Clarke, one of whom was also known as 'Little Sam' and had been convicted 10 months earlier of shooting at John Asher during the 'Loughborough Job' and sentenced to death, although the Judge later respited this to transportation for life.

Clarke and his fellow convicts had left England from Spithead on 21st August 1817, and had arrived at St. Helena on 31st October, remaining there for a week before continuing to Australia. Conditions on board were better than normal aboard such transport ships; even so, that by the time that the ship arrived at Sydney, 2 of the convicts who had originally boarded the ship had died of consumption.

After arrival, Clarke and his namesake were amongst a group of prisoners sent on to Windsor, New South Wales.

This information is taken from the relevant page on The Convict Stockade and also from

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