Henry Clarke was born 22 June 1822 in Maghera, County Londonderry, Ireland to William Clarke (bef1822) and (unknown) Johnston (bef1822) and died 22 November 1907 Avoca, St. Paul-street, Randwick, New South Wales, Australia of stroke. He married Jane Rayner (c1829-1880) 30 November 1847 in New South Wales, Australia.

Henry Clarke (22 June 1822 – 22 November 1907) was an Australian businessman and politician in the New South Wales Legislative Assembly.

Clarke was born in Maghera, County Londonderry, Ireland, he emigrated to New South Wales in 1841 and he farmed for a while at Broulee. He returned to Sydney and married Jane Rayner in 1847 and they eventually had eleven children. He and Robert Gee established a successful shipping agency and owned three ships operating between Sydney and Melbourne by 1861. In the early 1860s, he lived for a period at Bergalia station near Moruya, but returned to Sydney in 1865 and worked at his agency until 1894.


Offspring of Henry Clarke and Jane Rayner (c1829-1880)¢
Name Birth Death Joined with
William John Clarke (1848-1849) 10 November 1848 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 30 April 1849 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
Georgiana Sarah Clarke (c1850-c1925)
Henry Joseph Clarke (1852-1854) 12 February 1852 Kent-street North, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 17 September 1854 Kent-street North, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
William Clarke (c1855-1925) 1855 Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 28 August 1925 17 Watson-street, Neutral Bay, New South Wales, Australia Alice Frances Jane Blake (c1856-1924)
Henry Clarke (1857-1858)
Charlotte Jane Clarke (1859-1916)
Florence Caroline Clarke (c1861)
Frederick Rayner Clarke (c1863-1920)
Agnes Maude Clarke (c1865-1935)
Arthur Johnstone Clarke (c1868-1943)
Ada Blanche Clarke (c1869-c1939)

Parliamentary career

In 1860, he contested the seat of Eden and lost to Daniel Egan. In 1869 he re-contested Eden and won. He held the seat continually until he was beaten 1894 by William Wood and then after a gap of 13 months won a by-election for Bega, which he held until 1904. He was briefly Postmaster General in early 1889. He was noted as a hard-working parliamentarian.[1]

Clarke died in Randwick. On his eightieth birthday he had claimed to have two hundred grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.


Assembly seats
Preceded by
Daniel Egan
Member for Eden
1869 – 1880
Succeeded by
Henry Clarke
James Garthan
Preceded by
Henry Clarke
Member for Eden
1880 – 1894
Served alongside: Garthan
Succeeded by
William Wood
Preceded by
Thomas Rawlinson
Member for Bega
1895 – 1904
Succeeded by
William Wood

NAME Clarke, Henry
SHORT DESCRIPTION Australian businessman and politician
DATE OF BIRTH 22 June 1822
PLACE OF BIRTH Maghera, County Londonderry, Ireland
DATE OF DEATH 22 November 1907
PLACE OF DEATH Randwick, New South Wales, New South Wales, Australia

Footnotes (including sources)

‡ General
₪ Wedding
  • On the 30th November, by special license, by the Rev. Dr. Fullerton, Mr. Henry Clark, to Miss Jane Rayner, both of Sydney.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 2 December 1847, page 3
¢ Children
  • some researchers have confused some of these children with unrelated people
¶ Death
  • CLARKE.—November 22, at Avoca, St. Paul-street, Randwick, Henry Clarke, ex-M.L.A., aged 86 years. By particular request, no flowers.
The Sydney Morning Herald, 23 November 1907, page 12
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