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John Clarke ( senior ) and Catherine Clarke (nee Haliday)
are listed as passengers on the Minerva, carrying the second
detachment of " Fencibles"
(army Pensioners) to Auckland under a special settlement scheme
arriving 04 Oct 1847 having departed from Gravesend 1st July 1847.
John is shown on the embarkation list as having been recruited in the Canterbury District
The following is an extract from the biography section of the book
"The Royal New Zealand Fencibles 1847-1852"
Pg127 Clarke John (Ship - Minerva)children
John b.1798 Chewton, Kent, England and served in the 57th Reg for 23yrs and 8mths.
Height 6ft, grey hair, hazel eyes, fresh complexion, indifferent character, a labourer. He left from Canterbury with his wife Catherine Haliday and later settled in Parnell, Auckland.
On Arrival the ships manifest lists John as born 1798 Chewton Kent
However there is No Chewton in Kent! possibly Chatham
The Embarkation list 29th June 1847 shows him as 57th Foot from Canterbury District with wife
If his Birth date is correct then he was above the upper limit for settlers which was set at 48 but later reduced to 41
As their youngest John was born about 1856 it seems that his mother Catherine would have been born no earlier than 1816 the fact that she is much younger than her husband John senior may be explained by the army restrictions on marriage which was limit to 4 per regiment for the lower ranks , so many men had to wait till they retired before marrying.
the IGI John c.15th October 1800 St. Georges Canterbury Jane and John Clark also St Mary's the Virgin Dover Kent John Clarke b.29 july 1798 c.01 aug 1798 parents: Edward Clarke Amelia
WO 97/697/56 JOHN CLARKE Born CHARTON, Kent
Served in 57th Foot Regiment; 48th Foot Regiment
Discharged aged 41 1819-1843
Muster roll for Jan 1837 Madras
reg.number 972 listed as having served over 14 years ie before 1821 and so elligle for higher rate of pay
John clarke absent without leave in jan 1837 arrested court marshalled and sentenced to 6 months on 3 feb and pay to be docked 1 penny per day for the next 2 years, however he only served about a month in prison.
It seems new years eve was a regular time for trouble with many of the enlisted men in hospital on new years day!
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Updated 24th August 2012