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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)
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.
Alice and William edward b.16 apr 1850 at Howick Auckland ,Twins
only Alice survived, William died 13 aug 1854 buried Symonds st
Fanny b.25feb1853. Parnell Auckland
Died 26 march 1855 buried Symonds St
John (jnr) b.~1856

John Senior spent several months in the asylum during 1865. He died at Parnell in 1868.
BMD has John Clarke died 1868 aged 67, folio 1868/5033 Buried hospital grave? unmarked Symmonds St where his bother and sister are also buried

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


St Mary's the Virgin Dover Kent
John Clarke
b.29 july 1798
c.01 aug  1798
Edward Clarke

John Clarke,s Army Life

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!

Looked at 1843-jan47 muster rolls for 57th 9 of the 10 companies were based at Fort St George Madras India John Clarke no.792 promoted to corporal 12 jul 1843 However This may be another John Clarke

however this only lasted a couple of years as most of the regiment are disbanded dec1845 and John volunteers 1st dec 1845 to join the 4th foot as a private and by jan 1847 has a good conduct medal

This Private John CLARKE who was part of the 57th Regiment. Little is said about him except he was discharged in NZ in 1867. He was discharged to a Civil Prison. He departed from Bombay on the Star Queen on 23rd Nov. 1860 and arrived in New Plymouth 23rd Jan 1861. This regiment was known as "The Die-Hards" and arrived in NZ 1861 from Bombay. Practically all their NZ service was in the Taranaki area. In April 1867 the regiment embarked to England, but a large number of men elected to take their discharge in NZ.
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Updated 24th August 2012
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