George "The Barber" ClarkePrint Page
A plaque commemorates bushranger George "The Barber" Clarke" who is believed to be the first white settler of the north west plains.
George `The Barber` Clarke, a convict escapee assigned to Benjamin Singleton, fled to the area in 1826, living with the Kamilaroi peoples, who it seems may have regarded him as one of their own returned from the dead. He acquired two Aboriginal wives, underwent body initiation rites and generally adopted the language, dress and customs of the group. Clarke lived a little to the north-east of the present townsite, building a bark hut by the Namoi which Allan Cunningham encountered during a voyage of exploration in 1827.
Large stocks of cattle were taken to the Liverpool Plains for pasturage from 1827 and Clarke turned to cattle rustling, establishing some stockyards. When times were hard he surrendered to Singleton, but again fled with the Aborigines while leading Singleton on an expedition into the new country. He then returned to bushranging, was captured in 1831, escaped, was recaptured, escaped again and was finally recaptured, after which he was marched 210 km to Sydney and transported to Norfolk Island. He was hung in Tasmania for further offences in 1835.
Clarke's account of the Namoi River and his tales of an enormous inland sea prompted the acting governor to send Thomas Mitchell on an expedition into the district, thereby opening the area up to settlement.
|Address:||Boggabri-Manilla Road, Barber`s Lagoon, Boggabri, 2382|
|GPS Coordinates:||Lat: -30.673173|
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
|Approx. Monument Dedication Date:||1981|
GEORGE 'BARBER" CLARKE
ALIAS "THE BARBER" FIRST WHITE SETTLER ON THE NORTH WEST PLAINS
THE MOST LIKELY SITE OF HIS HUT AND STOCKYARDS HERE AT BARBERS LAGOON