George "The Barber" ClarkePrint Page Print this page

07-July-2016 (Sandra Brown)
07-July-2016 (Sandra Brown)

Photographs supplied by Neville Brabet / Sandra Brown

The plaque commemorates bushranger George "The Barber" Clarke" who is believed to be the first European 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.  He had 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 River  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 kilometres 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
Long: 150.093989
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Monument Type:Plaque
Monument Theme:People


Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1981
Front Inscription

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


Source: MA,H
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au