Convict Histories

Patrick Clancey (c1826 – 1885) (Reg. No. 3330)

By Irma Walter, 2020.

Patrick Clancey (or Clancy), aged 29, came to Western Australia on the Stag, arriving on 23 May 1855. He was a farm labourer turned soldier, serving at Gibraltar, when in 1853 he was convicted of striking his superior officer and was sentenced to 14 years’ transportation. He served two months in prison there before being taken back to England and placed in Millbank Prison, where he was held for two months before being transferred to Pentonville. He was incarcerated there for 14 months, prior to spending four months in Portsmouth Prison, awaiting passage to Western Australia.[1]

View of Gibraltar looking North, 1828[2]

Clancey was described as single, 5’6¼”, with brown hair, hazel eyes, a long face, sallow complexion, middling stout, with a ‘D’ on his left side.[3] Surgeon Superintendent Caldwell onboard the Stag recorded in his Character Book as follows:

Patrick Clancey. Received from Portsmouth Prison. Roman Catholic, cannot Read or Write. Behaviour ‘G’ for Public Works and ‘G’ for Voyage. Convicted twice before. 9/7/55 – Bread & Water 7 days. Class Sus. (suspended?) 3 Months. 13/8/55 – No Tob. (tobacco?) 3 days.[4]

On 9 January 1856 he was sent to North Fremantle.[5] He was received back at Fremantle Prison from the Mt Eliza Depot on 16 July 1857,[6] and released on Ticket of Leave on 17 July. In 1859 he was employed by Gervase Clifton, son of Marshall Waller Clifton of Australind.

MW Clifton kept a strict eye on staff relations and was very protective of his female domestic workers. On 27 December 1858 an altercation erupted when Patrick Clancey came to his house and assaulted a servant named ‘Anna’.[7] Anastasia Kennedy, an Irish servant girl, had in previous weeks formed an attachment with the Australind school teacher, a Ticket of Leave man named Henry Gillman,[8] who had been told the previous day by MW Clifton that he should regularise their relationship by marriage. Clifton briefly recorded their meeting as follows: Row with Gillman but settled on condition of instant marriage.[9]

Patrick Clancey appears to have been overcome with jealous rage at this outcome, hence the attack on Anna. Clifton recorded the incident in his journal as follows:

After Dinner Patrick Clancey, Gervase’s man having struck Anna, I went to speak to him when he committed a brutal assault on me, knocking out two teeth & would have killed me by a Blow from a poker but for Crowd having seized him.[10]

Clifton, not a young man, swiftly took measures to ensure the safety of his household, recording the following actions on the day of the attacks:

Swore in George, Offer & Guthrie as Special Constables, (…?) my Cart & lodged him in Gaol. Very ill from the blows.[11]

Clancey was charged in Bunbury with assault and taken into custody. On 16 March the following year Clifton recorded in his journal: Patrk. Clancy came by in Charge of the Police Man and Eliot & Jeffy came up to see me also Alfred Bunbury but too late. Summoned to attend Court tomorrow.[12] This may indicate an attempt was made to persuade Clifton to withdraw his complaint against Clancey.]

On 17 March 1859 Clancey appeared before Bunbury Resident Magistrate George Eliot [MW Clifton’s son-in-law], charged with violently assaulting Marshall Waller Clifton. Clifton and Thomas Crowd(e)[13] gave evidence against him. Clancey was sentenced to penal servitude for life. Clifton recorded the events as follows:

A little rain in the morning but a fine Autumnal Day. Rode to Bunbury with Crowde to Clancey’s Case which was heard by the full Bench & Patrick Clancey was sentenced to Penal Servitude for the Term of his Natural Life. He then violently assaulted the Police & with difficulty was secured. Dined with Eliot. Pearce & I returned together.[14]

On 26 March Clancey was received back at Fremantle Prison as a re-convicted prisoner.[15]

His records show that his sentence was later commuted to three years’ hard labour, following two petitions submitted by him and a period of good behaviour.[16] Once released, he spent the period between 1864 and 1870 in the Toodyay district, where he served a number of masters for short periods, probably indicating a poor attitude to work:


6 August – Mutinous – 3 weeks’ Bread & Water.

17 September – Petitioned – Application cannot be complied with.

4 November – Accused J. M. Howson (?) of Perjury – 14 Days Bread & Water.


9 July – At Upper Canning Bridge.

11 November – Petitioned – May be brought forward if conduct continues to be good for six months from this date.


11 March – Discharged to Pinjarrah Road.[17]

16 May 1864 – Discharged to Toodyay Depot.

May – Submitted – to be discharged 14 May.

17 May – Ticket-of-leave.

24 May – Labourer, piece work, Toodyay, C.(?) Gibson, Northam.

30 June – Ditto.

18 July – Ditto – C. Rae, Toodyay.

14 August – Ditto – M. Ryan, Toodyay.

14 October – Piece work, 24/- per month, E. Beere (jnr) (?)

26 November – 20/- per month, D. Grady, Toodyay.

31 December – 20/- & rations, D. Grady, Toodyay.


11 February, 30/- per month, Jas. Payne, West Northam.

27 March, 25/- per month, M. Povey, Northam.

3 April 25/- per month, Abr. Jones, Toodyay.

6 June, (Indecipherable)

30 June, Piece work, W. Chitty, Toodyay.

28 July, Piece work, Burns.

? October, 40/- per month, G. Christmas, Northam.


February, 20/- per month, Joseph Monger, Newcastle.

March – Piecework, Mackintosh, Toodyay.

April, 30/- per month, Jas. Payne, Toodyay.

May, 25/- per month, David Gray (?), West Newcastle.

29 June 1866 – Toodyay Depot.

22 July 1866 – Ditto, Hospital, Toodyay.

3 August – 30/- per month, M. Barry, Toodyay.

September – 20/- per month, Martin Cronin, Toodyay.

2 November – £2 per month, Geo. Christmas, Newcastle.

13 December 1866 – Toodyay Depot.

31 December – Ditto.


1 January – Toodyay Depot.

12 March – Toodyay Depot Hospital.

4 May – Toodyay Depot.

13 May – Labourer, 1/- per day, J. T. Monger, Newcastle.

25 May – Toodyay Depot.

29 May – 20/- per month, Pat. Brennan, Toodyay.

25 June – 30/- per month, Thos. Austin, Toodyay.

30 June – Ditto.

31 July – £2 per month, Franck, Toodyay.

1 November – 25/- per month, Martin Barry, Toodyay.

6 November- 30/- per month, Yates, Northam.

31 December – Ditto.


11 January – Piece work, J. Waldeck, Toodyay.

16 February – 25/- per month, M. Berrey (?), Toodyay.[18]

5 November 1868 – Resident Magistrate Toodyay – Drunk & Disorderly – fined 10/-


26 April – Certificate of Freedom sent to Resident Magistrate Newcastle. Original sentence expired on 25 April 1867.[19]

From that time it is not known where Patrick Clancey lived and worked. In 1885 he died in the Fremantle Lunatic Asylum. How long he was resident there is not known. An autopsy was performed to find cause of death:

Fremantle.— On the 18th inst., at the Lunatic Asylum, before J. G. Slade, R.M. and Coroner, on the body of Patrick Clancey, exp., late 3330, who died on the 17th inst. Verdict—”Death from natural causes.”[20]

His official death record puts his age as 62, with no other details.[21]


[1] Convict Establishment, Medical Registers by Patient, 1863 – 1867 (M7-M8)

[2] Wikipedia, Fortifications at Gibraltar.

[3] Convicts to Western Australia, at

[4] Convict Department Character Book (R18)

[5] Convict Establishment Receipts & Discharges, (RD1-RD2)

[6] Ibid.

[7] Note: See Henry Gillman story on this website.

[8] Henry William Gillman, Convict Reg. No. 4440.

[9] P Barnes, JM Cameron, HA Willis, The Australind Journals of Marshall Waller Clifton 1840-1861, Hesperian Press, Carlyle, WA, 2010, p.575.

[10] Ibid.

[11] Ibid.

[12] Ibid, p.583.

[13] Thomas Crowde, Convict Reg. No. 2310

[14] Ibid.

[15] Convict Department, Re-convicted Prisoner Register (R10)

[16] Ibid.

[17] Convict Establishment, Receipts & Discharges (RD3 – RD4)

[18] Convict Department, General Registers (R12-R13)

[19] Convict Department, Re-convicted Prisoner Register (R10)

[20] Police Gazette, 6 May 1885, p.82.

[21] WA Death Index, Reg. No. 13200 at