William John Turner Clarke


The Clarke family outside Quorn Hall, about 1860 (AOT, PH30/1/2079)

William John Turner Clarke (c 180174), pastoralist, emigrated to Hobart in 1829 for better health and economic opportunity both of which he achieved. He gained a large land grant, and acquired even more land, where he ran thousands of sheep; he introduced Leicester sheep to Australia. His properties included Lovely Banks (Jericho), Quorn Hall (Campbell Town) and Norton Mandeville (Derwent Valley).

In 1850 Clarke moved to Port Phillip where he also owned land. Known as 'Big' Clarke, he was feared for his ruthless land hunger (he eventually owned 215,000 acres) but admired for his ability. The gold rush further increased his prosperity, and he was reputed to be the wealthiest man in Australia, and (in 2004) the fourth-wealthiest Australian ever. Quorn Hall is still owned and run by the Clarke family.

Further reading: ADB 1.

Alison Alexander