10. The Clancy Miners

"I'm makin' out where the diggers go,
where the reefs run deep and wide;"

(Edward S. Sorenson, "Bill Brown")


In their younger days, the three Clancy brothers had opportunities to turn to mining if they were so inclined. John, Thomas and Richard were all living near Bendigo. Years later, John was at McGuiggan's when it was a payable goldfield. But none of them showed any interest in mining in those days. And yet in the latter part of their lives all three turned to mining, John when he was about 62 years of age, Thomas when about 52 years of age, and Richard when he was about 49 years. John went beyond the Darling River to become an opal miner at White Cliffs; Thomas (followed later by Richard) went to Queensland to work, first on the Gladstone goldfields, and later they were mining copper near Mt Morgan.

This was quite a change for all three. John and Thomas had always worked with horses and sheep, and on the land. Richard was a salesman, either as a hawker or shopkeeper.

Before following them in their mining ventures we need to record someting of their lives since they were last mentioned. As we have already noticed, John, after the death of his wife in 1884, was droving or working on stations. In 1883, Thomas returned to Melbourne after a long droving trip into Queensland. His wife and family were then living in Drummond Street, Carlton, where she had set herself up as "Mrs Catherine Clancy, dressmaker". Thomas spent a few days looking around for a hotel to buy, and finally decided to buy the "Albion" in Claredon Street, Emerald Hill. This done, he took his wife, daughters, and F. Brooks and F. Kelly to visit the Botanic Gardens. And on this happy note, this part of his diary ends.

Mrs C C Clancy's Union Club Hotel, Fitzroy

Mrs C C Clancy's Union Club Hotel, Fitzroy

If this was a reconciliation between Thomas and Kate it did not last for before long they separated again, this time finally. He went to Sydney by July 1884 at the latest.

In 1887 and 1888, Kate Clancy was licensee of the Union Club Hotel, in Fitzroy. Her son-in-law, Fred Brooks, became licensee, following on the death of Kate on 29th April 1888, following a bout of pneumonia. She was buried in Melbourne General Cemetery.1

When Thomas went to Sydney, he went to the hotel at Richmond, where he met Emily Ellen Peak, who was living with her sister, wife of the licensee. They formed a strong attachment, and after a time went to live at St. Peter's, where Thomas was a carpenter, and they remained there until 1887. During that time a daughter, Leonice Geraldine, was born (on 8th May 1885) to them. This baby was baptised by the Church of England rector at St. Peter's2.

Thomas moved to the Cania Goldfield in the Gladstone district in Queensland not later than January 1888. Having heard of the death of Kate Clancy, he paid a visit to Melbourne. Being now free to remarry, Thomas was married to Ellen Peak at the Cania Goldfield by the Rev. Andrew Monaghan on 9th November 1889, his brother and sister-in-law, Richard and Mary, being the witnesses. At that time, Thomas was 53 and Ellen 29. She was born at Jamberoo, the daughter of Joseph Winstanley Peak and Anne (nee Watkins). Her father was a building contractor.3 Despite the difference in ages, they were deeply in love with each other. This finds expression in letters, which have survived, letters which she wrote to him when he was away from home engaged in mining; and in two poems "To My Wife" and "The Face" which he wrote. The first begins:

'I've never met one I could love My Nellie dear like thee.'

The children of the first marriage remained in Victoria. The children of the second marriage were Leonice Geraldine (1885), Leon George (1887), Annie Edith (24th 3uly 1890) and Thomas Richard (5th January 1893). Annie was baptised at Norton by Rev. J. W. Minnagh, the godparents being Richard Clancy and May Sturgess.4


Our last mention of Richard Patrick Clancy was when he was storekeeper in Booligal in 1884. In order that we may understand his movements after that we need to return to Ireland, and consider some Clancys who remained there. A brother of my great-grandfather, Thomas Clancy, who came to Australia, was John Clancy whom we last noticed living at Bridgetown in 1851. John Clancy was accidentally shot, and died on 22nd November 1878, at the age of 70 years. His widow, Mary Teresa, continued to live at Bridgetown, where she died on 8th December 1883, aged 70 years. There survived one daughter, Elizabeth Honora, who was committed to an institution.5

In Mary's Will, she appointed "my husband's nephew, Richard Patrick Clancy and Patrick S. Connolly, Solicitor, Limerick, Executors of my Will and Guardians of my daughter Elizabeth Honora Clancy". The Will mentioned that her brother Thomas Fitzgerald left her £500. Of this sum she left £250 to Dr William O'Neill, Mitchelstown, £50 to her "servant man" John Clancy, and £10 to the Rev. John O'Donoghue of Castletownroche for Masses. She left her interest in her land to her daughter. The residue of her real and personal property she left to "my husband's nephew Richard Patrick Clancy of Booligal, Australia". She directed that the Executors place her daughter as "a ward in the Court of Chancery". The Will was dated 22nd September 1883. The Will was proved on 23rd March 1884, and administration granted to Patrick Shelton Connolly of Limerick, "Power being reserved of making a like grant to Richard Patrick Clancy the other Executor when he shall apply for the same".6

This meant that Richard was under obligation to make a journey to Ireland, and he was the only one of that generation of Clancys to make such a trip. He settled his affairs at Booligal and made his way to Melbourne.

From Melbourne he sailed on the Orient Line steamship, the Potosi, which left Williamstown on 5th April 1885. Passengers travelled by train from Melbourne, and the ship had a full compliment - 30 saloon, 100 second saloon and 200 third saloon and steerage. Its cargo space was also filled. The newspaper, describing her departure, stated:

"Captain Studdert and his officers will make a special effort to ensure that the present run home of the Potosi will be one of the fastest and most pleasant she has ever accomplished. Her massive machinery is in good working order, and the chief engineer has everything well-ordered and sure in the engine room. In addition to the colonial products shipped here and Sydney, the Potosi takes away 5,000 carcasses of frozen mutton ....... The passengers were conveyed to Williamstown yesterday by special train ...... There was a large number of visitors on board as well as passengers due to the day being a holiday."

Among the passengers were J. Liliywhite's team of English cricketers, returning after their Australian tour. The ship called at Adelaide, and then made the journey via the Suez Canal.7

While Richard was in Ireland he met Mary Connolly. It is not known whether she was related to the solicitor, but a story handed down among the Clancys is that at the time of his arrival she was about to travel to France when one of the Connollys said to her, "Aren't you going to wait to meet your cousin from Australia?" I don't know how she could have been his cousin. Mary was born in Limerick, the daughter of John Connolly, a draper, and Alice (nee Cain). Probably the solicitor and the draper were related, and it may have been through the solicitor that Richard and Mary met. The courtship was a very brief one. They were married at Rathgar, Dublin, by the Rev. Charles Malone on 30th September 1885. At that time Richard gave his address as Bridgetown, indicating that he made this home while he was attending to the affairs of the estate. But he also gave Booligal as his address, indicating that while this was the temporary Ireland address, his Australian address was still Booligal. He remained in Ireland until May of the following year, which would have given him ample time to see quite a lot of that country.8

It is not known whether the daughter, Elizabeth Clancy, died, but the estate was finally wound up in 1898, and the proceeds, after meeting money due to Madame Bath for her care of Elizabeth, and other costs, totalling £130:15:8 was apportioned among the children of Thomas and Anne Clancy.

Richard and Mary travelled back to Australia on the Lusitania, which had just been refitted. This was a vessel of 3,825 tons, under the command of Captain J.F. Ruthven. The Lusitania left London on 12th May and Plymouth on 14th May, so they could have embarked at either place. Apparently, they had spent some time in England, especially immediately after their wedding, for they had an advertisement of the wedding inserted in The Times, and had this photographed by a photographer in Bromley, Kent.

Ports of call on the return journey were Naples, Port Said, Suez, Diego Garcia, and Adelaide, and they arrived in Melbourne on 28th June.

"The voyage was enlivened by the usual entertainments, musical and otherwise, athletic sports, etc., and the passengers who have come out on the all-but-new steamer expressed themselves yesterday as very much pleased with the vessel, and with the fine weather voyage."

There were 335 passengers, 68 of whom disembarked at Melbourne. When passing through the straits of Messina, the passengers had a good view of Mt Etna in full eruption. At Williamstown, Mr T.D. Hammond made the usual inspection. After disembarking the passengers travelled by special train to Melbourne.10

Richard and Mary made their home in St. Kilda, where their first child, Richard, was born on 4th September 1886. He was baptised by Father Coghian of the West St. Kilda Parish, the sponsors being John Connolly and Maria Clancy. The first-named may have been a relative of Mary, and Maria is probably Mary, daughter of T.G. Clancy, then 23 years of age. A second child, John Henry, was born on 13th May 1888, this time Rev. W.H. Quirk of West St. Kilda Parish officiating at the baptism.11


Not long after the discovery of opals at White Cliffs, about 60 miles north-west of Wilcannia, John Clancy heard of it, and either on his own initiative or persuaded by one of the men with whom he was associated in mining opals, he decided to become a miner.

Opals were discovered at White Cliffs in 1889, but the field was not really started until 1893, at which time about 30 miners were engaged in digging for opal.

"Initially, land was taken up in leases of 20 to 80 acres. It was felt, however, that leases of this extent, would soon exhaust available country and create a monopoly. It was decided on 29th March 1894, that no more leases should be granted, and that the mineral field must be worked under mineral licenses. These regulations were later modified to allow miners to take up claims of only 100 feet by 100 feet. A search of Departmental records indicates that there is an area approximately four miles north of White Cliffs known as "Clancy's Hill".

On 3rd May 1893, John Clancy and party took possession of a forty acre parcel of land to which they were subsequently granted a mining lease. This lease remained in force until 24th June 1908 (note that this was long after the death of John) when it was cancelled due to non-payment of rent. The holder of the lease at this time was J. Dreher and another.

John Clancy also took possession of another 40 acre parcel of land on 8th February 1894, but this lease was refused on 3rd August 1894, apparently due to a change in Departmental policy with respect to granting leases within this area."

The Government Gazette refers to Lease Number 7825 in the name of Percy George Marley, McKellar Jenkins and John Clancy, presumably the lease granted. The second lease, presumably the one refused, was in the name of P. Kennedy, J. Clancy and L. Bell. The following year both leases are shown, with the name of R. Jackson replacing that of P.C. Harley. In 1898, only the first of the two leases is shown, being in the name of R. Jackson and J. Clancy.12

By 1894, White Cliffs had two hotels, two butchers, two bakers and other businesses, but lacked a good water supply. A school was built in 1896, but no church was built till 1899, although occasional services were held by visiting priests and ministers, the priest at Wilcannia being Father Davern whom John Clancy had known at McGuiggan's. Twenty-one claims were being worked by about 800 men, many of whom were living in tents.13

The NSW Department of Mines in Its annual report for 1898 stated:

"The present population is probably 1,250 of whom 700 at least are miners. Last year White Cliffs, suffered greatly from an outbreak of typhoid fever, in a great measure attributed to the wretched sanitary conditions on the fields. It is feared that, unless rain falls shortly, there will occur a further outbreak. Representations have been made to the Department of Health with a view to having a sanitary area proclaimed and it is hoped this will be done shortly. The necessity of this course is shown by the fact that the Government Tank itself is affected by the drainage from the watershed of one part of the field. The extension of the telegraph to White Cliffs has taken place during the last six months, and there are constant movements in the direction of building churches, enlarging the school, post office, etc.14

Lack of water was a perennial problem in that semi-arid region. Water was sold for four shillings a hundred gallons delivered by a bullock cart fitted with an iron tank. Food was also in short supply, and highly priced. But opals were plentiful, and buyers were spending as much as £10,000 a month in 1893. Miners in increasing numbers were gouging out the stone from the white hills which gave the place its name. Some opal was of very fine quality, but there were large quantities of inferior grade, which opal buyers refused to accept in order to avoid flooding the market. Because this was usually kept in old candle boxes, it was referred to as candle-box opal. I have a few pieces of this opal which John Clancy mined and gave to his daughters.

No less than fourteen opal buyers advertised in the town's own newspaper, The Opal Miner, the best known being Mr Ted Murphy, who represented Mr Wollaston on the field. It would appear that John Clancy made a competence from mining without ever striking it rich. At one time he had six men working for him, gouging opals in a hole about six feet deep. He made an occasional visit to his daughters at Booligal, but apart from the visits made by Jack and Pat to him, it is not known if any other members of his family went to White Cliffs. Jack went out to try his luck in opal mining, and later he had one of the opals he mined made into a brooch for his wife.15

About the middle of the year 1897, John took ill and was removed to Wilcannia Hospital, where he remained a patient for about three months. As there was a regular coach service between Booligal and Wilcannia, it is highly probable that members of his family did visit him there (although no record of such visits exists), and that either Jessie or Lily would have stayed for a time to do what they could for him.

Proud of his Irish heritage, and occasionally day dreaming about what his life would have been had he remained, John never knew the easier life of a country gentleman. He worked hard all his life, roughing it in many difficult pioneering situations; he knew sorrow in being twice bereaved of a wife, the second time leaving some very young children as well as some who were then earning their own living. Farm hand, bush worker, overseer, butcher, drover, pound-keeper, school teacher, miner - he turned to whatever provided an income to support his family. His Australian life was lived in many parts of Victoria and western New South Wales. From the lush green fields of "The Copse", Ireland, to the waterless turned up fields of White Cliffs was quite a change, but he accepted all that change with quiet courage and determination.

After all his battling, he was prematurely worn out, a very old man of 66 years of age, who died of "senile decay" in Wilcannia Hospital on 10th December 1897. Surprisingly, the Death Certificate lists his occupation as "cook" (one more to the long list). In fact, he was lessee of a mine. It may be that he was no longer able to do the hard work of mining, and in his last days there he used up his diminishing energies in cooking for those who worked for him.

Whatever little capital he had was exhausted in hospital expenses, and when his son, Thomas, was appointed Administrator of his estate his assets were shown as £1:9:8 and his debts £5:2:3.16


Thomas and Richard Clancy began gold-mining in the late 1880's in the Gladstone goldfields of Queensland. In his book "The Goldfields of Queensland", William Lees describes these as among the headwaters of the Calliope and Boyne Rivers, among the creeks which feed the Dawson and Don Rivers, in among the gorges and ridges of the Mt Larcombe, Callide and Dawes Ranges.

"The centres are under the wardenship of Mr David H. Jones, one of the foremost Wardens in the colony's service.

The Barmundoo Goldfield embraces Tableland, Little Tableland, Solitary, Crow's Creek and Moxham Gully an area of 100,000 acres. It is called the Tableland on account of there being a few acres of level country between the township and Cattle Creek .... Mosman's Creek was opened up by Mr John Carmichael and proved fairly payable .... South-west from Mt Futter's Hut, an elevation in the centre of the country which constitutes the Barmundoo Goldfield, lies the Cania and Kroombit Goldfield, situated on both sides of the Three Hoon Creek, and is very scattered. Very little prospecting has been done in the 22 miles between Cania and Monal.

"Monal Goldfield lies between Milton and Cania Goidfield at the headwaters of Monal Creek, a tributary of the Burnett River, the reefs lying high on the western side of Dawes Range. Between Monal and Cania lies Broad and Spring Creeks. Several reefs were opened up on the former in 1894, but as they either ran out or were too poor at a depth, the field was abandoned."17

As we shall see from excerpts taken from the diary of Thomas Clancy, he and his brother got to know this rugged country very well. As owners of a battery crushing ore for a number of miners, they also got to know those men well. When an area ceased to be profitable the miners moved on, and so the battery was moved, now at Broad Creek, now at Crow's Creek.

The wedding of Thomas and Ellen Peak in November 1889 at Cania, when his occupation was stated as miner, is our first clue to the presence of these two brothers in this area. This was in the early days of the goldfield, and conditions were very primitive. Among the papers of Thomas which have been retained in the family are two Miner's Rights, one issued at Eidsvold on 18th January 1888, and the other issued at Gladstone on 13th August 1892, and a 2nd Class Engine Driver's ticket issued at Monal on 19th August 1892.

Miner's Certificate

Miner's Right

Issued to Thomas G. Clancy

Richard Clancy and W.H. Bullen entered into partnership to establish a crushing plant which they operated on the Cania and other goldfields in the area. The diary of Thomas, which has survived and which relates to his mining activities, covers the years 1894, 1895 and 1898. The first two years deal with his mining at Cania, Monal and Crow's Creek; the 1898 diary deals with copper mining in the Mount Morgan area.

Excerpts from that diary help us to understand his work, his relation-ships with others, as well as giving occasional peeps into his domestic and social life, and Illustrate the kind of experiences he and Richard had as miners.


"1894. January 2. Recommenced crushing. Began work at 5.30 am. More rain this evening. Bullen did not come down on that account. Dick stopped working at 4.00 pm.
January 10 (Wednesday). Maddocks, Sutherland, Heffernan and Wilde's crushing, which was begun on 27th ultimo, was finished at 3.00 pm. The Dazzler quartz was started on at 8.00 pm.
January 11. About 2.00 am during my shift the cam broke, at 3.00 am, finished retorting Maddocks gold and got 48 ozs 10 dwts from 53 tons. The cam was repaired and work started again at 2.00 pm.
May 2 (Wednesday). Finished Hickey's five tons yesterday and cleaned up to-day for 3 ozs 2 dwts smelted gold. Took out the bolt that was leaking in the boiler and put a new one in. Emptied and cleaned out the boiler.
May 7 (Monday). Father Minnagh came. I have been very ill during the day. McNab took my shift at the engine.
May 27. The pump failed to supply enough water to work with on Wednesday and defied every effort at repairing it since.
May 29. Gave up trying to repair the pump yesterday, and sent for new rings for it. Cleaned up Right Bower stone to-day and retorted 45 ozs from 53 tons."

The first three weeks In June were spent in taking tubes out of the boiler, cleaning it, replacing new tubes, after which crushing re-commenced.

"July 20 (Friday). R.P.C., Bullen and Doyle went on a tour of inspection to Mt Rainbow and Crow's Creek.
July 28. Dick went with me to Spring Creek rush.
July 30. Bottomed a duffer at Spring Creek. Was very ill last week.
August 4. Dick and I started for Crow's Creek to arrange with George Lee and party about battery site and option of purchase of plant. We camped at foot of Diglum Range on Boorucca or Boolucca Creek.
August 5 (Sunday). Met Lee on Dan Dan and arranged satisfactorily with, went on to battery site and thence returned to Camp last night."

Then follows the account of preparations for the move, taking down the machinery, and arrangements for its transport.

"August 21. H. Schultie came and loaded our things. We camped near Wild Bull. Flynn's dray upset and broke the axle. Raining.
August 23. We left Camp at 1.45 pm, and camped at junction of Monal and Crooked Creeks. May quartered with Mrs Flynn. Nellie and I slept at Bullens."

Day after day progress made and camping places are recorded, until they arrived at Crow's Creek at 4.45 pm on Friday, 31st August.

"September 1. Began getting timber for building. Heavy rain set in at 7.00 pm.
September 18. Got my house fit to live in yesterday. Began getting bed logs for the battery. Bullen arrived tonight.
September 27. Flynn and Brown arrived with two loads of plant. One of Flynn's axles broke in the scrub.
September 29. Flynn and Childs went back yesterday for the load of the broken dray and returned to-day, this load being the last of machinery.
October 4. Arranged to let the company have the bark that Jimmy (later he was referred to as Kanaka Jimmy) stripped for me, so that the battery could be covered at once. Doyle began cutting firewood yesterday; his mate, C. Maguire chopped with the axe. He has gone home to Catfish.
October 6. Carted the bark to-day, 58 sheets in all. Bullen went home to-day. John Carmichael dined with us, and proceeded to Marblestone.
October 7 (Sunday). I visited the claims at Crow's Creek to-day and was shown some very nice specimens. Gold could plainly be seen in the stone in each paddock."

After giving account of resumption of crushing, he reveals a measure of antagonism between his brother and himself, which lasted for some time.

"November 8. The pump went wrong during Dick's shift. He went to bed at 6 o'clock and left Bullen to fix it.
November 12. The pump and its steam pipe went wrong during my shift at 6 o'clock am. I continued helping until my shift ended. John Carmichael pitched his tent near us on Friday last and went on Saturday to Marbelstone to bring his wife here.
November 17. Had some disagreeable words with Dick and Bullen about their treatment of me in connection with the battery.
November 22. Got £7 cheque from Dick. This will be the time to visit him."

Tom Clancy continued working at the crushing plant until 20th December, then he went prospecting. The whole of 1895 was taken up with prospecting and mining, but he had nothing to do that year with crushing at Crow's Creek. In April 1895, there was an exchange of letters between him and his brother about the amount Dick owed him. Though the letters indicate that Dick mentioned a lesser amount than Tom claimed, no reference is made to the amount finally agreed upon. Apart from this item, Tom does not refer to Dick during that year. The references are to prospecting and mining together with Ted and Walter Hounsham. They pegged claims in a number of places; they washed alluvial or sank shafts; sometimes when they bottomed they found a "duffer".

"1895. March 24. Sold Hounsham's humpy to John Carmichael for 2.
May 5 (Sunday). Wrote to Jason re goods to start Nellie in business at Tableland.
May 15. I commenced building on Tableland on Monday. Hounsham helping me until this evening. We have the frame nearly finished. Father Minnagh came to-day. Got letters from G.M. Stewart and Jason Boles, the latter agreeing to start Nellie with goods on the Tableland. (Probably there was no store handy, and Tom thought this would be a good venture for his wife to run a store.)
May 18. W. Black brought our goods from Boles' on Thursday for which I paid him 9/- to-day. I got on well with the building having enclosed the front, one end and back with bark to-day. W. Hounsham came to help me put on the roof, not being ready we arranged that Ted Hounsham and I should try our luck in Don Gully next week.
May 28. Went to Tableland and took Leon (his son, aged 8) with me to build a fowl house and closet. Going home passed Welch, and arranged to move up on Wednesday.
June 2 (Sunday). Began dismantling at Crow's Creek on Tuesday finished and removed to Tableland on Wednesday May 29, spent next three days fixing up our new house. Ted Hounsham called on Friday and spoke in terms of praise of the claim (ours)."

There follow accounts of shafts dug, alluvial washing, and this report and comment:

"Got 8½ dwts of gold, very small remuneration for 17 days.
July 20. On Thursday I pegged off a claim on the Georgiana line north of Holroyd's. Handed our application to Warden Jones for an extended claim 400 feet x 400 feet.
July 29. Made a paddock and track to it from the Mine. Broke down and wheeled out 30 cwt of quartz (12 barrow loads).
September 14. Bought auto-harp for Leonie. Made windows and shutters for front of house to-day.
December 20. Gave up trying anything at Little Tableland on Tuesday and decided to go west after Christmas. Prepared my pack saddle for the road. Sharpened picks. Made four drills and handle for pick and tomahawk."

So the year ends on a note summing up the disappointments that arose from small returns from much hard work, and hopes for something better in a new place. There are only a few scattered entries for 1896.

In the diary more than once he mentioned writing to the Queenslander and the Gladstone Observer giving reports of mining in the district. So when one reads in the mining section the report from Monal "from our special correspondent", one knows that at this time he was T.G. Clancy. I select two of these items from the Queenslander, the first on 29th December 1894 (the report was dated 29th November), and the second on 18th January 1896:

"Messrs R.P. Clancy and Co. are making rapid progress with the re-erection of their battery within a few yards of the mine, and hope to be reducing stone within the next fourteen days. Mr Warden Jones made a tour of the field last week, and on Friday laid off the Dazzler p.c. at Broad Creek. He gave the proprietors 500 feet as a renewal claim in addition to their ordinary 50 feet per man."

"At Crow's Creek the Alexia and Good Hope Co. crushed at Clancy's Mill 47¼ tons for a yield of 127 ozs."

The diary records writing to or receiving letters from Geraldine Stewart, Roger D'Ornay and Annie Brooks, writing letters and cheques for various firms, weather conditions, occasionally the visit of somebody, a trip towards Gladstone to get the mare Biddy, the mosquitoes are bad, and Welch the carrier brought 200 lbs of flour, 1 Ib box of tea and three tins of treacle. Once he mentioned that May and Nellie had quarrelled (something very rare for they were fond sisters-in-law). On 6th May 1894, Father Minnagh arrived and celebrated Mass.

Thomas Clancy interested himself enough in social issues to record that he wrote to the Worker (the socialist newspaper of Queensland, founded by William Lane) re fallen women.

Thomas was ever ready to try something new. In March 1894, he wrote to Brisbane for a pamphlet on sugar growing, and a fortnight later to the Ipswich Woolen Company (he does not say why). in the same month he received letters from Roger D'Ornay (who was still at Conargo) and D. Mc Donald recommending the scrub land at Raglan, near Bathurst, for farming.18

In addition to the information provided by Thomas in his diary, we have the following reports from Warden Jones:

1893. Monal Field, page 76:
"Clancy's 5 head battery has been removed to Broad Creek." 1894, page 69:
"Clancy's mill at Broad Creek was removed in the early part of the year to Crow's Creek and the former place is now deserted."
"During the past year Crow's Creek, 6 miles from the township of Tableland, has come to the front and Clancy's battery has been continually going since it started." 1895, page 95:
"The returns from the Crow's Creek Mill helped to swell the returns from this field, the last crushing from the "Mabel" P.C. of 20 tons yielding 181 ozs." 1897, page 66:
"During the year the (Crow's Creek) battery and tailings area changed hands, the purchaser being a Gympie speculator.19"

Richard Clancy was postmaster and mill-owner during the two years he was at Crow's Creek. As early as 1892, while he was still at Monal, he became a Justice of the Peace.

Monal was about 77 miles from Gladstone, Cania another 22 miles further and Crow's Creek was about 120 miles from Gladstone. These places were served by a weekly mail from Gladstone, and W. Bullen was Postmaster at Monal in 1895.20

Richard sold his battery in 1897, as reported in the Mount Morgan Truth:

"The five stamper battery recently purchased by a Mount Morgan Syndicate from the Clancy Brothers, Crow's Creek, near Gladstone, will shortly be on the ground and erected for the No 1 S.E. Champion. , The Syndicate will also crush for the public."21

When Richard and May Clancy went to Queensland they took with them two very young children. May returned to Victoria, and was with her sister-in-law, Eleanor Stewart, at Glenorchy, when her third child, Alice Mary Catherine was born on 20thJuly 1892. This was only a few months after Eleanor's husband died, and Richard and May may have returned to be with her for a time. Their fourth child, Thomas Joseph, was born on 14th June 1896, but it was not until 25th April 1897 that he was baptised by the Rev. Andrew Ryan of Mount Morgan. The parents address was given as Gladstone, to which place tbey had probably gone for a short while after the sale of the battery.22

It was in 1896 or shortly afterwards that Thomas Clancy, who appears to have been living a little further north, came down to Rockhampton with the intention of embarking for the Klondyke, where there was a gold rush, but he got no further. 23 This was at a time when he had nothing else definite offering. In the latter part of 1897 John Clancy died, but as the diary of Thomas for this period has not survived, no information can be obtained as to when they heard the news. It is hardly likely that Thomas and Richard made the journey to Wilcannia for the funeral. This death occurred in the in-between period for them, after they had completed mining in the goldflelds, and just before they recommenced mining at Mount Morgan.

It is appropriate to conclude this section with a poem written by Thomas which has reference to life on the goldfields:

If your inclination should be on pleasure bent
Just slip over to Patrick Duffy's tent;
He claims to own a fortune in an argentiferous block
On which he oft expatiated to the miners in a flock,
To the Calverts and the Clancys from Eidsvold d'ye see,
To the Welshe's and the Merrins from the mines of Old Gympie,
All singing in a chorus with the miners in a flock
Success to Patrick Duffy and his argentiferous block.

Yonder is John Allen who lives across the way,
On the subject of religion he has a lot to say,
In the Gladstone Observer he ventilated his views
And with a cynic's scathing pen his neighbours he'll abuse,
The Clancys and the Bullens that own the battery,
With whom to suit his own base ends he was an employee,
Singing in a chorus with the blacklegs in a flock
We'll pose ourselves as Unionists, and at free labour mock.

He deserves a castigation with the soft end of a brick,
A cowhide flagellation or a threshing with a stick,
From Whitney and McGowan with strength of energy,
To whom he's given ample cause for bitter emnity,
Singing in a chorus we'll banish for awhile
Our Gladstone correspondent to Guam's famous isle.


Either in the latter part of 1897 or early in 1898, Thomas and Richard Clancy moved to Mount Morgan, already a well-established town, with large mining activities. At that time, it had a population of 5,000. After the last few years of relative isolation from the regular ministries of their church they were now able to worship in the new Roman Catholic Church, erected in 1888. 25 Within a short period of time Thomas had so gained the confidence of the priest, Rev. Andrew Ryan, that he gave Thomas certain authority in his mining ventures. A letter written by him, dated May 28, 1898, reads:

"As holder of the highest number of shares in the Champion G Mine, No 190, Mt Morgan and representing by proxy 71/10 (7/10 seven tenths) of the Mine, in the absence of more responsible authority I hereby authorise and give you power to undertake the Management of the said claim from May 30th 1898 and to do all things necessary (engaging men, making calls on shareholders, etc.) to the best interests of the Mine."

The letter was addressed to Mr T.G. Clancy. 26 So from this time he was associated with this Mine in a managerial capacity. About the same time he made application for a goldfields homestead, and the Warden's Court on Thursday, 9th June, "approved and authorised Thomas G. Clancy to occupy 4 acres, 2 roods, Dairy Creek". 27 About this time, also, a Mining Association was formed, and among those who attended a meeting of the Association, on Thursday, 10th June, was Clancy (no initials given, but it would have been either Thomas or Richard).

In August, the following report appeared in the Mount Morgan Truth:

"Copper Lode. Hearing rumours that a rich copper lode had been discovered, we made enquiries, and find that the Clancy Brothers brought some very fine specimens of stone into town showing copper in abundance - in fact it is described as being in solid flakes like the old fashioned pennies of King George IV. A syndicate has been formed, we understand in Rockhampton to work the lode. The first sample sent to Aldershot realised 38%. The stone brought into town was found in a tunnel 60 yards away from where the stone was found that yielded the above assay. This latter find, it is estimated, will give a far larger return than the first assay."28

From this time on the Clancy Brothers were mining copper. A portion of the diary of Thomas for the latter part of 1898 has survived, and is worth recording in full because it reveals something of the difficulty and frustration associated with the establishment of a battery in a new location.

"September 29 (Thurs). Began work at Westwood dismantling the battery.
October 1. Returned in the afternoon to Mt Morgan. No one turned up.
October 3. Back at Westwood. No one arrived there to help me.
October 4. Went into Westwood and wired Mr Rogers enquiring why neither man or teams came. Tried to get man but failed.
October 5. Blazed trail to battery to enable teamsters to find it, and returned home.
October 6. Tried to hire a man at Mt Morgan.
October 7. Returned to Westwood. Teams arrived during evening.
October 8. Began pulling down and loading. Mr Rogers came at noon.
October 9. Continued dismantling, and sent one dray load to Wycarbalm ( ? word uncertain).
October 10. Dismantling again.
October 11. Completed dismantling and loading and returned home.
October 12. Made preparations for going to Rosewood. The horse trod on my foot and crippled it.
October 13. Rested all day on account of my sore foot.
October 14. Had to go to the doctor.
October 15. Rested.
October 16. Travelled to Wycarbalm (?) and camped out.
October 17. Arrived at Rosewood about 4 o'clock. Teams arrived.
October 18. Fixed site of battery and pump.
October 19. Engaged a man and started excavation for foundation and building "humpy."

The diary ends here but among his papers is another page with these words:

"Arrived at Rosewood battery site October 17th 1898.
Put Fred to work on 19th. And S. Egan on 20th for two days at 7/6."

Then follows another entry on that page, the last entry:

"Things got for Rosewood.
50 flour, 20 sugar, 1 tea, 1 salt, 4 plates 3/6, 1 basin -/9, beef 14 3/-, goods 7/6, butter and eggs 2/-;
Nov 9. 6lb beef l/3. 12th 8 beef 1/8. 20th 6 beef, vinegar -/9, milk I."29

That sore foot gave him much more trouble than the brief reference to it in the diary indicates. The humpy became his dwelling, which was some distance from where his wife and family were. His wife in a letter to him, dated Mt Morgan, November 1898, wrote:

"Glad to see Mr Hounsham's letter to Dick that your foot at last has taken a change for the better."

Among other news items there is some about her own family and Dick's family:

"Jack (Dick's son) nearly lost his life on Monday. He was sent over to the grocer's, and either going or coming, he got a fit and fell into a hole, and had to be carried home. He got over it. He was well enough to go with Richie to the Park yesterday."30

Richard P. Clancy and John L. Blood-Smith applied to the Mineral Court on 17th November 1898 for mineral lease No 3 of 120 acres at Moonmerra. This was recommended and twelve men were to be employed until further notice. The Court also dealt with other applications for leases at Moonmerra. A further application by Clancy and Blood-Smith was made on 5th January 1899 for a mineral lease of 40 acres at Moonmerra. This, too, was recommended, and four men were to be employed on this lease. Application was also made for six months exemption for mineral lease No 5 on the grounds that the management was making arrangements to form a company to provide suitable machinery for the treatment of copper ore. This application was also recommended.31

By this time, Thomas was bringing to a close his involvement in mining, and planning to take his family south. The three older children would have received most of their education on the goldfields and at Mt Morgan. The one reference to this in the diary is an indirect one - "March 26, 1894 (Easter Monday). Went with Nellie to the School Concert at Monal. It was good and well attended." Probably, Leonice and Leon were taking some part in it. The teacher at that time was Augustus Puller. That reference was on of the very few recreational activities recorded in his diary.32


Through the ten years Thomas lived in Queensland he kept up constant correspondence with his daughter, Annie Brooks, and other relatives. Undoubtedly, there was a pull back to Victoria, and this finds expression in an undated poem from his pen:


I've climbed the rugged mountain paths
Of sunny New South Wales,
Traversed her arid burning plains
And rich alluvial vales,
Beheld her clad in vernal robes
Bedecked with blossoms o'er,
Admired their varied hues and tints
O'er meadow, hill and shore;
But though amid her fairest scenes
My wandering footsteps roam,
My heart has fondly yearned for thee
Beloved Victorian home.

South Australia's cereal fields
With pleasure I have seen,
And through her fertile pastoral meads
A wandered often been;
I've looked across mountains steep,
Her deserts rambled through,
And viewed beyond her southern shore
Pacific's Ocean blue;
But while upon its billowed breast
I watched the nestling foam
My heart still fondly yearned for thee
Beloved Victorian home.

I've roamed afar o'er Queensland downs
Her tropic grandeur viewed;
And through her forest wilderness
My roaming course pursued;
I have upon her mountain heights
Watched with enraptured eye
The gold enriched by crimson glow
Adorn the western sky;
Yet there's no place where I have been
'Neath heaven's bespangled dome
Could win a thought of mine from thee
Beloved Victorian home."

Having settled his affairs in Mount Morgan, Thomas took his family to Brisbane, where he embarked on the SS Wollowra on 16th lanuary 1899. They were booked to travel to Melbourne, but they disembarked at Sydney, and made their home at 20 Gerard Street, at that time the suburb was called North Sydney, but now the street is in Neutral Bay. During this time he was a storekeeper at Chatswood.33

It was during this time that A.B. "Banjo" Paterson drew up his Will, dated 14th March 1899. It was also while he was in Sydney that he obtained the character reference from James W. Boultbee, dated 2nd June 1899. Was Thomas even then, at the age of 64 years, thinking of finding country work? Perhaps being a storekeeper was not altogether to his liking. He also became a Registered Bookmaker in the Leger Reserve, his ticket, No 59, issued by H.S. Clibborn, Hon. Sec., being valid until 31st July 1899.34

Whether Thomas communicated his thoughts about other work to his brother we do not know, but Richard did try to pursuade him to return to Queensland:

"I think you are losing a good chance by not being here now, for this dredging business is going to be a good thing, and a big one too. I know of several places that I could lay you on to if here that are well worth looking after, and there is plenty of money to be got to develop them. I have applied for 4 miles of Crocodile Creek as prospecting dredging area and I think they will be granted. Reuben Wood (? name not clear) and Jimmy Stewart are in it with me. There is still plenty of room on Crocodile Creek for others, and I don't think it will keep long. You should not lose time if you think of coming."

Thomas did not take up Richard's suggestion, but he did return to Queensland for a short while after Richard's wife died in October. In a letter written two or three weeks after that death, Richard mentioned arrangements different people were making to go to him, and it seems obvious from that letter that he hopes his brother and Nellie will stay for some time.

"I shall be very glad to see you all again, and hope that you will soon settle matters so that you can come. We can see about where you will live after you arrive. There is a vacant house near here belonging to Jack Thorne that can be got if you wish for a time. He is thinking of asking 9/- a week for it. No one has been living in it yet."35

Apparently, Thomas settled his affairs in Sydney, sent to Mount Morgan for a time, then went to Victoria in 1900. He made his home at 751 Drummond Street, Carlton and this became the place visited by many relatives when they went to Melbourne, and also visited by a number of enlisted persons passing through Melbourne from up country or interstate en route to World War One. Henceforward, Thomas lived a semi-retired life, during which he started to write his memoirs, but did not get very far with them. In was in 1910 that his interview with a reporter was published in The Advocate, from which I have quoted in the course of this story. In 1912 he was still busy. He made dressing tables and chairs, and a pair of boots for himself.36

As he neared the end of his life, he longed to see Richard and his daughter, Alice, again. He tried to persuade Alice to go down in 1913. A few months before he died he tried hard to persuade Richard to visit him. Replying to Annie Clancy, who wrote telling of Thomas' death, Richard, referring to his own son, Tom, who had enlisted, wrote:

"Tom offered to pay my fare to Melbourne and back some months ago but I would not take it from him. I am sorry now that I did not, as I would have seen your father again if I had."37

Thomas Gerald Clancy died on 4th September 1914, aged 78 years. His was a very full and varied life, and more than his parents, brothers and sisters, he has left behind a much more complete account of that life in memoirs and reminiscences, diaries, poetry and other papers. He was at various times, newspaper boy, station hand, dairyman, hawker, drover, bush worker, hotel-keeper, carpenter, miner, storekeeper. Irish born, he became "a true child of the bush", inured to hardship, resourceful, able to fix machinery or build a home, quietly philosophical, well-read, with an interest in social conditions, and with sympathies for the battler and under-dog.

Richard, in his letter to Annie Brooks, after thanking her for giving particulars of Thomas' "last days on earth", proceeds:

"It is a good thing that he was so well prepared. I am sure he has reached a better-place and you should all be thankful that he has passed away so quietly."

Was he well prepared? The life he lived did not permit of regular church-going, but whenever possible he established close relations with priests, and he maintained and inculcated in his family the "faith of his fathers".

He expressed his religious faith in this poem:

"Jesus, Saviour or mankind
Grant my soul be still inclined
Its hope of heaven in thee to find,
Guide me to thy throne.
Thou who art of King of Kings
Permit my tongue with fervent ring
Eternally thy praise to sing,
Guide me to-thy throne,
Guide me to thy throne,
Guide me to thy throne,
Jesus grant that angels may
Guide me to thy throne.

Holy Mary Virgin mild,
Sinless, pure and-undefiled,
Mother of the Saviour Child,
Guide me to thy throne;
Advocate with him my cause,
Free my heart from sinful flaws,
Save my soul from Satan's claws,
Claim me as thine own.

St. Joseph guide my thoughts aright,
Cleanse me from my sinful plight,
Make me pure in Jesus sight,
Guide me to his throne.
Intercede with him for me,
Grant that I in heaven may be,
And dwell eternally with thee,
Guide me to his throne."

By his first wife, Kate, Thomas had five chilren. Two died young. The eldest son, Frank, who had travelled with his father on droving trips, became a Warder at the Mental Hospital at Beechworth. He applied for a transfer to Melbourne in order that he could further the education of his children, and he settled at Preston. Later, he became an attendant at the Museum. Like his father he married twice. His first wife was Mary Ellen Burns, and they had four children -John; Helen; Ada, who became a nun, Sister Benedict Joseph of the Good Samaritan Convent; and Gertrude, who married Charles Langridge. After Charles died, Gertrude, became a nun and founded a Convent at Croydon, Victoria, whose members are the Sisters of Reparation. Francis Clancy's second wife was Annie Frances Mithen and they had three children - Kathleen; Patricia; and Dorothy.

Thomas Clancy's eldest daughter, Mary, married F. Kelly, and they had one child, Eileen. Mention has already been made of Annie, who married Fred Brooks.

Agnes, Edward (Ned), John, Richard P., Richard Clancy

Clancy Family Group
Standing L to R. Leon, Leonice, Anne
Sitting: "Nellie", Thomas Gerald, Thomas

There were four children born to Thomas Gerald and "Nellie" Clancy. Their eldest child, Leonice, married Nicholas Curran, and they lived on a property "Wyandra", Tintaidra, which was a sub-division of Waileragong station in the Corryong district on the upper Murray. After her husband's death, Leonice and her daughter, Patricia, moved to Albury, and, still later, they lived at Doncaster.

Leon roamed around quite a lot, both before and after the First World War, in which he served. He and his wife Ruby had three children -John, Norman and Shirley.

Anne entered a convent with the intention of becoming a nun. While still a novice she heard of her father's death, and left the convent to be with her mother. She married George Perkins Taylor, a representative for Gilbey's, a wine and spirits firm. He died in 1963 and she in 1966. They had six children - Eileen; Betty (Sister Raymonde); Thomas; George; Margaret Jach; and Gerald.39

Thomas Richard was a traveller for a liquor firm, United Distilleries. The journal of the Licensed Victualler's Assoc1ation for 26th February 1932 had an article about him, entitled "Mr Thomas Richard Clancy -He's Clancy's Son". A cartoon accompanying the article showed him riding a bottle labelled "Old Court Whisky". He called his home in Alphinton, Victoria, "Moonmerra", named after the last place in which as a boy he lived in Queensland. He married Winifred McIntyre, and they had two children - Maureen and Raymonde. He died in 1947, and his widow lives in Lithgow, NSW.40

Except for one family living in Lithgow and one in Paris, most of the descendants of Thomas Gerald Clancy live in Victoria.


At the time Thomas Clancy left Queensland, Richard's wife, May, had a terminal illness, and she did not live the year through. She was away from home a lot in an endeavour to receive treatment that might be of benefit. May had cancer and doctors advised her to go south, so she left on 22nd July 1899 per SS Bulara for Sydney, where she stayed for a short while with Thomas and Nellie Clancy, then went on by boat to Melbourne.

Prior to leaving Mount Morgan she said good-bye to the staff at the hospital, Father Ryan and the nuns, as if this was a final farewell. Richard started to make plans to sell out and move to Victoria on the doctor's advice that May would not be able to return to Queensland. Two days before she sailed, Richard and May were present (by invitation) in Rockhampton for the installation of Bishop Higgins.

In Melbourne, May entered Hopetoun Mouse, St. Kilda, under the care of Dr. Power. While there she saw a lot of Annie Brooks and Frank Clancy, and had letters from, among others, Geraldine Johnstone and Mary Doran. Frank had been bereaved of his first wife, had a bad run with housekeepers, and was very thin, no doubt worrying how to manage best for his four young children. May wrote to Nellie Clancy, "Annie and I advised him to marry a nice sensible girl, a good Catholic whom we both knew, and so he did". May gave a present, but left just prior to the wedding. She left early in September, travelling on the Wodonga, saw the Clancys in Sydney, and continued the journey to Queensland.41

Though Richard was still trying to sell out, he felt they could not sacrifice their home "as it is immensely improved, two new rooms and a handsome verandah". May was confined to bed after her return, and died at her home at North Calliungal, Mount Morgan, on 7th October 1899, aged 46 years, leaving four children whose ages ranged from 13 to 3 years. But, as Richard wrote to his brother, "they got so used to their poor mother being away that they do not miss her now". A Mrs Knight was looking after the home till Richard could get someone else. Thomas and his family and Geraldine Johnstone travelled north to be with Richard for awhile.42

May's death altered any plans Richard had for selling out and going to Victoria. He continued his mining activities. In 1902 he was at Cawarral, about 17 miles north-east of Rockhampton, where Alice and Tom attended the convent school. 43 The idea of settling in Victoria must have recurred in Richard's mind, for his sister, Mary Doran, writing to her brother Thomas, mentioned that she had heard from Dick, who decided to remain in Queensland. She considered this wise, for work was hard to get in Victoria, and she added:

"He is so well known there. He will be sure to make a living and keep his family together, but as you say, it may be along time, or perhaps never before we see him again."44

Necessity or choice had scattered members of the Clancy family, but that sentence indicates how strong were the family ties. Of the four remaining members one was in Queensland, one in Adelong, NSW, one in Melbourne, and one at Watchupga, north-western Victoria. About ten years later, Richard did go on a visit to Victoria, taking his daughter Alice, and while there they attended the wedding of Nellie Stewart and Patrick Pollard at Glenorchy on 1st November 1914, and also visited his sister, Mary, at Watchupga.

Richard continued his mining activities. In 1902, it was reported that prospecting work was still being steadily prosecuted at Moonmerra Copper Mine. A number of tunnels had been put in, and shafts were being sunk. The mine continued producing an average of 3.8% of copper. 45In 1904, he was at Crocodile Creek. It appears that he relinquished mining some time before 1908. in that year, in a letter to his sister, Mary, he mentioned that the family were in their new house in Dee Street, Mount Morgan, which his son Dick had built, He added: "I have not been doing anything since I came to the Mount. Could not see anything to go in for, but Jack and I are going to work at some tailings tomorrow. I have had them for a long time but could not treat them successfully. We are trying a new process and hope to succeed."

The same letter refers to members of Mary's family getting married, and he also mentioned having received a letter from Jessie Clancy:

"She and most of the family are settled at a place named Dorrigo near the Nambucca River, New South Wales and she says they are better off now than ever they were. One of her sisters and her brother Willie (my father who married in that month, October) were to be married shortly."46

The sister was Anne, but she did not marry till a few years later. Dick also mentioned that he heard from "old Tom lately".

Though Richard said he could not find anything to go in for, the situation soon changed, and in the following year, he applied for a mining lease:

"This is to mention that the undermentioned person made application this day for lease under Mining Regulations for ground known as ML 109 containing 56 acres, situate at Mt Chalmers .... etc.

R.P. Clancy

Dated at Rockhampton this 19th day of June 1909

H.L. Archdall, Warden."47

The application was heard at Rockhampton on 4th August. I do not know the outcome, but probably it was granted, so that even at 67 years of age he was still engaged in mining, and he kept this up for a few more years. Writing to his brother in December 1911, he states:

"I intend going down the Don prospecting after Christmas. Dick and Tom are going with me for a week. The railway will soon be running as far as Dundee and if I can find anything good I can easily get help to go on with it then........No word from Jack yet. It is hard to say where he is." (Probably John had gone looking for work.)

In 1913 he mentioned being excited over the Election, but expressed disappointment that Labour did not quite make it. Late in 1914 (he was then 72 years old) he was still working:

"I am getting on well at my work here, but I am only getting a pound a week and found, and none can save much on that."48

His two sons, John and Tom, enlisted soon after the commencement of World War One, and Richard showed a father's natural concern for their well-being. In fact, he asked his niece, Annie Clancy, to try and persuade Tom, who was on the SS Rangatira at Port Melbourne, not to go:

"I wrote to him last night and told him that there was a good billet offering to him at Rockhampton, and that if he wished to take it I could stop him. I left it to himself whether he went or came back, and to wire me Yes, if he wished to stay, of course I should like him to come back."49

The following month Richard went to Victoria, met up with relatives, attended the wedding of his grand-niece, Nellie Stewart, then travelled by train and visited his sister, Geraldine, at "The Meadows", Adelong. He wrote that her daughter, "Kitty", was going with him when he went on to Sydney, and that he would try and meet the Express there to see Leonice, who was travelling to Sydney on it. He then returned to his home at Canton House, Mount Morgan.50

Early in 1915 he received word that Tom had caught up with Jack at last, in Egypt, and "Tom says that Jack has not altered a bit since he saw him last. Only he has got much quieter". Richard hopes they will stay in Egypt for some time, "it is the best place for them". In the same letter, which was written to Anne Clancy in Melbourne, he wrote:

"Annie Clancy of the Dorrigo Clancys got married lately to a man named Cork. Aggie brought a cutting from a paper with an account of the wedding. They seemed to have had a great time of it. My finger is quite right again. I consider I was lucky to get off with such a trifling hurt."

Just one week before the landing at Anzac Cove, Richard wrote to Anne Clancy again, stating that Alice had received a long letter from Tom:

"Jack had only just got over the measles, that is about his normal luck. He gets almost anything that is going.......I think they must be in Egypt still. I hope they are, the longer they are there the better .....I am still holding my billet but I do not know how long it will last, as I had some words with my boss last week, and I may get the sack over it."

In a P.S., he wrote that he had a letter "from poor old Mrs Garrett last week....She is one of my oldest friends". This was the widow of his partner at Wanganella and Booligal.

ln his next letter to Annie he congratulated her on her marriage, and mentioned that Tom had just gone back to the Front after a six weeks spell. It was wth a heavy heart that he wrote, "I hope he is still safe and sound", 51 because a fortnight earlier word came to him that John had been killed in action. In answer to a letter of sympathy from Nellie, he wrote:

"Thanks for the kind letter of sympathy on the death of "my poor Jack". It was good of you to get a Mass said. I trust he has reached the golden place and that God will be good to him. We were in the midst of a Mission here when we got a wire saying he was killed in action. ....there were many prayers said for him."52

When his son, Richard, went to live in Windsor, Brisbane, in 1921, Richard Patrick Clancy went and lived with them. The following year he became ill and was admitted to Brisbane General Hospital where he was under the care of Kenneth J.G. Wilson. During that time he recited to staff and patients some of Paterson's poems. He died on 8th December 1922, aged 80 years, the cause of death being "Lobar Pneumonia, Toxaemia, Heart Failure". The burial was in the Roman Catholic Cemetery, Nudgee, Father R. Walsh officiating.53

Alice and Richard P. Clancy

Alice and Richard P. Clancy

Like other Clancys he had plenty of initiative, was energetic and unafraid to try something new. He, too, had a variety of occupations, but they were chiefly related to mining and storekeeping. He was also a Justice of the Peace. Of the children of Thomas and Anne Clancy, only Geraldine now remained, and it is not known whether she made the trip to Brisbane when he died.


Richard Clancy, son of R.P. Clancy, was married to Agnes Hunter McLean in the Catholic Presbytery, Mount Morgan, on 25th March 1911. His occupation was given as "clerk", and that of his father as "storekeeper". Agnes was born In 1886 in Stirling Scotland, and was a Presbyterian, although later she became a convert to the Roman Catholic faith.54

Richard and Agnes had four children - Richard Patrick (1911), Edward Charles ("Ned") (1913), John Manus (1916) and Jessie Agnes (1919). In the case of all four children, at their baptisms at least, one sponsor was surnamed Diamond. Agnes' mother, nee Jane Whyte, was widowed in Scotland, and came to Australia about 1887. She remarried, in Queensland, a man named Diamond, and the sponsors were children of this union Edward John, Jane Isabella, Manus and Bernard.55

When Richard moved to Brisbane he became a chartered accountant with the firm of J.B. Chandler. He moved to Coogee, New South Wales, about 1930, and established his own business in Martin Place, Sydney. Agnes died in 1939, and Richard in July 1945, just before the cessation of hosilties in a war in which he was a strong supporter of the allied cause.56

John Henry Clancy enlisted in Sydney in the 4th Battalion of the 1st Brigade, and in mid-September 1914 he with many other soldiers marched through the streets of Sydney. In the fourth week of September they embarked and went first to King George's Sound, Western Australia. The 38 transports left on 1st November, "Banjo" Paterson travelling with them as a war correspondent. By 3rd December the men were disembarking at Alexandria, and were encamped on the edge of the Libyan desert. They struck camp on 3rd April, and later sailed for Gallipoli. The story of the landing of the Anzacs is well known. The 4th Battalion was kept in reserve till 4.00 pm on 25th April, and then it was sent to fill a gap in the lines on Pine Ridge. From then on it was constantly engaged. They captured Lone Pine, but were then ordered to retreat. Some time during that campaign John was killed, his actual period of fighting lasting six days. He was the first Clancy to enlist, the first to die in battle, being 29 years of age.A first cousin once removed, John Charles Clancy, son of Thomas of Ashfield, was also killed at Gallipoli about three months later, also aged 29 years.57

Agnes, Edward (Ned), John, Richard P., Richard Clancy

Agnes, Edward (Ned), John,
Richard P., Richard Clancy

Thomas Joseph Clancy was in the 30th Battalion, and after service in Gallipoli he served in France, and returned to Australia on 22nd February 1917. After wandering around for awhile, he married Florence (surname not known), and settled in Geelong, where he was an electrician. They had four children - John Richard, May, Joan and Leon.58

Alice Clancy, who for a while was a governess-housekeeper to a Mr and Mrs Gibson, went on 9th June 1915 to commence nursing in Dr O'Brien's Hospital, Rockhampton. She was married to John Thomas McFarlane at Rockhampton on 30th December 1920 by the Rev. Rudolphus Rickerby. John McFarlane was born at Blackall, Queensland, on 17th Nay 1895, and he was successively fitter in the mines at Mount Morgan and stockman at Springsure, after which he became a linesman with the Postmaster-General's Department, and lived at Brisbane, Warwick, Boonah and Sandgate. He served in both the First and Second World Wars. Just prior to his death he was working again as a stockman at "Dulacca" outside Brisbane. He died in Brisbane on 26th August 1967, and Alice, his wife, also died in Brisbane on 25th March 1975. Their children were - Audrey (1921), Alice (1923), Richard (1925), Sydney (1926) and Graham (1927).59

Descendants of Richard Patrick and May Clancy are scattered over the three eastern States of Australia and in Canada.

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