Appeal Against The Death Sentence

Events - Judgement In 1850's Australia

Despite the death sentences, an appeal was made on a point of law. Because of the small number of Supreme Court Justices, the court of appeal was made up of Sir Alfred the Chief Justice, and Justices Hargrave and Cheeke. The rejection of a new trial by two to one led many to believe that the conviction of the Clarkes was not altogether satisfactory. A memorandum was sent to the Governor, Sir John Young and the Executive Council.

In the end, neither the Governor nor the ministry decided to interfere with the sentence imposed on either of the Clarkes . They were visited by their two sisters, their brother Jack (brought in from Cockatoo Island Prison), and their uncle Mick Connell (in gaol in Sydney awaiting his trial as one of their harbourers under the Felon's Apprehension Act for supplying food, gin and ammunition to the bushrangers in October 1866 as evidenced by his brother's 20 year old pregnant lover, Lucy Hurley).

Tom Clarke, 26, and his brother John, 24, were hanged from twin gallows at Darlinghurst Jail on 25th June 1867, ending a reign of terror on the south coast of NSW which had cost the lives of at least 8 men.