John Cunningham1

M, #327, b. 3 October 1814, d. 16 December 1857
FatherWilliam Cunningham2
MotherMargaret Sullivan2 b. 18 Aug 1792
Relationship2nd great-grandfather of Keith Graham Bassett
ChartsAncestors of Keith Graham Bassett
Last Edited5 Apr 2022
Baptism*3 October 1814 Cloyne, Cork, Ireland;
John Cunningham
Parents: Wm Cunningham & Margt Sullivan, Cloyne
Sponsors: John McCraith & Allicia Nason1 
News-Arct*27 February 1840 "The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier", Cork, Ireland;
The Ship LADY CLARKE, of 600 tons burden, ALEXANDER LAWRENCE, Commander, will leave Gravesend pn the 12th, and Plymouth on the 20th of April, direct for Sydney.
These are first=class Ships, have poops, and the first order of accommodation for cabin, intermediate, and steerage passengers, will carry experienced Surgeons, and sail with strict punctuality.
Mechanics, Labourers, Shepherds, and Female Servants are in much demand in the above Colony. Such persons as may apply are requested to state their age, and the names of the Roman Catholic and protestant Ministers resident in their Parish. All particulars known on application to
Australian Emigration Agent, Cork, 19 Church Street.
Feb. 22. 1840.
;Principal=Stephen Cunningham3 
Immigration*14 August 1840 "Lady Clarke", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
John Cunningham

Unmarried Male Immigrant

Arrived by the Ship: Lady Clarke
Brought out by: J Marshall
Native of: Cloyne - Co. of Cork - Son of William (Hatter) and Margaret his wife
Calling: Labourer
Age: 20 Years
Persons certifying Registry of Baptism: No certificate
Character, and Person certifying the same: John Kennifuh & Daniel Fenton both of Cloyne
State of bodily health, strength, and probable usefulness: Good
Religion: Roman Catholic
Remarks: reads and writes
No Complaint

To Agricultural Company4,5 
News-Arct*15 August 1840 "Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
Shipping Intelligence
LADY CLARKE, ship, 430 tons, Laurence, master, from Plymouth on the 20th April, and the Cape of Good Hope on the 7th July, with 203 bounty immigrants. Walker & Co., Agents. Passengers-Cabin - Messrs. McAlister, McLean, Thomson, Owen, Zemines, Rev. Mr. McKinnon, and Miss McAlister. Intermediate-Mr. Morgan and family, Mrs. Stockdale and family, Messrs. Middleton, and McDonald, News-This vessel has brought out 203 immigrants, besides their children, they consist of mechanics, agricultural labourers, shepherds. &c., &c., consigned to the house of Messrs. Walker and Co.; four births occurred during the voyage, one before reaching the Cape and three on Sunday last, no deaths took place on the voyage.
;Principal=Stephen Cunningham6 
… for ordinary shepherds P P King suggested to the directors that it would be better for the Company to send out unskilled labourers who could be trained as shepherds in Australia’s special conditions, rather than skilled English shepherds who would have to be retrained.
In 1838 the directors former a sub-committee to look for a suitable group of labourers. In November the committee interviewed Mr Marshall, Emigration Agent of Birchin Lane in the City of London. Through his Irish Agents, John Bresnard Jr of Gorey, County Wicklow and Mr Clendennin of Cork, Marshall agreed to obtain a hundred labourers to be delivered to Plymouth. His commission would be £5 per head and £3 for the Irish Agents. The emigrants, young (18 to 27) and single, were to be advanced their passage money and £5 for immediate expenses. Their wages in NSW would [be] £15 per annum. H T Ebsworth, the Company’s London Secretary, went to supervise their departure from Plymouth. There were immediate difficulties: some of the young men did not arrive from Ireland and others refused to embark.
Thirty one sailed aboard Lady Clarke, thirty one on the Mary Anne, three on the Lord Western, fourteen on the Isabella, one (and possibly others who intended to sail on the Isabella) on the Royal Consort and twenty one on the Lady Macnaughton.
Mr Marshall’s responsibilities ended on delivering the immigrants to Sydney. Much depended on the Company’s Agents in Sydney, Messrs Edwards & Hunter (Messrs Walker & Co were Marshall’s Agents), being forewarned of arrivals so that ships could be met, the Company’s immigrants identified immediately by name, and forwarded to Port Stephens.
The Lady Clarke arrived without due notice and the Company’s immigrants were left to roam the streets of Sydney for five days. Several, told they were Bounty emigrants and not tied to the Company, engaged themselves elsewhere at £40 and £50 a year.
When the Company’s ‘servants’ were finally gathered and interviewed by King, they complained of misinformation from Manning’s Irish Agent: alleging promises of an acre of land and the milk of a cow between four; clothing and all found for three years. They also complained of the poor quality of the clothes supplied to them at Plymouth, and paid for out of their advance money.
Of the 26 from the Lady Clarke who finally reached Port Stephens, eight were regarded as being fit only for agricultural labour – the remainder “might” make shepherds. They were not comfortable newcomers and caused a good deal of anxiety and trouble.
Over the next twelve months most of the Irish who reached Port Stephens absconded, and of the few who remained even fewer would shepherd. The others were crowded into the Agricultural Department to serve out their contracts and repay their passage. The conduct of the Irish immigrants, “their generally bad character and their utter inability as well as determined refusal to be made shepherds” made King think seriously of reducing the number of sheep at Port Stephens.;Principal=Stephen Cunningham7 
News-Arct5 October 1840 "The Sydney Herald", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
To the Editor of the Sydney Herald.
Sir,—I observe by your report of the debates in Council, that Mr James came forward to vindicate his employer, Mr Marshall, and the Attorney General to vindicate his countrymen against what they call the unfounded aspersions of the press, on the subject of Irish immigrants sent out in Mr. Marshall's bounty ships.
Now, Sir, in the investigation of this question I would recommend that the enquiries of the committee should be directed to one individual ship, let them take the last of Mr. Marshall's ships, the Lady Clarke, and let them take the evidence of the cabin passengers as to the character and general conduct during the passage of the Irish immigrants in that ship-both male and female. Let them call on the Rev. Mr. Thomson, now on his way to Port Phillip, and on Mr. Marsh nephew of Sir Francis Forbes, and who is, I believe, still at Sydney, to state what they know of these people, and, after having ascertained what their conduct has been on board ship, let them call on Captain King, the Commissioner of the Australian Agricultural Company, to state what their conduct has been on shore since they landed in this Colony.
After such an investigation I suspect neither the Attorney General nor Mr. James will have any ground to accuse the press of exaggeration as to the class of people shipped by Mr. Marshall from the South of Ireland. Besides, Sir, we do not want any Roman Catholic immigrants. We have quite enough among the convict population.
This is a Protestant Colony, and we wish to keep it so. We know enough of the horrible system of perjury, raping, and murder, which has devastated that beautiful country, Ireland, for centuries past; not to dread lest a similar system should at a future period be introduced here. I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
;Principal=Stephen Cunningham8 
Marriage*9 November 1851 Bathurst, NSW, Australia;
I, John Cunningham do hereby declare that I am a Member of, or hold Communion with the Roman Catholic Church
John Cunningham (signed)
I, Ellen Connell do hereby declare that I am a Member of, or hold Communion with the Roman Catholic Church
Ellen Connell (her mark)
I, Jerome Keating of Bathurst Minister of Bathurst do hereby certify that
John Cunningham of Belleview
and Ellen Connell of Belleview
were joined together in wedlock by me, on the 9th day of November, 1851, at Bathurst
In the presence of
Michael O'Donnell of Bathurst his mark
Catherine Connell of Bathurst her mark
;Bride=Ellen Connell9 
Death*16 December 1857 Caloola (nr Bathurst), NSW, Australia;
Name: John Cunninghame
Date of Death: 16/12/1857
Place: Caloola, near Bathurst NSW
Occupation: Shepherd
Sex: Male
Age: 31
Place of Birth: County Cork Ireland
Time in Aust Colonies: 17 years in NSW

Father: William Cunninghame
Occupation: Hat Maker
Mother: Margaret Sullivan

Place of Marriage: Bathurst NSW
Age at Marriage: 26
Name of Spouse: Ellen Connall
Children of Marriage: John 4, Margaret 2, William 5m living, 1 girl dead

Informant: Michl Kent (his mark), Ship mate, farmer, Wardell near Bathurst, certified by George Larna.... (remainder of surname caught in binding), farmer and grazier, tenant, Caloola near Bathurst

Cause of Death: Unspecified
Length of Illness:
Medical Attendant:
Date Last Seen:

Date of Burial: 18/12/1857
Place of Burial: Bathurst
Minister & Religion: J Phelan, Roman Catholic
Undertaker: Kerr and Rae
Witnesses: Michael Kent, Thomas Flood
Registered: 17/12/1857 Bathurst2 
News-Arct21 August 1861 "The Sydney Morning Herald", Sydney, NSW, Australia;
CLOYNE, 1840, Ship Lady Clarke.—JOHN or STEPHEN CUNNINGHAM, who arrived in Sydney as emigrants by the above ship, are requested to communicate with BEAUMONT and CHAPMAN, 470, George-street.
;Principal=Stephen Cunningham10 


Ellen Connell b. 18 Sep 1831, d. 25 Dec 1888


  1. [S1534] Susanna Russell, "Mallow Heritage Centre."
  2. [S1294] NSW Death Registration Transcription.
  3. [S1726] Findmypast Irish newspapers, online, The Southern Reporter and Cork Commercial Courier, February 27, 1840.
  4. [S1303] Passenger Ships arriving in Australasian Ports.
  5. [S1301] NSW Immigration Boards List.
  6. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, Sydney Monitor and Commercial Advertiser, Saturday, August 15, 1840.
  7. [S1832] P A Pemberton, Pure Merinos and Others, The "Shipping Lists" of the Australian Agricultural Company.
  8. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, The Sydney Herald, Monday, October 5, 1840.
  9. [S49] Marriage Certificate, John Cunningham & Ellen Connell.
  10. [S1565] Trove digitised newspapers, online, The Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday, August 21, 1861.
  11. [S110] NSW Birth V1852561 69/1852 - Margaret Cunningham.
  12. [S17] Guess.
  13. [S8] Bathurst Parish Records.
  14. [S113] NSW Birth V18553018 72/1855 - Margaret Cunningham.
  15. [S1304] NSW Birth Certificate.