Isabella Rutherford and James Clifford

Isabella Rutherford was born on 11 July 1839 in Minto, Roxburgh, Scotland, the youngest child of Maney Easton and George Rutherford.1 Isabella Rutherford and her sister Agnes both came to Tasmania, arriving in Hobart from Liverpool on 2nd December 1856; they had travelled on the Sir W.F. Williams, Agnes' age was given as 27 (she was, in fact, 29 by then), Isabella's, correctly, as 17. Both were 'of the Church of Scotland, could read & write, were single, and had been born in Roxburghshire'; both were also described as 'needlewoman and domestic servant'. Each had paid £16-0-0d for their passage and, in the column for 'Name of Person on Whose Application Sent Out' was written the name of their aunt, Isabella Oliver.2

Isabella Rutherford had a son, un-named in the birth register but with the surname Oliver, on 2 April 1859 in Oatlands, Tasmania. The father was named as James Oliver.3 Presumably this was Isabella's first cousin, son of Isobel Easton and Peter Oliver, but the matter was not pursued to marriage.

Isabella Rutherford (21) married James Clifford (21) on 17 July 1860 at the home of the Reverend Lachlan McKinnon Campbell in Oatlands, Tasmania. James was recorded as a Sawyer, aged 21, Isabella as a Spinster, aged 21. The witnesses were William Goodrich and Elizabeth Goodrich.4.

Isabella and James' first child, Manney Clifford, was born on 19 August 1860 in Oatlands, Tasmania.5 The daughter was no doubt named to honour both Isabella's mother and grandmother. A second child, Daniel George Clifford. was born on 21 May 1862 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.6 Daniel was baptised on 23 June 1863.7

Isabella and James third child, another girl Mary Jane Clifford (as an un-named female) was born on 5 March 1864 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.8 Mary Jane was followed by a further two un-named males, the first born on 25 November 1866 in New Norfolk, Tasmania,9 the second born on 22 September 1867 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.10 It is believed the second un-named male, their third son, is Henry Herbert Clifford, who is identified as the third son of James Clifford when he married.

The Clifford family now comprised James, Isabella and six children, including the child born to Isabella out of wedlock. James and Isabella's sixth child was William Cameron Clifford, born on 27 October 1869 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.11 William was followed by two more girls, Agnes Isabella Clifford, born on 23 June 1871 in New Norfolk, Tasmania,12 and Annie Margaret Clifford was born on 8 May 1873 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.13

Five months after Annie Margaret's birth however, James and Isabella experienced the loss of their daughter Agnes Isabella Clifford who died on 3 September 1873 in New Norfolk, Tasmania. The cause of death was recorded as accidentally drowned. Agnes was noted to be two years and two months old, and the daughter of a constable.14

Inquest details.15

Barron Rutherford Clifford was born on 26 August 1875 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.16 The names both represent Isabella's Scottish relations, with the name Barron being the surname of her sister Helen's husband, and Rutherford being her maiden name.

In late 1876 or early 1877 James and Isabella had a son whose birth wasn't registered. The child's existence is confirmed from an associated death record over a year later. A Samuel Alexander Clifford died at the age of 1 year and 11 months on 7 November 1879 in New Norfolk with his father recorded as James, a police sergeant. The cause of death was scarlatina.17

The loss of Agnes Isabel Clifford still weighed heavily on the family, based on the naming of their next child. Isabel Agnes Clifford was born on 2 May 1880 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.18 The child's names were a reversal of the earlier daughter's names.

James and Isabella's last child was Gilbert Clifford, born on 6 September 1883 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.19 The Clifford family was now comprised of James, Isabella and upwards of ten children, aged from 24 down to the infant William.

Mary Jane Clifford married George White on 4 September 1884 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.20

William Cameron Clifford died on 16 May 1887 in New Norfolk, Tasmania. William was recorded as aged 17 and the son of a police sergeant. The cause of death was tubercular phthsis, or tuberculosis.21

In April 1888 it was reported that James Clifford, as part of the police establishment, had been called to a fire in Uxbridge.

[By Electric Telegraph]

GLENORA, Thursday.

This morning the residence of Mrs. John Salter, at Uxbridge, was accidentally burnt down. The inmates at the time were from home, but on the fire being reported Sergt. Clifford hastened to the scene, but before he and assistance arrived the building was entirely consumed, nothing being saved.22

In December 1889 James was involved in the rescue of his own daughter, probably Isabel Agnes Clifford, who would have been nine at the time. The accident must have seemed like an awful re-enactment of the drowning of his daughter Agnes Isabel Clifford.


On Thursday, November 12, a daughter of Constable Clifford aged nine years met with a distressing accident by falling in the River Styx, and It was only through the exertions of her father, ably assisted by Mr. D. Chisholm, the conductor of the Glenora State school, that she is alive now. Mr. Chisholm was the first to give the alarm. Luckily he saw her fall into the river, but it was some 15 minutes before anything could be done; but as Mr. Clifford has the rules for restoring the apparently drowned, both he, and Mr. Chisholm, followed the instructions to the letter, happily with success, for after a long time consciousness returned. The child is still very weak, but none the worse. Mr. Clifford is loud in his praise of Mr. Chisholm for the very able manner that gentleman stuck to him when success seemed hopeless.23

In January 1890 the following report was published in the Mercury:


SIR,-For the sake of the visitors at present in Hobart who may want a day outing, will you allow me to describe how I spent yesterday. Some one had told me that the Russell Falls were well worth a visit, but I found it very difficult to get any Information about them.. Our guide book to Tasmania does not mention them at all, and a second does not give much beyond vague generalities. Write or telegraph to Mr. J. J. Clifford, Glenora, to secure a trap which will meet you at the railway station when you arrive there in due course, at 10. 5 a.m. A drive of six miles along an excellent road brings you to a point just before you come to a white bridge. Here the road turns suddenly to the left and you have from six to seven miles more over a very decent bush road, with here and there patches of macadam.

The next and last turn off is sharply to the right down towards the river. This would have been hard to find without a guide till yesterday, but Mr. Russell-Young has come to the assistance of sightseers. In our trap yesterday we took up to this turn-off a board which we had stuck up painted in black and white, "Road to the Falls." This we nailed up as conspicuously as we could in order to carry out as far as possible Mr. Young's considerate thoughtfulness. At the river we lunched and then had an easy mile to a mile and a quarter walk. The latter half of this walk is the most beautiful bit of fern scenery that I have ever seen. You skirt along the edge of the river under a perfect canopy of fern arches till suddenly the fall opens out. At this time of the year the fall is at its worst, but enough water is aiming over the double leap to render the scene one of very great beauty, Roughly guessing, "I' should say that the fall is at least 150ft. high. I had not an aneroid with me, and probably my guess is far from accurate, but I believe that I am not exaggerating. After an hour and a half at the fall we returned to the trap, and had time enough at Glenora to get a cup of tea before the train left at 6.30 p.m. to catch the express at Bridgewater. Those who want tea should order it at the station there in the morning. I must add a word or two in praise of Mr. Clifford. We found him a highly intelligent, pleasant companion, who spared himself no trouble to make our trip a pleasant one. He would carry my photographic camera for me from one luncheon camp to the falls and back. On returning to Glenora and asking what we had to pay, he, with almost an apology, said that he usually got £1! We were struck with the reasonableness of this demand, and I had considerable difficulty In getting him to accept a further 5s. for carrying the camera. For a single day truly this cannot be beaten - Yours, etc.,

January 18.24

Gilbert Clifford died on 13 October 1890 in New Norfolk, Tasmania. The cause of death was recorded as rupture of the liver caused by a fall. Gilbert was noted to be seven years old and the son of a constable.25

Inquest details.26

In December 1890 James Clifford had an accident while riding his horse.

Mr. J. Clifford, of Glenora, met with a serious accident the other day on the Ellendale-road. Coming home from that place riding a young horse, the animal shied at
some children near Godfrey's, and commenced to buck. Not being able to unseat his rider the brute throw herself down by some means, when of course Clifford came off. He was severely bruised and cut about the head and face, and the wonder is he was not hurt more. However nothing daunted he mounted again and came home at a fast trot without further accident.27

October 1891 proved to be a busy one for James Clifford. In early October he managed to control a trap drawn by horses that had been startled.

A NARROW ESCAPE.-Our Uxbridge correspondent writes :-" Quite a sensational incident occurred on Friday, October 9, at Glenora. Mr. J. J. Clifford was driving up
the road leading to the station in a trap with two horses, one of them a young one, being just handled. When opposite the blacksmith's shop two dogs came bounding across the road and tumbled over against one of the horses, and a bolt ensued. The trap passed over both dogs, and it was with some difficulty Mr. Clifford held the horses. Fortunately, beyond a fright to the occupants of the trap, nothing serious occurred."28

In late October James was instrumental in limiting the damage of a house fire in Uxbridge.

What might have proved a very serious matter happened on Wednesday, 21st inst, at the post office, Glenora. A lamp was placed too near a curtain, which became
ignited, the smoke was happily seen by Police Sergeant Clifford, who at once drew the attention of Mr. Bell to the matter, who speedily extinguished it.29

In December 1891 the Cliffords were involved in a further incident involving a horse:

As Mr. J. J. Clifford was returning home to Glenora from Macquarie Plains with his wife and four children; in a buggy driven by himself, and when near Rosegarland old house, on the road leading to the railway station, two people were sitting on the side of the road, and one of them, a lady, suddenly opened her parasol, which frightened the horse and caused it to swerve, overturning the buggy, Mrs. Clifford was injured slightly, but the others got off with only a shaking.30

Annie Margaret Helen Clifford died on 9 July 1892 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.31

CLIFFORD.-On July 9,1892, at her parents' residence, Glenora, after a short illness, Annie Margaret Helen (Maggie), daughter of James and Isabella Clifford, aged 19 years and 2 months.32

Manie Clifford (27) married Donald McDonald (24) on 23 November 1892 in New Norfolk, Tasmania.33

MCDONALD-CLIFFORD -On November 23, 1892, at the residence of the bride's parents, by the Rev. W. J. Chambers, Donald, eldest son of the late John McDonald, of Fingal, to Manie, second daughter of James Clifford, of Glenora. Launceston and Melbourne papers please copy.34

In 1893 the local council resolved to remove the police presence from Glenora, as reported in the Mercury on 16 March.

A petition from the ratepayers of Glenora district relative to loss of police protection by contemplated removal of Sergeant Clifford was read. Proposed by Councillor
Dean,-"That the petition is received and considered, and the petitioners may rest assured that their interests will be conserved in every instance as far as necessity will require, but that the Council does not see that any argument has been advanced in the petition which should make the Council rescind its previous resolution." Seconded by Councilor Nicholson, and carried.

On letter from Mr. L M. Shoobridge re Glenora police station. Resolved,-" That notice of relinquishment of premises be given at once."35

James Clifford died on 23 July 1897 in Hobart, Tasmania.36

CLIFFORD,-On Friday, July 23. 1897, at Hobart, James Clifford, Sub Inspector of Police, Glenora, after a short but painful illness, in the 58th year of his age. Funeral will leave his late residence, Glenora, on SUNDAY, at.3 o'clock, when friends are respectfully invited to attend.37

A short notice appeared in the Mercury on 26 July 1897 lamenting the loss of James Clifford.

Universal regret is felt at the death of Sub-inspector Clifford, of Glenora. His genial manner and obliging disposition had rendered him popular with all with whom he came in contact. While performing his duties with thorough efficiency, his pleasant manner softened down all harshness.38

Henry Herbert Clifford married Ada Mary Westerway on 11 November 1902 in Glenora, Tasmania.39

CLIFFORD - WESTERWAY. - On November 11, 1902, at the residence of the bride's father, by the Rev. W. J. Dodson, Henry Herbert, third son of the late James Clifford, Sub-Inspector of Police, to Ada Mary, eldest daughter of William H. Westerway, both of Glenora.40

Barron Rutherford Clifford married Lillian Free on 30 April 1912 in Hobart, Tasmania.41

Mary J. White, nee Clifford, died on 27 December 1912 in Glenorchy, Tasmania.42

WHITE.-On December 27, 1912, at her residence, Raeburn, Glenorchy, Mary J. (Jennie), beloved wife of George White, and eldest daughter of the late James Clifford, Sub-inspector of Police, Glenora, aged 51 years. Funeral will move from the above address on Saturday (This Day), at 2 p.m., for Cornelian Bay Cemetery, when friends are respectfully invited to attend.43

Isabella Clifford, nee Rutherford, died on 26 October 1920 in Main Road, Glenorchy, Tasmania.44

CLIFFORD. - Passed peacefully away on October 26, 1920 at her late residence Glenorchy, Isabella, relict of the late James Clifford, Sub-Inspector of Police, Glenora. "Thy will be done."45

Barron Rutherford Clifford died on 5 June 1933 in Hobart, Tasmania.

CLIFFORD.-On June 5, 1933. at private hospital, Hobart, Barron Rutherford, dearly beloved husband of Lillian Clifford, of Chapel Street, Glenorchy, aged 62 years. At rest.46

Isabel Agnes Clifford died on 10 October 1938 in Hobart, Tasmania.

CLIFFORD.-On October 10, 1938, at Royal Hobart Hospital, Isabel Agnes, beloved youngest daughter of the late Sub-Inspector Clifford, of Glenora (late of 4 Peltro Street, Glenorchy), and loved and loving sister of Jack. Henry, and James, and beloved aunt of Louis, Max, and Clem, in the 59th year of her age. In God's care.

CLIFFORD.-Funeral of the late Miss Isabel Agnes Clifford, of 4 Peltro Street, Glenorchy, will move from the Funeral Parlour or the undersigned on Wednesday (This Day), at 2.45 p.m., arriving Cornelian Bay Cemetery 3.5 p.m., when friends are respectfully Invited to attend.47

Henry Herbert Clifford died on 17 May 1952 in New Town, Tasmania.

CLIFFORD - On May 17, 1952, Henry Herbert, dearly beloved husband of Ada Mary Clifford, of 100 Montagu St., New Town, and loved and loving father of Gilbert (Launceston), Jessie (dec), Herbert, Bessie (Mrs. Bricknell), and Wallace, in his 88th year. Resting where no shadows fall. Funeral private.48