LAST MODIFIED Tuesday 18 September 2018 17:39

Anne Remens Clarke

Dr GRAEME SKINNER (University of Sydney)


To cite this:

Graeme Skinner (University of Sydney), "Anne Remens Clarke", Australharmony (an online resource toward the history of music and musicians in colonial and early Federation Australia):; accessed 22 February 2019

CLARKE, Anne Theresa


Soprano vocalist, actor, dancer, theatre manager

Born ? England, c.1806
Arrived Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 13 August 1834 (immigrant per Strathfieldsay)
Married Michael CLARKE, Trinity Church, Hobart Town, VDL (TAS), 25 October 1834
Active until 1847 (TROVE tagged by Australharmony)

CLARKE, Michael

? Theatre musician, former military bandsman, vocalist, actor

Active 1830s-40s



Of the various version of her ealiest stage name, "Miss Remens" appears most often in London playbills, and so that spelling has been preferred here for her indentifying tag, despite "Remans" being slightly more usual in Australian bills.

As the London Athenaeum noted early in 1835: "We observe by the Hobart Town Courier, that among the 286 Female Emigrants who went out in the Strathfieldsay were Miss Remans from the English Opera House, and Miss Rudelhoff from the Royalty; both were, it appears, instantly engaged by the manager of the Hobart Town Theatre".

Anne and her husband Michael Clarke returned to England in 1841 where they engaged the Howson brothers, Emma Young, Theodosia Stirling, and Gerome Carandini for the Hobart 1842 season. Clarke gave what may have been her Australian farewell performance in Melbourne in November 1847.

According to Gyger, Civilising the colonies, 40, Michael Clarke was a former military bandsman who had previously played in Sydney theatre; but see the violinist CLARK.

England (to 1834)

The theatrical observer and daily bills of play (1 July to 31 December 1833), various, including:

8 July 1833

9 July 1833

12 July 1833

13 July 1833

16 July 1833

21 August 1833

22 August 1833

Van Diemen's Land (13 August 1834 to 25 August 1837)

Arrivals, female immigrants, Strathfieldsay, 13 August 1834; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:402310; MB2/39/1/2 P109

Rimon, Ann T.

"TRADE AND SHIPPING", The Hobart Town Courier (15 August 1834), 3

"Domestic Intelligence", Colonial Times (19 August 1834), 6

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (19 August 1834), 3

[News], The Hobart Town Courier (22 August 1834), 2

"Domestic Intelligence", Colonial Times (26 August 1834), 7

[Advertisement], The Hobart Town Courier (10 October 1834), 3

Marriage register, Trinity Church, Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:821067; RGD36/1/2 no 2523

Michael Clarke, Ann Theresa Remains, 25 October 1834

[Advertisement], Colonial Times (4 November 1834), 3

"Mrs. Clark (Late Miss Remens)

"Theatrical Emigrants", The Athenaeum 382 (21 February 1835), 156

We observe by the Hobart Town Courier, that among the 286 Female Emigrants who went out in the Strathfieldsay were Miss Remans from the English Opera House, and Miss Rudelhoff from the Royalty; both were, it appears, instantly engaged by the manager of the Hobart Town Theatre, and made their first appearance in "The Lord of the Manor," the former as Annette, and the latter as Peggy, and, we are happy to add, were received with approbation. Theatricals, indeed, seem prospering in the colony. The Launceston Independant announces, among forthcoming novelties, an entire new drama to be called, "The Bandit of the Rhine," written by E. H. Thomas, Esq.

Baptism register, Trinity Church, Hobart; Tasmanian names index; NAME_INDEXES:1083880; RGD32/1/2/ no 6213

Anne Theresa Clarke, daughter of Michael and Anne Theresa Clarke, baptised Trinity Church, Hobart, 11 October 1835, born 22 September 1835

"SHIP NEWS", Colonial Times (29 August 1837), 3 

AUGUST 25. - Sailed the Marian Watson, 144 tons; for Sydney, B. Shaw, Master, Cargo, sundries; Passengers - Mr. John Grisland, Mr. Baines, J. Clark, Mr. F. Shallis, Mrs. E. Shallis, Mr. W. Butler, Mr. M. Clarke, Mrs. Clarke, Mr. S. Cameron, Mrs. Cameron, Mrs. Ramus and servant Kemp, John Holder.

Sydney NSW (1 September 1837 - 25 November 1839)

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (2 September 1837), 2 

Mr. and Mrs. Cameron, accompanied by Mrs. Clarke of the Hobart Town Theatre, we understand, arrived by the Marian Watson, yesterday; their appearance will doubtless cause some stir in the theatrical world, and probably do something towards relieving the Theatre from its present unprofitable and "beggarly account of empty boxes."

13 September 1837, Anne Clarke, first appearance, Theatre Royal, Sydney

[Advertisement], The Sydney Monitor (13 September 1837), 3 

"The Drama", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (17 October 1837), 2 

. . . During the course of the evening Mrs. Clarke, the Hobart Town vocalist, sang several pleasing little ballads. Mrs. Clarke's singing leaves a more pleasing impression on the mind of the auditory, than any other of the vocalists that ever appeared on the Sydney stage. We liked Mrs. Chester's ballad-singing very well; but her enunciation was much less distinct and her singing less natural and more laboured than that of Mrs. Clarke. Mrs. Taylor could once sing a pleasing song, but her voice and her modesty fled together. Mrs. Clarke as a vocalist (for her acting is very tame), and Miss Lazar as a dancer, are at present the principal attractions at the Theatre and we have little doubt will continue almost the only ones, while Simes continues to hold the office of manager and Mrs. Taylor rules the roast.

[News], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (21 November 1837), 2 

Mrs. Clarke, the most talented, and decidedly the most pleasing vocalist that ever trod the Sydney stage, takes her benefit at the theatre on Thursday evening. The bill of fare Mrs. C. has provided promises a rich treat, as well to the connoiseur in music as to him who loves best the simple ballad. It is not often that the inhabitants of Sydney have it in their power to shew their r[e]spect to virtue by patronising the Sydney stage; Mrs. Clarke is a woman of irreproachable character, and we trust that the result of her benefit will shew that the inhabitants of Sydney respect and appreciate virtue wheresoever they meet with it.

"THE VICTORIA THEATRE", The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (6 September 1838), 2

Mrs. Clarke's claims on the generosity of the Sydney public are based more upon her abilities as a songstress than as an actress. On the Sydney stage, in the former, she has no rival, nor, indeed, with the exception of Mrs. Chester, have we ever had an actress of equal musical abilities. Independent, altogether, of her claims as a musician and an actress, Mrs. Clarke has still higher claims on the consideration of her own sex; she is in public, and, we are informed, in private life a woman of the most irreproachable character, and purity of character on the stage, we are sorry to say, is so much of a rarity in these days, that we hold it to be the imperative duty of the virtuous portion of the community to encourage and reward it, whenever, as now, it is within the compass of their power.

23 November 1837, Anne Clarke (benefit)

{Advertisement], The Sydney Gazette and New South Wales Advertiser (23 November 1837), 1 

"SHIPPING INTELLIGENCE", The Courier (28 January 1842), 2

Melbourne, Port Phillip district (8 to 23 December 1839)

"SHIP NEWS", Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser (9 December 1839), 5 supplement 

[News], Port Phillip Patriot and Melbourne Advertiser (23 December 1839), 3 supplement 

On Monday last Mrs. Clarke had a Concert at the British Hotel, the tickets were 10s. 6d. each. The pleasure that the public might have enjoyed at this soiree was completely spoiled by the noisy, drunken, blackguard language and outrageous conduct of a fellow professing to be a gentleman - report says it was the Editor of the Gazette. What were the constables about that they did not lodge him in the watch-house?

"Domestic Intelligence", Port Phillip Gazette (28 December 1839), 3 

Mrs. Clarke, in pursuance of her spirited design, delighted the fashionable world of Melbourne, on Monday evening last, with a brilliant Soiree, at the British Hotel. The songs chosen by her for the occasion required taste, feeling, and execution; every justice was rendered, and the audience were loud and continued in their applause. Mrs. Clarkee's personation of the Old, Maid, attired in an antique dress of green silk, with spectacles of the same spinster-spirited hue, was admirable and elicited deserved commendation. The room itself was not well adapted to the purpose, being low and badly lighted; but, for the short notice which had been given, "mine host" of the British provided capital accommodation for the numerous and respectable audience which graced the arena of "music and of song." Mr. Jamieson accampanied Mrs. Clarke throughout the evening on a grand piano. It is to be regretted that this lady could not be induced to remain for a season in our little capital, as the support she experienced on even this first and hurried occasion, is a guarantee for a gratifying and remunerating patronage hereafter. Upon the close of the present Sydney Theatre, the inhabitants of Melbourne may expect a dramatic corps, (whose strength we have no doubt will be recruited by some talented amateurs) to assist them in dispelling the eternal monotony of the province, "happy" only in name.

"Shipping Intelligence", Port Phillip Gazette (28 December 1839), 3 

[Advertisement: Letter from Michael Clarke], The Courier (13 January 1843), 1

"PORT PHILLIP. MRS. CLARKE'S BENEFIT", Colonial Times (5 November 1847), 3

As this will be probably the last time Mrs. Clarke will appear before a Melbourne audience, we trust the public will not lose the opportunity of hearing a really good song.

Bibliography and resources

"THE MELBOURNE STAGE IN THE FORTIES. By J. S. No. IV.", The Argus (7 June 1890), 4

On the 1st September [1847], a Mr. and Mrs. Clarke arrived from Tasmania. Both of them were vocalists, and the lady added dancing to her other accomplishments. There was a succession of musical pieces, and "Kate Kearney", "Giovanni in London", "Love in a Village", and "The Waterman" figured on the bills. But the influenza must have seriously interfered with the theatre, disabling the company and diminishing the audiences . . . The Clarkes made their last appearance and took a benefit in "Guy Mannering" and "No Song No Supper" on the 18th of October . . .

Brewer 1892

Elizabeth Webby, "Anne Clarke", in Philip Parsons (ed.), Companion to theatre in Australia (Sydney, 1995)

Gyger 1999

Alison Alexander, "Anne Clarke"

Anae 2005

"Anne Clarke (theatre manager)", Wikipedia

© Graeme Skinner 2014 - 2019