James William Clingan an invalid pensioner was living at Canley Vale, New South Wales, in 1930 when he was admitted to the Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute. On Sunday, 17th April 1932, he died in Liverpool, aged 62 years old.
James, known as Jim, was born to William Clingan and Esther Dick, 17th February 1870, at Waterloo, New South Wales. He was the third child; his sister Jane Ann was four years older and his brother John Cornelius was two. His younger siblings Esther, Thomas and George were born between 1871 and 1874. All his siblings were born in New South Wales.
His father William passed away on 16th July 1885, in Waterloo, New South Wales, at the age of 61. Seven years later his mother aged 51 died on 16th March 1892.
James William Clingan married Amelia Biggs on 29th September 1896, in the newly dedicated St. Cyprian’s, Church of England, Narrabri, New South Wales, when he was 26 years old. Their marriage was conducted by the eighth Vicar of Narrabri, Rev. Thomas Edward Fox.
At the time of his marriage James’s occupation was Woolscourer. His job was to take wool as shorn from the sheep that is greasy (or raw) wool; then subject it to further processing including washing to remove dirt, water soluble contaminants (called suint), and wool grease. This process is known as scouring. He worked as a Woolscourer at Narrabri until the family moved to Botany in 1907 where he obtained work as a labourer or Labourer Wool Classer.
The following Descendant Half Fan Chart identifies the names of his children, their partners and offspring.
James was living in the Sydney working class areas of Botany and Mascot when six o’clock closing was introduced during the First World War. Its introduction was partly an attempt to improve public morality and partly as a war austerity measure. The six o’clock swill was a slang term for the last-minute rush to buy drinks at a hotel bar before it closed. During a significant part of the 20th century, hotels shut their public bars at 6 pm. A culture developed of heavy drinking during the time between finishing work at 5 pm and the mandatory closing only an hour later.
On 11th January 1919 James assaulted his wife Amelia Clingan at Mascot. A warrant was issued by the Redfern Bench for the arrest of William James Clingan, 45 years of age, 5 feet 9 or 10 inches high, thin build dark complexion and hair, dark moustache turning grey, grey eyes; dressed in a grey sac suit and dark soft-felt hat. He was described as a wool-washer.
Seven years later in Sydney, on 6th January 1926 he was charged with “Wife Desertion” and arrested by Sydney Police. James was ordered to pay 15s per week for the support of his wife and £1 19s. 6d. costs.
In 1930, James William Clingan an invalid pensioner was living at Cowpasture Road, Canley Vale, New South Wales, Australia. It was from Canley Vale that James was admitted to the Liverpool Asylum for the Infirm and Destitute. The Asylum inmates were an extraordinarily diverse assortment of characters from all parts of the world and every rank, religion and occupation. There were ex-soldiers, seamen, miners, explorers, authors, businessmen and professional men. The majority were ordinary honest men, forced into hardship because of sickness, drink, destitution, old age, loneliness or lack of family support.
James died on Sunday, 17th April 1932, in Liverpool, New South Wales, when he was 62 years old. The cause of his death was aortic regurgitation. Rheumatic fever and syphilis used to be the most common causes of aortic regurgitation in Australia in the early nineteenth century. Both disorders are now rare because of the widespread use of antibiotics.
His funeral left the residence of his daughter, Mrs. Dorothy May Morris, 123 Illawarra Road, Marrickville, at 3 pm on Tuesday, 19th April 1932, for the Church of England Cemetery, Rookwood. The location of his grave is Zone C, Section 10, Plot 4516.