Rice Owen Clark

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Rice Owen Clark (1862)

Rice Owen Clark (1816 – 16 June 1896) was an English settler in New Zealand, establishing a brickworks at Hobsonville that was the origin of Crown Lynn and Ceramco.


Clark was baptised in the parish of Great Marlow, Buckinghamshire, England, on 19 September 1816, the son of Josiah and Ann Clark[1] and the brother of engineers Edwin Clark and Josiah Latimer Clark.[2] He emigrated to New Zealand on the Gertrude, arriving at Port Nicholson on 31 October 1841.[3] He ran a church school in Wellington, but it was destroyed by earthquake and he subsequently moved to Auckland.[4]

In 1854 Clark bought land in Hobsonville, becoming one of the first European settlers in the area. It was there that he set up a prosperous business making drain pipes, bricks and tiles for the increasing number of settlers.[5] Much of the clay he used was being sourced from Limeburners Bay, which is now an archaeological site.[6]

When he was 33 years old, Clark was accused of bigamy at the Wellington Supreme Court, but he was found not guilty.[7]

Clark died at his home in Hobsonville on 16 June 1896,[8] and was buried at Hobsonville Cemetery.[9]


In 1908 Clark's Potteries became R.O. Clark Limited.[10] His great-grandson, Tom Clark, inherited the business setting up a ceramics company which eventually became known as Crown Lynn Potteries Ltd.


  1. ^ "England, select births and christenings, 1538–1975". Ancestry.com Operations. 2014. Retrieved 20 February 2016. (Subscription required (help)). 
  2. ^ "Obituary". New Zealand Herald. 10 July 1896. p. 3. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  3. ^ "Settlers advanced search". Hutt City Council. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  4. ^ David Pearson Architects (August 2012). "Clark Cottage, Hobsonville, Auckland: a conservation plan" (PDF). Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  5. ^ NZ Historic Brick Database, Retrieved 1 September 2012
  6. ^ The Aucklander: Heritage has day in court, Retrieved 1 September 2012
  7. ^ New Zealand Lost Cases Project, 1 September 1849, Retrieved 1 September 2012
  8. ^ "Deaths". New Zealand Herald. 24 June 1896. p. 1. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  9. ^ Gray, Matthew (15 February 2009). "Not the 'woman' he thought he was" (PDF). Western Leader. p. 9. Retrieved 20 February 2016. 
  10. ^ New Zealand Historical Places: Clark House, Retrieved 1 September 2012


  • Clough, R. 2006. Hobsonville Limeburners Bay, Proposed Subdivision Dp104222: Archaeological Assessment. Unpublished Report.