Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clark, Jeremiah

CLARK, JEREMIAH (d. 1809), organist and composer, son of Charles Clark, a lay vicar of Worcester Cathedral, was probably born at Worcester. He was educated as a chorister in the cathedral choir (of which he was subsequently a lay clerk) under Elias Isaac (1734-1793), for many years organist of Worcester Cathedral. Between 1770 and 1780 Clark seems to have settled in Birmingham as an organist and teacher of music. He played at the festival in 1778, and on 27 April 1789 a song by him, written in commemoration of the king's recovery, was performed at the public thanks-giving. In June 1795 he was announced to play the harpsichord at the Birmingham theatre during the forthcoming season, and on 27 Nov. 1797 he got up a concert for the benefit of the widows and orphans of the killed at the battle of Camperdown. In 1800 Clark was appointed organist of Worcester Cathedral, in which capacity he conducted the festival of the three choirs in 1806. He died at Bromsgrove in May 1809. Clark seems (some time before 1799) to have taken the degree of Mus. Bac., probably at Oxford, though his name does not occur in the published lists of graduates. His earliest publication was a set of eight songs with instrumental accompaniments, which appeared before he settled in Birmingham. He also published a second set of eight songs, a set of harpsichord sonatas, with accompaniments for two violins and a violoncello, two glees for three voices (in 1791), a set of ten songs with orchestral accompaniments (in 1799), a set of eight songs and four canzonets, and a series of instructions for singers. His works show him to have been a clever musician; he was much patronised by Lord Dudley and Ward.

[Chambers's Biographical Illustrations of Worcestershire, 468; Lysons and Amott's Annals of the Three Choirs, 85, &c.; Langford's Century of Birmingham Life, i. 337. ii. 118, 128; Brit. Mus. Music Catalogue; information from Mr. S. S. Stratton.]

W. B. S.