Open main menu

CLARKE, CHARLES (d. 1750), judge, was the son of Alured Clarke of Godmanchester in Huntingdonshire, by his second wife Ann, fourth daughter of the Rev. Charles Trimnell, rector of Ripton-Abbotts in Huntingdonshire, and sister to bishop Trimnell of Winchester. He was placed at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, in 1719 under his brother, Dr. Alured Clarke [q. v.], then a fellow of that college. Without taking any degree, he entered as a student of Lincoln's Inn in 1717, was called to the bar in 1723, and gained in time a large and very lucrative practice, so that he became able to rebuild the family house at Godmanchester. In 1731 he was appointed recorder of Huntingdon, and represented the county in 1739. In the new parliament of 1741 he was elected for Whitechurch in Hampshire, but in its second session in Hilary term, 1743, was raised to the bench of the exchequer in place of Sir Thomas Abney (d. 1750) [q. v.], but was not knighted. At this time he was counsel to the admiralty, and auditor of Greenwich Hospital, in which post he was succeeded by Mr. Heneage Legge. On 17 May 1750 he died of a fever contracted through the number of the prisoners and the crowd present at Captain Clark’s trial for killing Captain Innes in a duel, at the celebrated ‘black sessions’ at the Old Bailey [see under Abney, Sir Thomas]. Clarke was buried at Godmanchester. He married, first, Anne, daughter of Dr. Thomas Greene, bishop of Ely, by whom he had a son Thomas, general and lieutenant-governor of Quebec in 1792; and secondly, Jane, daughter of Major Mullins of Winchester, by whom he had four sons [see Clarke, Sir Alured] and two daughters. His second wife survived him.

[Foss's Lives of the Judges; Gent. Mag. xx. 233, 236, and lxii. 1221; London Mag. May 1750.]

J. A. H.