Clarke, John (1687-1734) (DNB00)

CLARKE, JOHN (1687–1734), schoolmaster and classical scholar, was the son of John Clarke, an innkeeper of York, where he was born in 1687. After a preliminary training in the school of his native city, under Mr. Tomlinson, he was sent to the university of Cambridge, being admitted a sizar of St. John's College on 7 May 1703. He graduated B.A. in 1706–7, M.A. in 1710 (Cantabrigienses Graduati, ed. 1787, p. 84). In 1720 he was appointed master of the public grammar school at Hull, and afterwards he became master of the grammar school at Gloucester, where he died on 29 April 1734 (Addit. MS. 5865, ff. 20, 89 b). There is a monument to his memory in the church of St. Mary-de-Crypt in that city (Fosbrooke, Gloucester, p. 331). He was never in orders. He has been confounded with another person of the same christian name and surname, who was rector of Laceby, Lincolnshire, from 1727 till his death in 1768 (Notes and Queries, 3rd ser. ii. 323, 511).

He was the author of: 1. ‘Corderii Colloquiorum Centuria selecta, or a select Century of Cordery's Colloquies, with an English trans- lation,’ York, 1718, 8vo; often reprinted. 2. ‘An Essay upon the Education of Youth in Grammar Schools: in which the vulgar method of teaching is examined, and a new one proposed,’ Lond. 1720, 2nd edit. 1730, 12mo. 3. ‘Erasmi Colloquia selecta, or the select Colloquies of Erasmus, with an English translation as literal as possible,’ Nottingham, 1720, 8vo; often reprinted. 4. ‘An examination of the notion of moral good and evil, advanced in a late book [by W. Wollaston] entitled The Religion of Nature delineated,’ Lond. 1725, 8vo. 5. ‘The Foundation of Morality in theory and practice considered in an examination of Dr. S. Clarke's opinion concerning the original of Moral Obligation; as also of the notion of virtue advanced in An inquiry into the original of our ideas of Beauty and Virtue,’ York [1730?], 8vo. 6. ‘An Essay on Study; wherein directions are given for the due conduct thereof, and the collection of a Library,’ Lond. 1731, 8vo; Dublin, 1736, 12mo; Lond. 1737, 12mo. 7. ‘A new Grammar of the Latin tongue, to which is annex'd a dissertation upon language,’ Lond. 1733, 12mo. Ruddiman adversely criticised this work in his ‘Dissertation upon the way of learning the Latin tongue,’ Edinb. 1733, 8vo (Chalmers, Life of Ruddiman, pp. 137, 138, 280, 388, 456). 8. ‘An Examination of the sketch or plan of an answer [by D. D., i.e. C. Middleton] to the book [by M. Tindal], entitled, Christianity as old as the Creation. Laid down in a Letter to Dr. Waterland, wherein the tendency thereof to the subversion of Christianity is exposed,’ Lond. 1733, 8vo. 9. ‘A Dissertation upon the usefulness of translations of Classick Authors.’ Prefixed to his translation of Sallust, 1734. 10. ‘An Introduction to the making of Latin, comprising the substance of Latin Syntax,’ &c., and also the ‘Dissertation upon the usefulness of translations of Classic Authors,’ Lond. 1740, 8vo, 36th edit., materially corrected, Lond. 1831, 12mo. Translated into French, Geneva, 1745, 8vo.

Clarke also made literal translations of several of the classical authors and a free translation of Suetonius and Sallust (Life of Thomas Gent, pp. 173, 182).

[Authorities cited above; also Tickell's Hist. of Hull, p. 830; Carlisle's Endowed Grammar Schools, ii. 833; Nichols's Lit. Anecd. ix. 579; Cat. of Printed Books in Brit. Mus.]

T. C.