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Clarke, John Randall (DNB00)

CLARKE, JOHN RANDALL (1827?–1863), architect and author, was son of Joseph Clarke, who settled in Gloucester about 1827, having a civil appointment in that city. John was educated at the college school, Gloucester, and adopted architecture as his profession. Being, however, of a literary turn of mind, he devoted his time to literature rather than to the practical exercise of his profession, producing both verse and prose with fluency. He published an ‘Architectural History of Gloucester from the earliest period to the close of the eighteenth century,’ and a ‘History of Llanthony Abbey,’ illustrated from drawings by himself and others. He also produced two works of fiction, ‘Gloucester Cathedral’ and ‘Manxley Hall.’ He contributed to the ‘Gentleman's Magazine,’ ‘Le Follet,’ the ‘Era,’ and other periodicals. He frequently delivered lectures, which were well attended, to the Gloucester Literary and Scientific Association. Some of these, including two lectures on the churches of Gloucester, were published by subscription, and the last that he delivered, on ‘King Arthur, his Relation and History and Fiction,’ was published by his friends after his death. Clarke's performances were marred by an over-estimation of his own powers, but were very creditable for a man of his age. The promise thus given by his talents was checked in its fulfilment by his premature death at his father's residence at College Green, Gloucester, on 31 March 1863, aged 36.

[Cooper's Biographical Dictionary; Gloucestershire Chronicle, 4 April 1863; Gloucester Journal, 4 April and 3 Oct. 1863; Gent. Mag. 3rd ser. xiv. 1671; private information.]

L. C.