Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Clerke, Henry

CLERKE, HENRY, M.D. (d. 1687), physician, son of Thomas Clerke of Willoughby, Warwickshire, was matriculated at Magdalen Hall on 20 April 1688, at the age of sixteen, obtained a demyship at Magdalen College, and was probationer fellow of that society from 1642 to 1667. He graduated B.A. on 4 Dec. 1641, M.A. on 21 June 1644. He was reader in logic at his college in 1643, bursar in 1653, 1656, and 1662, vice-president in 1655, and again in 1663. He seems to have submitted to the parliamentary visitors in May 1648. Meanwhile he had taken the degree of M.D. by accumulation on 27 May 1652, and was incorporated at Cambridge in 1673. In 1657 he was appointed deputy lecturer in anatomy at Oxford. He was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians on 5 April 1658, and a fellow on 25 June 1669. He was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society on 7 Nov. 1667. Upon the death of Dr. Thomas Pierce in 1672 Clerke was elected president of Magdalen College on 5 March of that year. In order to fully qualify himself for the office he soon afterwards took orders. He was appointed vice-chancellor on 9 Oct. 1676. Clerke married Catherine, fourth daughter of William Adams of Charwelton, Northamptonshire, and had by her, who died in 1669 at the age of thirty-three, a son Henry, who died in the same year with his mother, and a daughter Catherine. His daughter, called by the college wits the Infanta, was married in 1682 to Mr. (afterwards Sir Richard) Shuttleworth of Gawthorp Hall, near Burnley, Lancashire, at that time a gentleman commoner of Trinity College. Their united ages did not exceed thirty-three years. Clerke continued president until his death, which occurred at the seat of his son-in-law on 24 March 1687, at the age of sixty-eight. He was buried with his ancestors at Willoughby. A monument was afterwards erected on the north wall of the north aisle of the church, which some forty years ago was restored at the expense of the college, 'who for many reasons justly considered the president to be a great benefactor.' In his will he bequeathed to the college 'the sum of fifty pounds, to be laid out in a gilded bowl with a cover, and to be placed upon the altar.' Clerke has some verses in 'Musarum Oxoniensium Charisteria,' 1638, and in 'Horti Carolini Rosa Altera,' 1640. A portrait of Clerke, copied from one at Gawthorp, is in the president's lodgings at Magdalen College.

[Bloxam's Reg. of Magd. Coll. Oxford; Munk's Coll. of Phys. (1878), i. 358-9; Foster's Lancashire Pedigrees, sub ' Shuttleworth.']

G. G.