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

CLERKE, THOMAS HENRY SHADWELL (1792–1849), major unattached, military journalist, was a native of Bandon, co. Cork. Being intended for the army, a profession also adopted by his brothers, St. John Augustus Clerke, who died a lieutenant-general and colonel 75th foot, 17 Jan. 1870, and William Clerke, afterwards a major 77th foot, he was sent to the Royal Military College, Great Marlow, where he distinguished himself by his abilities, and was appointed to an ensigncy without purchase in 1808. As a subaltern in 28th and 5th foot he served through the Peninsular campaigns until the loss of his right leg in the combat at Redinha in 1811 incapacitated him for further active service, and, on the recommendation of Lord Wellington, he was promoted to a company in the 1st garrison battalion (Gurwood, Wellington Desp. v. 122), with which he did duty until its reduction in 1814. He afterwards served with the 2nd battalion 57th, and on the army depot staff. He was promoted to a majority unattached in 1830. He became editor of 'Colburn's United Service Magazine' when that journal was started in January 1829, and so continued until July 1842. On the death of Colonel Gurwood, he was entrusted with the task of seeing the last volume of 'Selections from the Wellington Despatches' through the press. He possessed a familiar acquaintance with the French, Italian, and Spanish languages, and, although his name does not appear as the author of any scientific or other works, was a very active member of the British Association and of various learned societies. At the time of his death he was a F.R.S. (elected 10 April 1833), a vice-president of the Royal United Service Institution, of which he had been one of the originators, a fellow of the Royal Astronomical and Geological Societies, and for a short time had been honorary foreign secretary of the Royal Geographical Society. He died at his residence, Brompton Grove, of paralysis, 19 April 1849.

[Army Lists; Colburn's United Service Mag. July 1842, May 1849; Abstracts Royal Soc. 1853, p. 888.]

H. M. C.