Wearg, Clement (DNB00)

WEARG, Sir CLEMENT (1686–1726), solicitor-general, son and heir of Thomas Wearg of the Inner Temple, who married, in 1679, Mary Fletcher of Ely, was born in London in 1686, and baptised at St. Botolph Without, Aldersgate, where his grandfather, Thomas Wearg, a wealthy merchant, lived. He is said to have been at Peterhouse, Cambridge (Dyer, Privileges of Cambr. ii. 22). He was admitted student at the Inner Temple on 25 Nov. 1706, called to the bar in 1711, and became bencher in 1723, reader in 1724, and treasurer in 1725.

Wearg was a zealous whig and protestant. He acted as the counsel for the crown in the prosecutions of Christopher Layer [q. v.] and Bishop Atterbury, and was one of the principal managers for the commons in the trial of Lord-chancellor Macclesfield (State Trials, vol. xvi.). In 1722 he contested, without success, the borough of Shaftesbury in Dorset, but was returned for the whig borough of Helston in Cornwall on 10 March 1723–4, having been appointed solicitor-general on the previous 1 Feb. About the same time he was created a knight. He died of a violent fever on 6 April 1726, and was buried, in accordance with the request in his will, in the Temple churchyard, under a plain raised tomb, on 12 April. He married Elizabeth, only daughter of Sir James Montagu [q. v.], chief baron of the exchequer. She died on 9 March 1746, and was buried in the same grave with her husband on 14 March. They had no children.

A volume published in 1723 contained ‘The Replies of Thomas Reeve and Clement Wearg in the House of Lords, 13 May 1723, against the Defence made by the Late Bishop of Rochester and his Counsel.’ Curll advertised late in 1726 the publication of six volumes of ‘Cases of Impotence and Divorce, by Sir Clement Wearg, late Solicitor-General.’ Curll was attacked for this by ‘A. P.’ in the ‘London Journal’ on 12 Nov. 1726, and two days later swore an affidavit that a book produced by him, and entitled ‘The Case of Impotency as debated in England, Anno 1613, in Trial between Robert, Earl of Essex, and the Lady Frances Howard,’ 1715, was by Wearg. It was dated from the Inner Temple, 30 Oct. 1714. Wearg then had chambers in the new court (Notes and Queries, 2nd ser. iii. 501).

[Benchers of Inner Temple, p. 66; Gent. Mag. 1746, p. 164. A ‘Brief Memoir’ of Wearg was published by his relative, George Duke, of Gray's Inn, barrister-at-law, in 1843.]

W. P. C.