Clarke, Edward 1730-1786, traveller and author, son of William Clarke the antiquary (1696-1771) [see article], and Anne, daughter of Dr. William Wotton, was born at Buxted, Sussex, where his father was rector, on 16 March 1730. He was taught by his father's curate, Mr. Grierson, and afterwards by Jeremiah Markland [q.v.], then living at Uckfield. He entered St. John's, Cambridge, took his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1752, was elected as a fellow in 1753, and proceeded Master of Arts in 1755. In 1758 Viscount Midleton presented him to the rectory of Peperharow, Surrey.
Clarke's first publication was a copy of Greek hexameters, on the death of Frederick, prince of Wales, in the Luctus Academię Cantabrigiensis, 1751. In 1755 he published A Letter to a Friend in Italy, and Verses on reading Montfaucon, and about the same time he projected, in concert with the learned printer Bowyer, an improvement of Faber's Latin Dictionary, only one sheet of which appeared. In 1760 he went with the Earl of Bristol as chaplain to the embassy at Madrid, and during his two years' residence collected materials for a work, published on his return in February 1762, entitled Letters concerning the State of Spain ¼ written at Madrid during the years 1760 and 1761, London, 1763, 4to, pp. 354. It is full of details and statistics.
In 1763 he married Anne, daughter of Thomas Grenfield of Guildford, Surrey, and soon after attended General Johnston to Minorca as chaplain and secretary. He held the same office under succeeding governors, and in 1767 published A Defence of the conduct of the Lieutenant-governor of the Island of Minorca, in Reply to a Printed Libel, London, 8vo. In 1768 he returned to England, and became vicar of Willingdon and Arlington, Sussex, and rector of Buxted in succession to his father, who resigned. From alleged dislike to pluralism he now gave up the Peperharow living. From 1771 till his death he was prebendary of Chichester. His health was very delicate, and he settled down to a quiet literary life, undertaking the education of Thomas Steele, well known in the Pitt administration, and his brother Robert.
In 1778 he issued proposals for printing by subscription, price two guineas, a folio edition of the New Testament in Greek, with selections from the most eminent critics and commentators. The design met with no response. He died, after gradual decay and paralysis, in November 1786. He left three sons: the Rev. James Stanier [q.v.], Edward Daniel [q.v.], and George, of the royal navy, who was drowned in the Thames in 1805. His only daughter, Anne, was married to Captain Parkinson, who was with Nelson at Trafalgar..
Otter's Life of Edward D. Clarke, i. 41, 51
Monthly Review, vol. xxviii.
Lower's Worthies of Sussex, p. 267
Nichols's Illustr. viii. 537
Nichols's Lit. Anecd. iii. 492, iv. 279, 311, 367, 382, 467, 475, 721, viii. 406.
Contributor: J. W.-G. [John Westby-Gibson]