Clarke, Dr. Alured

, an English divine, who deserves to be recorded among the benefactors of mankind, was the son of Alured Clarke, gent, by Ann, the fourth daughter of Charles Trimnell, rector of Abbots Riptou in Hampshire, and a sister of the bishop of Winchester of that name. He was born in 1696; and alter receiving his early education at St. Paul’s school, was admitted pensioner in Corpus Christi college, Cambridge, April 1, 1713, where after taking the degree of A. B. he was made fellow in 1718, and proceeded A.M. two years after. At this | early age he became a candidate with Mr. (afterwards Dr.) Ward, for the professorship of rhetoric in Gresham college, but without success. In May 1723, he was collated to the rectory of Chilbolton in Hampshire, and installed prebendary of Winchester on the 23d of that month. He was appointed one of the chaplains in ordinary to king George I. and continued in the same dignity in the subsequent reign, when George II. on his visit to Cambridge in April 1728, honoured him with the degree of D. D. and promoted him to a prebend in the church of Westminster, in which he was installed May 8, 1731; being then one of the deputy clerks of the closet. As a farther mark of the royal favouiy his majesty advanced him to the deanery of Exeter May 12, 1740; but he did not enjoy this long, being always of an infirm and weak constitution, which was worn out before he had completed his forty-sixth year. He died May 31, 1742, and was interred without any monument in Westminster.

His printed works are few, consisting only of four occasional sermons, and an “Essay,” published in 1738, “towards the character of queen Caroline,” whom he highly reverenced, and with whom he had long been a considerable favourite. By some this Essay has been given to lord Hervey, but Mr. Masters was assured it was Dr. Clarke’s.

As a man, his character stands very high. He is said to have spent the whole surplus of his annual income in works of hospitality and charity; and determined with himself never to have in reserve, how great soever his revenue might be, more than a sum sufficient to defray the expences of his funeral. The most remarkable instance of his active benevolence was in the case of the sick hospital at Winchester. Its institution, which was the first of the kind in England, those of the metropolis only excepted, owes its existence chiefly to the industry and indefatigable zeal of Dr. Alured Clarke, who in 1736 recommended the scheme to the public by every art of persuasion, and was so successful, that the first annual subscription amounted to upwards of 600l. And when the great utility of such a foundation became more apparent, its revenue soon increased to upwards of a thousand pounds per ann. and institutions of a like nature were in a short time established throughout the kingdom. The orders and constitutions of Winchester infirmary were drawn up by Dr. Clarke, and | are a proof of great wisdom in a branch of political ceconomy, at that time very little understood. He began a similar institution upon his removal to Exeter, (where he had, with his usual liberality, expended a large sum of money upon the repair of his deanry house), but did not live long enough to see his laudable design fully executed. Dr. Clarke’s brother, Charles Clarke, esq. applied to the study of the law, in which he acquired great eminence, and was nominated one of the barons of the Exchequer in 1742. In the execution of this office, he caught the infectious disorder at the Old Bailey sessions in 1750, which proved at the same time fatal to the lord mayor, sir Samuel Pennant, sir Daniel Lambert, sir Thomas Abney, and others in court. Baron Clarke died in May, and was buried at Godmanchester. One of his sons is the present sir Alured Clarke, K. B. 1

1 Masteis’a Hist, of C. C. C. C. History of Winchester Gent. Maf. LXII. p. 1221 and for one of his Sermons see vol. II. p. 535. 06.