CLARKE, Thomas (1703-64), of Hampstead, Mdx.

Published in The History of Parliament: the House of Commons 1715-1754, ed. R. Sedgwick, 1970
Available from Boydell and Brewer



1747 - 1754
1754 - 1761

Family and Education

b. 1703, 2nd s. of Thomas Clarke, carpenter, of St. Giles’s, Holborn. educ. Westminster 10 Jan. 1715 aged 11; Trinity, Camb. 10 June 1721, aged 18, fellow 1727; G. Inn 1727, called 1729; transferred to L. Inn 1742, bencher 1754. unm. Kntd. 25 May 1754.

Offices Held

K.C. 1740; master of the rolls May 1754-d.; P.C. 21 June 1754.


An able lawyer of humble origin, Clarke owed his schooling to Dr. Zachary Pearce, later bishop of Rochester, who brought him to the notice of Lord Chancellor Macclesfield. Through Macclesfield he was taken up by Lord Chancellor Hardwicke, who found him ‘inferior to very few (if any) in his profession’, and recommended him to Thomas Scawen for a seat at Mitchell in 1747 as ‘not only my particular friend, but a gentleman of great merit, in all respects very acceptable to the Administration, particularly to the Duke of Newcastle and Mr. Pelham’.1 A Government supporter, he died 13 Nov. 1764.

Ref Volumes: 1715-1754

Author: Eveline Cruickshanks


  • 1. Works of Thos. Newton (1782), i. 80-81; Add. 32733, f.51; 35589, f.238.