Clarke, John (1706-1761) (DNB00)

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CLARKE, JOHN (1706–1761), schoolmaster, was born at Kirby-Misperton, otherwise called Kirby Over-Car, in the North Riding of Yorkshire, on 3 May 1706. He was educated in the school at Wakefield, and in that at Kirkleatham in Cleveland, under Thomas Clark, successively master of both those schools. In 1723 he was admitted a sizar of Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated B.A. in 1726. He was elected a fellow of his college on 1 Oct. 1729 and commenced M.A. in 1730 (Cantabrigienses Graduati, ed. 1787, p. 85). On taking holy orders he was presented to the perpetual curacy of Nun Monkton. He became successively master of the grammar schools of Skipton, Beverley (1735), and Wakefield (1751), Yorkshire (Poulson, Beverlac, pp. 467–469). Clarke was an accomplished classical scholar, and the appellation of ‘Little Aristophanes,’ for he was small of stature, was given to him in consequence of the encomium with which Dr. Bentley honoured him, after a severe examination of his proficiency in the works of that poet. He died on 8 Feb. 1761, and was buried in the church of Kirby-Misperton, where a monument was erected to his memory by some of his former pupils, who also placed a marble tablet, with an elegant Latin inscription, in the three schools over which he had presided (Whitaker, Loidis and Elmete, 291; Gent. Mag. lxiv. pt. ii. pp. 694, 695). Dr. Thomas Zouch, one of the eminent men whom he educated, published a life of him under the title of ‘The Good Schoolmaster,’ York, 1798, reprinted in vol. ii. of Zouch's Works, edited by Wrangham, York, 1820, 8vo.

[Life by Zouch; Eastmead's Hist. Rievallensis, p. 259.]

T. C.