Clarke, Timothy (DNB00)

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CLARKE, TIMOTHY, M.D. (d. 1672), physician, was a member of Balliol College, Oxford, at the time of the parliamentary visitation in May 1648, when he refused to submit (Register of the Visitors of the University of Oxford, Camd. Soc., pp. 101, 103, 104, 106, 478). Whether he escaped expulsion is not clear, but he was allowed to proceed M.D. on 20 July 1652. He was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians on 26 June 1654, and a fellow on 20 Oct. 1664. Clarke had some celebrity in his day as an anatomist. He enjoyed the favour of Charles II, before whom, as Pepys records, he conducted some dissections, ‘with which the king was highly pleased’ (Diary, ed. Bright, ii. 205). He had already (December 1660) been chosen physician in ordinary to the royal household, and on 7 March 1662–3 was gazetted physician to ‘the new-raised forces within the kingdom.’ On the death of Dr. Quartermaine in June 1667, Clarke was appointed second physician in ordinary to the king, with the reversion of Dr. George Bate's place as chief physician, and as such was named an elect of the college on 24 Jan. 1669–70 in room of Sir Edward Alston, deceased. He had been incorporated at Cambridge on his doctor's degree in 1668. Clarke died at his house in St. Martin's-in-the-Fields on 11 Feb. 1671–2, leaving no issue (Correspondence of the Family of Hatton, Camd. Soc., i. 79; Probate Act Book, P. C. C. 1672). His will, dated two days before, was proved on 28 March following by his wife Frances (reg. in P. C. C. 26, Eure). Clarke was one of the original fellows of the Royal Society, and is named in the charter one of the first council. He wrote a long Latin dissertation in the ‘Philosophical Transactions’ of 1668 (iii. 672–82), in which he endeavours to prove that Dr. George Joyliffe was the first discoverer of the lymphatic vessels. He had also in preparation a work giving an account of his own original investigations in anatomy, which was to have been published at the expense of the society (Birch, Hist. of Roy. Soc. ii. 339), but this he did not live to complete. It was Clarke who proposed to the society ‘that a man hanged might be begged of the king to try to revive him, and that in case he were revived, he might have his life granted him’ (Birch, ii. 471). Clarke was intimate with Pepys, and is frequently mentioned in the latter's ‘Diary.’

[Munk's Coll. of Phys., 2nd edit., i. 281, 315; Thomson's Hist. of Roy. Soc. p. 108; Pepys's Diary (Bright), passim; Birch's Hist. Roy. Soc. passim; Cal. State Papers, Dom. 1660–1, p. 429, 1663–4, p. 71, 1664–5, p. 129, 1665–6, p. 406, 1667, pp. 228, 250, 431.]

G. G.