Clarkson, David (DNB00)

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CLARKSON, DAVID (1622–1686), ejected minister, son of Robert Clarkson, was born at Bradford, Yorkshire, where he was baptised on 3 March 1622. He was educated at Clare Hall, Cambridge, and by virtue of a warrant from the Earl of Manchester was admitted fellow on 5 May 1645, being then B.A. Among his pupils was John Tillotson, afterwards archbishop of Canterbury, who succeeded him in his fellowship about 27 Nov. 1651, and always ‘bore a singular respect to him.’ Clarkson had pupils until 26 March 1650. He obtained the perpetual curacy of Mortlake, Surrey, and held it till his ejection by the Uniformity Act in 1662. After ‘shifting from one place of obscurity to another’ he became, in July 1682, colleague to John Owen, D.D., as pastor of an independent church in London, and on Owen's death in the following year he succeeded him as sole pastor. He did not long hold this office, dying rather suddenly on 14 June 1686. His funeral sermon was preached by William Bates, D.D. [q. v.], who is generally called a presbyterian, in spite of his attachment to a moderate episcopacy. Clarkson married a daughter of Sir Henry Holcroft. The funeral sermon for his daughter Gertrude was printed in 1701. Clarkson's brother William held the sequestered rectory of Adel, Yorkshire, and died not long before the Restoration. His sister was married to Sharp, uncle of the archbishop of York, and father of Thomas Sharp, the ejected minister. Clarkson's powers, which were highly valued by Baxter, are exhibited in his controversial writings, the fruit of much learning and judgment.

He published: 1. ‘The Practical Divinity of the Papists proved destructive to Christianity, &c.,’ 1672, 4to (Calamy reckons this piece one of the ablest of its kind). 2. ‘Animadversions upon the Speeches of the Five Jesuits,’ 1679 (Watt). 3. ‘No Evidence for Diocesan Churches or any Bishops without the Choice or Consent of the People in the Primitive Times,’ 1681, 4to (in reply to Stillingfleet). 4. ‘Diocesan Churches not yet discovered in the Primitive Times,’ 1682, 4to (a defence of the foregoing). Posthumous were: 5. ‘A Discourse of the Saving Grace of God,’ 1688, 8vo (preface by John Howe). 6. ‘Primitive Episcopacy, &c.,’ 1688, 8vo; reissued 1689, 8vo (answered by Dr. Henry Maurice, in ‘Defence of Diocesan Episcopacy,’ 1691). 7. ‘A Discourse concerning Liturgies,’ 1689, 8vo (a French translation was published at Rotterdam, 1716). 8. ‘Sermons and Discourses on several Divine Subjects,’ 1696, fol. (portrait by R. White; this is one of the folios sometimes found in old dissenting chapels, originally attached by a chain to a reading-desk, e.g. at Lydgate, Hinckley, Coventry). 9. ‘Funeral Sermon for John Owen, D.D.,’ 1720, 8vo, and in Owen's ‘Collection of Sermons, &c.,’ 1721, fol. Clarkson also contributed sermons to Samuel Annesley's ‘Morning Exercise at Cripplegate,’ 1661, and to Nathaniel Vincent's ‘Morning Exercise against Popery,’ 1675. Clarkson's ‘Select Works’ were edited for the Wycliffe Society by Cooper and Blackburn, 1846, 8vo.

[Calamy's Account, 1713, pp. 386, 667, 813; Contin. 1727, p. 813; Hist. Acct. of my own Life (2nd ed.), 1830, ii. 469; Walker's Sufferings of the Clergy, 1714, pt. ii. 142, 277; Palmer's Nonconf. Memorial, 1803, iii. 305; Neal's Hist. of the Puritans, Dub. 1759, iv. 470; Birch's Life of Tillotson (2nd ed.), 1753, pp. 4, 10; Biographical Collections, 1766, pp. 108 sq.; Watt's Bibl. Brit. 1824; Glaire's Dict. des Sciences Ecclés. 1868, i. 481; extracts from admission book of Clare College, per Rev. E. Atkinson, D.D., master.]

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