Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/50

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.

tion' enjoining forbearance towards the nonsubscribers to the Westminster Confession. Next year he, with two others, entered a strong protest against any compromise with the non-subscribing party. This party attacked him in his own presbytery, but though the matter was referred to the synod, the nonsubscribers were too much occupied in defending themselves to proceed with it. Clerk's literary contributions to the controversy were the first on either side which appeared with the author's name. His friends considered his manner of writing not sufficiently grave in tone. 'I don't think,' writes Livingstone of Templepatrick to Wodrow, on 23 June 1723, 'his reasoning faculty is despisable, but I wish it were equal to his diverting one, for I think he is one of the most comical old fellows that ever was.' On 29 April 1729 Clerk resigned his charge and emigrated to New Hampshire. On landing he found that James Macgregor, formerly minister of Aghadowey, and founder of the township of Londonderry on the Merrimac, had died on 5 March. He succeeded him as minister, and also engaged in educational work. Clerk was a strict vegetarian, but his abstemious diet did not subdue his warlike spirit. Among the quaint anecdotes told of him is one of his criticising to this effect the prowess of St. Peter: 'He only cut off a chiel's lug, and he ought to ha' split doun his held.' Clerk died on 25 Jan. 1735. He was carried to his grave by old comrades at the Derry siege. He had been thrice married, his third wife being the widow of Macgregor.

He published: 1. 'A Letter from the Country to a Friend in Belfast, with respect to the Belfast Society,' &c. (Belfast), 1712 (misprint for 1722), 18mo (issued in June 1722). 2. 'A Letter from the Belfast Society to the Rev. Mr. Matthew Clerk, with an Answer to the Society's Remarks on ... A Letter from the Country,' &c. (Belfast), 1723, 12mo (the Belfast Society's Letter, signed by six of its members [see Bruce, Michael, 1686-1735], was sent to Clerk in October 1722).

[Reid's Hist. Presb. Ch. in Ireland (Killen), 1867, iii. 149, 162; Witherow's Hist, and Lit. Mem. of Presb. in Ireland, 1st ser. 1879, p. 241 sq.]

A. G.

CLERK, WILLIAM, LL.D. (d. 1655), civilian, received his education at Trinity Hall, Cambridge (LL.B. 1609, LL.D. 1629). He was admitted an advocate at Doctors' Commons on 23 Oct. 1629 (Coote, English Civilians, p. 78), and in 1639 he occurs as official of the archdeacon of London (Hale, London Precedents, p. 362). He was appointed one of the judges of the admiralty in 1651 (Wood, Fasti Oxon. ed. Bliss, i. 389). His death occurred about August 1655.

He was author of 'An Epitome of certaine late Aspersions cast at Civilians, the Civil and Ecclesiastical Lawes, the Courts Christian, and at Bishops and their Chancellors, wherein the Authors thereof are refuted and repelled,' Dublin, 1631, 4to. This treatise is chiefly in answer to the preface of Sir John Davis's Reports, and to some parts of the case of præmunire reported by him.

[Authorities cited above.]

T. C.

CLERK-MAXWELL, Sir GEORGE (1715–1784), of Penicuik, second son of Sir John Clerk of Penicuik [q. v.], second baronet, and Janet, daughter of Sir John Inglis of Cramond, was born at Edinburgh in October 1715. He was educated at the universities of Edinburgh and Leyden. From his father he received in patrimony the lands of Drumcrieff in Annandale, and by marriage with Dorothea Clerk-Maxwell, daughter of his uncle William by Agnes Maxwell, heiress of Middlebie, Dumfriesshire, he obtained the lands of Middlebie, adopting thereupon his wife's name, Clerk-Maxwell. He was one of the commissioners of the customs, king's remembrancer in the exchequer, and one of the trustees for improving fisheries and manufactures in Scotland. Both in his private and public capacity he exerted himself with zeal and ability to promote the agricultural and commercial interests of the country. At Dumfries he erected at considerable expense a linen manufactory, and he set on foot a variety of projects for the mining of lead and copper in the county. In 1755 he addressed two letters to the trustees for the improvement of the fisheries and manufactures of Scotland, regarding the common mode of treating wool, which were published by direction of the board in 1756. He was also the author of a paper on shallow ploughing, read before the members of the Philosophical Society, and published in the third volume of their essays. He was a remarkably clever draughtsman, and etched a variety of views of Scotland. On the death of his elder brother in 1782, he succeeded to the baronetcy and estates of Penicuik. He died 29 Jan. 1784, and was succeeded in the baronetcy by his eldest son John. He had four other sons and four daughters.

[Douglas's Baronage of Scotland, i. 462-3; Gent. Mag. liv. pt. i. 314; Scots Mag. xlvi. 55; Anderson's Scottish Nation.]

T. F. H.

CLERKE. [See also Clark, Clarke, and Clerk.]