Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 11.djvu/53

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Clerke
Clerke
47

miralitatis Angliæ,' Dublin, 1666 (Wood); London, 1667, 8vo; edited by F. Hargrave, 1743, 8vo; 5th edition, 1798, 12mo; also in Latin and English, 1722, and again translated with notes referring to American admiralty practice by J. E. Hall in the second part or his 'Practice and Jurisdiction of the Court of Admiralty,' Baltimore, 1809, 8vo.

[Wood's Athenæ Oxon. (Bliss), i. 657; Marvin's Legal Bibliography, 151; Brit. Mus. Cat.]

CLERKE, GILBERT (1626–1697?), mathematician and theological writer, born at Uppingham, Rutlandshire, in 1626, was a son of John Clerke, master of the school there. In 1641 he was admitted into Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge, and there he proceeded M.A., being elected a fellow in 1648. In 1651 an increase to his allowance was granted, and he received presbyterian ordination; he became proctor also in the next year, 1652; but in 1655 he resigned his fellowship and quitted the university, because the statutes required him to take the degree of bachelor of divinity, and his conscientious scruples made this impossible. His great acquirements brought him into communication with Dr. Cumberland, his contemporary at Cambridge, with Whiston, and others; but, inheriting a small property, yielding 40l. a year, at Luffingham, Northamptonshire, he contented himself with quietly pursuing his mathematical studies in that county to the end of his life. Thence in 1660 he issued his first work, 'De Plenitudine Mundi,' &c. In this he reviewed Descartes and attacked Bacon, Hobbes, and Seth Ward. In the ensuing year he was engaged in following the lines of Torricelli and Boyle; and, dedicating the resulting work to Sir Justinian Isham, he brought it out in 1662 as 'Tractatus de Restitutione Corporum' &c. Another work of his was 'Finalis Concordia,' alluded to by him in some correspondence with Baxter on church divisions. In 1682 he published his thoughts on Oughtred's 'Clavis Mathematica' with the title 'Oughtredus explicatus,' part i. dedicated to his original patron, Isham, part ii. to Sir Walter Chetwynd. In this work Clerke spoke of his invention of the spot-dial, and to meet the general demand for such an instrument, he published his 'Description' of it in 1687, this being the only work he wrote in English. In 1695 appeared 'Tractatus Tres,' in answer to Dr. Bull's Nicene writings, the first two of these being by Clerke and the third anonymous, though he is accredited with the whole three by some writers, while others take from him the two to which he put his name and attribute them all to Samuel Crellis (Anti-Trin. Biog. p. 485). Clerke's position as an original theologian is also questioned; it is thought he merely reproduced Zwicker's arguments. Even the county in which he lived has been disputed, because Whiston knew him as a noted mathematician at Stamford, and Nelson, in ' Life of Bull,' says his home was in Northamptonshire. The two statements agree in reality, for one part of the Lincolnshire city, the hamlet called Stamford Baron, is in Northamptonshire (Magna Brit. iii. 475), and Clerke no doubt resided there, since all his directions to find the meridian, &c, relate to observations taken at Stamford. The manner and the time of his death are not recorded. He is supposed to have died about 1697.

[Wallace's Anti-Trinitarian Biog. iii. 261, 362-6, 485; De Plenitudine Mundi, Praefatio; The Spot-Dial, To Courteous Reader, n. p., and ib. 22.]

J. H.

CLERKE, HENRY, M.D. (d. 1687), physician, son of Thomas Clerke of Willoughby, Warwickshire, was matriculated at Magdalen Hall on 20 April 1688, at the age of sixteen, obtained a demyship at Magdalen College, and was probationer fellow of that society from 1642 to 1667. He graduated B.A. on 4 Dec. 1641, M.A. on 21 June 1644. He was reader in logic at his college in 1643, bursar in 1653, 1656, and 1662, vice-president in 1655, and again in 1663. He seems to have submitted to the parliamentary visitors in May 1648. Meanwhile he had taken the degree of M.D. by accumulation on 27 May 1652, and was incorporated at Cambridge in 1673. In 1657 he was appointed deputy lecturer in anatomy at Oxford. He was admitted a candidate of the College of Physicians on 5 April 1658, and a fellow on 25 June 1669. He was admitted a fellow of the Royal Society on 7 Nov. 1667. Upon the death of Dr. Thomas Pierce in 1672 Clerke was elected president of Magdalen College on 5 March of that year. In order to fully qualify himself for the office he soon afterwards took orders. He was appointed vice-chancellor on 9 Oct. 1676. Clerke married Catherine, fourth daughter of William Adams of Charwelton, Northamptonshire, and had by her, who died in 1669 at the age of thirty-three, a son Henry, who died in the same year with his mother, and a daughter Catherine. His daughter, called by the college wits the Infanta, was married in 1682 to Mr. (afterwards Sir Richard) Shuttleworth of Gawthorp Hall, near Burnley, Lancashire, at that time a gentleman commoner of Trinity College. Their united ages did not exceed thirty-three years. Clerke continued presi-