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John Creemer Clarke

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John Creemer Clarke

1821 – 1895

Biography

(see long history)

Although he came to play a significant role in many aspects of Abingdon life, John Creemer Clarke was not a native of the town. He came from Devon and remained proud of his roots. He was the son of Robert Clarke, a farmer, and Graciana, whose maiden name was Creemer.

As a young man Clarke was first employed in the drapery business in Bideford before moving to Berkshire and joining the firm of Hyde and Son, wholesale clothiers in Abingdon. He married twice, both his wives coming from Somerset. With his first wife, Anna Avis, he had a son, Heber (1846-98). Anna died in 1848, and the following year Clarke married Elizabeth Joyce. After a few years in Reading, he returned to Abingdon, took up a senior position at Hyde and Son, and lived for the rest of his life at Waste Court in Bath Street. Altogether he had ten children who, unusually for the time, all reached adulthood.

Hyde and Son did well, and during the Crimean War (1854-6) won a contract for army uniforms. The American Civil War (1861-5) also provided an opportunity. At the beginning of the war, Clarke persuaded his fellow-directors to allow him to buy very large quantities of cloth while it was still available − cotton imports from the USA essentially ceased for the duration of the war. Unlike the industry in Lancashire, the Abingdon factory was able to continue production and the workers remained employed.

Hyde and Son became Hyde, Son and Clarke, and finally Clarke, Sons and Co. It was one of the largest clothing manufacturers in the country, employing up to 2000 people at its height, including many home workers. The factory itself was at the bottom of West St Helen Street, next to the churchyard. The company owed much of its success to Clarke’s drive and enthusiasm and it was one of the first to adopt new machinery.  At his death Clarke was worth £85,000, which would have classed him as a multi-millionaire today.

By 1860 Clarke was a member of the town council, serving as mayor in 1869-70, and he was also a JP. As a prominent local figure he was persuaded to stand as the Liberal candidate for Abingdon in the 1874 general election. He defeated the sitting Conservative member comfortably even though Disraeli and the Conservatives won nationally, and despite his opponents saying that his business commitments had prevented him fully carrying out his duties as a councillor. This was the first election with a secret ballot, which may have contributed to Clarke’s success.  There were great celebrations in the town, and in the factory his workers drank his health in cups of tea. One critic still grumbled that he was not fit for the job, lacking the education and oratorical ability required. Clarke was not very active in parliament but was nevertheless re-elected in 1880 and held the seat until 1885 when the borough lost its separate representation.  In 1888, County Councils were introduced and Clarke became one of Abingdon’s two members, the other being John Tomkins, a conservative.

Clarke was a leading Methodist and played an important part in the building of Trinity Church. He gave the land and made a significant financial contribution to the building, and he rarely missed a church meeting.  His family continued to support the church in many ways. The girls helped in the Sunday School and the summer treat was held in the Waste Court gardens.

Creating a local cottage hospital was another cause Clark strongly promoted. The hospital opened in 1886 after Christ’s Hospital had provided land in Bath Street and Clarke had covered the building costs. Contemporaries thought this was his greatest contribution to the town. The building remained in use until 1930 when the Warren Hospital, converted from a large Victorian house, was opened on Radley Road. The original site in Bath Street is now Mercers’ Court, part of Abingdon School, built in a style reminiscent of the original hospital.

From 1873 Clarke was chairman of the Abingdon Railway Company. He had been a director since it was founded in 1855 when Abingdon was, at last, about to achieve a railway link, although only a branch line.

Three sons followed him into the clothing business though one of these died when only twenty. Heber, the eldest, took over the company on his father’s death in 1895. He was also a councillor for several years and served as mayor. He and his family lived in Fitzharris House, opposite Waste Court. When he died only three years after his father, a younger brother, Harry, took over the company and later moved into Waste Court. This building is now an Abingdon School boarding house with the new name of Austin House because the boys disliked the name “Waste”. The clothing company continued until 1932.

How should Clarke be remembered? The original Cottage Hospital, his gift to the town, has gone but Trinity Church is still flourishing. In 1879, Clarke had given the town an elaborate gold badge for the mayor’s chain, bearing the arms of Abingdon, with a link showing his arms and motto. Other mayors have contributed their own links, and the handsome chain is still in use today.

 Reporting his funeral, The Abingdon Herald described Clarke as “a good man whose help and counsel both public and private will be very sorely missed”.    

 

© AAAHS and contributors 2017

(see short history)

Although he came to play a significant role in many aspects of Abingdon life, John Creemer Clarke was not a native of the town. He was born at Coxhole Farm, Exbourne  on 30 May 1821 and baptised in the parish church on 21 June.  His parents were Robert Clarke of St Giles in the Wood, a farmer, and Graciana, whose maiden name was Creemer. When he was elected MP for Abingdon in 1874, he approached the College of Arms and had his Clarke family pedigree traced back to the early eighteenth century in Yarnscombe.[1] In 1876 he was granted arms with a crest and the motto “Carpe diem” (seize the day).[2]  His pride in his Devon roots is also shown by his choice of London club, the Devonshire, and his commissioning of a stained glass window in his parents’ memory in Exbourne church.[3] His father was described as “a splendid specimen of a fine old English yeoman - a class that is unhappily dying out”.[4]

We know very little about Clarke’s early life; all we have to go on are some brief notes written by the family in 1895 and census returns. He was educated in Barnstable by a Mr Elias Bray as his father was at that time living nearby at Pitt Farm in Pilton, but we have no more information about Mr Bray. Clarke’s first job was with the drapery business of Messrs Vellacott of Bideford and he lived with Ralph Hamlyn, a draper. His movements during the next decade are not altogether clear. In 1845 he married Anna Maria Avis of Minehead and about then became a junior partner with Hyde and Son, wholesale clothiers in Abingdon.[5]  It is related that he was not very impressed by his first view of the town and its business prospects.  The one definite fact we have of this time in Abingdon is the birth of his eldest son, John Heber (1846-98), said to be named after Bishop Heber of Calcutta whom John admired.[6] Heber is best known as a hymn writer, “Brightest and best are the sons of the morning” being one example.

Clarke’s movements over the next few years may be explained by changes in his family circumstances. His wife, Anna, died in 1848 and the following year he married Elizabeth Joyce of Timberscombe in Somerset. In the 1851 census we find them living in Reading with his son, Heber. Besides the census, an account of King Street in Reading also mentions him at No. 22 operating as a clothier and woollen draper.[7]  From the next census we learn that two more children were born in Reading, but the family had moved back to Abingdon by the late summer of 1856 when the fourth child was born.  Clarke had re-joined Hyde and Son in a senior position and was living at Waste Court in Bath Street which was his home for the rest of his life.[8]  Altogether he had ten children who, unusually for the time, all survived into adulthood.

Hyde and Son prospered and, according to the family, real success came during the Crimean War (1854 -56) when it won contracts for army uniforms, but we have no corroboration for this.[9] An article in the Abingdon Museum archives attributes the firm’s success to Clarke’s personality and drive when his partners were more cautious.  However, the authorship and origin of the article are unknown and we do not know how reliable it is.[10]

At the beginning of the American Civil War in 1861, Clarke persuaded his fellow directors to allow him to purchase very large amounts of cloth from Manchester. The factory kept running and the workers remained employed during the four years of the war even though there were almost no cotton exports from the USA and there was real distress in Lancashire. The factory was enlarged and altered in 1862 and 1866 and was described as one of the largest manufacturers of clothing in the kingdom.[11] By this time the firm was employing about 1850 people, 350 in the factory in West St Helen Street and the rest collecting work to complete at home. In 1863 the company officially became Hyde, Son and Clarke and a decade later the partnership was dissolved and it became Clarke, Sons and Co.[12] The factory was well run and working conditions were claimed to be better than elsewhere.  Clarke was always keen to adopt the latest machinery. Later he introduced steam power for sewing and cutting machines, and his outworkers had treadle machines in their homes.[13] There are stories of bundles of cut-out garments being wheeled home in old prams.  In local census returns the outworkers are sometimes called slop workers – slop was the term for cheap mass-produced clothing.  

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West St Helen Street looking south in about 1908.

Clarke’s factory dominates the right hand side of the street next to the church.  

(Part of a privately owned postcard kindly scanned by the owner.)

 

(The postcard was published by Frank Smith, High Street, Oxford in 1908. We have not been able to trace a current copyright holder. We apologise if we have inadvertently used a copyright image and invite copyright holders to contact us.)

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Outside the clothing factory in the 1920s with workers ready to leave on a factory outing.
 
 
 
 
(Abingdon Museum 1980.191.152. By kind permission of Abingdon                   County Hall Museum.)

 

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Extract of the 1912 25-inch OS map showing the clothing factory next to St Helen’s churchyard and opposite the junction of East and West St Helen Streets.
 

(Original map privately owned and kindly scanned by the owner.)                                                                                   

 

By the 1860s Clarke was a well-established figure in Abingdon and apparently known for the long hours he put into running his business. However, he served on the town council from 1860 to 1875, being Mayor in 1869 -70, and he was also a JP.[14]  When he was proposed as a parliamentary candidate in 1874, a hostile article in the Berkshire Chronicle commented that his business concerns had prevented him “fully applying himself to the duties of a member of the Town Council”.[15]  The 1874 election was the first election since the secret ballot was introduced in 1872 and came at the end of Gladstone’s first ministry which had introduced many reforms. Since the Second Reform Act of 1867, the franchise had been extended to all householders in boroughs, and local and national political organisations had developed.  Abingdon’s MP was Colonel the Honourable Charles Hugh Lindsay, a Conservative, and the local papers were confident he would be re-elected.[16] The initial Liberal candidate was Arthur Arnold, a newspaper editor, who issued a handbill and addressed a meeting. However, the local Liberal association felt that if they were to have any chance of defeating Lindsay they must have a local candidate. Clarke was the ideal choice: he lived in the town, was a major local employer and a leading Methodist who was promoting the building of a new church. After considerable hesitation he agreed to stand and there was an interesting and exciting campaign with party feeling almost at “fever pitch”.[17] Clarke declared that he supported Mr Gladstone, the abolition of income tax and extending the franchise to householders in the counties. Clarke was favoured by the working classes but the Conservatives were sanguine and possibly did not campaign with the vigour and determination of their opponents. Posters reminded people that they could vote fearlessly this time because nobody would know how they voted.

 On the day of the election most people voted in the morning. In the afternoon, crowds mainly of young people paraded the town displaying their party colours, blue and red, even on the necks and tails of their dogs. The results were announced in the evening with an unexpected victory for Clarke.  He won by 439 to 333 which meant that even if the 88 eligible voters who failed to vote had done so for Lindsay, Clarke would have still won.  There was great rejoicing in the town and Clarke addressed a large crowd from the balcony of the Queen’s Hotel in the Market Place before being escorted home to Waste Court in Bath Street. The next day there was a party at the factory, the building was decorated, and the workers pledged Mr Clarke’s successful parliamentary career in cups of tea.  In the evening there were processions round the town with a drum and fife band. The local paper noted that everything was done in good spirits and there was no serious breach of the peace. In the following week’s paper there was a very long anonymous letter (over a thousand words) listing the deficiencies of Mr Clarke: “An MP should be a gentleman of some status, endowed with powers of independent thought, with some educational and literary acquirement and blessed with a certain amount of oratorical ability”.[18] It was, presumably, by a disgruntled conservative who looked down on Clarke as a tradesman. A similar comment had been made twenty years earlier about an earlier Liberal MP, John Thomas Norris. It has also been suggested that Clarke may have been mocked for his regional accent.[19]

How do we explain the Abingdon result? Nationally the election was won by Disraeli and the Conservatives, their first victory since 1841. The secret ballot and the more enthusiastic efforts of the local Liberal Association were probably key factors resulting in Abingdon being the only constituency in this area to change hands. Nationally over 100 Conservatives were returned unopposed and they were generally better organised.  The Reading Mercury commented that if the 200 or so members of the Abingdon Conservative Working Men’s Association had voted according to their nominal allegiance, Clarke would not have won.[20]  Perhaps the deciding factor was that Clarke lived in the town, (the first MP to do so since 1807) and represented the town rather than “county interests”.[21]  During the nineteenth century Abingdon had never been a safe seat for either party. In the two previous general elections (1865 and 1868) Abingdon had elected Colonel Lindsay, a Conservative, when the Liberals had won nationally. There is an interesting comment on the voting habits of the Abingdon electorate at the end of the long article on Thomas Duffield

The 1870s were a busy period for Clarke and his family.  From 1874, Clarke had additional duties as an MP and was also very involved in the building of the new Methodist church.  It is reported that he rarely missed church meetings, which contrasts with the disparaging comments made during the election campaign on the time he apparently gave to town council affairs.[22] In January 1871 his eldest son, Heber, married Charlotte Badcock in St Helen’s Church.[23] To start with they lived in Northcourt but later moved to Fitzharris House in Bath Street, just the other side of the road from his parents. The first grandchild was born in 1872 and by 1885 there were seven.[24] Sadly, Clarke’s second son, John Joyce, died at Waste Court in February 1873 after a short illness.[25] There was another wedding in July 1877 when his eldest daughter, Margaret, married William Mewburn junior whose father, a nationally known Methodist, had been a friend of Clarke’s. It was described in the Western Times as “one of the gayest weddings known in the neighbourhood for a long time”.[26] The occasion gave rise to a sketch of the career of the bride’s father which was also published in several other West Country papers including the North Devon Journal. Clarke’s large fortune was attributed to “brilliant talents combined with a life of public energy and usefulness marked throughout by stringent integrity.” The article even compared him to Sir Robert Peel. In his business he had always found employment for his workers even in the most unprofitable times.  He had also befriended and helped “many youths of considerable intellectual promise” whose academic career might otherwise have been blighted, welcoming them at the old mansion of Waste Court, showing kindness and hospitality.[27]

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 Trinity Church from the north-west  

 (Henry Taunt, 1876, OXCMS TI 1633.44.3.14. Courtesy of Abingdon County Hall Museum.)

 

 

 

Clarke was a leading member of the local Methodist community and D B Tranter’s booklet on Trinity Church is our main source of information on this aspect of his life.[28] It describes him as “a high-toned gentleman, handsome in person, kindly in spirit, courteous to all, manly and dignified”. He devoted considerable time and money to the church which had outgrown its premises in Ock Street. Plans for the new building began in 1873. Clarke gave the land and £1000 of the expected cost of £5000. In the end it cost £7000.  Foundation stones were laid and two and a half years later, in May 1875, the church was opened.

Clarke and his family continued to support the church. One visiting preacher commented, “I spent the day at Waste Court, and a most pleasant visit I had. Mr Clarke is a modest intelligent gentleman and his wife and daughters thoroughly ladylike and staunch Methodists”.  Some of his daughters taught in the Sunday School and Mrs Clarke provided plants to help decorate the church for Harvest Festivals. Waste Court also hosted the summer treat with races and swings in the garden. Clarke would throw gingerbread nuts from a tin and the children would scramble for them. The family continued to support the church financially.    

In 1880 there was another general election. Things were not going too well for the Conservative government but, after some favourable by-elections, Disraeli decided to go to the polls.  On the evening of 8 March the news reached Abingdon by a private telegram that was assumed to have been sent by Clarke.  In fact, he knew nothing and the next morning set off to Manchester for a business meeting, getting as far as Banbury before he heard the news. He immediately returned to Abingdon to circulate an address to his constituents. There was considerable speculation about who the Conservative candidate would be. Three days later came the announcement that it would be Mr Alban Gibbs, a young man of thirty-three who lived nearby at Clifton Hampden. He was the cousin of the vicar of Abingdon, Revd W C Gibbs, a very popular clergyman so the Conservatives hoped a large number of churchmen would vote for him. He was also a great-nephew of the William Gibbs who had made his fortune in guano and was the builder of Tyntesfield.[29] The Conservatives were defending the record of Disraeli’s government, upholding his foreign policy and claiming that England was now respected throughout the world. Clarke still continued to support Gladstone and maintained that the Liberals had left a surplus of six million pounds when they left office and there was now a deficit of eight million. His own record was called into question, notably his attendance in the House. In the previous six years there had been 1074 divisions but  Clarke had only been present at 407 and had never contributed in debates. It had also been the custom for the MP to give £50 for the races. Clarke had declined - Methodists were against gambling - but gave a similar amount “for coal to the deserving poor”. There was a considerable amount of hostile publicity, often of a satirical nature.

On the eve of the election there was a violent confrontation between the supporters of the two candidates. Following this, as a precaution against further trouble, a small detachment of soldiers was quartered at The Crown and Thistle but, in the event, they were not needed. The election result was a victory for Clarke (428 to 386) and nationally it was also a victory for the Liberals.[30] Clarke remained as MP for Abingdon until the seat was abolished in the 1885 Third Reform Act, being merged into North Berkshire. He declined to stand for the new constituency. In 1888, County Councils were introduced. The mayor of Abingdon met with the new MP for North Berkshire to discuss the details of the bill with the result that Abingdon ended up with two councillors instead of one.[31] In the county council elections of 1889 and 1893, Abingdon’s representatives were Clarke, a Liberal, and Tomkins, a Conservative, who were both elected unopposed.

In October 1872, Clarke had suggested converting the useless gaol at Abingdon (known as the Old Gaol today) into a much-needed local hospital. The building had been empty since 1868 when the prisoners were transferred to Reading.[32] The suggestion was not taken up but, a decade later, he played a key role in the establishment of a Cottage Hospital in the town. Christ’s Hospital provided the land in Bath Street and Clarke covered the cost of the building. The foundation stone was laid in August 1885 by his wife, a daughter-in-law, and two other ladies.                                                                                                                                            

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The cottage hospital in Bath Street in about 1905.    

 

           (Privately owned post card kindly scanned by the owner. There is no                              publisher’s name and we are unable to trace a copyright holder.)

The Bath Street hospital continued in use until 1930 when its functions were transferred to the new Warren Hospital, converted from a large Victorian house on Radley Road. The building was used for other purposes until 1993 when it was demolished and rebuilt as Mercers’ Court, part of Abingdon School. The architecture is reminiscent of the original hospital building on the Bath Street site.

Two of Clarke’s younger daughters were married in 1890. In June, Marion, the youngest, married Edward Paull of Liverpool and in August Florence, the third daughter, married William Alexander McArthur son of the MP for Leicester.[33] In the 1891 census there were only three of the family left at Waste Court: John, Elizabeth, and their daughter Gertrude, but they still had four servants.

In addition to his other activities, Clarke was much involved in bringing the railway to Abingdon. He had been a director of the Abingdon Railway Company from its inception in 1855, a year before the line to Abingdon opened, and chairman from 1872.[34] One newspaper article commented, “It was chiefly due to his potent influence that that important commercial undertaking, so powerful an agent for good in the district received its solidifying impetus”.[35] Abingdon’s earlier aspirations to be on the main line had been disappointed, and by the 1850s the town was desperate to have a railway connection. Major Haythorne Reed had won the by-election of 1854 with his promise of support for a branch line to Abingdon and was as good as his word, working to get the necessary legislation passed.[36]

Clarke was also involved with other organisations in the town. Among these was Christ’s Hospital where he was a governor from 1873 until his death and was master twice, in 1881-2 and 1886-7. He was also a governor of Roysse’s (now Abingdon) School which moved to new premises in the Albert Park area in 1870.

Clarke died at home on 11 February 1895 after a brief illness. He had been in poor health for some time; when re-appointed Methodist circuit steward in the previous December, he had told the minister at Trinity Church “I may not be much longer with you”.[37] On the day of his funeral all businesses in Abingdon closed between 2 and 3 pm at the request of the mayor, and the townspeople lined the streets.  His funeral began at Trinity Church, conducted by Methodist circuit ministers and attended by his family and friends, and a large congregation.  The mayor and council attended in state with the mace draped in crepe, and other public bodies were represented. About a hundred employees joined the procession to the cemetery where the graveside service was conducted by the Vicar of Abingdon. In fact, “never has a funeral in Abingdon been so numerously attended as that of Mr John Creemer Clarke. Representatives of all classes and sections in the town assembled to do honour to the memory of the deceased gentleman.”[38]

Clarke has a fine memorial cross in the old cemetery in Spring Road. Also commemorated on the base are his wife Elizabeth, son (John) Joyce (just called Joyce in the inscription), and daughters Florence and Gertrude. More recently the names of four granddaughters, children of Harry Thomas (1857 -1933) have been added on the surround: Dorothy 1974, Ursula 1975, Elizabeth 1982 and Irene Anna 1990.

The wedding of Clarke’s fifth daughter, Alice, had to be postponed as it should have taken place on 13 February, two days after her father’s death.[39]  Her marriage to Edmund Belcher eventually took place on 11 May at St Mary’s Wimbledon.[40] 

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John Creemer Clarke’s memorial cross in Spring Road cemetery.

The inscription on the cross reads “Not as I will but as thou wilt”. The last line on the base reads “The memory of the just is blessed”.

((c) Alan Joinson 2017)

 

 

At John Creemer Clarke’s death, his personal estate was valued at £85,000, making him the equivalent of a multi-millionaire today.[41]  His eldest son, Heber, succeeded his father in the business and many other positions, being a member of the council from 1875 and mayor in 1885, the year when the foundation stones of both the Cottage Hospital and the Corn Exchange were laid.[42] He died in 1898, only three years after his father, and the family connection with Fitzharris House ended soon after. It was demolished half a century later, in 1953, but the entrance to the driveway can still be seen at the top of Letcombe Avenue as it joins Bath Street. From the description of Fitzharris House in its bill of sale in 1912, there were beautiful grounds and trees as well as the sixteenth century residence and outbuildings.[43] Waste Court was occupied by the next son, Harry Thomas (1857-1933) until 1928 when it was sold to Abingdon School and became a boarding house. The boys were amazed to find it not only had electricity but also central heating.[44] The Clarke family’s style of living is shown in these details. Waste Court has recently been renamed Austin House as the boys disliked the name “Waste”.  

Harry continued the clothing business until 1932 and, like his father and brother, was also a councillor and was mayor from 1915 to 1917, during the First World War. Five of John Creemer Clarke’s grandsons served in that war, all volunteering at the beginning. Harold Joyce and John Joyce, sons of Harry were both killed in 1915 though a third brother, Laurence Joyce, survived and was awarded the MC. Laurence’s son died as a pilot in WWII. All three have memorials in St Nicolas’ Church. Two cousins, sons of Heber, also survived WWI and one of them, Robert Joyce Clarke, was awarded the CMG and DSO.

How should John Creemer Clarke be remembered? The Abingdon Herald, announcing his death, picked out the cottage hospital for special mention.[45]  For Abingdon today, Trinity Church continues to flourish: “It is his monument”.[46]  In 1879, Clarke had given the town an elaborate gold badge for the mayor’s chain, bearing the arms of Abingdon, and a link to hang it from displaying his arms and his motto “Carpe diem”.[47] Other mayors have contributed their own links and the handsome chain is still in use today. Clarke is the only nineteenth-century MP for Abingdon serving for more than one term who does not have a street named after him. But could Exbourne Road be named after his birthplace? Another quote from the Herald seems a fitting way to conclude. “He was a good man whose help and counsel, both public and private will be sorely missed”.

mayoral_badge_and_links_-_photo_by_jan_morter_2017_-_from_silvia_15may17_ed_jb15may17.jpg

 

The mayoral badge and link donated by John Creemer Clarke.

 

((c) Jan Morter 2017 (Mayor 2017))

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

REFERENCES


[1] Abingdon School Archives, Clarke family notes.

[2] North Devon Journal, 1 March 1883.

[3] Abingdon School archives, Clarke notes.

[4] North Devon Journal, 12 July 1877.

[5] Abingdon School, Clarke notes.

[6] Western Times, 9 July 1877.

[8] Census 1841 Bideford; 1851 Reading; 1861 and 1871 Abingdon.

[9] Abingdon School, Clarke notes.

[10] Abingdon Museum archives, anonymous article ‘The Origin of an Industry – Messrs. Clarke, Sons, & Co., Abingdon’. Original publication not traced. The article is a loose insert in the J H Viner scrapbook. Its pages have been trimmed and any mention of the original publication lost.

[11] Bob Wilson, ‘Trade Industry and Domestic Activity at the Old Clothing Factory Site, Abingdon’, Oxoniensia vol.54 (1989), pp. 282-3.

[12] Dutton, Allen Directory, 1863 p. 228; Bucks Herald, 13 July 1872; Directory, 1874  p. 354; (copy of Abingdon pages in Abingdon Library Local Studies Collection).

[13] Abingdon Museum, scrapbook insert, ‘Messrs. Clarke, Sons, & Co.’.

[14] Bromley Challenor, Selections from the Records of the Borough of Abingdon (Abingdon, 1898), Appendices pp. 49, 51-2I.

[15] Berkshire Chronicle, 31 January 1874.

[16] Berkshire Chronicle, Jackson’s Oxford Journal, 31 January 1874.

[17] Abingdon Herald, 7 February 1874

[18] Abingdon Herald, 7 February 1874; 14 February 1874.

[19] Anon, ’John Creemer Clarke’s Abingdon Monuments’, http://www.abingdonblog.co.uk/?p=181868 (accessed 11 March 2017).

[20] Reading Mercury, 7 February 1874.

[21] Abingdon Museum, scrapbook insert, ‘Messrs. Clarke, Sons, & Co.’

[22] D B Tranter, A History of Trinity (Wesleyan) Methodist Church, Abingdon, (Abingdon 1975), pp.6-7.

[23] Reading Mercury, 28 January 1871.

[24] Census, 1871, 1881 and 1891, Abingdon.

[25] Berkshire Chronicle, 22 February 1873.

[26] Western Times, 6 July 1877.

[27] Western Times, 9 July 1877; North Devon Journal, 12 July 1877.

[28] Tranter, Trinity Methodist Church, pp. 7, 9-10, 12-14.

[29] Abingdon and Reading Herald , 13 March 1880.

[30] Abingdon Herald, 27 March 1880, Special Edition; 30 March 1880; 3 April 1880.

[31] Challenor, Selections, p. 357.

[32] Reading Mercury, 19 October 1872.

[33] Royal Cornwall Gazette, 12 June 1890; Reading Mercury 16 August 1890.

[34] Reading Mercury,9 March 1895.

[35] Western Times, 9 July 1877.

[36] Nigel Trippett and Nicholas de Courtais, The Abingdon Branch (Upper Buckelbury, 1985) p. 3.

[37] Tranter, Trinity Methodist Church,  pp. 14-15.

[38] Abingdon Herald, Reading Mercury, 23 February 1895.

[39] Sussex Agricultural Express, 2 February 1895.

[40] Reading Mercury, 11 May 1895.

[41] Illustrated London News, 18 May 1895 (details of will).

[42] Challenor, Selections, Appendices pp.  49, 51 & 53.

[43] Nigel Hammond, Around Abingdon (Stroud, 1996), p. 74.

[44] Anon, History of Abingdon School, http://www.abingdon.org.uk/63objects/object_48_waste_court (accessed 17 February 2017).

[45] Abingdon Herald, 23 February 1895.

[46] Tranter, Trinity Methodist Church, p. 15.

[47] Challenor, Selections, p. 328; Kellys Directory of Berkshire, 1887 p.13. JOHN CREEMER CLARKE 1821 – 1895

 

© AAAHS and contributors 2017

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