CLARKE, John, of London and Hurtmore, Surr.; later of Battle, Suss.
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Family and Education
s. of Francis Clarke, civil lawyer of London and Hurtmore; ?rel. of Bartholomew Clerke. educ. L. Inn 1584, called 1594. m. bef. 1589, Mary, da. of Henry Prannell, vintner and alderman of London, at least 5s. 3da.
Clarke’s father practised as a proctor in the London ecclesiastical courts for almost the whole of Elizabeth’s reign, purchasing Hurtmore in 1590, and five years later conveying it to Clarke himself, a common lawyer. Clarke’s marriage connected him with the Howards of Bindon, and there was a distant connexion with the Howards of Effingham, but it is unlikely that the Howards had anything to do with his return to the 1601 Parliament for Haslemere. This may have been due to his father’s connexion with the court of arches (though Bartholomew Clerke, the eminent civilian, who appears to have obtained John Haselrigge his seat there in 1589 was dead by 1601) or, more likely, to his own local standing, Hurtmore and Haslemere both being part of the hundred of Godalming. Godalming was first leased, then, after the 1601 election, purchased from the Crown by the Mores of Loseley, and Clarke’s nomination may therefore have been approved or even arranged by (Sir) George More. In 1606 Hurtmore was sold to Sir Edward More of Odiham and Clarke moved to Battle in Sussex, where he may have died.
Vis. Surr. (Harl. Soc. lx), 28; PCC 93 Kidd, 81 Leicester, 21 Drury; HMC Hatfield, vii. 666; Beaven, Aldermen, i. 201; ii. 42; CP; VCH Surr. iii. 1, 34, 36; Surr. Arch. Colls. xi. 136.