Samuel Clarke (1626 -
nonconformist minister and biblical scholar
Samuel was born at Shotwick, Cheshire on the 12th
November 1626. He was the eldest son of Samuel Clarke (1599 - 1682)
and his wife Katherine Overton (1602 - 1675). After attending the
Merchant Taylors' School he went to New Inn Hall, Oxford. In 1641,
at the age of 14 he matriculated and in May 1644 he was admitted
to Peterhouse, Cambridge. Later that year he received
his BA and was
appointed a fellowship of Pembroke College, Cambridge.
He was ordained on the 29th November 1649 at St Leonard,
Eastcheap, London. During the Commonwealth, Samuel refused to take
the engagement of loyalty and as a result, in 1651, he lost his
fellowship of Pembroke. By March 1653 he had moved to Leighton
Buzzard where he had become the vicar.
On the 3rd April 1655, Samuel married Sarah Lancaster
(1628 - 1694). Sarah was the daughter of Nathaniel Lancaster, rector
of Tarporley, Cheshire. Samuel and Sarah had one son and five daughters.
In 1657, Samuel became rector of Grendon Underwood,
Buckinghamshire, but was ejected from this position in 1662 when
the Act of Uniformity was passed. By 1665 he moved to Upper Winchendon,
Buckinghamshire, where he established a congregation at his house.
In 1690 he reportedly preaching to a regular congregation of 200,
at the nearby town of Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire.
Clarke's written work started back in 1661 with the
printing of a sermon, but his reputation was made in the 1680s
and 90s when he published works of scriptural exegesis and criticism.
He published an annotated New Testament in 1683, and an annotated
Bible in 1690. Further publications followed in 1696 and 1699.
In the 1690s Samuel had moved to High Wycombe, due
to his wife's failing health. Sarah died on 5th November 1694 and
on the 24th February 1701 Samuel died and was buried at High Wycombe