Robert Clarke (Fellow 1777-82)

Robert Clarke, a Durham man, matriculated at Christ Church in October 1772, taking his BA there in 1776.

In June 1777 he was elected a William of Durham Fellow, being admitted to the same in December of that year. As Fellow he held various College offices, namely Praelector in Greek for 1778/9–1781/2, Bursar for 1779/80–1780/1, Moderator of junior undergraduates for 1781/2 and Dean for 1780/1–1781/2. He also worked as a tutor, having (according to the Admissions Register) 1 pupil in 1778, 16 in 1779, 13 in 1780, 15 in 1781, and 3 in 1782.

Early in 1782, Clarke was elected to serve for as Bursar and Dean for another term, but he died on 28 March of that year. After his death, several of his personal papers were bundled up with this official ones and put among the archives. In the late 1980s, David Sturdy, then Assistant Archivist, reassembled Clarke’s personal papers. It is this collection which was found in the archives in the summer of 1993, and is catalogued here.

The papers comprise letters from undergraduates and Fellows written to Clarke in his capacity as Bursar, and and bills relating to Clarke’s personal expenses. There is no collection quite like this at University College for any other Fellow of the eighteenth century. See further L. G. Mitchell, “The Tribulations of a Bursar 1779–1781", in University College Record Vol. 14 no. 3 (2007), pp. 77–84.

The collection is divided into the following series:

UC:S17/C1  Letters concerning Dormer Vincent (matr. 1779)
UC:S17/C2  Letter from Robert Fenwick (matr. 1772; Fellow 1782–90)
UC:S17/C3  Letters from William Couture (matr. 1771; Fellow 1777–90)
UC:S17/C4  Correspondence concerning Henry Ridley (matr. 1770; Fellow 1775–82)
UC:S17/F1  Clarke’s personal bills

For the complete catalogue of Clarke’s papers, a pdf version can be downloaded here.