CLARKE, John William

1822 - 1893

Born at Bury St Edmund’s, Suffolk about 1822. He married at Southwold, Suffolk in 1847, Martha Palmer (born 1818). John William Clarke was in partnership with a Mr Wallace trading as Clarke and Wallace, photographers, at 28 Angel Hill, Bury St Edmunds in early 1867 but later that year was on his own account 'Late Clarke and Wallace' at the same address. In December 1874 there was an auction of a 'garden, stable and photographic studio of Mr J W Clarke' in Cemetery Road, the renamed King's Road and 1875-81 a photographer and artist at 7 Angel Hill and 3 Meat Market, Bury St Edmund’s. In 1881, was living at 7 Angel Hill with his 62 year old wife Martha and their children, 27 year old John Palmer Clarke, ‘photographer’, 25 year old Kate C Clarke, ‘photographer’s assistant’ and 20 year old Arthur E. Clarke ‘university student’. In addition to work as portrait photographers, the Clarke's were very active in the field of topographical photography, and their views contribute significantly to the surviving record of the Bury area and John exhibited an enlarged coloured photograph at the Bury & West Suffolk Fine Art Circle in 1882. His wife was buried at Bury St. Edmund’s cemetery on 14 July 1890, aged 71, when John William moved to ‘Beach Cote’, Bath Road, Felixstowe, a 'retired photographer’ with his daughter Kate and married son Revd Arthur Clarke, clerk in holy orders, and his wife Anna. John William Clarke followed his wife on 14 February 1893, aged 70 and his obituary in ‘The Bury & Norwich Post’ of 21 February 1893, reports that he died in Ipswich on 14th February, aged 70, having retired (initially to Felixstowe) ‘a few years ago’. During his career he photographed the Prince of Wales and ‘many other illustrious personages’.