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CLARKE, Lady Mary (1685-1754)

Identity Statement

Reference code(s): GB 0074 ACC/1215
Held at: London Metropolitan Archives
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Full title: CLARKE, Lady Mary (1685-1754)
Date(s): c.1749-c.1752
Level of description: Collection
Extent: 0.01 linear metres (46 documents).
Name of creator(s): Clarke | Lady | Mary | 1685-1754 | wife of Sir James Clarke of East Molesey


Administrative/Biographical history:

Lady Mary Clarke, who died in 1754 aged 69, was the daughter of James Clarke, Esq. He held various appointments under the crown, including those of chief clerk of the Kitchen to William and Mary and Queen Anne, and constable of Dublin Castle. He married Elizabeth, eldest daughter and co-heir of Captain John Masson of Stamford, Lincolnshire, "a great sufferer by his loyalty to King Charles I." Their only daughter Mary, the writer of these letters, married Sir James Clarke, Knt., lord of the manor of East Molesey, Surrey.

This manor was granted by the crown in 1677, together with the lease of the passage of water called Hampton Court Ferry, between Hampton Court and East Molesey. At the time these letters were written, James Clarke, the son of Lady Mary, was lord of the manor and lessee of the ferry. Other children mentioned in the correspondence are two married daughters, Mrs Pordage and Mrs Floyer, and Anne Clarke, who in February 1751 married Samuel Sheppard of Northamptonshire {The Gentleman's Magazine Vol XXI p.91}.

Lady Clarke wrote her letters from various places; in London where she resided in George Street, Hanover Square (address on back of letter no.42); at Windsor Castle where she took lodgings; and {West} Drayton where she occupied a house which later became the manor house of Fysh Burgh, lord of the manor from 1786. Entries in the court roll of the manor of West Drayton record that on 25 April 1744 Sir William Irby was admitted to "a customary messuage and lands formerly the estate of Jno.Brown and then in occupation of Lady Clarke", and on 26 April 1762 William Cholwich was admitted to the premises "formerly in possession of Lady Clarke with the stable barn gardens and appurtenances," (ACC/448/004 p.26, 32). It seems likely that Lady Clarke still occupied this house at the time of writing these letters. She refers to her "good friend" and neighbour James Eckersall, who lived at West Drayton. "I hear Mr Eckersall is to be at his house here for a few days next week the famely being at london", (No.13).


Scope and content/abstract:

This is a collection of forty one letters from Lady Mary Clarke and one letter from her daughter Anne to their legal adviser Samuel Joynes, and four draft letters from Joynes to Lady Clarke.

Access & Use

Language/scripts of material:

System of arrangement:

An attempt has been made to place Lady Clarke's letters in a chronological sequence. Only a few of her letters are dated by year, but most note the day and month. Dates have been added to some in a different hand, possibly that of Joynes. A guide to dating is the marriage of Anne Clarke in February 1751, after which her mother refers to her as "Mrs Sheppard". The four draft letters by Joynes (Nos.43-46) are fully dated and provide a basis for identifying Lady Clarke's letters of March to June 1750.

Conditions governing access:

Available for general access.

Conditions governing reproduction:

Copyright to this collection rests with the depositor.

Finding aids:

Please see online catalogues at:

Archival Information

Archival history:

Immediate source of acquisition:

Deposited in October 1973.

Allied Materials

Related material:

Publication note:

Description Notes

Archivist's note:

Rules or conventions:
Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal, Place and Corporate Names, 1997.

Date(s) of descriptions:
Records prepared May to September 2011.

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