Brief profile of W.B.Clarke
by Don Ambrose
CLARKE, William (Benjamin).
Born at Old Basford, Nottingham, 5th November 1846.
Died at Hyson Green, Nottingham, 18th August 1902.
He first went out as a professional with the Plymouth Club, Devon, from 1866 until1872 and at the end of 1872 was engaged by Lord Robarts, at Lanhydrock, near Bodmin. In 1873 he went to Partick, with the West of England Club, as a professional and general manager of the ground. While at Partick he kept a shop at 5 Peel Street, selling cricket items and also kept a billiard room. He remained there until 1877 and during this time played for Nottinghamshire on thirteen occasions. In 1878 he went as coach to Harrow School, where he stayed until 1888, qualifying by residence he played for Middlesex in 21 matches 1880-84. After leaving Harrow School he became landlord of The Clayton Arms, near The Oval. From 1883 to 1899 he was a first-class umpire.
His brother, Morice Carlos Clarke also played for Nottinghamshire nine times 1875-80.
At the time of the 1881 Census he was resident at Chapel Alley, Harrow-on-the-Hill, Middlesex, aged 34 and a teacher of cricket. Also resident were his wife, Hannah aged 39, his daughters Alice J. aged 15 born at Stafford, Amelia aged 12 born St.Ives, Cornwall, and Hannah aged 10 also born at St.Ives and his sons William B. aged 13 born at Stafford and Charles H. aged 5 born at Glasgow, who played three times for Sussex in 1902.
(Article: Copyright © 2003 Don Ambrose)