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Clarke, William John (1831 - 1897)

Published Sources
Stud-breeder, Philanthropist and Agriculturalist
Born: 31 March 1831  Lovely Banks, Tasmania, Australia.  Died: 15 May 1897  Victoria, Australia.
(Sir) William John Clarke was a prominent colonist who contributed greatly to all facets of life in Victoria. He was one of Victoria’s top stud-breeders, but was also heavily involved in other areas such as the Freemasons, the Legislative Council and the Colonial Bank of Australia. Clarke was a great benefactor and freely gave large sums of money to charitable institutes.

Career Highlights
John Clarke was a very successful livestock farmer. He was an advocate of farming based on sound scientific principles and organized for lectures in agricultural chemistry to take place across Victoria’s farming communities. Clarke imported top quality equipment and animal stocks to establish some of Victoria’s best farms. His farming interests, which even expanded to Queensland, included a model tenant farm, Leicester and merino sheep, Aberdeen Angus cattle and draught and thoroughbred horses.

Clarke was also great supporter of the arts and many local organizations including the Victorian Freemasons Society, the Blind Asylum, and in 1882 on a trip to England he established the Clarke Music Scholarship (3000 guineas) for entry to the Royal College of Music. He was governor of the Colonial Bank of Australia for twenty years and president of numerous organizations including the Homoeopathic Hospital, agricultural societies, The Australian Club, The Victorian Football League and the Melbourne Cricket Club. During the late 1870’s Clarke became disillusioned with the lack of colonial defence so established his own battery of horse artillery.

1862Elected to the Melbourne Club
1874 - 1891President of the West Bourke Agricultural Society, Victoria
1877President (inaugural) of the Victorian Football Association
1878 - 1897Legislative Council Southern Province representative
1880 - 1881President of the Melbourne Exhibition
1880 - 1886President of the Melbourne Cricket Club
1881Provincial Grand Master of the Irish Constitution of the Victorian Freemason Society
1882Clark Music Scholarship established in England
1884District Grand Master of the Scotish and English Constitutions of the Victorian Freemason Society
1886Honorary Doctor of Laws (LLD (Hon)) received from the University of Cambridge, UK
1887President of the Australia Club
1889Inaugural Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of Victoria
1890President of the Australia Club


Structure based on ISAAR(CPF) - click here for an explanation of the fields.Prepared by: McCarthy, G.J.
Created: 20 October 1993
Modified: 29 January 2007

Published by The University of Melbourne eScholarship Research Centre on ASAPWeb, 1994 - 2007
Originally published 1994-1999 by Australian Science Archives Project, 1999-2006 by the Australian Science and Technology Heritage Centre
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Updated: 26 February 2007

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