John Clarke Whitfield


Born: De­cem­ber 13, 1770, Glou­ces­ter, Eng­land.

Died: Feb­ru­a­ry 22, 1836, Holm­er (near Here­ford), Eng­land.

Buried: East Walk of the Bi­shop’s Cloist­er, Here­ford Ca­thed­ral, Eng­land.


Clarke’s ear­ly mu­sic­al train­ing was at Mag­da­len Col­lege, Ox­ford. While there, he be­came or­gan­ist of Lud­low Par­ish Church in Oc­to­ber 1789. In 1793, he ma­tri­cu­lat­ed to take a BMus de­gree.

He be­came or­gan­ist at St. Pat­rick’s Ca­thed­ral (Ang­li­can), Ar­magh, Ire­land, near the end of 1794. He spent three years in Ar­magh, and while there (Oc­to­ber 1795) was grant­ed a MusD de­gree from Tri­ni­ty Col­lege, Dub­lin.

He lat­er moved to Christ Church Ca­thed­ral, Dub­lin, be­com­ing mas­ter of the chor­ist­ers (suc­ceed­ing Lang­rish Doyle) on Christ­mas Day 1797.

In 1798, Clarke moved back to Eng­land, and spent the next 20 years in Cam­bridge as or­gan­ist at St. John’s and Tri­ni­ty Col­leg­es. 1814, he changed his name to Clarke-Whit­feld, ex­pect­ing an in­her­i­tance from the fa­mi­ly of his mo­ther Am­phil­lis, daugh­ter of Hen­ry Whit­feld of The Bu­ry, Rick­mans­worth, Hert­ford­shire. How­ev­er, the in­her­i­tance ne­ver ma­ter­i­al­ized.

In June 1820 Clarke-Whit­field moved again, to be­come organist and mas­ter of the chor­ist­ers at Here­ford Ca­thed­ral.

In 1821, he was elect­ed non-re­si­dent pro­fess­or of mu­sic at Cam­bridge.

He re­signed from Here­ford in 1823 due to ill health, and fi­nal­ly re­tired in 1832.



Help Needed

If you know where to get a good pic­ture of Clarke (head-and-shoul­ders, at least 200×300 pix­els),