Circa 1659–1707
Jeremiah Clark


Born: Cir­ca 1659.

Died: De­cem­ber 1, 1707, Lon­don, Eng­land.

Buried: St. Gre­go­ry’s by St. Paul’s, Lon­don, Eng­land.



Clark stu­died mu­sic un­der a Dr. Blow, or­gan­ist of West­min­ster Abb­ey and the Cha­pel Roy­al (Will­iam Croft was a fel­low pu­pil). Clark com­posed a good deal of church music, and at least one po­pu­lar an­them, Praise the Lord. He al­so wrote some op­eras and a can­ta­ta.

But at last a time came when poor Clark de­sert­ed the plea­sant paths of mu­sic for the thorny by-ways of ma­tri­mo­ny. Some say that his love was not re­turned, oth­ers that the la­dy on whom he set his af­fec­tions was con­sid­ered by her friends to be far too high in the social scale to ma­rry a poor mu­si­cian.

But what­ev­er the rea­son, as he was re­turn­ing one day in 1707 from a friend’s house a fit of mel­an­cho­ly seized him, and, alight­ing from his horse, he went in­to a field to con­si­der the most suit­able way of put­ting a pe­ri­od to his trou­bles.

The toss of a coin failed to de­cide him, as it came down on its edge and stuck in the clay, so he rode back home, and short­ly af­ter shot him­self in the head with a screw pis­tol in St. Paul’s Church­yard.

Light­wood, p. 92–93