This long-established surname is of Anglo-Saxon origin, and is from a medieval occupational name for a scribe or secretary, or for a member of a minor religious order. The word "clerc", from the Olde English pre 7th Century "Cler(e)c", priest, originally denoted a member of a religious order only, but since the clergy of minor orders were allowed to marry and so found families, the surname could become established. It should also be noted that during the Middle Ages virtually the only people who were able to read and write were members of religious orders and it was therefore natural that the term "clark" or "clerk" would come to be used of any literate man, particularly the professional secretary and the scholar. One Richerius Clericus, Hampshire, appears in the Domesday Book of 1086. The surname is first recorded in the early 12th Century (see below), and other early recordings include: Reginald Clerc, noted in the Curia Regis Rolls of Rutland (1205), and John le Clerk, registered in the "Transcripts of Charters relating to the Gilbertine Houses", Lincolnshire (1272). The modern surname can be found as Clark, Clarke, Clerk or Clerke. Richard Clarke was noted as a passenger on the "Mayflower" bound for the New World in 1620. The first recorded spelling of the family name is shown to be that of Willelm le Clerec, which was dated 1100, in "The Old English Byname Register of Somerset", during the reign of King Henry 1, known as "The Lion of Justice", 1100 - 1135. Surnames became necessary when governments introduced personal taxation. In England this was known as Poll Tax. Throughout the centuries, surnames in every country have continued to "develop" often leading to astonishing variants of the original spelling.

Surnames reference. 2013.

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  • CLARKE (S.) — CLARKE SAMUEL (1675 1729) Philosophe et théologien anglais, disciple et ami de Newton, Samuel Clarke joua un rôle important dans la substitution de la physique newtonienne à la physique cartésienne au sein des universités anglaises. Il fut admiré …   Encyclopédie Universelle

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  • Clarke [2] — Clarke (spr. Klärk), 1) Grafschaft im Staate Virginia (Vereinigte Staaten von Nordamerika), 91/2 M., ein Theil des Großen Thales von Virginia (Great Valley of V.), welches sich nordöstlich von der Blue Ridge erstreckt; Flüsse: Shenandoah River u …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Clarke —   [klɑːk],    1) Arthur Charles, englischer Schriftsteller und Unterwasserforscher, * Minehead (County Somerset) 16. 12. 1917; war im Zweiten Weltkrieg Radarspezialist der Royal Air Force; betreibt seit 1954 Unterwasserforschung an den Küsten von …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Clarke [1] — Clarke (spr. Klark), 1) John, Kupferstecher, geb. 1650 in Schottland; st. 1721 in London. Werke: Sammlung von Portraits der ausgezeichnetsten Zeitgenossen der vereinten 3 Königreiche; The humors of barlekin. 2) Samuel, geb. 1675 in Norwich,… …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • clarke's — clarke s; Clarke s; …   English syllables

  • Clarke — (spr. klark), 1) Samuel, engl. Philosoph und Theolog, geb. 11. Okt. 1675 in Norwich, gest. 17. Mai 1729, widmete sich seit 1691 in Cambridge philosophischen und mathematischen, dann theologischen Studien, kam 1698 als Kaplan zu dem Bischof von… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

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