Lives of the fellows

Josiah Clerk

b.c.1639 d.8 December 1714
MB Cantab(1661) MD(1666) FRCP(1675)

Josiah Clerk, M.D., of Peterhouse, Cambridge, as a pensioner of which he was matriculated in December, 1656, and proceeded M.B. 1661, M.D. 3rd July, 1666, was admitted a Candidate of the College of Physicians 26th June, 1671, and a Fellow 29th July, 1675.

[On the 9th Febr 1668-9 being then of Mark Lane London about 30 yrs of age and a widower he was licensed by the Vicar General of the Archbishop of Canterbury to at All Hallows marry Abigail Barnardiston of Hackney spinster. Harveian Socy Vol.XXIII p.161.]

He was Censor in 1677, 1692; was named Elect, 16th April, 1694, in place of Sir Thomas Witherly, deceased; was Harveian orator in 1708; Consiliarius 1707, 1709, 1710, 1711, 1712; and was elected President, in place of Dr. Edward Browne, deceased, 13th September, 1708, being re-elected at the general election of officers on the 30th of the same month. For some reason not stated, he was prevented performing the duties of his office, which he therefore resigned 18th December, and Dr. Goodall was appointed 23rd December, 1708: -

“1708, December 18. Dr. Josiah Clerk having not acted as President since the 28th of November, he declared he could not farther serve the College in that place; wherefore Dr. Collins, being the Præses Natus, was requested by the Elects to act according to the statutes.

“1708, December 23. Dr. Josiah Clerk, the former President, declared that for several reasons he could not serve the rest of the year in that office; upon which the Elects withdrew, and chose Dr. Charles Goodall to be President for the rest of the year, who named Dr. Collins and Dr. Clerk as his Consiliarii.”

Dr. Clerk was appointed Treasurer 16th April, 1709, and retained that office as long as he lived. His death is thus recorded in the Annals: “Upon the 8th of December, 1714, Dr. Josiah Clerk departed this life: an industrious physician and Præses Natus. He died in the 75th year of his age.” [DNB says date of death wrong – will proved 14 Oct.] [His will at Somerset House (188 Aston 1) In it he desires “to be decently, tho’ very privately, buried by night in the vault in St Olave Hart Street Church where my honoured mother and my children lye if it may be done with conveniency (?)]

Dr. Clerk’s portrait is in the College.

William Munk

[Josiah Clerk MD. In 1706 he was living in Mark Lane, but in 1708 had moved into Fenchurch St.]

(Volume I, page 379)

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