Jeremy Clarke (also known as Jeremiah Clarke) (1605–1652) was an early colonial settler and President of the Colony of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. Born into a prominent family in England, he was a merchant who came to New England with his wife, Frances Latham, and four stepchildren, settling first at Portsmouth in 1638, but the following year joining William Coddington and others in establishing the town of Newport. Here he held a variety of civic positions until 1648 when Coddington's election as President of the colony was disputed, and Clarke was chosen to serve in that office instead. He was the father of Walter Clarke, another colonial governor of Rhode Island, and also had family connections with several other future governors of the colony.
Born in central Kent in southeastern England, Jeremy Clarke was the son of William Clarke and Mary Weston. His maternal grandfather was Sir Jerome Weston, Baron of the Exchequer, and his uncle was Richard Weston, 1st Earl of Portland, Lord High Treasurer of England. Clarke was a merchant in London before sailing to New England. While in England he married Frances (Latham) Dungan, the widow of William Dungan, and the daughter of Lewis Latham, and she and her four Dungan children accompanied Clarke to the American colonies. They first settled on Aquidneck Island (later Rhode Island), and Clarke was listed as an inhabitant there in 1638. In April 1639, while living in Portsmouth he was one of nine men who signed a compact, agreeing to establish a government just prior to settling in Newport. In Newport he held a variety of positions from 1639 to 1649, including treasurer, constable, and assistant. In March 1640 he had 116 acres of land laid out for him in Newport, and the same year he was one of three appointed to lay out remaining lands in Newport. In 1642 he was chosen lieutenant of the military in Newport and in 1644 he became captain.
Marriage and Family Edit
Clarke and his wife Frances had seven children together, the oldest of whom was Walter Clarke, a future colonial governor of Rhode Island. Their oldest daughter, Mary, married John Cranston, another future governor of the colony, and their son Weston married Mary Easton who was a granddaughter of two other governors, John Coggeshall and Nicholas Easton. Their youngest child, Sarah, married the future colonial governor Caleb Carr as her second husband.
- Frances Clarke (1638-1711) - ???
- Walter Clarke (1639-1714) - a future colonial governor of Rhode Island.
- Nancy Clarke (1640-1735)
- Mary Clarke (1641-1711) - married John Cranston, another future governor of the colony
- James Clarke (1641-1694)
- Jeremiah Clarke (1643-1729)
- Latham Clark (1645-1719)
- Grace Clark (1646-)
- Weston Clarke (1648-1728) - married Mary Easton who was a granddaughter of two other governors, John Coggeshall and Nicholas Easton
- Sarah Clarke (1651-1706) - married the future colonial governor Caleb Carr as her second husband.
The ancestry of Jeremy Clarke was published by Alfred Justice in the New England Historical and Genealogical Register in 1920. Through his great great grandmother, Elizabeth Ferrers, Clarke descends from King Edward I of England and his wife Eleanor of Castile.