Charles Clarke (Liberal politician)

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Charles Goddard Clarke (10 May 1849 – 7 March 1908) was a British businessman and Liberal politician.[1][2][3][4]

The son of Richard Clarke and his wife Mary née Millard, he was educated in Liverpool. He left school early, entering employment with a relative. In 1873 he married Rebecca Potter and in 1875 became a partner in Potter & Clarke Limited, wholesale druggists, of Artillery Lane, London.[4][5] He lived in the Peckham area of South London, and was a member of the Coopers Company of the City of London.[3][4][5] A Baptist, he was a member of the Metropolitan Tabernacle.[5]

At the 1895 general election he unsuccessfully contested the constituency of Dulwich for the Liberal Party.[3][4][5] In 1898 he was elected to the London County Council as a member of the Liberal-backed Progressive Party majority group, representing Peckham. He was re-elected in 1901 and 1904.[6][7][8]

In 1900 he was once more a Liberal parliamentary candidate, standing at Mile End, but again without success.[3][4][5] With the creation of the Metropolitan Borough of Camberwell in 1900, Clarke was made an alderman on the borough council, and was mayor of Camberwell in 1902–1903.[3][4][5]

The 1906 general election was Clarke's third attempt to enter the Commons, and he was chosen to contest the constituency of Peckham. There was a large swing to the Liberals, and he won the seat, defeating the sitting Conservative member of parliament Sir Frederick Banbury.[5] Although not formally a member of the Liberal-Labour group, he was described by The Times as "an addition to the Labour group of members".[5]

Early in 1908 Clarke became ill, and died of pneumonia at his home at Champion Hill in March, aged 68.[3] He was buried at Nunhead Cemetery.[3]


  1. ^ Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "P" (part 1)[self-published source][better source needed]
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Obituary". The Times. 9 March 1908. p. 6. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f "CLARKE, Charles Goddard". Who Was Who. Oxford University Press. December 2007. Retrieved 6 June 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biographies Of New Members". The Times. 25 January 1906. p. 15. 
  5. ^ The London County Council Elections, The Times, March 4, 1898, p.10
  6. ^ London County Council Election, The Times, March 4, 1901, p.7
  7. ^ London County Council Election, The Times, March 7, 1904, p.12
Parliament of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Banbury
Member of Parliament for Peckham
Succeeded by
Henry Cubitt Gooch