Fielding Clarke

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Sir
Fielding Clarke
Sir Fielding Clarke.jpg
Sir Fielding Clarke, Chief Justice of Fiji, Hong Kong and Jamaica
6th Attorney General of Fiji
In office
1881–1885
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir William Des Vœux
Preceded by Joseph Garrick
Succeeded by Henry Spencer Berkeley
Acting Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific
In office
1882–1883
Monarch Victoria
High Commissioner Sir William Des Vœux
Preceded by Sir John Gorrie
Succeeded by Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Acting Chief Justice of Fiji
In office
1882–1883
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir William Des Vœux
Preceded by Sir John Gorrie
Succeeded by Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Acting Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific
In office
1884–1884
Monarch Victoria
High Commissioner Sir William Des Vœux
Preceded by Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Succeeded by Himself
As substantive Chief Judicial Commissioner
Acting Chief Justice of Fiji
In office
1884–1884
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir William Des Vœux
Preceded by Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Succeeded by Himself
As substantive Chief Justice
3rd Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific
In office
1885–1889
Monarch Victoria
High Commissioner Sir John Thurston
(acting)
Sir Charles Mitchell
Sir John Thurston
Preceded by Himself
As acting Chief Judicial Commissioner
Succeeded by Sir Henry Spencer Berkeley
5th Chief Justice of Fiji
In office
1885–1889
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir John Thurston(acting)
Sir Charles Mitchell
Sir John Thurston
Preceded by Himself
As acting Chief Justice
Succeeded by Sir Henry Spencer Berkeley
6th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong
In office
1892–1896
Monarch Victoria
Governor Sir William Robinson
Preceded by Sir James Russell
Succeeded by Sir John Carrington
9th Chief Justice of Jamaica
In office
1896–1911
Monarch Victoria, Edward VII, George V
Governor Sir Henry Norman
Preceded by Henry Burford-Hancock
Succeeded by Anthony Coll
Personal details
Born 1851
Died 30 July 1928(1928-07-30) (aged 76–77)
Essex, England
Nationality British
Spouse(s) Mary (May) Milward Pierce
Alma mater University of London
Middle Temple

Sir Fielding Clarke (1851-1928) was a British colonial barrister, civil servant and jurist. He served as Chief Justice of Fiji, Hong Kong and Jamaica.

Early life[edit]

Clarke was the fourth son of Henry Booth Clarke and his wife Isabella. He married in 1888 Mary (May) Milward Pierce, the daughter of Mr Justice Timbrell Pierce D.L.[1]

Education[edit]

Clarke was educated in Switzerland and then returned to England to attend King's College London and London University (LLB). On 12 November 1872 he was admitted to Middle Temple and in 1876 was called to the bar of the Middle Temple.

Career[edit]

After being called to the Bar, Clarke practised on the North Eastern Circuit.

In 1881, he embarked on career as a civil servant and jurist in various British colonies. In that year, he was appointed Attorney General of Fiji in 1881 and served in that position until 1885. He acted as Chief Justice of Fiji and Chief Judicial Commissioner, Western Pacific from 1882 to 1883 and in 1884. In 1885 he was appointed Chief Justice of Fiji & Chief Judicial Commissioner, Western Pacific. He served in that position until 1889.

In 1889, he was appointed Puisne Judge, of the Supreme Court of Hong Kong.

In 1892 he was appointed Chief Justice of Hong Kong succeeding Sir James Russell. On his appointment as Chief Justice, William Meigh Goodman the Attorney General of Hong Kong in a congratulatory speech said:

"As Her Majesty has appointed Your Lordship it must, indeed, be a source of satisfaction to you to know that the Colony considers the appointment to be the very best that could have possibly been made. It must be a satisfaction to Your Lordship to feel that the legal profession endorses most cordially the appointment. They feel that you have had simply given to you what you had a right to. If no alteration is necessary and Your Lordship continues on the Bench – and we hope Your Lordship will for many years preside over this court in the same able and upright manner in which Your Lordship has always presided – the Colony will be able to boast a very efficient Chief Justice."[2]

Clarke was knighted in 1894 while Chief Justice of Hong Kong.

In 1896 he was appointed as Chief Justice of Jamaica and served in that position until 1911 when he retired. He moved to Southchurch, Essex and later lived in Stifford, Essex.[3]

In retirement, he was appointed, in 1916, to the Appeal Tribunal for the County of Essex created under the Military Service Act 1916 which introduced conscription.[4]

Death[edit]

Clarke died on 30 July 1928 in Essex, England.[5]

The Daily Gleaner of Kingston, Jamaica on his death said that "Sir Fielding Clarke will be remembered as one of the ablest judges that ever sat on the bench in Jamaica."

Legal offices
Preceded by
Joseph Garrick
Acting
Attorney General of Fiji

1876 — 1882
Succeeded by
Henry Spencer Berkeley
Preceded by
Sir John Gorrie
Acting
Chief Justice of Fiji

1882
Succeeded by
Henry Wrenfordsley
Preceded by
Sir John Gorrie
Acting
Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific

1882
Succeeded by
Henry Wrenfordsley
Preceded by
Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Acting
Chief Justice of Fiji

1884 — 1885
Succeeded by
Himself
As substantive Chief Justice
Preceded by
Sir Henry Wrenfordsley
Acting
Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific

1884 — 1885
Succeeded by
Himself
As substantive Chief Judicial Commissioner
Preceded by
Himself
As acting Chief Justice
Chief Justice of Fiji
1885 — 1889
Succeeded by
Henry Spencer Berkeley
Preceded by
Himself
As acting Chief Judicial Commissioner
Chief Judicial Commissioner for the Western Pacific
1885 — 1889
Succeeded by
Henry Spencer Berkeley
Preceded by
Sir James Russell
Chief Justice of Hong Kong
1892 — 1896
Succeeded by
Sir John Carrington
Preceded by
Henry Burford-Hancock
Chief Justice of Jamaica
1896 — 1911
Succeeded by
Anthony Coll

References[edit]

  1. ^ Walford, Edward The County Families of the United Kingdom: or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of Great Britain and Ireland and Daily Gleaner, 15 August 1928, p1.
  2. ^ Norton-Kyshe, The History of the Laws and Courts of Hong Kong, Vol II, p440
  3. ^ London Gazette, 10 March 1916, p2559 and 16 May 1924, p3994
  4. ^ London Gazette, 10 March 1916, pp2558 to 2559
  5. ^ The Daily Gleaner, 15 August 1928, p1