John Clerk of Pennycuik

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John Clerk of Pennycuik (modern Penicuik) (1611–1674) was a Scottish merchant noted for maintaining a comprehensive archive of family papers, now held by the National Archives and the National Library.[1]

Born in Montrose, he was the son of merchant William Clerk (d.1620), and was baptised by Alexander Forbes, the Bishop of Caithness, at Fettercairn on 22 December 1611.

He was a person of great ability and of an enterprising commercial spirit. He settled in Paris in 1634, and, in a few years, acquired а very considerable fortune. Returning to Scotland in 1646, he purchased the lands (see Penicuik Policies) and barony of Penicuik, in Midlothian, which have ever since continued to be the residence and title of this family.[2][3]

Clerk married Mary, daughter of Sir William Gray of Pittendrum, by whom he had five sons and five daughters. On his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Sir John Clerk, 1st Baronet.[2]


  1. ^ Roding, Juliette; Heerma van Voss, Lex (1996). The North Sea and culture (1550-1800): proceedings of the international conference held at Leiden 21–22 April 1995. Uitgeverij Verloren. p. 303. ISBN 978-90-6550-527-9. 
  2. ^ a b Burke, John (1832). A General and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the British Empire. I. H. Colburn and R. Bentley. p. 257. 
  3. ^ "The Clerk Family". Penicuik House Project. Penicuik House Preservation Trust. Archived from the original on 2009-08-31. 
  • Colvin, Howard (2008). "Clerk, Sir John (1676–1755)". A biographical dictionary of British architects, 1600-1840 (4th ed.). Yale University Press. pp. 257–259. ISBN 978-0-300-12508-5. 
  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: "A General and heraldic dictionary of the peerage and baronetage of the British Empire" by John Burke

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