Born to lowly parents in Norfolk, Clarke was educated at Cambridge where he soon became known for his encyclopaedic knowledge. One of the first men to fully understand Newton's principals, he helped spread Newton's doctrines at Cambridge. He entered the clergy and his publications soon won him renown not just as a theologian but as a metaphysician; he was also a noted classical scholar. Archbishop Tenison noted that 'persons of such abilities in theology, philosophy, and mathematics, are not to be commonly found'.
Where to see this painting?
National Portrait Gallery, London
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