Catalogue ReferenceD/ECW
TitlePapers of the Clarke, Wiseman and allied families of Ardington and elsewhere
Description[For more information about the records in this collection please contact Berkshire Record Office.]


ESTATE PAPERS: paper relating to the manor of and lands in Ardington, 1594-1831; correspondence relating to estate matters, 1728-1800.

FAMILY PAPERS: wills, settlements and other papers, 1568-1885; personal correspondence, notes and other papers, 1746-twentieth century; geneaology and heraldry, c.1700-c.1961; memorials of the Clarke family, c.1850; portraits and photographs, nineteenth-twentieth centuries; miscellaneous papers, 1899-1852.

LEGAL RECORDS: papers relating to an action in Chancery, c.1566-1756.

MANORIAL RECORDS: Ardington and Isbury in Lambourn, 1613-1744.

OFFICIAL RECORDS: papers relating to Edward Clarke, 1626; William Wiseman Clarke, senior, 1759; William Wiseman Clarke, junior, 1792-1812; Somerset Molyneux Wiseman-Clarke, 1849-1887; John Clarke, 1874-1877.

MAPS AND PLANS: Sparsall corte farme, West Hendred, 1647; alterations to house at Ardington, c.1800; parish of Ardington, 1808.

TITLE DEEDS: various properties Ardington, c. 1385-1749; Basildon, 1496 to nineteenth century; Beech Hill in Stratfield Saye, 1337-1533; Burghfield, 1730; Charlton, 1578; Charlton and Wantage, 1629; Sparsholt Court, West Hendred and Steventon, 1712-1741; Streatley (Berkshire) and Goring (Oxfordshire), 1566.

Out County:
Hartley Wespall (Hampshire), 1534; Wickham (Suffolk), 1456.

MISCELLANEOUS: notes, essays and other papers relating to the history of Ardington, Berkshire, the decisions of a general meeting of the Lieutenancy to prepare against French invasion and parochial topography of the Hundred of Wanting, c. 1800-tewntieth centrury.
RepositoryBerkshire Record Office (code: GB 005)
Admin HistoryThe Clarke family owned lands in Ardington, Isbury, Lockinge and elsewhere in Berkshire. They were long established in Ardington and appear to have been resident there since at least the sixteenth century, as John Clarke disposed of the manor farm and lordship in his will of 1568. The manor of Ardington was granted by Henry VII to George Stanley, Lord Strange, son of the 1st Earl of Derby and it was held under the Earls of Derby by the Clarke family long before the Clarkes acquired the fee simple of the estate. The families of Clarke and Wiseman seem to have been closely connected and there were several intermarriages. William the son and William the grandson of the Edward Clarke who married Mary Wiseman in 1721 were both given the second name 'Wiseman'. Their descendent Somerset Molyneux Clarke assumed the surname Wiseman-Clarke by deed poll in the 1870s.

The marriage in 1721 of Edward Clarke to Mary, daughter and heiress of William Wiseman of Sparsholt Court and Steventon, brought a large fortune to the Clarke family. However, Edward Clarke incurred great expense by building a large house at Ardington in 1719 and by demolishing both the old Clarke family residence at Ardington and the Wiseman family residence, Sparsholt Court, which the fortune did not offset. Consequently he was forced to sell a large part of the Ardington estate, which was bought by Matthew Wymondesold in 1728. Edward's grandson, William Wiseman Clarke, carried out extensive alterations to the house and grounds at Ardington. The family resources dwindled again, and William;s son, William Nelson Clarke eventually had to sell the Ardington estate in 1831.

Several members of the family held important civil and military offices. The offices of High Sheriff and Deputy Lieutenant, and commission in the Berkshire Regiment of Provisional Cavalry and in foot regiments appear among their appointments. Members of the family pursued many interests of a geneaological and historical nature, and notes, memoranda and correspondence remain as a result of them all. William Nelson Clarke was a prolific antiquary and published two histories, one on the Clarke family and one on the Hundred of Wantage.
AcquisitionDeposited in October 1961 (acc. 855) and November 1963 (acc. 973)
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