The Papers of Dr Adam Clarke

Scope and Content

The bulk of the Adam Clarke manuscript collection consists of correspondence and associated papers, which were collected together by Clarke's family after his death, and subsequently deposited in the Methodist Archives at City Road in London.

In addition, for ease of research the James Everett collection of Clarke memorabilia has been included in this catalogue.

Administrative / Biographical History

Adam Clarke was born in 1762 at Moybeg in the parish of Kilcronaghan, Co. Londonderry, the son of a schoolmaster. He was appointed to his first circuit of Bradford, Wiltshire in 1782, and served as a Methodist minister in several areas of the country. He acted as President of the Wesleyan Conference in 1806, 1814 and 1822. From 1824 he was resident at Haydon Hall, near Pinner in Middlesex.

He enjoyed a very high reputation as a scholar, and produced works on a wide range of subjects, including theology, Oriental languages, and Biblical studies. In 1807 he was awarded the diploma of M.A. from Aberdeen University and in 1808 that of LL.D. His most important work was his Bible Commentary, which was published in eight volumes between 1810 and 1826.

The high regard in which he was held outside the Methodist Church, was reflected by his appointment in 1808 as editor of the new edition of Rymer's Feodora of the Public Records. He produced 2 volumes before pressure of work forced his resignation in 1818.

Clarke died of cholera in August 1832.


The papers have been arranged into five series as follows:

  • Correspondence
  • Biographical Information
  • Fragments and Incomplete Letters
  • Literary Fragments
  • Portraits of Adam Clarke

Access Information

The collection is open to any accredited reader.

Acquisition Information

The Methodist Church.

Other Finding Aids

A catalogue of the Collection was produced by Gareth Lloyd in 1991. The present catalogue has been produced to replace this with an ISAD(G) compliant catalogue.

Conditions Governing Use

Photocopies and photographic copies of material in the archive can be supplied for private study purposes only, depending on the condition of the documents.

A number of items within the archive remain within copyright under the terms of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988; it is the responsibility of users to obtain the copyright holder's permission for reproduction of copyright material for purposes other than research or private study.

Prior written permission must be obtained from the Library for publication or reproduction of any material within the archive. Please contact the Keeper of Manuscripts and Archives, John Rylands University Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester, M3 3EH.

Related Material

There are Clarke Papers in the James Everett Collection:

  • "Letters on Dr. A Clarke's Miscellaneous Works" - containing two letters written to family members in 1830, with letters, printed pamphlets, and notes of Revd. James Everett, and Thomas Marriott etc re Clarke's published works, including some transcripts of Wesley family material. n. d.
  • Manuscript journal covering Clarke's visit to Ireland, May-June 1821, and his tour through parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, May-June 1823.
  • "The Hiatus supplied or Dr. Clarke from home, in converse with his friends", by Revd. James Everett. n. d.
  • Clarke's reply to the "Vindication of the Hindoos… and the danger of interfering with their customs and religion", by a Bengal officer. c1808.
  • 2 Volumes of Clarke ms sermons. n. d.
  • Letter book containing letters written by Clarke to various correspondents 1787-1832.


Dawes, Stephen B., Adam Clarke: Methodism's first old testament scholar ([Redruth]: Cornish Methodist Historical Association, c. 1994)

Edwards, Maldwyn Llloyd, Adam Clarke (London: Epworth Press, 1942

Everett, James, Adam Clarke portrayed 3 vols. (London: Hamilton Adams and Co., 1843-1849)

Gallagher, Robert H., Adam Clarke: saint and scholar (Belfast: Nelson and Knox, [1963])