Thomas Clark was born on November 16th, 1793 at Greinton in Somerset. His father, also a botanist, farmed his own land there. He was educated at Thomas Thompson’s School in Nether Compton (Dorset) – this was a Quaker School.
He moved to Bridgewater in 1817, and married Elizabeth Bull (from Street) in 1833. Shortly after this, his house – Halesleigh in North Street – was built. He lived here until his death on May 24th, 1864. In 1851 and 1861, the census records that he was a widower, living at Halesleigh with his sister – Sarah Metford and two nieces: Isabella and Jane. His occupation is given as grocer (1851) and in 1861, something to do with money (difficult to decipher).
H S Thompson later (J of Bot Vol.36) described him as “of a modest and retiring nature” and “he seems to have been content with quietly working in his own way; and left it to his friend Rev. John Coombes Collins (of St John’s, Bridgewater) to contribute the numerous records with which the latter is credited in H C Watson’s “The New Botanists’ Guide – supplement“.
Shortly after his death his large herbarium was scattered – though some remained with various members of the family and was examined for vouchers of old records by H S Thompson.
His cousin was John Aubrey Clark – of Street (1826 – 1890). He was a surveyor by profession – who wrote verses and essays and was also a mycologist, producing drawings of fungi with notes about the season, habitat and descriptions.