Clark Clan

Clark Clan Crest: An Anchor.

Clark Motto: Sure and Steadfast.

Clark Clan History:

The name derives from religious associations, Latinised as 'clericus,' meaning scribe or penman. A Roger clericus is noted in Kelso, Roxburghshire between 1174 and 1178. Nine individuals of the name of Le Clerk rendered homage to Edward I of England in 1296.

Although the name appears regularly in early charters, it is not until the 15th century that it starts to evolve as a proper surname. A Johannes Clerk was Prior of Scone in 1524, and in 1623, Richard Clarke of Montrose was created a Vice-Admiral of Sweden.  The name still exists in Sweden and Finland in the form of Klerck.  In the Highlands of Scotland, Clark and Clerk are most commonly associated as Sept names of clans Cameron and MacPherson.

In Lowland Scotland, the lands of Penicuik in Midlothian were bought from Dr Alexander Penicuik in 1679 by John Clerk (1611-74), son of a Montrose merchant who had accumulated a fortune in Paris.  Sir John Clerk of Penicuik (1676-1755) was a Commissioner for the Act of Union (1707). His eldest son, also John, became a Lord of Session in 1823.

James Clerk-Maxwell (1831-79), a relative of the Clerks of Penicuik, was author of The Theory of Heat and made major discoveries in the field of electricity. His uncle, Sir George Clerk, was
Secretary to the Treasury under Sir Robert Peel and Vice-President of the Board of Trade. At the age of 75 he was appointed President of the Zoological Society.

Sir James Clark (1788-1870) was a Scottish physician, born at Cullen in Banffshire. In 1837, he was appointed Physician to Queen Victoria. The Clark Family of Paisley, originally farmers at Dykebar, were pioneers in the cotton industry and from them descend the art historian Sir Kenneth Clark (1903-83) and his son, Alan Clark MP, whose political diaries (1983-92) caused a sensation.

James (Jim) Clark (1936-68) was a Scottish Racing Driver, born in Duns, Berwickshire. Considered one of the world's greatest drivers, he won 25 Grand Prix and two world drivers championships. Clark was tragically killed during a formula 2 race at Hockenheim, West Germany.

The Arms of the Clarks of Camphill were registered in the 20th century.
Places of Interest: Penicuik House, Penicuik, Midlothian, was built for Sir James Clerk of Penicuik in 1761.

Surname distribution in Scotland: The Clark surname is found right across Scotland, particular concentrations can found in the counties of Aberdeenshire (includes Kincardineshire and part of Banffshire), Angus (Forfarshire), Moray (Elginshire), Dundee City, Perth and Kinross (Perthshire and Kinross-shire), Fife, The Shetland Islands (Zetland), Lanarkshire, Ayrshire, Renfrewshire, Argyll and Bute and Dumfries and Galloway (Dumfriesshire, Kirkcudbrightshire and Wigtownshire).

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