Clark and Hogg Family History

click here


Reverend Professor William Robinson Clark

1829 - 1912

index page

William Robinson Clark
William Robinson Clark (1829-1912)
(photo kindly supplied by the
Royal Society of Canada)
This is the amazing story of William Robinson Clark.
The story starts in the early 1800s, when Rev. James Clark, his father, was the schoolmaster at Daviot, Aberdeenshire, and with his wife Catherine (nee Lyon) had several children including William Robinson Clark and David Clark.
The history of David Clark M.A., my paternal great grandfather, who became a schoolmaster in the Black Country of the UK in the 1850s and author of several educational books, was largely known to me.
That their father was a Reverend, as well as the schoolmaster, at Daviot was not.
But of his elder brother, William Robinson Clark born in 1829 I knew little other than as a schoolboy and early family member, aged 12, in the 1841 UK census.
All this changed the day the monumental (grave) inscriptions for Daviot arrived from the Aberdeen and North-East Scotland Family History Society (ANESFHS).
That was the day everything changed
The inscriptions, on the grave of his mother, Catherine Lyon, indicated that William Robinson Clark, M.A., was the Dean of Taunton and prebendary of Wells (not Wales as the copied inscriptions incorrectly indicated).
I established that he had been educated at the Grammar School in Old Aberdeen, at King's College, Aberdeen and later went to Hertford College, Oxford
His father - Rev James Clark His mother - Catherine Lyon
Rev James Clark Catherine Lyon
Rev James Clark Catherine Lyon - wife of Rev. James Clark
[ info link ] [ Info link ]
© Copyright Aberdeenshire Museums Service

Kings College, University of Aberdeen

Kings College, Aberdeen The University of Aberdeen was founded by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen in 1495 as Kings College.

He was awarded his MA at Aberdeen in 1848.

In April 1593 a second institute, Marischal College, was founded and in 1858 the Universities of Scotland Act merged Kings College and Marischal College.
[In 2015 a William Robinson Clark Graduate Scholarship was awarded at the University of Aberdeen]
After graduating from King's College Aberdeen M.A. with honours, he later went to Hertford College, Oxford.

Hertford College, Oxford

Foster's 'Alumni Oxonienses' indicates that his B.A. was conferred by Oxford in 1864 and his MA in 1865.

Foster also notes that he was vicar of St Mary Magdalene, Taunton, in 1859.
(information kindly supplied by Hertford College, Oxford)
Hertford College, Oxford
Hertford College, Oxford

William Robinson Clark became a clergyman.

He was the :-
Superintendent Minister, Independent Chapel, Lymington, Hampshire, 1854-1856,
Ordained in 1857,
Curate of St Matthias, Birmingham, 1857-1858 (closed 1948 after WW2 damage),
Curate of Taunton St Mary Magdalen between 1858-1859,
Dean of Taunton St Mary Magdalene and Prebendary of Wells Cathedral 1859-1880.
He was in London from 1880 on literary works.
He emigrated to Canada in 1882 and became professor of mental and moral philosophy at Trinity College, Toronto, Ontario (from 1883 to 1908).

St Matthias, Farm Street/Wheeler Street, Birmingham

History of Birmingham churches link
Built 1855, bomb damaged in WW2, closed in 1948, and demolished 1952.
Copyright John Houghton
St Matthias, Birmingham

Dean of Taunton and Prebendary of Wells

St Mary Magdalene, Taunton
Taunton - St Mary Magdalene
Vicars of Taunton Vicars of Taunton
St Mary Magdalene, Taunton
(photograph 2017)
Vicars of St Mary Magdalene
(photograph 2017)
Pulpit Bastism font
Pulpit of St Mary Magdalene photograph
(photograph 2017)
Baptism font of St Mary Magdalene photograph
( photograph 2017)
Aged about 30
Taunton vicarage
Vicarage where William Robinson Clark lived between c. 1860-1880
(photograph 2017)
William Robinson Clark c.1860
(from the vicars pictures inside the church)
During his time at St Mary Magdalene William Robinson Clark was involved in making changes which included the replacement of the bells (see inscription below), installing a new pulpit and a new Bastism Font where many of his children born in Taunton were baptised.

Bell inscription at Taunton St Mary Magdalene


Bellhistorians: The Bells of St Mary, Taunton by David Bryant
Also see link

Wells Cathedral

Wells Cathedral Wells Cathedral
Pictures of Wells Cathedral
Wells Cathedral 2017 Wells prebendary area
Wells Cathedral
(photograph 2017)
Quire (choir) and Prebendary area of Wells Cathedral
(photograph 2017)
Prebendary seats at Wells Cathedral
Prebendary seats at Wells Cathedral
(photograph 2017)
Chapter House
Chapter House
(photpograph 2017)

Emigrated to Canada

In 1882, aged about 53, he emigrated to Canada and became the professor of mental and moral philosophy at Trinity College, Toronto, Ontario (from 1883 to 1908). He was noted as a lecturer and preacher. He is also referred to as the Professor of Theology at Toronto.
He was described as one of the foremost theologians in North America, and there are records of him delivering lectures in Michigan, USA.
He was awarded an Honoury LL.D by the Hobart College - now part of the
Hobart and William Smith University (HWS) - in the USA in 1888.
trinity College, Toronto
(Original) Trinity College, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Trinity College, University of Toronto
William Robinson Clark
Rev. Professor William Robinson Clark
I was advised by Stella that there is a huge portrait of William Robinson Clark hanging on the wall of one of the great halls at Trinity College, University of Toronto.

I was able to see it in May 2013.
William Robinson Clark
  Portrait of William Robinson Clark
picture Trinity College, Toronto 2013

Aauthor of many biographical and theological works

He was the author of many biographical and theological works (detailed below) (both in the UK and in Canada).
Many of these books (about 20) are held in The British Library. (system number 004416350) and also in the Lambeth Palace Library

Royal Society of Canada

Dr. Clark became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. He was elected in 1891 and later served as President of the Society from 1899 to 1900.



Read his obituary kindly supplied by the Royal Society of Canada.

Empire Club of Canada

Opening address (no longer available) by the Rev. Professor William Clark, D.D., D.C.L., LL.D., delivered at the Weekly Luncheon of the Club, on December 3rd, 1903. It seems that he was involved in the formation of the Empire Club, as this address pre-dates the official formation in 1905.
“I can quite understand that to many persons the formation of a club of this kind will seem a very little thing,” said the first luncheon speaker on December 3, 1903, a clergyman and professor, William Clark.
President of the Empire Club of Canada 1905-6
Address by the President, Rev. Professor Clark, D.D., D.C.L.,
at the opening meeting of the Empire Club of Canada, on Oct. 12th, 1905.
Empire Club of Canada site
See reference to Professor Clark in the history of the Empire Club (page no longer available) and in the book "The Best Talk in Town" by Scott Young and Margaret Hogan (1979).
Subsequent speakers at the Empire Club of Canada included many Canadian Prime Ministers, British Prime Ministers (including Sir Winston Churchill, Harold McMillan and Margaret Thatcher), US Presidents (Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan), UK Royal family (including HM The Queen Mother and HRH Prince Philip), Russian President (Vladimir Putin) and ...... Bill Gates (without whom you would probably not be reading this information !).

Close friend of the Prime Minister of Canada, and the Archives of Canada
William Lyon Mackenzie King In Canada, he also became a close friend of the longest serving Prime Minister and long-time political figure, William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950), who was also of Scottish descent, and the Reverend William Robinson Clark is referred to in the Archives of Canada. Information on William Robinson Clark in the national Archives of Canada
William Lyon Mackenzie King (1874-1950)  

As reported by an early Lyon family member

One of George Lyon's sisters had married the Rev. Mr. Clark of Deviot (two miles from Inverurie). Her son Rev. Wm. Clark refused two bishoprics including that of Ely. His two daughters had become Roman Catholics at a French School. One was Lady Cole* the other Lady Petre, the latter a very old barony which descends to daughters as well as male heirs it is "Petre of Furnwall". Rev. Wm. Clark was at Wells and later came to Trinity College Toronto. I remember, as a very small child hearing him lecture on, "The Water Babies". He was a very handsome man.

* Alan Summerly Cole, the son of Sir Henry Cole, was an emminent person in his own right but I can find no evidence he was a Sir or Lord [ed].

The family of William Robinson Clark

First marriage to Elizabeth Jane Higgins 1855
Information about his sons and daughters is [here].

His wife, Elizabeth Jane Higgins (the daughter of Charles Higgins, a brewer) was born in Wiltshire, and they married at the Independent Chapel, Salisbury, Wiltshire in 1855. She died at the Villa Arson, Nice, France in April 1891. She had converted to Catholicism in c.1877 and afterwards there is information they were living apart. She appeared to remain in Europe when he went to Canada.
"Who Was Who 1897-1915" (p.101 or p.139) lists third wife (Helen Louise Patton) and 6 sons and 5 daughters (we have 7 and 5 !). As this was written many years later it is likely it refers to living children. One son, the twin Alred, died soon after birth. [link].
I cannot trace much about his sons, except William Lyon Clark, post-1881.
The daughters, mainly older, stayed in England.
However there is reference to the subsequent marriages of some of his daughters that are as colourful as his life.

Second marriage to Emilie Mary Cambell in 1891
A second marriage is recorded on the 30th July 1891, when he was aged 62,
to Emilie Mary Campbell (nee Noall), aged 35, a widow and daughter of John and Ann,
in Toronto, Canada.
Toronto 1891, Part 3
014557/91 William Robinson CLARK, 62, widower, Scotland, Toronto, s/o James CLARK & Catherine CLARK, married Emilie Mary CAMPBELL, 35, widow, England, Toronto, d/o John NOALL & Anne NOALL, witn: Joseph BURTON & Elizabeth BURTON, 30 July 1891
Emilie Noall may have been born in Lancashire.

Third marriage to Helen Louise Patton in 1906
There is a Toronto record that widowed, William Robinson Clark,
again remarried in Toronto in 1906 at the age of 76 to a Helen Louise Patton, aged 49.
The marriage details are:-
#003946-06 (Toronto)
William Robinson CLARK, 76, Scotland, Toronto, widower, Clergyman,
son/of James CLARK & (blank) LYON,
Helen Louise PATTON, 49, Canada, Toronto, single,
daughter/of James PATTON & (blank) HOOKER,
witnesses: Henry J.F. DUCKWORTH, Alice MacKELLAR, both Toronto,
married 24 February 1906
Marriage - Toronto
Hon. James Patton Q.C.
The wife of James Patton has now been identified as Martha Marietta Hooker.
William Robinson Clark died on 12th November 1912 in Toronto, Canada.

Some further info and links (that need some sorting out!)
Peerage (and daughters)
LL D - 1888 awarded to William Robinson Clark
LL.D. Letters indicating the degree Legumptionorum Doctor, one learned in laws, gifted with legal gumption (being checked out).


His father, James Clark, was a schoolmaster in Daviot, Aberdeenshire in 1841. James is recorded in the !841 Census as a schoolmaster, aged 40, living at the Schoolhouse, Daviot, with his family.
William Robinson Clark was the eldest son and was aged 12 in the 1841 census.
Of James's other children, David Clark also became a schoolmaster (in Brierley Hill and later Pensnett, Staffordshire) and his daughter, Elspet (Elsie) became a schoolmistress whilst still living in Daviot.
1841 Census of Daviot, Aberdeen
Living at the Schoolhouse, Daviot, Aberdeen.
Age Occupation Born
Clark James M 40 Schoolmaster Aberdeenshire
  Elspet F 14   Aberdeenshire
  William M 12   Aberdeenshire
  David M 9   Aberdeenshire
  Anne F 7   Aberdeenshire
  George M 5   Aberdeenshire
Anderson Janet F 20 Female servant Aberdeenshire
Thomson Robert M 15 Agricultural labourer Aberdeenshire
His mother, Catherine Clark (nee Lyon), was not present in the 1841 Daviot census as she had died on 17th April 1836, aged 29, and is buried at Daviot.
His father, James Clark died on 18th August 1849 and is also buried at Daviot, Aberdeen.
ANESFHS Monumental Index for James and Catherine at Daviot.
Full ANESFHS Monumental Inscriptions (gravestones) in Aberdeenshire.
William's youngest brother, George (d. 30th June 1866), died in India and is buried at Daviot, as is sister Elspet (Elsie), who married William Barclay, and died 19th April 1877.
William Barlay and his wife Elspet (Elsie) Barclay (nee Clark), together with her younger brother George were still living at Pitblain, Daviot in 1851. William Barclay was a tailor and Elsie was a schoolmistess. See 1851 Daviot census.
They are not present in the 1861 Daviot census
see Local History - Daviot
Present Daviot School web-site

Books by William Robinson Clark

Books of William Robinson Clark
(in The Britiah Library Public Catalogue)
The anglican reformation
  • [1] Self-knowledge and the four temperaments. a series of sermons preached in Lent, 1865. by William Robinson Clark ... Clark. William Robinson 1865
  • [2] The Anglican Reformation. CLARK. William Robinson pp. viii. 482. T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh, 1897. 8o.
  • [3] Antichrist. The First Resurrection. Two Advent sermons. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 33. Rivingtons: London; F. May: Taunton, 1865. 8o.
  • [4] Beveridge, the Scriptural Preacher. CLARK. William Robinson
  • [5] Character and Work. Hints for younger men and women. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 163. W. W. Gardner: London, [1878.] 8o.
  • [6] Christmas. [A sermon.] CLARK. William Robinson 1874.
  • [7] The Church and Science. CLARK. William Robinson 1872.
  • [8] The Comforter. CLARK. William Robinson S.P.C.K.: London, [1875.] 16o.
  • [9] The Comforter: a series of sermons on certain aspects of the work of the Holy Ghost. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 160. Rivingtons: London & Oxford; F. R. Clarke: Taunton, 1864. 8o.
  • [10] Culture. [A sermon.] CLARK. William Robinson 1875.
  • [11] Four Advent Sermons. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 86. Longman & Co.: London, 1861. 12o.
  • [12] Four Sermons preached during Advent, 1860. Second edition, partially rewritten. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 86. Longman & Co.: London, 1861. 8o.
  • [13] The Four Temperaments; together with some occasional sermons ... Second edition. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 174. John Hodges: London, 1874. 8o.
  • [14] Hindrances to the Work of the Church in the World: a series of sermons. [Edited by W. R. Clark.] CLARK. William Robinson pp. 149. W. W. Gardner: London, [1872.] 8o.
  • [15] The Paraclete. A series of discourses on the person and work of the Holy Spirit ... The Slocum lectures, 1899; delivered at the University of Michigan. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 236. G. N. Morang & Co.: Toronto, 1900. 8o.
  • [16] Pascal and the Port Royalists. CLARK. William Robinson pp. vii. 235. T. & T. Clark: Edinburgh, 1902. 8o. [click to download the book in .pdf format]
  • [17] The Prodigal Son: a series of sermons. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 111. Bell & Daldy: London; F. R. Clarke: Taunton, 1860. 8o.
  • [18] The Redeemer: a series of sermons on certain aspects of the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 215. Bell & Daldy: London, 1863. 8o.
  • [19] Righteousness exalteth a Nation. A sermon, etc. CLARK. William Robinson pp. 34. Rivingtons: London, 1876. 8o.
  • [20] Savonarola: his life and times. CLARK. William Robinson S.P.C.K.: London, [1880?] 8o.
British Library Public catalogue link (needs author search)
also A hand-book of Tamil for the use of coffee planters. By Rev. William Clark, ... 1876
Books in Lambeth Palace Library
The Anglican reformation. by CLARK, William Robinson.
Publisher Clark, 1897.
Class-mark: H5067.C5 Series: Eras of the Christian Church
The blessedness of obedience: a sermon ... by CLARK, William Robinson.
Publisher Paul, 1868.
Class-mark: H5133 407.08 Series: Preaching for the Million. The Preacher Series Vol No: 238
General synod of the Church of England in Canada, Montreal, Sept. 1902: report of the Committee on the diaconate, to which are appended the addresses of Charles Jenkins, Esq., Petrolia Ont. and Rev. Prof. Clark ... by CLARK, William Robinson
Publisher A. Talbot & Co., Printers, 1903. Class-mark: H5600 1.05
Classmark: D200.H3 Author: HEFELE, Carl Joseph von, ( bishop of Rottenburg ) Title: A history of the Christian Councils from the original documents ... by the Right Rev. Charles Joseph Hefele;
translated from the German and edited by William R. Clark ...
Place of publication: Edinburgh:
Publisher: Clark, Pub Date: 1894-6. Description: 5 v. Edition: Vol. I. is 2nd ed. Notes: To 787 A.D.
Additional author: CLARK, William Robinson, (editor) OXENHAM, Frank Nutcombe, (editor)
William R Clark books for download (and references)
[click this link]
Links and references by others to William Robinson Clark
History guide
Bonfire of the Vanities
University of Toronto Library - (needs name search)
National Library of Canada
History of Toronto
More Book details
The Anglican Reformation by William Clark Publisher: New York : Scribner, 1900. ISBN: 0-52401-647-X
The Comforter The Comforter a series of sermons on certain aspects of the work of the Holy Ghost by William Robinson Clark Publisher: London : Rivingtons, 1864. ISBN: 0-79057-278-8
Pascal and the Port Royalists by William Clark Publisher: Edinburgh : T. & T. Clark, 1902. ISBN: 0-79057-212-5
Savonarola, his life and times by William Clark Publisher: Chicago : A.C. McClurg, 1890. ISBN: 0-52400-985-6
Etheldreda Clark links
Directory of Royal Geanealogical data

The Eng. transl. of Hefele by W. R. Clark includes only vols. i.-iii. of the German, down to 787 A. D., 5 vols., 1883-96. Of all these Hefele is the most accessible and now the oftenest cited.

History of the Councils of the Church, in 4 volumes, by Rev. Charles Hefele, D.D., translated from the German by William Clark M.A., Edinburgh, 1895.

Information on background of Trinity College, Toronto
Extract - The older, narrower view of Trinity's origins was created by its chief founder, John Strachan, the bishop of Toronto. Speaking at the laying of the comei-stone of the first building in 1851, Strachan constructed a myth of origins for the college which, for decades afterwards, would be retold at its public events, in its official documents, and in its books of historical remembrance. he pictured Trinity as the heroic response of the Church of England in Canada to a radical and irreligious government which had jettisoned traditional values of education in favor of a secularising public university. Trinity would train the country's future civic leaders and professionals in the venerable moral and academic values of English Christianity. This founding myth, Westfall argues, was an exercise in "creative misdirection." Claiming to protect tradition from radicalism, Strachan prevented his audience from seeing how dramatically he himself was changing colonial Anglicanism. Formerly he had fashioned the Church of England as the common public religion of the province, administering higher education without denominational tests; now the church was seceding from public education, and requiring its teachers and students to subscribe to the Thirty-Nine Articles. And what did lie mean by claiming that Trinity was Anglican? Most Anglican lay leaders supported the public university, not Trinity. For its first thirty years, Trinity was largely a failure. Enrollments were dismally small. Financial deficits were chronic. The curriculum was modeled on the "clerical and unreformed" Cambridge which the first provost, George Whitaker, had attended in the 183Os. The governance and discipline reflected the aristocratic households of the previous century. A "strongly monastic air" hung about the fenced compound. The second provost, Charles Body, arrived in 1881, and soon rejected most of Strachan and Whitaker's vision for Trinity. he transformed the governance, curriculum, and community life of the college, and improved relations with lay Anglicans, the University of Toronto, and the government. His arrival was the real founding moment for the Trinity College which we know today, with a well-earned reputation for academic excellence, public service, and ideological diversity.
ALAN L. HAYES Wycliffe College Toronto School of Theology Toronto, Ontario
Copyright Anglican Theological Review, Inc. Summer 2004
William Robinson Clark was appointed in 1883 and served the trinity college for 25 years.

Author: Clark, William Title: A hand-book of Tamil for the use of coffee planters. By Rev. William Clark, ... Imprint: Gantz Brothers, Adelphi Press, 7 & 8, Mount Road. 1876 Place of Publication: Madras Date of Publication: 1876 Pagination: [2],vi,270p. 8o British Library Shelfmark: Fiche Quantity: 3 fiches; 11x15 cm Fiche Number: 2.1.383
Reported that - Originally educated for the Congregationalist ministry at New College London, he later conformed to the Church of England.
New College records - Centre for Dissenting Studies
Dr. Wiiliam's Centre for Dissenting Studies
Dissenting Acadamies online
Lymington, Hampshire (1854-1856)
St George's, Hanover Square

top of page