What did John do?

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I AM looking for information about Dewsbury from about 1869. While clearing my father-in-laws home we found a gold pocket watch with an inscription on the inside. It says:- ‘Presented to Mr John Clarke, by the working men of Dewsbury, in appreciation of his services in the cause of human progress. 1869’. I would like to find out what services had he performed and why he was given this watch.

We know from various census records that John Clarke was a tailor and later a wool draper from Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland born about 1827-35, who lodged with my wife’s great grandfather Charles White of Dewsbury. He appears in the censuses living with them for at least 40 years at Westgate in 1871,/ 1881 and 1891 and at 63 Daisy Hill, Dewsbury in 1901 and 1911. He does not seem to be related to Charles White, who nevertheless named one of his sons Ernest Clarke White. John Clarke had no family of his own as far as we can discover.

In 1917 C White donated a portrait of John Clarke of Dewsbury to Kirklees Museum.

DAVID OXMAN

(daveoxmanuk@yahoo.com)

2 St Catherines Rd

Ruislip

MIDDLESEX

HA4 7RU