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The Clarke Family

The details of how Agostino met the Clarke family and particularly Letitia Clarke are a mystery but it can be noted that he came to England late in 1803 and after a short time with Wilkins and his family in Cambridge, he moved to  London and within 15month of arriving on this country had met and married.

It seems likely that up with the family  through his endeavours as an drawing master maybe through The Earl, later the Marquis of Camden, whose three daughters he taught. Others he taught included Lady Sarah daughter of  Earl Spencer or the dowager Lady Littleton.

It seems that Letitia Clarke was the daughter of Robert Clarke, an Alderman of London and possibly at one time the mayor. There is no doubt that she had her own money and probably her finances supported Agostino and the family though many of the financial crisis that must have occurred because he so often did not get paid for his work.  I should be noted that during the 1830's he became bankrupt over the Kingsborough affair. In the 1920's he spent about 4 years touring the continent making facsimiles of Mexican antiquities, seldom getting paid.

There are records that Letitia was born on 15th November 1783, the daughter of Robert Clarke and baptised at St. Benet in Paul's Wharfe London

It is sad that there is very little reference to Letitia in amongst the many documents relating to Aglio; it seem that autobiographies of that time tended to be directed to occupation rather that relationships. Similarly can be said of the writings of William Joseph Diddin, his grandson in law. There is one letter to Lord Kingsborough, complaining about lack of payment for work and indicating that his poor wife was suffering. 

 Robert Clarke

Alderman Clarke (Joiner), mayor in 1784, succeeded Wilkes as Chamberlain in 1798, and died aged ninety two, in 1831. This City patriarch was, when a mere boy, introduced to Dr. Johnson by that insufferable man, Sir John Hawkins. He met Dr. Percy, Goldsmith, and Hawkesworth, with the Polyphemus of letters, at the "Mitre." He was a member of the Essex Head Club. "When he was sheriff in 1777," says Mr. Timbs, "he took Dr. Johnson to a judges' dinner at the Old Bailey, the judges being Blackstone and Eyre." The portrait of Chamberlain Clarke, in the Court of Common Council in Guildhall, is by Sir Thomas Lawrence, and cost one hundred guineas. 

There is also a bust of Mr. Clarke, by Sievier, at the Guildhall, which was paid for by a subscription of the City officers. From: 'The Lord Mayors of London', Old and New London: Volume 1 (1878), pp. 396-416. URL: 

http://www.british-history.ac.uk/report.aspx?compid=45053 Date accessed: 19 July 2010.

This may be a picture of the bust although it is referred to as a bust of John Clarke Letetia's Cousin


Searching for connections:

In 1846 a Royal party visited Guernsey

"The Royal party which landed the following morning consisted of the Queen, Prince Albert, the Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, Lady Jocelyn, the Honourable Miss Kerr, the Dowager Lady Littleton, Earl Spencer, Viscount Palmerston, Lord Adolphus Fitzclarence, Colonel Grey, and Sir James Clark."