Online Encyclopedia

SIR ANDREW CLARKE (1824-1902)

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Originally appearing in Volume V06, Page 443 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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SIR ANDREW CLARKE (1824-1902), British soldier and administrator, son of Colonel Andrew Clarke, of Co. Donegal, Ireland, governor of West Australia, was born at Southsea, England, on the 27th of July 1824, and educated at King's school, Canterbury. He entered the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich, and obtained his commission in the army in 1844 as second lieutenant in the Royal Engineers. He was appointed to his father's staff in West Australia, but was transferred to be A.D.C. and military secretary to the governor of Tasmania; and in 1847 he went to New Zealand to take part in the Maori War, and for some years served on Sir George Grey's staff. He was then made surveyor-general in Victoria, took a prominent part in framing its new constitution, and held the office of minister of public lands during the first administration (1855-1857). He returned to England in 1857, and in 1863 was sent on a special mission to the West Coast of Africa. In 1864 he was appointed director of works for the navy, and held this post for nine years, being responsible for great improvements in the naval arsenals at Chatham, Portsmouth and Plymouth, and for fortifications at Malta, Cork, Bermuda and elsewhere. In 1873 he was made K.C.M.G., and became governor of the Straits Settlements, where he did most valuable work in consolidating British rule and ameliorating the condition of the people. From 1875 to 188o he was minister of public works in India; and on his return to England in 1881, holding then the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the army, he was first appointed commandant at Chatham and then inspector-general of fortifications (1882—1886). Having attained the rank of lieutenant-general and been created G.C.M.G., he retired from official life, and in 1886 and 1893 unsuccessfully stood for parliament as a supporter of Mr Gladstone. During his last years he was agent-general for Victoria. He died on the 29th of March 1902. Both as a technical and strategical engineer and as an Imperial administrator Sir Andrew Clarke was one of the ablest and most useful public servants of his time; and his contributions to periodical literature, as well as his official memoranda, contained valuable suggestions on the subjects of imperial defence and imperial consolidation which received too little consideration at a period when the home governments were not properly alive to their importance. He is entitled to remembrance as one of those who first inculcated, from a wide practical experience, the views of imperial administration and its responsibilities, which in his last years he saw accepted by the bulk of his country-men.
End of Article: SIR ANDREW CLARKE (1824-1902)
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