Source: Chaplains in the Jurisdiction of the Presidency of Fort St George from 1647 to 1805 (Rev Frank Perry, The Church In Madras 1904)
Biography: ABRAHAM THOMAS CLARKE was the son of John Clarke of Western Underwood in the county of Buckingham. He was born on Christmas Day 1755; was educated at Merchant Taylors School and Trinity College Cambridge, graduating B.A. in 1779. He was ordained Priest by the Bishop of Lincoln in 1784, and was licensed to the curacy of Wigtoft in that diocese. He volunteered for mission work in India in 1788, and was accepted by the S.P.C.K., being the first Eng lishman sent out by that Society to the East Indies. He arrived at Calcutta in 1789 and took the place of Kiernander as head of the Society's Calcutta mission. Soon after his arrival he was appointed superintendent of the Free School by the local Governors. At the end of 1790 he was appointed a Chaplain in the Company's service by the local Government by mistake 2; he resigned his appointments in Calcutta and did the work of a military Chaplain until the mistake was discovered by the arrival of the real nominee at the end of 1791. The Bengal Government gave him a subsistence allow ance, and kept him working in Calcutta and round about pending reference to the Directors on his case, that is until 1795. He then went to Malacca; and on the recommendation of Vice-Admiral Rainier and the commandant of the garrison he was appointed Chaplain of the garrison by the Government of Madras. Here he remained nearly three years, when to recruit his failing health he went a sea voyage to the Company's factory at the mouth of the Canton river in China. Here he officiated as Chaplain to the settlement and to the fleet at Whampoa till the end of 1798. He then went with the fleet to Madras, and was appointed by the Madras Govern ment to be Chaplain to the garrison of Seringapatam. He remained at that station till 1805 when he died.