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George Clarke

George Clarke (1790-1868) was an amateur artist who was born at Hanging Houghton, Northamptonshire in 1790. His father was schoolmaster at Hanging Houghton, and George became schoolmaster at Lamport in 1818. Around this time he started travelling around the county to sketch houses, churches and village scenes. In 1833, he resigned from his post as schoolmaster and moved to Scaldwell where he took up his artistic work full time. Between 1819 and 1854, Clarke produced pen and ink studies of all the major houses, parish churches and village environments in Northamptonshire. His work provides a unique and complete record of the built environment of Northamptonshire during the first half of the 19th century and over a period when the Parliamentary enclosure movement was completing the transformation of the county’s open fields and commons.  He died at Scaldwell in 1868.

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St Rumbald’s Church, Stoke Doyle, Northamptonshire
A pen, ink and wash drawing measuring 9” x 12½”. Inscribed in the margin ‘Stoke Doyle Church, Northamptonshire’. Provenance: sometime with the York Studios Gallery, Northampton (label verso).

The Subject
St Rumbald’s Church dates from 1722-5 and is thought to have been designed by Thomas Eayre of Kettering…

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Both the dedication to St Rumbald and the early Georgian date are rare in Northamptonshire. The Buildings of England volume for Northamptonshire (2013) describes it as ‘a simple but quite sophisticated little building and internally still totally Georgian in atmosphere’.