CLARKE, Helen Grace (1857-1943)

1857 - 1943

Helen Grace Clarke was born at Derby St Peter, Derbyshire on 7 February 1857, second child of James Sherwin Clarke (1823-23 October 1887), a wine merchant, and his wife Anne Cox (1825-1902), second daughter of William Cox, who married at Tamworth, Staffordshire on 26 May 1853. In 1871, Helen was a 14-year-old scholar, living at 115 Uttoxeter New Road, St Werbergh, Derby with her parents, 47-year-old James and 45-year-old Anne, with five siblings, Edith Mary 15, Frederick James 12, Annie Louisa 10, Elizabeth Jane 8 and Margaret Jessie 7, all born at Derby, and they retained three indoor servants. Helen studied at the Derby School of Art and by 1881, when the family had moved to Repton, Derbyshire, Grace went to Southwold, Suffolk as an art teacher and from where she painted several local scenes and was elected a member of the Society of Women Artists. Her father died in 1887, when Grace returned to Derbyshire and in 1891, she was a 34-year-old artist and schoolteacher, back at Well Lane, Repton, with her 65-year-old widowed mother. She later returned to Southwold but by 1901, a 44-year-old artist and art mistress, living at Castleway Road, Willington, Derbyshire, with her 75-year-old widowed mother Anne, who died the following year. In 1911, a 54-year-old, living at 9 Swinburne Street, Derby with 76-year-old spinster Mary Cox and in 1921 she was on 'home duties' living at 15 Caldew Street, Silloth, Holme Low, Cumberland, the home of her now married sister Edith Mary Cartnell and her family. Helen Grace Clarke died at 16a George Street, Cambridge in 1943, aged 85, she was unmarried.