PUBLIC Analyst for the City of Glasgow, the Counties of
Lanark and Renfrew, and various burghs, the late Dr. Clark was long one of the
chief forces which make for the improved health of Glasgow and its
neighbourhood. Son of John Clark, a well-known Glasgow lawyer, and Annabella Ure,
also of the city, he was born here, 9th March, 1844, and educated at Glasgow
High School, Academy, and University. He afterwards (1862-64) studied chemistry
with Dr. Frederick Penny at the Andersonian University, and with Woehler at
Göttingen (1864-66), where he obtained the degree of Doctor of Philosophy, and
published a thesis on "Amido Valerianic Acid and Valere Lactic Acid." The
ensuing summer session he spent with Bunsen at Heidelberg, then went to Paris,
and studied for nine months under Payen at the Conservatoire des arts et
On his return to Glasgow in 1867 Dr. Clark was engaged by Professor Penny as his head assistant, and on Penny's death in November, 1869, he discharged the duties of the chair for the remainder of the session. He was further appointed interim Professor of Chemistry in the Andersonian for the summer session of 1870.
On the election of Professor T. E. Thorpe to the chair, Dr. Clark entered into partnership with Dr. William Wallace and Mr. R. R. Tatlock, forming a firm which carried on the business of analytical and consulting chemists till 1889. Mr. Tatlock then left the firm, and from the death of Dr. Wallace shortly afterwards Dr. Clark was the sole partner in the business of Wallace & Clark, till a few years ago, when his son, Mr. R. M. Clark, was assumed a member of the firm.
In 1874 he was appointed one of the public analysts for the City of Glasgow, and subsequently he became public analyst for the counties of Lanark and Renfrew and for various burghs. He published a large number of original papers on various subjects connected with analytical chemistry, and some of the methods which he introduced for the estimation of chromium arsenic and antimony have been very generally adopted. He was, indeed, regarded as the leading authority on the estimation of chromium, not only in this country, but on the Continent and in America. He held the position of member of council on the Institute of Chemistry, and was a Vice-President of the Society of Chemical Industry. His chief recreations were angling, golf, and bowling, He had been Captain of the Glasgow Golf Club, and was the first President of the Scottish Bowling Association. Dr. Clark died 9th July, 1907. He held at the time the coveted position of President of the Society of Public Analysts, London, and was also President of the Scottish Public Analysts' Association.
Index of Glasgow Men (1909)