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 Alice Whitcomb Clark

Alice Whitcomb Clark

Birth
Somerset, England
Death 11 May 1934 (aged 59)
Street, Mendip District, Somerset, England
Burial Arnos Vale, Bristol Unitary Authority, Bristol, England
Memorial ID 98171314 · View Source
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British Women's Rights Campaigner. Author.
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Alice was the daughter of William Stephens Clark (1839-1925) and Helen Priestman Bright (1840–1927). She was a feminist and businesswoman whose life encompassed many other activities and who only began historical research at the age of 38. The Clark family were Quakers, of shoe-making fame--C. and J. Clark Ltd. MANUFACTURER OF BOOTS,SHOES & SHEEPSKIN RUGS IN 1881. Residence: High St, Street, Somerset, England in 1881.
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Alice had five siblings, including an older brother named, John Bright Clark, another brother
Roger Clark, who co-founded the Friends' League for Women's Suffrage, a Quaker group of reformers. Roger Clark's wife Sarah Bancroft Clark was a tax resister and suffragist active in several political groups.
Alice had a sister, Margaret Clark Gillett (1878–1962) who was a botanist and suffragist.
Another sister, Esther Bright Clothier who, along with Alice were successive secretaries of NUWSS.
Also, a younger sister named, Dr. Hilda Clark (1881-1955) who was a physician and humanitarian aid worker. Hilda Clark's involvement in the League of Nations, the Women's Peace Crusade, and the Women's International League for Peace and Freedom as well as her numerous fact-finding visits to countries such as Greece are also reflected in her papers, her peace work through letters, and her visit to Greece in 1923 through lantern slides which accompanied her talks. In the 1930's, Hilda Clark worked as a public speaker and broadcaster on international issues. She worked for the relief of child refugees from the Spanish Civil War and aided refugees from Nazi Germany and from Austria. In 1940, when her home in London was bombed, she moved to Kent. In 1952 she returned to Street, where she died on 24 February 1955. The personal papers of Hilda Clark, humanitarian aid worker and physician, brought to life Quaker relief work in war-torn Europe during and after World War I.

Alice was strongly influenced by the ‘first wave' of feminism, particularly by debates about female economic dependence and ‘parasitism' on men and its negative effects on women and society as a whole. She also needs to be understood in the context of early 20th-century concerns about the social effects of industrialization and pioneering sociological investigations into contemporary conditions of the poor, and increasing interest in what was then called ‘economic history.'

Before she went to the London School of Economics, she spent much of her adult life (despite long periods of illness) working in the family factory, starting with an informal apprentice, to become a director in 1904. She was active in the suffrage cause, as a Liberal and on the Friends' Committee for the Relief of War Victims. She originally took up a studentship to research women's history in 1913 during one of her enforced breaks for illness, and completed her research after the war. After Working life of women was finished, she returned to the family business; she died on 11 May 1934, at Millfield, her home, in Street; her remains were cremated at Arnos Vale, Bristol.

Alice began her book with a forceful rejection of any notion that women were "a static factor in social developments" and therefore unimportant in historical study. On the contrary, she argued, they changed considerably over time with changing environments, and those changes require careful study because of the close bonds between women and men and women's (indirect) social and moral influence. And she saw the seventeenth century as a period of profound change in English women's lives; not perhaps in terms of most women's actual experiences of change so much as in underlying trends – the forces represented by ‘capitalism'.

Alice used a wide range of sources (most of them in printed editions rather than directly in the archives): letters, diaries, wills, account books, magistrates' wage rate assessments, parish records, guild and municipal records, tax returns, workhouse records, as well as prescriptive literature, pamphlets and literary sources. They were often quoted at length, employing a technique of building up a larger picture through details about and by individuals.
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Pedigree Resource File

name: Alice Clark
gender: Female
birth: 1874
Street,Somerset,England
death: 1934
Street,Somerset,England
afn: 34GL-G3B
Parents
father: William Stephens Clark (AFN: 34GK-WP5 )
mother: Helen Priestman Bright (AFN: 34GL-222 )
Submission
submitter: pmstreet968615
submitter: pstreet2703867
submission date: 13 May 1999
submission id: MM9T-SQ2
person count: 13,017

Source Citation
"Pedigree Resource File," database, FamilySearch accessed 6 October 2012, entry for Alice Clark.
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"Working life of women in the seventeenth century," by Alice Clark, intro and edited by Amy Louise Eriksson (3rd edition, 1992 [1919])


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Debra Polly
  • Added: 2 Oct 2012
  • Find A Grave Memorial 98171314
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Alice Whitcomb Clark (1 Aug 1874–11 May 1934), Find A Grave Memorial no. 98171314, citing Arnos Vale Cemetery, Arnos Vale, Bristol Unitary Authority, Bristol, England ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .