Gertrude Clarkson was originally a Presbyterian before becoming an Independent. Her narrative, The Remarkable Experience of Mrs. Gertrude Clarkson, and that of her sister, Rebecca Combe, appeared in Samuel James’s An Abstract of the Gracious Dealings of God with Several Eminent Christians (1760). Clarkson was the second daughter of the Christian scholar and commentator David Clarkson; she was baptized at Mortlake on November 18, 1669, a few years after her older sister, Rebecca, was born (Selby 189). She received a religious education along with her siblings Robert, Rebecca, and Katherine and frequently felt a strong conviction on the danger of sin. She often felt restless or anxious when not actively avoiding sin and idleness that she combated with scripture learning, prayer, and good work. After Rebecca’s marriage, both sisters left the Presbyterian Church and joined the Independents in a London congregation. Clarkson was acclaimed for her participation in religious dialogues and distinguished for her piety. She fell ill with a colic illness and died in London on 23 April 1701. Her funeral sermon was later published, a tribute to her stature within the congregation and London's dissenting community.
For the text of Clarkson's spiritual narrative taken from Samuel James's Abstract and available now on this site, click here .
For more on Clarkson, see Thomas Gibbon, Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women, vol. 2 (London: J. Duncan, Longman et all, 1827); Walford Dakin Selby, ed., The Geneaologist (comp. H.W. Forsyth Harwood and Keith W. Murray), vol. 3 (London: George Bell & Sons, 1886); Samuel James, An Abstract of the Gracious Dealings of God, With Several Eminent Christians, in Their Conversions and Sufferings, 4th ed. (London: printed by M. Lewis; and sold by J. Buckland, G. Keith, J. Johnson, and B. Tomkins, 1774); and Thomas Ridgley, A Funeral Sermon [on Jude, Verse 24] Preached, and Since Enlarged on the Decease of Mrs. Gertrude Clarkson, &. (London: N. Hiller, 1701).
1. Gibbon, Thomas. Memoirs of Eminently Pious Women. Vol.2. London: J. Duncan, Longman et all, 1827.
A chapter details a brief history of Gertrude Clarkson’s spiritual development throughout her life.
2. James, Samuel. An Abstract of the Gracious Dealings of God, With Several Eminent Christians, in Their Conversions and Sufferings. 4th ed. printed by M. Lewis; and sold by J. Buckland, G. Keith, J. Johnson, and B. Tomkins London: 1774.
James gives a similar account of Gertrude’s death within this volume. See text below.
3. Ridgley, Thomas. A Funeral Sermon [on Jude, Verse 24] Preached, and Since Enlarged on the Decease of Mrs. Gertrude Clarkson, Etc. Pp. 100. N. Hiller: London, 1701.
The eulogy preached and printed upon Gertrude Clarkson’s death available in print and as an ebook at the library in Mountain View, California. The last third of the sermon briefly recounts her life and her illness, praising her piety and devotion to God's will even through affliction.
This page assisted by Esther M. Stuart, Georgia Southern University