Engraving of the young Adam Clarke (1762-1832).
Clarke was a Wesleyan minister and scholar. He met John Wesley in 1782 and was soon after received into full Connexion, in 1783. After Wesley died, Clarke became a moderating influence in Wesleyan Methodism and became President of the British Wesleyan Methodist Conference three times, in 1806, 1814 and 1822. He combatted poverty and was fiercely against African slavery. Instead, he advocated mission activity abroad and overseas.
Clarke was also an outstanding scholar. He had a reputation as a linguist, especially in Oriental and Middle Eastern languages, and he played an important part in the Bible Society of the time as a result. He received an honorary doctorate from Aberdeen University in 1808 and was elected a Fellow of the Antiquarian and Geological Societies shortly after. He was also a Foundation member and Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society. Sadly, his attempt at decoding the Rosetta Stone (now in the British Museum) were not crowned by success.