- Birth date 1819 at London
- Baptism 19 May 1819 at St Botolph, Bishopgate London
- Marriage 6 September 1848 to Amey Kendall at Lostwithiel, Cornwall
- Death date 9 March 1888 at his residence, 22 Craven Hill, Hyde Park, London
- Burial Highgate Cemetery
Joseph Clarke was born in London in 1819, the son of Arthur Clarke, solicitor, and his wife Elizabeth, and was articled to John Griffith (1796/ 7-1888). In 1839 Joseph Clarke exhibited an antiquarian drawing with the Oxford Society for Promoting the Study of Gothic Architecture. He may also be the "Joseph Clarke, Esq., architect" who presented plans for restoring the gatehouse at Rye, the intended scene of the Rye House Plot, to the Oxford Architectural Society in May 1842. Joseph Clarke was elected an Associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects on 22 February 1841, proposed by B Ferrey, T Bellamy, E B Lamb; and a Fellow 12 December 1850: proposed by T H Wyatt, G Mair, P Hardwick. He became a member of the Ecclesiological Society in 1853. He served as Diocesan Surveyor to Canterbury and Rochester, and from 1871 to St Albans. He was also Consultant Architect to the Charity Commissioners.
In 1852 Clarke published Schools and Schoolhouses: a series of Views, Plans, and Details, for Rural Parishes. In this he condemned the set of model plans issued by the Committee of Council on Education as "unsuitable in every way" and stressed the advantages of employing an architect for any new school, rather than relying on a standardised design: The plan should always be formed to the site, and reference had to local materials; the design of the school, again, should conform to the materials. Brick and stone each require their separate uses, and so their several applications. The book included plans of twelve schools he had built in Kent, Essex and Oxfordshire, at Monks Horton, Lydd, Little Bentley, Coggeshall, Clifton Hampton, Coopershall, Wellesborough, Brabourne, Boreham, Foxearth, Hatfield and Leigh (Essex).
In 1848 he married Amey Kendall, daughter of Kendall, the former vicar of Leating, Cornwall, at Lostwithiel. They had two sons, Reginald (born 1850) and William Wiseman Kendall (born 1857); and one daughter Amey E, born 1851
Clarke exhibited regularly at the Royal Academy between 1845 and 1870.
1845-1850 1, Lincoln's Inn Fields
1851-1888 13, Stratford Place, Oxford Street, London W
1848 3 Woburn Place St Pancras, London (wedding certificate)
1888 22 Craven Hill, Hyde Park, London
Death notice The Times 13 March 1888 page 1
Obituary Building News [London], Vol. 54, 16 March 1888, p. 408
Obituary Builder v54, 17 March 1888, page 1978