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Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke GCMG[3] (25 July 1898 – 16 December 1962) was a British colonial administrator.

Sir Charles Noble Arden-Clarke

The National Archives UK - CO 1069-43-9 - crop.jpg
Governor-General of Ghana
In office
6 March 1957 – 24 June 1957
MonarchElizabeth II
Prime MinisterKwame Nkrumah
(6 March 1957 – 1 July 1960)
Preceded byNewly created position
Succeeded byLord Listowel
Governor of the Gold Coast
In office
11 August 1949 – 6 March 1957
Prime MinisterKwame Nkrumah
(21 March 1952 – 6 March 1957)
Preceded bySir Robert Scott
Succeeded byPosition abolished
Resident Commissioner of Bechuanaland
In office
Preceded byCharles Fernand Rey
Succeeded byAubrey Denzil Forsyth-Thompson
First Governor of Sarawak
In office
1 July 1946 – 26 July 1949
MonarchGeorge VI
Preceded byNewly created position
Succeeded byDuncan George Stewart
Personal details
Born(1898-07-25)25 July 1898[1]
Bournemouth, England
Died16 December 1962(1962-12-16) (aged 64)[2]
Syleham, England

Arden-Clarke was educated at Rossall School.[4] He was the Resident Commissioner of the Bechuanaland Protectorate (later Botswana) between 1937 and 1942, a time at which the ruling regent Tshekedi Khama was in violent conflict with the British authorities.[5] He was the Resident Commissioner of Basutoland from August 1942 to November 1946, and in 1946 was appointed as the first Governor of the newly created British Crown Colony of Sarawak, which was ceded in 1946 by the Kingdom of Sarawak. During his governorship in Sarawak he was despised by locals as, upon his appointment, Sarawak was engulfed with the Anti-cession Movement, which led to the assassination of his successor, Duncan Stewart in 1949 by the radical members of the Anti-cession movement.

After Sarawak, he was the last governor of the Gold Coast from August 1949[5] until 1957 (later Ghana). On 12 February 1951, he authorised Kwame Nkrumah's release from imprisonment in James Fort. After independence, he was named the first Governor-General of Ghana in 1957. Arden-Clarke's acceptance of the Africans and his attitude towards Kwame Nkrumah likely contributed to Ghana's relatively smooth transition to independence.


  1. ^ Who's who of Southern Africa. Ken Donaldson (Pty.) Limited. 1959.
  2. ^ African Affairs. Royal African Society. 1968.
  3. ^ 1952_New_Year_Honours
  4. ^ "Arden-Clarke, Sir Charles Noble". Who's Who. A & C Black, an imprint of Bloomsbury Publishing plc. (subscription or UK public library membership required)
  5. ^ a b David Birmingham (1998). Kwame Nkrumah: The Father of African Nationalism (Rev. ed.). Ohio University Press. pp. 38–39. ISBN 978-0-8214-1242-8.
Government offices
Preceded by
Charles Fernand Rey
Resident Commissioner of Bechuanaland
Succeeded by
Aubrey Denzil Forsyth-Thompson
New creation Governor of Sarawak
Succeeded by
Duncan George Stewart
Preceded by
Sir Robert Scott
Governor of the Gold Coast
Post abolished
New creation Governor-General of Ghana
Succeeded by
The Earl of Listowel
Notes and references