Clarke was educated in Switzerland and then returned to England to attend King's College London and London University (LLB). On 12 November 1872 he was admitted to Middle Temple and in 1876 was called to the bar of the Middle Temple.
After being called to the Bar, Clarke practised on the North Eastern Circuit.
In 1881, he embarked on career as a civil servant and jurist in various British colonies. In that year, he was appointed Attorney General of Fiji in 1881 and served in that position until 1885. He acted as Chief Justice of Fiji and Chief Judicial Commissioner, Western Pacific from 1882 to 1883 and in 1884. In 1885 he was appointed Chief Justice of Fiji & Chief Judicial Commissioner, Western Pacific. He served in that position until 1889.
Clarke died on 30 July 1928 in Essex, England.
- Walford, Edward The County Families of the United Kingdom: or, Royal manual of the titled and untitled aristocracy of Great Britain and Ireland and Daily Gleaner, 15 August 1928, p1.
- London Gazette, 10 March 1916, p2559 and 16 May 1924, p3994
- London Gazette, 10 March 1916, pp2558 to 2559
- The Daily Gleaner, 15 August 1928, p1