John Clark

The White Horse, North Street, Sudbury

The photograph of the White Horse, North Street, Sudbury was taken in March 2019. It was once the home of a Sudbury freeman, John Clark. When the White Horse was sold in April 1868, the establishment had been in the hands of its late owner and occupier, John Clark, for over fifty years. He was not a native of Sudbury as he was born in Chelmsford c1788. After he moved to Sudbury, he continued to take a great interest in his native town and for 54 years he was a regular subscriber to The Chemsford Chronicle. The move to Sudbury and the acquisition of The White Horse meant that he needed to purchase the freedom of the town as the Corporation demanded that every man, rich or poor, who opened a shop or business should pay £36 15s for the freedom or face a fine of three shillings per week. Therefore, John Clark became a freeman of Sudbury, by purchase, on May 20th, 1819. John Clark was a staunch Conservative all his life and, having purchased the freedom, was entitled to vote in parliamentary elections. Fortunately, in view of Sudbury’s well-founded reputation for corruption at these times, he was never mixed up in proceedings of a dubious nature and wisely avoided squabbles over politics and any other local disputes. He held several unpaid positions in the town as he was a member of the Paving Board and the Court of Guardians for the Poor Law Union. He was also considered to be one of the finest judges of wines and spirits in the county. He had an unassuming kind and courteous demeanour and his cheerful smile and pleasant greeting was missed by the old frequenters of The White Horse. He appointed his old friend and neighbour, Samuel Brown, as his executor.