King's College London
Archive Catalogues

Download this summary catalogue (PDF) ›CLARKE, David

Identity statement

Reference code(s)
David Clarke Collection
Level of description
Collection (fonds)
Extent and medium of the unit of description (quantity, bulk, or size)
29 boxes


Name of creator(s)

Clarke, David, 1931-2014, Pageant Master

Administrative / Biographical history
Born in London, UK, on October 20 1931; family moved to Farncombe in 1933; educated at Godalming Grammar School, Surrey; studied theatre, costume and tapestry at Guildford School of Art, Surrey; gained a teaching qualification from Goldsmith's College, London; completed National Service; headed the art department at a Surrey co-educational grammar school from 1958; later worked for a College of Education in Hampshire; first pageant was an acting role in the Pageant of Farnham Castle, 1950; production designer for the Pageant of Guildford,1957; acted for the Chantry Players, the Richmond Shakespeare Society, the Surrey Community Players and Polesden Lacey Open Air Theatre; founded and directed the Cloister Players, which specialised in large scale costume productions in settings such as cathedrals and castles; venues included Guildford Cathedral, Guildford Castle, Loseley Park, Farnham Castle, Salisbury Cathedral, Cowdray Castle, Sussex, and Minack Theatre, Porthcurno, Cornwall; appointed as artistic director of the Guildford Festival, 1973; left teaching profession to further his theatrical career; Pageant Master of the Guildford Pageants,1968, 1977 and 1995; awarded a Silver Jubilee Medal, 1977; Pageant Master of the Farnham Pageant of 1988; Guildford Festival director until 1996; staged productions in York, Winchester, Salisbury, Exeter, Chichester, Newquay and Carlisle; researched the history of pageants and English tapestry; produced several films; died November 28 2014, Chilworth, UK.
Archival history


Immediate source of acquisition or transfer
Placed in the Archives by David Clarke’s family on 12 July 2018.

Content & structure

Scope and content
Papers of David Clarke, 1931-2014, including materials relating to Clarke’s career as Pageant Master, 1967-2000, such as programmes and publicity materials, correspondence, financial and legal documents, press cuttings, drawings, photographs and notes documenting pageants directed by Clarke, for example Pageant of England, 1968, Carlisle Pageant and Silver Jubilee Pageant, 1977, as well as speculative and cancelled projects; materials relating to Clarke’s interest in pageant history, 1905-2014, including research, photographs and press cuttings relating to the work of well-known pageant masters and their pageants such as Frank Lascelles, Gwendoline Lally and Louis Napoleon Parker, programmes, postcards and other ephemera relating to 77 different pageants, 1905-1990, publications about pageant production including books, such as English Pageantry, 1918, Brother Copas, 1928, Our Modern Orpheus, 1932, How to make a pageant, 1936, Pageants: Their presentation and production, 1954, and general historical research; Clarke’s writings, exhibition and talks including two unpublished book manuscripts, documents relating an exhibition of Clarke’s collection at the Harvey Gallery in Guildford, Surrey, 2005 and notes for three talks about pageant history; Clarke’s personal items including a photograph, financial document, and general correspondence, 1960 – 1979.
System of arrangement
The collection is arranged in sections as described in scope and content. Files are grouped chronologically under thematic headings. There is some overlap between the content of the thematic groups, reflecting David Clarke’s original system of arrangement.

Conditions of access & use

Conditions governing access

Open, subject to signature of Reader's undertaking form, and appropriate provision of two forms of identification, to include one photographic ID.

Conditions governing reproduction

Copies, subject to the condition of the original, may be supplied for research use only. Requests to publish original material should be submitted to the Director of Archive and Corporate Record Services.

Language/scripts of material


Finding aids

This summary guide and detailed catalogue (pending)

Allied materials

Existence and location of originals

King's College London College Archives

Description control

Archivist's Note
Compiled by Sarah Coggrave
Rules or conventions

Compiled in compliance with General International Standard Archival Description, ISAD(G), second edition, 2000; National Council on Archives Rules for the Construction of Personal Place and Corporate Names 1997.

This catalogue is made available under the Open Data Commons Attribution License. This catalogue may be updated from time to time in order to reflect additional material and/or new understandings of the material.

Date(s) of descriptions

April 2019


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  • Pageant
  • Pageant master
  • Performance

Personal names

  • Clarke, David, 1931-2014, pageant master
  • Parker, Louis Napoleon, 1852 – 1944, pageant master
  • Lascelles, Frank, 1875 – 1934, pageant master

Corporate names

  • Godalming Grammar School
  • Guildford School of Art
  • Goldsmiths College


  • Guildford, Surrey, England
  • Chilworth, Surrey, England

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