Mary Anne Clarke Is Born

Mary Anne Clarke (born Mary Anne Thompson 3 April 1776–21 June 1852) was the mistress of Frederick, Duke of York and became the Duke's mistress in 1803, while he was Commander-in-Chief of the army.

Thompson/Clarke was born in London, into a family of humble circumstances, her father being a labourer. Good looking and smart, she married before the age of 18, to a man named Clarke, who worked as a stonemason. However, in a very short time after the marriage, her husband went bankrupt, and Mary Thompson Clarke left him due to this. By 1803, after several liaisons with prominent men, Clarke established herself in the world of courtesans enough to receive the attention of the Duke of York, then the Commander in Chief of the army.