Clarkson, William Berry

BORN c1860 - DIED 13 Oct 1934
GRAVE LOCATION Brookwood, Surrey: Brookwood Cemetery (Plot 118 (Actors' Acre))

William Clarkson was the son of a wigmaker. After his father's death in 1879 he took over the business. He had many famous customers and provided costumes and wigs for amateur productions of the Queen Victoria and her family. He attended many theatre premieres at the West End in London and he knew Herbert Beerbohm Tree, Lillie Langtry, Marie Lloyd and Nellie Melba. Clarkson claimed that the murderer Crippen was among his customers.

In 1931 he received 25,000 pounds of insurance money after a fire at his shop. In 1933 another fire took place but this time the insurers refused to pay. In 1934 he was found unconscious with a gash on his forehead. Royal psysician Bertrand Dawson attended him, but he died soon afterwards. His autopsy was performed by Sir Bernard Spilsbury but foul play could not be established. After his death his estate was successfully sued by insurance companies for his fire insurance claims and a man called Harris admitted that he had been paid in 1931 to set the fire in Clarkson's shop in 1931.

Related persons
• knew Beerbohm Tree, Herbert
• knew Lloyd, Marie


The grave of William Berry Clarkson at Brookwood Cemetery, Woking.
Picture by Androom (25 Jun 2009)


• Clarke, John M., London's Necropolis, A Guide to Brookwood Cemetery, Sutton Publishing, Stroud, Gloucestershire, 2004
Willy Clarkson - Wikipedia

Clary, Julie

Published: 20 Feb 2022
Last update: 27 Apr 2024