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Nick Clegg's Lowestoft connection

PUBLISHED: 11:35 18 June 2010 | UPDATED: 17:41 06 July 2010

HE'S the second-most influential politician in the country, with responsibility for both political and constitutional reform.

But what you probably didn't know about Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is that he has a long-standing family association with Lowestoft.

HE'S the second-most influential politician in the country, with responsibility for both political and constitutional reform.

But what you probably didn't know about Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg is that he has a long-standing family association with Lowestoft.

During the general election campaign there were many discussions about the ancestry of the three main party leaders. However, while much of the focus was on Mr Clegg's Russian and Dutch heritage, there was no mention of the Lib-Dem leader's Lowestoft connections.

This meant that, when Beryl Capps, secretary of Suffolk Family History Society, uncovered a website about the ancestry of the three leaders, she was surprised at what she found.

“I was absolutely amazed that his great-grandfather actually ran Lowestoft College and also ran a boarding school in Lowestoft. In fact, several of Nick Clegg's relations were born in Lowestoft,” she said.

His paternal grandfather, Hugh Anthony Clegg, was born in St Ives, Cambridgeshire (formerly in Huntingdonshire), but was living in Lowestoft in 1901 at 10 months old. Hugh was the third child to be born to John and Gertrude Clegg, but his younger sisters, Mary, Margaret and Veronica, and brother Bernard were all born in Lowestoft.

John and Gertrude were both born in Yorkshire, but between the 1891 and 1901 censuses they had married, moved to North Parade in Lowestoft and had had three children. According to the census, John Clegg was a schoolmaster and clergyman and Hugh a scholar at his school.

Richard Morling, of Stayngate Walk, Lowestoft, was told this information and was able to shed further light on the story after looking at an old issue of The Journal that contained his own great-grandfather's obituary.

“This information rang a bell with me, so I looked up my edition of the Lowestoft Journal for May 11, 1901, which confirmed that the Rev John Clegg was indeed the headmaster of Lowestoft College,” he said.

And Mrs Capps uncovered a copy of The Journal from January 15, 1965, that listed the achievements of the Rev Clegg.

He was principal of the private school for boys in 1902. By 1912. Mr Clegg had been joined by F N Bird as a joint principal, while the college had moved from Gordon Road to North Parade.

In 1916, he became the rector of Shipmeadow, before becoming curate-in-charge of St Mark's Church, Carlton Colville, from 1929-1932.

In that year, St Mark's became the separate parish of St Mark's, Oulton Broad, with Mr Clegg as vicar. In 1935, he left the county to become vicar of the south Norfolk village of Tharston.

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