Clement, William (1707–82), academic and politician, was born at Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, the son of Thomas Clement, a merchant. Educated by a Mr Fowlds, he entered TCD as a pensioner on 28 April 1722, became a scholar in 1724, and graduated BA (1726), MA (1731), MB (1747), and MD (1748). He was elected fellow in 1733, and lectured on botany (1733–63), though it seems that the college botanic garden was little used during his tenure of office. Coopted a senior fellow in 1743, he was appointed professor in natural and experimental philosophy on the foundation of Erasmus Smith (1745–59). He was Donegall lecturer in mathematics (1750–59), became regius professor of physic (1761), and served as college auditor, librarian, and vice-provost (from 1753 to 1782). Presumably he was an efficient administrator and teacher, though college historians record merely the positions held, and are silent regarding his scholarship. It is possible that the rebuilding of the front square of the college was initiated by Clement when he was vice-provost. From at least 1758, when both men were in the running for the provostship, little love was lost between Clement and Francis Andrews (qv), and their relationship worsened after Andrews was appointed to the post. Clement was unable to oppose Andrews too openly, since he was always afraid that the provost would cause him to lose his fellowship. Though fellows were supposed to remain celibate, Clement had married at about the time of his election to fellowship. Since his marriage was generally known, though not publicly acknowledged, the provost held the whip hand, and only after Andrews's death did Clement obtain a royal dispensation to permit him to be married. It seems possible that he became MP for Trinity College, Dublin, at least partly to contend with Andrews in another arena, since he consistently opposed the government while Andrews supported it. He represented Trinity College from 1761, but was not reelected in 1768; the provost gave his support not to his colleague, but to a friend, Sir Capel Molyneux (d. 1797), who accordingly became MP. Clement then succeeded Charles Lucas (qv) as MP for Dublin city, and held the seat from 1771 to 1782, following up on some of Lucas's initiatives. He was accorded considerable respect by the Dublin electors, who valued his support for their concerns on commercial matters. Dissenters too thought well of him.
William Clement died 15 January 1782 and was buried in the chapel of Trinity College; there are two portraits and a bust by Edward Smyth (qv) in the college. He married Mary Coxe, daughter of the celebrated physician Daniel Coxe; she had been maid of honour to Queen Anne before her first marriage to John Montgomery (d. 1732?), of Ballyleck, Co. Monaghan, who was MP for Donegal. John and Mary Montgomery had three sons. It is not known if William Clement and Mrs Montgomery (she retained her first married name to avoid drawing attention to the marriage to Clement) had children, but it is possible that a William Clements who became a fellow of TCD in 1761, and died the same year, was a son, and there were probably others; a Thomas and a Francis Clement entered TCD in the 1760s, without recording the usual details of birthplace or parentage in the register.