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Before joining the Clerk's Department Courtenay Ilbert had a varied career that included a period at the Parliamentary Counsel's Office. He also served as a Legal Advisor to the Viceroy of India between 1882 and 1886.
Ilbert was Clerk of the House between 1902 and 1921. His tenure coincided with an era of political turmoil and included the constitutional crisis of 1911 when he provided guidance on procedural matters. He also published three books the most popular being ‘Parliament, its History, Constitution and Practice’ (1911). Ilbert's detailed diaries are a rich source for the period of his Clerkship.
He died on the 14th May 1924 at his home in Troutwells, Penn, Buckinghamshire.
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Find out more about Sir Thomas Erskine May, Clerk of the House (1815-1886)