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Sir Thomas Erskine May

Thomas Erskine May (1815-1886) was Clerk of the House of Commons from 1871 untill 1886. He began his career in Parliament in 1831 as an Assistant Librarian in the House of Commons Library. Subsequent positions included Examiner of Petitions for Private Bills, Taxing Master for both houses and Clerk Assistant of the House of Commons.  Whilst Assistant Librarian he published ‘A treatise upon the law, privileges, proceedings and usage of Parliament' (1844) which became the definitive guide to parliamentary procedure. 

May retired in April 1886 and on 11th May 1886 he was created Baron Farnborough. He died in the Palace of Westminster on 17th May 1886 and was buried at Chippenham,Cambridgeshire.



Sir Thomas Erskine May (1815-1886), Clerk of the House of Commons



Catalogue number

WOA 3365