Sir Ernest Clarke (1856-1923) was born in Bury St Edmunds on 21 February 1856, and educated in the town. He was a clerk in the Medical Department, Local Government Board, 1872-1881; Assistant Secretary, Share and Loan Department, Stock Exchange, 1881-1887; and Secretary of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, 1887-1905. He was granted an honorary M.A. by Cambridge University in 1894, and was First Lecturer in Agricultural History, 1896-1899, and Gilbey Lecturer in the History and Economics of Agriculture, 1897-1901. Clarke was knighted in 1898. He died on 4 March 1923.