The Times/1939/Obituary/Arthur Irwin Dasent
Mr. A. I. Dasent
Nephew and Biographer of Delane
Mr. Arthur Irwin Dasent, who died after a long illness at Monte Carlo on November 21, was the nephew of John Thadeus Delane, Editor of The Times from 1841 to 1877, and the son of Delane's assistant editor on The Times, Sir George Webbe Dasent. he was himself the biographer of both his father and of Delane, his life of the latter being published in 1908; and was the well-known author of a number of other works mainly of a historical and social nature.
Born in Westminster in 1859 and educated at Eton, he entered the public service as a clerk in the Duchy of Lancaster Office in 1879, but soon afterwards became a clerk in the House of Commons, where he was latterly Clerk of the Journals; and from 1921 to 1929 he was the first Clerk of the Parliaments of Northern Ireland. he was on the Council of the Navy Records Society, and had served as a lieutenant in the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve. It is recorded that he first appeared in print when as a boy at Eton he protested in The Times against certain decorations in the school cloisters. He had a strong historical and antiquarian bent, and wrote a number of readable and well-documented volumes on the past history of several parts of London—among them Piccadilly, St. James's Square, and Grosvenor Square; and in the biography of his uncle Delane he was the first—since other writers have followed since— to reveal to the public at large the nature of that great editor's genius. His "Speakers of the House of Commons," again, was particularly valuable. Occasionally he wrote letters to The Times and besides his books he did a good deal of miscellaneous writing for reviews.
He married in 1901 Helena Augusta Essex, youngest daughter of Lieutenant-Colonel Alfred Tippinge, Grenadier Guards.