Brydges, Harford Jones (DNB00)

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BRYDGES, Sir HARFORD JONES (1764–1847), diplomatist and author, was the son of Harford Jones of Presteign, by Winifred, daughter of Richard Hooper of the Whittern, Herefordshire, and was born on 12 Jan. 1764. In commemoration of his descent, through his maternal grandmother, from the family of Brydges of Old Colwall, Herefordshire, he assumed, by royal sign manual dated 4 May 1826, the additional name of Brydges. Early in life he entered the service of the East India Company, and, acquiring great proficiency in the oriental languages, he was appointed envoy extraordinary and minister plenipotentiary to the court of Persia, where he remained four years, from 1807 to 1811. On 9 Oct. 1807 he was created a baronet. On his return from Persia he was disappointed of immediate prospect of promotion in the service of the East India Company, and resigned his connection with it. Throughout life he cherished a warm interest in the welfare both of the Persians and the natives of India. In 1833 he published ‘The Dynasty of the Kajars, translated from the original Persian manuscript;’ in the following year ‘An Account of His Majesty's Mission to the Court of Persia in the years 1807–11, to which is added a brief history of the Wahanby;’ and in 1838 a ‘Letter on the Present State of British Interests and Affairs in Persia,’ addressed to the Marquis of Wellesley. In 1843 he pleaded the cause of the ameers of Scinde in a letter to the court of directors of the East India Company, denouncing the policy of annexation and conquest. In politics a decided whig, he took an active interest in the election contests of Radnorshire, where he founded a political association known as the Grey Coat Club. On 15 June 1831 he received the honorary degree of D.C.L. from the university of Oxford. In 1832 he was sworn a privy councillor, and in 1841 was appointed deputy-lieutenant of the county of Hereford. He died at his seat at Boultibrook, near Presteign, on 17 March 1847. By his marriage with Sarah, eldest daughter of Sir Henry Gott, knight, of Newland Park, Buckinghamshire, and widow of Robert Whitcomb, of the Whittern, Herefordshire, he had one son and two daughters.

[Gent. Mag. new series, xxviii. 86; Annual Register, lxxxix. 219; Morier's Journey through Persia (1812).]

T. F. H.