Currie, Frederick (DNB00)

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CURRIE, Sir FREDERICK, bart. (1799–1875), Indian official, third son of Mark Currie of Cobham, Surrey, by Elizabeth, daughter of John Close of Easby, Yorkshire, was born on 3 Feb. 1799. He was educated at Charterhouse and the East India Company's College at Haileybury, and was appointed a cadet in the Bengal civil service in 1817. He reached India in 1820, and, after serving in various capacities in the revenue and judicial departments, was appointed a judge of the court of sudder adawlut of the north-western provinces in 1840. From this post he was removed in 1842, and made secretary in the foreign department to the government of India. It was in this capacity that he rendered his greatest services to the East India Company, especially during the first Sikh war. He accompanied the governor-general, Sir Henry Hardinge, to the front, and when the war was concluded by the victory of Sobraon, he was selected to draw up the treaty of peace with the Sikhs. He made the arrangements for the settlement of the Punjab, of which Sir Henry Lawrence was appointed president. For these services he was warmly mentioned in despatches by the governor-general, who spoke in the highest terms of his ‘tact and ability,’ and was created a baronet on 11 Jan. 1847. He remained in his office until 1849, twice serving as temporary member of council in 1847 and 1848, and on 12 March 1849 he was appointed member of the supreme council, and held that office until 1853, when he returned to England. In April 1854 he was elected a director of the East India Company, and he was the last chairman of that company, being elected to the chair in 1857. His advice was greatly followed by the government in the transference of power from the company to the crown in 1858, and had especial weight, both from the position he held and from his valuable services in India, and when the transference was completed he was one of the eight members of the first council of the secretary of state for India nominated by the crown. He was at once appointed vice-president of the council of India, a post which he held until the year 1860, and as a most active member of that council he had much to do with settling the system upon which India is still governed. Currie was made an honorary D.C.L. by the university of Oxford in 1866; he was married three times, and left at his death, which took place at St. Leonards on 11 Sept. 1875, a family of eight sons and four daughters.

[Times, 16 Sept. 1875; Despatches of Lord Hardinge and Lord Gough relating to the late war, 1847.]

H. M. S.