Dictionary of Indian Biography

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Dictionary of Indian Biography  (1906) 
by Charles Edward Buckland
Link to lists of names at bottom of page



(Indian Civil Service, retired).



There are Biographical Dictionaries which contain lives of Indian celebrities, and there are many biographies of individuals who have distinguished themselves in India. But the Dictionaries are large, expensive works, and the separate "Lives" or "Memoirs" are often lengthy or inaccessible. There is no single volume of moderate size, containing such information as is sufficient for the ordinary reader, regarding the careers and doings of the large number of persons connected with India, in history, by their exploits, services, and writings. The object of this "Dictionary of Indian Biography" is to supply this want. It purports to be a handy Work of Reference, giving the main facts of the lives of about 2,600 persons—English, Indian, Foreign, men or women, living or dead—who have been conspicuous in the history of India, or distinguished in the administration of the country, in one or other of its branches, or have contributed to its welfare, service, and advancement by their studies and literary productions, or have gained some special notoriety. Such a work must be limited by considerations of time, space, and cost. It has been thought desirable to commence the present volume from about 1750 A.D., a date which admits of the inclusion of Lord Clive and his contemporaries in Southern India, when the English power in India was being established. It has been found necessary to treat the lives in an indicative rather than in an exhaustive manner. It is impossible to include everybody who has been in India, and nothing has been harder than the attempt to fix a standard of merit to entitle its possessor to inclusion. No one consulted has been able to suggest a criterion of "distinction." The titles and decorations of the various Orders of Knighthood afford no certain ground. A complete and full Biographical Dictionary for India could only be undertaken, and might well be undertaken, by Government Agency, or under a financial guarantee of the cost of production. In all the difficulties of the problem, it is only possible to decide, for inclusion or exclusion, upon general principles, general reputation, or notoriety : and the many persons omitted for want of space are likely to challenge the conclusions of the Editor. Again, in such a work, unintentional omissions are sure to occur, in spite of all precautions, but they can be supplied in future editions. In many cases, even of prominent names, sufficient biographical information is not available, or, at any rate, has not come to hand. It is equally impossible to avoid, entirely, mistakes of dates or facts : the sources of information consulted often disclose discrepancies, which personal knowledge has sometimes been able to determine. Accuracy has been a main object in the compilation, but the short lives cannot be made more accurate than the sources of information permit. In the Addenda will be found a few notices which were accidentally omitted from the body of the work, or were obtained too late to be included in their proper places.

A copious Bibliography has been appended. It contains the names of a number of works which may advantageously be consulted by those who are desirous of acquiring a greater knowledge of the individuals treated in the Dictionary of Indian Biography, or of the history of India, than can be conveyed in the brief notices in the Dictionary itself. It will also be useful to the general reader of Indian literature. A separate list of the chief Works of Reference consulted is subjoined to this Preface.

The Indian names of places have been spelt, for the most part, according to the Jonesian (or Hunterian) system of transliteration adopted by the Government of India. But that system allows, by way of compromise, a number of names, which have in times past been spelt phonetically, to retain their popular, though irregular, forms. Opinions differ as to the extent to which such disregard of strict transliteration may be permitted. In this work, some of the familiar words have been retained, and, in all cases, the attempt has been made to adapt the spelling to the plain and simple sound of a word: no dots or accents have been used. The Indian names of persons have been arranged on a system by which they can be most easily found. In many cases, the territory with which the person is connected supplies the keyword. In the case of Hindus, not designated territorially, the family name should be first sought. In some cases (e.g. among the Parsis), where the family name has been dropped, the name which is used as a surname is put first. In the case of some Hindus, and of Muhammadans, who have no name common to all the members of a family, the arrangement is according to the first names in their alphabetical order. Some common names have been spelt in the different ways which their owners have adopted for themselves.

The greater portion of the compilation, as well as the editing, has fallen on the Editor. At the same time, his acknowledgments are due to all who have afforded him assistance and information. He has specially to thank Mr. H. Wigram, of the Madras Civil Service (retired), now of Messrs. Swan, Sonnenschein & Co., for his co-operation and ready counsel; the Editor of the Athenæum for kindly permitting the publication of lists of names in his Journal: the officers in charge of the India Office Library, for their unfailing courtesy and stores of knowledge put at his disposal; and certain officers in India for their welcome help: their names are not mentioned, lest it should be supposed that any portion of the Dictionary has any official authority.

Corrections and suggestions will be thankfully received.


61, Cornwall Gardens, London, S.W., :November 1st, 1905.


Account of the Mutinies in Oudh, An, M. R. Gubbins: 1858.

Addiscombe: its Heroes and Men of Note, Col. H. M. Vibart: 1894.

Allgemeine Deutsche Biographic: 1875.

American, European and Oriental Literary Record, Trüibner's: 1865-89.

Annual Register, The.

Asiatic Annual Register for the years 1800-1811, The: 1801-12.

Asiatic Quarterly Review, The: 1886-1905.

Asiatic Society, Journals of the Royal.

Assam, A Statistical Account of, W. W. Hunter: 1879.

Bengal Army, History of the Rise and Progress of the, Capt. A. Broome: 1850.

Bengal Artillery, List of Officers who have served in the Regiment of the, by Maj.-General F. W. Stubbs: 1892.

——————— Memoir of the Services of the, Capt. E. Buckle: edited by J. W. Kaye: 1852.

Bengal, A Statistical Account of, W. W. Hunter: 1875-7.

Bengal Civil Servants, 1780-1838, Dodwell and Miles: 1839.

Bengal Establishment, A General Register of the Honourable E. I. Company's Civil Servants of the, from 1790 to 1842, by Ram Chandra Das and H. T. Prinsep: 1844.

Bengal Obituary, The, Holmes & Co.: 1848.

Bengal under the Lieutenant-Governors, 1854-98, C. E. Buckland: 1901.

Biographical Treasury, A, Maunder.

Biographic Universelle, Ancienne et Moderne: 1811-53.

Bombay and Western India, J. Douglas: 1893.

Bombay Civil Servants, 1798-1839, Dodwell and Miles: 1839.

Book of Dignities, The, H. Ockerby: 1890.

British India and its Rulers, H. S. Cunningham: 1881.

British Indian Military Depositary, The, S. Parlby: 1822-7.

Calcutta Review, The: 1844-1905.

Celebrities of the Century, L. C. Saunders: 1887.

Centenary Review of the Asiatic Society of Bengal, 1784-1883: 1885.

Chambers's Biographical Dictionary, G. D. Patrick and F. H. Groome: 1897.

Collection of Treaties, Engagements, and Sunnuds relating to India, etc., A. C. U. Aitchison, continued by others: 1892.

Comprehensive History of India, A, H. Beveridge: 1858-62.

Conversations Lexikon, Brockhaus: 1882.

——————— Meyer: 1893.

Cyclopædia of India, E. Balfour: 1885.

Decisive Battles of India, The, G. B. Malleson: 1883.

Dictionary of Biography, Lippincott: 1881.

Dictionary of General Biography, A, W. L. R. Gates: 1881.

Dictionary of National Biography: 1885-1903.

Dictionary of Universal Biography, Beeton: 1869-70.

Dictionnaire Universel des Contemporains, G. Vapereau: 1893.

Dizionario Biograflco degli Scrittori Contemporanei, A. de Gubernatis: 1879.

Early Annals of the English in Bengal, The, C. R. Wilson: 1895, 1900.

Early Records of British India, J. T. Wheeler: 1878.

East India Military Calendar, The, J. Philippart : 1823-4.

East Indian Gazetteer, The, W. Hamilton : 1815.

Echoes from Old Calcutta, H. E. Busteed : 1897.

Eminent Persons, Biographies reprinted from the "Times," 1870-94: 1892-7.

Encyclopaedia Britannica, The.

Encyclopaedia of Missions, The, Dwight, Tupper, and Bliss: 1904.

Forty-one Years in India, Earl Roberts: 1898.

Gazetteer of the Territories under the Government of the E. I. Co., A, E. Thornton: 1857.

General Biographical Dictionary, The, A. Chalmers: 1812-7.

Gentleman's Magazine, The.

Glimpses of Old Bombay and Western India, J. Douglas. 1900.

Golden Book of India, The, R. Lethbridge:. 1893.

Government of India, The, Sir C. P. Ilbert: 1898.

Heroines of Ind, M. Dutt : 1897.

Historical Sketches of the South of India, M. Wilks: 1810-7.

History of India, H. G. Keene: 1893.

——————— Roper Lethbridge: 1881-93.

——————— J. C. Marshman: 1867-93.

——————— James Mill, 1817 : ed. by H. H. Wilson: 1858.

History of India from the Earliest Ages, The, J. T. Wheeler: 1867-81.

History of India: Hindoo and Mohammedan Periods, M. Elphinstone: 1841, 1889.

History of the British Empire in India, E. Thornton: 1841-5: L. J. Trotter: 1866-99.

History of the Indian Mutiny, A, G. W. Forrest: 1904.

—————————————— T. R. E. Holmes. 1891.

—————————————— G. B. Malleson: 1878-80.

History of the Indian Navy, 1613-1863, C. R. Low: 1877.

History of the Madras Army, W. J. Wilson: 1882-8.

History of the Military Transactions of the British Nation in Indostan from the year 1745, A, R. Orme: 1775-8.

History of the Sepoy War, J. W. Kaye: 1864-76.

History of the War in Afghanistan, J. W. Kaye: 1857.

Homeward Mail, The, 1857-1905.

Imperial Dictionary of Universal Biography, The.

Imperial Gazetteer of India, The, W. W. Hunter, 14 vols.: 1885-7.

India and its Native Princes, L. Rousselet: 1878.

India: its Administration and Progress, J. Strachey: 1903.

India Lists, The.

Indian Civil Service List, The, 1880, A. C. Tupp: 1880.

Indian Directory: Thacker & Co.

Indian Empire: its People, History and Products, The, W. W. Hunter: 1893.

Indian Polity, G. T. Chesney: 1868: 1894.

India Office Lists, The.

India on the Eve of the British Conquest: a Historical Sketch, S. Owen : 1872.

India's Princes, M. Griffiths: 1894.

Kabul Insurrection of 1841-2, The, V. Eyre: 1879.

Last Century of Universal History, 1767-1867, The, A. C. Ewald: 1868.

List of Inscriptions on Tombs and Monuments in Bengal, C. R. Wilson: 1896.

Lives of Indian Officers, J. W. Kaye: 1867.

Madras Civil Servants, 1780-1839, Dodwell and Miles: 1839.

Medical Officers of the E. I. Co.'s Service, 1764-1837, Dodwell and Miles: 1839.

Memorials of Old Haileybury College, F. C. Danvers and others: 1894.

Men and Events of my Time in India, R. Temple: 1882.

Men and Women of the Time, V. G. Plarr: 1897.

Men of the Reign, T. H. Ward: 1885.

Men of the Time, T. Cooper: 1875.

Men whom India has Known, J. J. Higginbotham: 1874.

Military History of the Madras Engineers and Pioneers, The H. M. Vibart: 1881-3.

Modern History of the Indian Chiefs, Rajas, Zemindars, The, L. Ghose: 1879-81.

Mogul Empire, The, H. G. Keene: 1866.

Monumental Register, The, De Rozario: 1815.

Narrative of the War in Afghanistan in 1838-9, H. Havelock: 1840.

New Biographical Dictionary, A, T. Cooper 1883.

New General Biographical Dictionary, A, H. J. Rose: 1857.

Nouveau Dictionnaire, Larousse.

Nouvelle Biographic Generale: 1860.

Obituary Notices in the "Times."

Officers of the Indian Army, 1760-1837, Dodwell and Miles: 1838.

Official Lists.

Oriental Biographical Dictionary, An, T. W. Beale: 1881; edited by H. G. Keene: 1894.

Oriental Christian Biography, W. H. Carey: 1852.

Our Indian Empire, C. Macfarlane: 1844.

Panjab and Delhi in 1857, The, J. Cave-Browne: 1861.

Particular Account of the European Military Adventurers of Hindustan, A, 1784-1803, H. Compton.

Peerage, Baronetcy and Knightage, Burke: 1904.

Pillars of the Empire, T. H. S. Escott: 1879.

Rajas and Nawabs of the N.W.P.: 1877.

Rajas of the Panjab, The, L. H. Griffin: 1873.

Report on the Old Records of the India Office, G. M. C. Birdwood: 1891.

Representative Indians, G. Paramaswaran Pillai: 1902.

Representative Men of India, S. Jehangir: 1889.

Royal Military Calendar, The, J. Philippart: 1815-6.

Rulers of India Series, The, W. W. Hunter.

Selections from Calcutta Gazettes, W. S. Seton-Karr and H. Sandeman: 1864-9.

Sepoy Generals, G. W. Forrest. 1901.

Sepoy Revolt, The, J. J. McLeod Innes: 1897.

Short Account of the Lives of the Bishops of Calcutta, A, W. C. Bromehead: 1876.

Short History of India, A, J. T. Wheeler • 1889.

Sketches of some Distinguished Anglo-Indians, W. F. B. Laurie: 1887-8.

—————————————— Indian Women, Mrs. E. F. Chapman: 1891.

Story of the Nations, The the volumes of the Series relating to India.

The First Afghan War and its Causes, H. M. Durand: 1879.

Twelve Indian Statesmen, G. Smith: 1898.

Twelve Pioneer Missionaries, G. Smith: 1900.

Who's Who: 1904, 1905.


A.D.C. = Aide de Camp.
A.G. = Adjutant-General.
A.A.G. = Assistant Adjutant-General.
D.A.G.= Deputy Adjutant-General.
D.A.A.G. = Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General.
A.G.G. = Agent to the Governor-General.
A.M.D. = Army Medical Department.
B.A. = Bachelor of Arts.
B.C.S. = Bengal Civil Service.
B.L. = Bachelor of Law, or of Letters.
Bo.C.S. = Bombay Civil Service.
C.B. = Companion of the Bath.
C.I.E. = Companion of the Indian Empire.
C. in C. = Commander in Chief.
C.I. = Crown of India.
C.J. = Chief Justice.
C.M.G. = Companion of St. Michael and St. George.
C.M.S. = Church Missionary Society.
C.O. = Commanding Officer.
C.S.I. = Companion of the Star of India.
C.V.O. = Commander of the Royal Victorian Order.
D.C.L. = Doctor of Civil Law.
D.D. = Doctor of Divinity.
D.I.G. = Deputy Inspector-General.
D.L. = Deputy Lieutenant.
 „   Doctor of Laws.
D.N.B. = Dictionary of National Biography.
D.S.O. = Distinguished Service Order.
E.I.Co. = East India Company.
F.G.S. = Fellow of the Geological Society.
F.I.C = Fellow of Institute of Chemistry.
F.I.I. = Fellow of Institute of Journalists.
F.L.S. = Fellow of the Linnaaan Society
F.M. = Field Marshal
F.R.A.S.= Fellow of the Asiatic Society.
F.R.C.I. = Fellow of the Colonial Institute.
F.R.C.P. = Fellow of the College of Physicians.
F.R.C.S. = Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons.
F.R.C.V.S. = Fellow of the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
F.R.G.S. = Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.
F.R.S. = Fellow of the Royal Society.
F.R.S.E. = Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh.
F.S.A.S. = Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries.
F.S.A. = Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland
F.S.S. = Fellow of the Statistical Society.
F.S.S.A. = Fellow of the Society of Science and Art.
F.Z.S. = Fellow of the Zoological Society.
G.C.B. = Knight Grand Cross of the Bath.
G.C.H. = Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Guelphs.
G.C.I.E. = Knight Grand Commander of the Indian Empire.
G.C.M.G. = Knight Grand Cross of St. Michael and St. George.
G.C.S.I. = Knight Grand Commander of the Star of India.
G.C.V.O. = Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order.
G.M.I.E. = Grand Master Indian Empire.
G.M.S.I. = Grand Master of the Star of India.
H.B.M. = His (or Her) Britannic Majesty.
H.E.I.C.S. = Honourable East India Company's Service.

H.H. = His Highness, or His Honour.
H.M. = His (or Her) Majesty.
H.R.H. = His (or Her) Royal Highness.
I.C.S. = Indian Civil Service.
I.M.S. = Indian Medical Service.
J.A.S.B. = Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal.
J.P. = Justice of the Peace.
J.R.A.S. = Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.
K.B. = Knight Bachelor or Knight Companion of the Bath.
K.C. = King's Counsel.
K.C.B. = Knight Commander of the Bath.
K.C.H. = Knight Commander of the Order of the Guelphs.
K.C.I.E. = Knight Commander of the Indian Empire.
K.C.M.G. = Knight Commander of St. Michael and St. George.
K.C.S.I. = Knight Commander of the Star of India.
K.C.V.O. = Knight Commander] of the Royal Victorian Order.
K.G. = Knight of the Garter.
K.P. = Knight of St. Patrick.
K.T. = Knight of the Thistle.
LL.B. = Bachelor of Laws.
LL.D. = Doctor of Laws.
L.M. = Licentiate in Midwifery.
L.R.C.P. = Licentiate of the College of Physicians.
L.S.A. = Licentiate of the College of Apothecaries.
M.A. = Master of Arts.
M.A.O. = Muhammadan Anglo-Oriental.
M.D. = Doctor of Medicine.
M.I. = Madras Infantry.
M.P. = Member of Parliament.
M.R.A.S.B. = Member of the Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal.
N.B. = North Britain.
N.I. = Native Infantry.
N.W.P. = North-West Provinces.
O.U.B.C. = Oxford University Boat Club.
P.C. = Privy Councillor.
Ph.D. = Doctor of Philosophy.
P.M.O. = Principal Medical Officer.
P.W.D. = Public Works Department.
Q.C. = Queen's Counsel.
Q.M.G. = Quarter-Master-General.
A.Q.M.G. = Assistant Quarter-Master-General.
D.A.Q.M.G = Deputy-Assistant Quarter-Master-General.
D.Q.M.G = Deputy Quarter-Master-General.
q.v. = quod vide = which see.
R.A. = Royal Academy.
 „   Royal Artillery.
R.A.S.J. = Royal Asiatic Society's Journal
R.E.= Royal Engineer
R.M.A. = Royal Military Academy.
R.M.C = Royal Military College.
R.N. = Royal Navy.
R.N.R = Royal Naval Reserve.
S.P.C.K. = Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge.
S.P.G. = Society for the Propagation of the Gospel.
T.C.D. = Trinity College, Dublin.
U.P. = United Provinces.
V.C. = Victoria Cross.
V.D. = Volunteer Decoration.
Y.M.C.A. = Young Men's Christian Association.
Z.D.M.G = Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenlandischen Gesellschaft.

List of names starting with (not listed in original)

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published in 1906, before the cutoff of January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1941, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 81 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.

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