Dictionary of Indian Biography/Dalrymple, Alexander

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DALRYMPLE, ALEXANDER (1737–1808)

Son of Sir James Dalrymple, Bart. : born July 24, 1737 : went out to Madras in the E.I. Co.'s Civil service, in May, 1753 : Lord Pigot, to whom he had been recomended, put him into the Secretariat and taught him to write : the historian Orme also befriended him : he became Deputy Secretary : in 1759–62 he made a voyage to the Eastern Archipelago in the interest of commerce : after returning to Madras he sailed again to the islands and reached Canton in 1764. He returned to England in 1765 to push his schemes of extending commerce to the East, but received no encouragement : failed to obtain the command of an expedition to observe the transit of Venus in 1769 : then turned his attention to geography and hydrography, and published a Chart of the Bay of Bengal in 1772 : appointed Member of Council in Madras, 1775, but in 2 years was recalled on an unfounded charge of misconduct : in 1779 made hydrographer to the E.I. Co., and in 1795 also to the Admiralty : dismissed from this appointment in May, 1808 : died of vexation, June, 19, 1808 : published a number of works, chiefly on voyages, charts, historical and political papers, including the Oriental Repertory, 1791–4.