Page:A biographical dictionary of eminent Scotsmen, vol 6.djvu/276

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70 MAJOR-GENERAL SIR THOMAS MUNRO, BART., K.C.B.

born when the ship was in the latitude of the Azores, was baptized by that name. The Warren Hastings having arrived in the Downs, general and Mrs Munro landed at Deal, and proceeded to London, uhere they remained for a short time, and thereafter set out for Scotland. The former, however, was only a few weeks at home when he received a formal communication from the government, appointing him to the governorship of Madras, and he was soon af- ter, October 1819, promoted to the rank of major-general, and invested, Novem- ber, 1819, with the insignia of K. C. B.

Although extremely reluctant again to leave his native country, Sir Thomas did not think it advisable to decline the acceptance of the high and honour- able appointment now proffered him. Having committed their boy to the charge of lady Munro's father, Sir Thomas and his lady proceeded to Deal, where they once more embarked for India in December, 1819, and arrived safely at Bombay in the beginning of May in the following year. Here they remained for about a fortnight, when they again took shipping, and on the 8th June reached Madras.

Sir Thomns, immediately on his arrival, entered on the discharge of the im- portant duties of Ins new appointment with all the zeal and diligence which marked every part of his preceding career. These duties were extremely laborious. From sunrise till eight in the evening, with the exception of an hour or two at dinner, comprising a little out-door recreation after that repast, he was unremittingly employed in attending to, and despatching the public business of his department. With this routine the morning meal was not at all allowed to interfere. The breakfast table was daily spread for thirty persons, that all who came on business at that hour should partake of it, and that the various matters which occasioned their visits might be discussed during its pro- gress without encroaching on the day.

By this rigid economy of time, Sir Thomas was enabled to get through an amount of business which would appear wholly incredible to one who placed less value on it than he did. He wrote almost every paper of any importance connected with his government with his own hand. He read all communica- tions and documents, and examined all plans and statements, with his own eyes, and heard every complaint and representation which wai made verbally, with his own ears.

Although Sir Thomas had not thought it advisable to decline the governorship of Madras, he yet came out with every intention of returning again to Ins native land as soon as circumstances would permit, and in 1823, he addressed a memorial to the court of directors, earnestly requesting to be relieved from his charge. From a difficulty, however, in finding a successor to Sir Thomas, and from the extraordinary efficiency of his services, the court was ex- tremely unwilling to entertain his request, and allowed many months to elapse without making any reply to it. In the mean time the Burmese war took place, and Sir Thomas found that he could not, with honour or propriety, press his suit on the directors. He therefore came to the resolution of remaining at his post to abide the issue of the struggle. In this war he distinguished him- self, as he had so often done before, by singular bravery, talent, and intelli- gence, and performed such important services as procured his elevation, June 1825, to the dignity of a baronet of Great Britain.

At the conclusion of the Burmese war, Sir Thomas again applied for liberty to resign his appointment, and after much delay the Bight Honourable S. Lushington was nominated his successor, on the 4th April, 1827.

Sir Thomas now prepared to leave India for the last time, full of fond an- ticipations of the happiness which awaited the closing years of his life in his