Charles Edward Buckland.

Dictionary of Indian biography; online

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Online LibraryCharles Edward BucklandDictionary of Indian biography; → online text (page 25 of 83)
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Peshwa at Poona : at the battles of
Assaye and Argaum, he was on the Staff
of Colonel Arthur Wellesley, who told
him that he ought to have been a soldier.
He was Resident at Nagpur from 1804 to
1808 : was sent as Envoy to Kabul, with
a view to establish English influence there



against the supposed French designs on
India : Shah Shuja received him at
Peshawar on March 5, 1809 : the negotia-
tions produced little result, as Shah Shuja
was himself ejected from Afghanistan in
1809. Elphinstone was appointed Resi-
dent at Poona in i8ii. In 1815 he
insisted on the surrender of Trimbakji
Danglia, the Peshwa's minister, for the
murder of Gungadhar Sastri, the minister
and envoy of the Gaekwar of Baroda, at
Poona. In 1817 Elphinstone concluded
the treaty dated June 13, of Poona, as
dictated to the Peshwa, who, however,
continued to intrigue. Elphinstone was,
for a time, superseded by Sir T. Hislop,
the General commanding the Army col-
lected against the Pindaris : the Peshwa
eventually attacked the British force at
Kirki on Nov. 5, 1817, and was defeated :
Elphinstone's residence at Poona, library,
and papers were all burnt : he himself
showed great skill and military courage :
he annexed the Peshwa's territory, as
ordered, and administered it, interfer-
ing as little as possible with native usages.
He was Governor of Bombay from Nov.
iSig, to Nov. 1827 : instituted legislative
and judicial reforms, had a code of Regula-
tions drawn up, and advanced popular
education. The Elphinstone College was
founded in his honour. He travelled in
Europe, 1827-9, and led a retired life :
twice refused the offer of the Governor-
Generalship of India, and declined the
Under Secretaryship of the Board of
Control and a special mission to Canada.
He wrote An Account of the Kingdom of
Caubul and its Dependencies in Persia,
Tartary and India, 1815 : his History of
India, 1 84 1, for which he was cailled
the Tacitus of modern historians : and
The Rise of British Power in the East,
edited in 1887 by Sir E. Colebrooke. He
was not ambitious, occupied his time
with study, and maintained his interest
in Indian affairs, being regarded as the
Nestor of Indian statesmanship. He was
a Vice-President of the Royal Asiatic
Society. He combined through life a
keenness for field sports with his love of
books and the despatch of public business.
Bishop Heber wrote of him, " Of Mr.
Elphinstone everybody spoke highly " :
no Indian civilian has gained a greater
name as a statesman and a ruler. He
died Nov. 20, 1859 : a statue was erected
in St. Paul's Cathedral in his honour.

KEITH (1782-1842)

-Maj-General : son of Hon. William
FiUlerton Elphinstone, Director of the
E.I. Co. : entered the .Army, 1804, in the
24th foot : served with distinction in
various parts of the world : Lt-Colonel
of the 33rd foot in 1813, and served with
it at Waterloo : made C.B. -. A.D.C. to
George IV. 1825 : became Maj-General,
1837 : commanded the Benares Division,
1839-41, when, in the first Afghan war,
he succeeded Sir Willoughby Cotton as
Commander in Chief at Kabul, towards
the close of 1841, and, on the murder of
Sir W. Macnaghten, on December 23,
1841, failed entirely, through old age and
ill-health, to take measures for the safety
of the force. During the disststrous retreat
of the Army from Kabul, in Jan. 1842, he
surrendered as a hostage of Akbar Khan :
and died of dysentery at Tezin on April
23. i

Online LibraryCharles Edward BucklandDictionary of Indian biography; → online text (page 25 of 83)