CAMPBELL, George. 22.3.1824 — Cairo 18.2.1892. Sir. British (Scottish) Civil Servant in India, interested in Ethnology. Son of Sir George C. (1778–1854) of Edenwood, surgeon of E.I.C.’s Medical service, and Margaret Christie. Educated at Edinburgh New Academy, St.Andrews, Madras College, and Haileybury. Went to India in 1842, served in the North West Provinces and Cis-Satlej States, and after the annexion in 1849 in the Pañjab. “While on furlough he was called to the bar from the Inner Temple, 1854… In 1855 he assisted J. R. Colvin in the government of the N.W.P., and became Commissioner of the Cis-Satlaj States; was engaged in the mutiny of 1857, about Delhi, Agra, Cawnpur, Lucknow … wrote letters on the mutiny to the Times, and an official account of it for Lord Canning. Was second Civil Commissioner for Oudh, appointed Judge of the High Court, Calcutta, 1862; was head of the Commission on the Orissa famine of 1866-7; Chief Commissioner of the Central Provinces in Nov. 1867; Lieutenant-Governor of Bengal from March 1871 to April 1874, when, on account of ill-health, retired.” Three lonf furloughs in England, in 1851-54, 1860 and 1868-70. He was good administrator, but not successful as a politician (M.P. of Scottish Liberal Party in 1875-92). K.C.S.I. 1873. D.C.L. 1874 Oxford. Died of influenza on a visit to Egypt. Married 1853 Laetitia Maria Vibart, several children.
The Ethnology was the result of a long tour around India in 1864-65. He is well remembered in Assam, because he identified Assamese as a distinct language, not a dialect of Bengali. In the Capital of India he proposed Nasik as the best choice for the new capital. He developed education and statistics and introduced the first proper census of Bengal in 1871.
Publications: Modern India: A Sketch of the System of Civil Government. 560 p. L. 1852; The Capital of India, with some particulars of the Geography and Climate of that Country. Calcutta 1865.
– The Ethnology of India. 5+278 p. JASB 35:2 Special Number. Calcutta 1865.
– Specimens of Languages of India. 303 p. Calcutta 1874.
– Tenure of Land in India. 1870, new ed. 1876; articles on ethnology and languages in JASB, etc.
– The Afghan Frontier. 82 p. L. 1873.
– Edited by Ch. E. Bernard: Memoirs of my Indian Career. 1-2. L. 1893.
– Books not related with India, e.g. political writings and travel books; note that the book, The Eastern Question, sometimes ascribed to him, is by another author
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *R.N.C[ust], JRAS 1892, 386f.; G. Le G[rys] N[orgate], D.N.B. Suppl. 1901, 383-385; Br. Biogr. Arch. 1st series; Wikipedia briefly with two portraits and a caricature.