DUNCAN, Jonathan

DUNCAN, Jonathan. Wardhouse, Forfarshire 15.5.1756 — Bombay 11.8.1811. British Civil Servant in India. Son of Alexander D., one of the directors of E.I.C. Accepted to the E.I.C.’s civil service he arrived at Calcutta in 1772. After serving in various subordinate capacities, he was selected, because of his known uprightness, to be the resident in Benares in 1788. With a strict hand he put down the scandals caused by the eager desire of gain of the Company’s servants, loosing thus his popularity among subordinates, but winning the favour of Lord Cornwallis. In 1791 he founded the Benares Sanskrit College. In 1795 he was nominated to the important office of Governor of Bombay, which he held with great success until his death. There he created the system in which every petty chieftain was recognized as a souvereign prince. Directed the occupation of Gujarat and Kathiavar. Married, children. In 1797 he was the first to report the remains of Sarnath.

Publications: “Historical Remarks on the Coast of Malabar with some Description of the manners of its inhabitants” As. Res. 5, 1798, 8° repr. 1799, 1-36; “An Account of two Fakeers, with their Portraits”, Ibid. 37-48, 2 pl.; “An Account of the Discovery of two Urns in the Vicinity of Benares”, Ibid. 131f. (Sarnath).

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *V.A. Narain, J.D. and Varanasi. 240 p. Calcutta 1959; H.M.S[tephens], D.N.B. 16, 1888, 170; Wikipedia briefly.

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