HASTINGS, Warren

HASTINGS, Warren. Churchill, Oxfordshire 6.12.1732 — Daylesford, Gloucestershire 22.8.1818. British Civil Servant in India. Son of Penystone H. (1704–1743) and his wife Hester (1715–1732), lost his mother at birth. Educated at Newington Butt and Westminster. In 1750 went to Calcutta in E.I.C.’s civil service. From 1753 in Kazimabad, in 1756 imprisoned in Murshidabad. In 1757-60 Resident in Murshidabad, then Member of Council in Calcutta. After a period in England in 1764-69, Member of Madras Council. Governor-General of Bengal 1774-84, made important changes in administration. In England he was accused of maladministration and acquitted free only after a long trial in 1795, then lived in his estate in Daylesford. Privy councellor 1814. Married 1756 Mary Buchanan (1735–1759), whose first husband had died inthe Black Hole, and 1777 Anna Maria, Baroness Imhoff (née Chapuset, 1747–1837), one son and one daughter from the first marriage.

Hastings was not a scholar, but was important as a promoter of ealy Indological studies. He founded the Calcutta Madrasa in 1781, was a deeply involved patron of Halhed and Wilkins, and himself a noted Persian scholar, knew also Hindūstānī. He collected manuscripts and over 250 Mughal and Persian miniatures.

Publications: Political and administrative writings; Memoirs Relative to the State of India. Rev. ed. 8+196 p. L. 1786.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; J.L. Brockington, “W.H. and Orientalism”, G. Carnall & C. Nicholson (ed.), The Impeachment of W.H. Edinburgh 1989, 91-108; *H.G.K[erne], D.N.B. 25, 1891, 136-147; *P.J. Marshall, “W.H. as Scholar and Patron”, A. Whiteman et al. (ed.), Statesmen, Scholars and Merchants: Essays … to Dame Lucy Sutherland. Oxford 1973, 242-262; *P. V. Mehta, “W.H. and Bhagavata Purana”, BV 35, 1975, 70ff.; *P. Moon, W.H. and British India. L. 1947; Wikipedia with three portraits and further references; the portrait by Joshua Reynolds also e.g. in Chatterjee & Burn 1943.

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