MALCOLM, John. Burnfoot 2.5.1769 — Windsor 31.5. or 30.7.1833. Sir. British (Scots) Colonial Officer, Diplomat and Historian in India. Son of George M., educated at Westerkirk. In 1782 joined Indian army and arrived at Madras 1783. In 1792 under Cornwallis at the siege of Seringapatam and appointed Persian interpreter to Nizam’s troops. “Secretary to Sir Alured Clarke, who was Commander in Chief, Madras, 1795-97; Assistant Resident at Hyderabad, 1798; present with the Nizam’s troops at the capture of Seringapatam, May 4, 1799. Secretary, jointly with Munro, to the Commission for the Settlement of Mysore. Selected by Lord Wellesley to be an envoy to Persia, 1799-1801; negotiated two treaties, commercial and political. On his return appointed Private Secretary to the Governor-General, Lord Wellesley, 1801-3; sent on special mission to Bombay in 1802; nominated Resident in Mysore, Feb. 1803; Political Officer with General Arthur Wellesley on the outbreak of the Mahratta war, 1803; drew up treaties of Sirji-Anjengaum of Dec. 30, 1803, and of Burhanpur of Feb. 27, 1804. Resident at Sindia’s court, 1804, and in Mysore, 1805; served with Lord Lake, 1805. Made the treaty of Nov. 22, 1805, with Daulat Rao Sindia, and of Dec. 24, 1805, with Jeswant Rao Holkar. Sent by Lord Minto on a mission to Persia, 1808, which was foiled by French influence. Deputed to deal with the mutinous Madras officers at Masulipatam. Again sent to Persia, 1810, overshadowed there by Sir Hartford Jones… Knighted and K.C.B. in 1815, D.C.L. at Oxford, 1816. Political Agent to the Governor-General, and Brig-General with the Army of the Dekkan in the Pindari-Mahratta war, 1817-8, won the battle of Mahidpur, Dec. 21, 1817; made the treaty of Mandiswar of Jan. 6, 1818, with Malhar Rao Holkar; made Baji Rao, the Peshwa, abdicate; took Asirghar, April 9, 1819. Administered Central India including Malwa, disappointed of being Governor of Bombay, or Madras, he returned to England, 1822. Made Governor of Bombay, 1827, had disputes with the Supreme Court of Bombay, the Government declining to execute the process of the Court, which Sir J. P. Grant, then sole Judge, thereupon closed. New Judges were appointed, and Grant resigned. Left India in Dec. 1830. M.P. for Launceston, 1831-2.” Married 1807 Isabella Charlotte Malcolm, five children.
Publications: Sketch of the Sikhs. 1811; Disturbances in the Madras Army in 1809. 1812.
– Sketch of the Political History of India, from the introduction of Mr. Pitt’s bill, A.D. 1784, to the present date. 549 p. L. 1811; The Political History of India from 1784 to 1826. 1–2. 1826
– History of Persia. 1815; Sketches of Persia. 1827; The Government of India. 1–2. 282+258 p. L. 1833; Life of Robert, Lord Clive. 1836.
– Memoir of Central India, including Malwa and adjoining provinces. 1–2. L. 1823.
– “On the institution and ceremonies in the Hindoo festival of the Dusrah. With a short account of the Kurrada Brahmins”, Tr. Lit. Soc. Bombay 3, 1823, 73-89; “Essay on the Bhills”, TrRAS 1:1, 1824, 65-91.
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *R. Pasley, “Send Malcolm!” The Life of Major-General Sir John M. 10+198 p. Putney 1982 (cf. JRAS 1983, 328f.); JRAS 1, 1834, Proc. iv; portrait in JBRAS Centenary Vol. 1905; his statue by Chantrey was placed in Westminster Abbey; Wikipedia with portrait and further references.
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