VANSITTART, Henry

VANSITTART, Henry. Bloomsbury, Middlesex 3.6.1732 — on sea 1770. British Civil Servant in India. Son of Arthur van Sittart, a wealthy merchant of Dutch origin, and Martha Stonhouse. “Educated at Reading and Winchester; went out as a writer of the E.I.C. to the Madras service, 1745. To Fort St. David, 1746; Factor at Fort St. George, 1752; became a friend of Clive. Deputed to negotiate with the French E.I.C., 1754-5. Became Member of Council, 1759.” Buckland seems to be misinformed, others tell that he returned to England in 1751 and went back to Madras only in 1754. Appointed Governor of Bengal in November 1759, assumed office in July 1760. Had differences with his council and returned to England in 1764. Member of Parliament for Reading from 1768, Director of E.I.C. 1769. Deputed to enquire and report on Bengal, perished at sea in the Aurora, between Cape Town and India. Married 1754 Amilia Morse, five sons.

Publications: Original Papers Relative to the Disturbances in Bengal. 1764; A Narrative of the Transactions in Bengal from 1760 to 1764. 1-3. L. 1766.

 Posthumously published papers: “On the Descent of the Afghans from the Jews”, As. Res. 2, 1790, 8° ed. 1799, 67-76; “Description of Asam, by Mohammed Cazim”, As. Res. 2, 1790, 8° ed. 1799, 171-185.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; E.I.C[arlyle], D.N.B. 58, 1899, 137-140 (claims he was born in London); *A.T. Embree, Oxford D.N.B.; Wikipedia with portrait by Joshua Reynolds.

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