PRINSEP, Henry Thoby. Thoby Priory, Essex 15.7.1792 — Freshwater, Ile of Wight 11.2.1878. British Civil Servant in India. Son of John Pr. and Sophia Auriol, brother of —> James Pr. Educated privately and at Tonbridge School, then 1807-08 at East Indian College in Hertford. He arrived in Bengal in 1809. In 1814 he became Assistant Secretary to Governor General, the Marquis of Hastings, and accompanied him on a tour to Oudh and N.W.P. and in Nepal, Pindari and Maratha wars. He was the first Superintendent and Remembrancer of legal affairs and caused the Patni Regulation to be made in 1819. From 1820 he was Persian Secretary to Government, from 1826 Secretary in Territorial Department and from 1834 Chief Secretary; in 1840-43 Member of Supreme Council. After retirement in 1843 he tried without success several times to enter Parliament (as conservative), in 1850 M.P. for Harwich, but “unseated for defective property qualification and unsuccesfull at the fresh election.” From 1850 a Director of E.I.C. and in 1858-74 member of the new Council of India. Married 1835 Sara Monckton Pattle, one daughter and three sons (two served later in India).
He was a historian and specialist of Muslim law, himself knew Persian, and a mathematician.
Publications: A narrative of the political and military transactions of British India during the administration of the Marquis of Hastings 1813-1823. 1-2. L. 1825.
– Transl. Memoirs of a Puthan Soldier of Fortune, the Nuwab Ameer-ood-Doulah Mohummud Ameer Khan. 24+508 p. Calcutta 1832.
– The Origin of the Sikh Power in the Panjab. 16+236 p. Calcutta 1834, French tr. P. 1836; A History of the Life of Ranjit Singh. 18??; rev. ed. of both: History of the Punjab, and of the rise, progress & present condition of the sect and nation of the Sikhs. 1-2. L. 1846.
– Note on the Historical Results from Recent Discoveries in Afghanistan. 124 p. 17 pl. L. 1844.
– “Account of Tamba Patra Plates dug up at Baroda, in Goojrat, with Facs. and Transl.”, JASB 8, 1839, 292-303, 1 pl. (not signed, ascribed to HTP by Misra).
– “Note on the Passes into Hindoostan from the West and North-west, and the use made of them by different conquerors”, JASB 11, 1842, 552-573, 1 map.
– Edited Ramachandra Dasa’s Register of Hon’ble East India Company’s Civil Servants of the Bengal establishment from 1790 to 1842. 56 p. Calcutta 1844.
– Notions on corn-laws and customs’ duties. 4+56 p. L. 1844.
– Tibet, Tartary and Mongolia – their Social and Political Condition, and the Religion of Booth. 7+178 p. L. 1851; India Question in 1853. 112 p. L. 1853.
– The code of criminal procedure, [Act xxv of 1861, and Act viii of 1869], and other laws and rules of practice, relating to procedure in the criminal courts of British India. With notes containing the opinions delivered by all the superior local courts. 3rd ed. 6+531 p. Calcutta 1869 (1st ed. 1866).
– Specimens of Ballad Poetry applied to the Tales and Traditions of the East. 187?; translated Odes of Horace in English verse.
Sources: JRAS Proc. 1878, ii-vi; A.J.A[rbuthnot], D.N.B. 46, 392-395; Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia with a photo and portrait by G. F. Watts.
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