PRINSEP, Henry Thoby. Thoby Priory, Essex 15.7.1792 — Freshwater, Ile of Wight 11.2.1878. British Civil Servant in India. Brother of —> James Pr. Educated privately at Tunbridge and at East Indian College in Hertford, arrived in Bengal in 1809. In 1814 he became Assistant Secretary to Governor General, the Marquis of Hastings, and accompanied him on 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 fro 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 unsuccessful 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 Pattle, one daughter and three son. He was a historian and specialist of Muslim law, himself knew Persian, and also a mathematician.
Publications: A History of the Political and Military Transactions in India during the Administration of the Marquis of Hastings. 1-2. L. 1825.
– transl. Memoirs of a Pathan Soldier of Fortune, the Nawab Muhammad Amir Khan. Calcutta 1832.
– The Origin of the Sikh Power in the Panjab. Calcutta 1834, French tr. P. 1836; A History of the Life of Ranjit Singh. 18??; Note on the Historical Results from Recent Discoveries in Afghanistan. 124 p. 17 pl. L. 1844.
– Edited Ramachandra Dasa’s Register of the Bengal Civil Servants 1790-1842, accompanied by Actuarial Tables. Calcutta 1844.
– Tibet, Tartary and Mongolia – their Social and Political Condition, and the Religion of Boodh. L. 1851; India Question. 1853.
– 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.