BOGLE, George

BOGLE, George. Daldowie on Clyde 26.11.1746 — Calcutta 3.4.1781. British (Scots) Traveller and Diplomat. Youngest son of George B., an important Glasgow merchant, and Ann Sinclair. Educated at Haddington, Glasgow, then at Edinburgh University. After four years in family business in 1769 joined E.I.C.’s service. Soon became private secretary of Warren Hastings, who on 13.5.1774 appointed him “to lead an embassy to the Teshu Lama of Tibet, for the purpose of opening up trade and friendly relations”. Went through Bhutan, met the Teshu Lama (the 6th Panchen Lama) “and accompanied him to Teshu Lumpo, and returned thence to India” in 1775. In 1779 appointed Collector of Rangpur, in order to promulgate trade with Bhutan and Tibet. A second journey to “Tibet was contemplated, but was postponed, the Teshu Lama going to Pekin. Bogle proposed meeting him at Pekin,” but died, probably of cholera. His mission was generally considered a success and led to further relations with Tibet, but the attempt to extend them to China were unsuccesful. Unmarried, but left two daughters and one son.

Publications: A collection of his journals, letters and reports publ. by Cl. R. Markham, L. 1876 (Narratives of Bogle’s Mission to Tibet and Manning’s Journey to Lhasa). A. Lamb (ed.), Bhutan and Tibet. The Travels of George Bogle and Alexander Hamilton 1774–1777. 1. Letters, journals and Memoranda. 479 p. Hertingfordbury 2002. A number of letters preserved.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; Th.F. Henderson, D.N.B. 5, 1886, 302; Markham, life in Narratives (above); Wikipedia with portrait by Tilly Kette. Not in Br. Biogr. Arch.

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