Hastings, Warren (17321818)

Hastings, Warren, first Governor-General of India, born at Churchill, Oxfordshire; early left an orphan, he was maintained at Westminster School by his uncle, and at 17 received a clerkship in the East India Company; for 14 years his life was occupied in mercantile and political work, at the close of which time he returned to England; in 1769 he was back in India as a member of the Madras Council; married the divorced wife of Baron Imhoff, and in 1772 was appointed President of the Council in Bengal; under the new arrangement for the governing of the provinces, Hastings was raised to the position of Governor-General in 1773; despite jealousies and misrepresentations both among his colleagues in India and the home authorities, he steadily, and with untiring energy, extended and brought into orderly government the British dominions; in 1785 he voluntarily resigned, and on his return he was impeached before the House of Lords for oppression of the natives, and for conniving at the plunder of the Begums or dowager-princesses of Oudh; the trial brought forth the greatest orators of the day, Burke, Fox, and Sheridan leading the impeachment, which, after dragging on for nearly eight years, resulted in the acquittal of Hastings on all the charges; his fortune having been consumed by the enormous expenses of the trial, he was awarded a handsome pension by the Company, and thereafter lived in honoured retirement (17321818).

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Hastings, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Marquis of * Hatch, Edwin
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Hastings, Francis Rawdon-Hastings, Marquis of
Hastings, Warren
Hatch, Edwin
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Burke, Edmund
Hodges, William