List of British officials active in Central Asia during the 19th and early 20th centuries.
George Eden, Earl of Auckland (1784-1849), Governor-General of India 1836-42.
Bailey (Frederick Marshman)
Lt-Col Frederick Marshman Bailey (1882-1967), Indian Army 1900, Indian Political Service 1905-38, involved in espionage in the Soviet Russia (1918-24).
Sir William Bentinck (1774-1839). Governor-General of India, 1828-35.
Sir Alexander Burnes (1805-41), Bombay Army 1821-41, from 1836 engaged on political missions to Afghanistan, Political Resident from 1839. Assassinated at Kabul 1841.
Burne (Maj-Gen Owen Tudor)
Maj-Gen Sir Owen Tudor Burne (1837-1909), British Army 1855, Private Secretary to Viceroy 1869-72 and 1876-78, Secretary, Political and Secret Dept, India Office 1874-76 and 1878-80, Member of Council of India 1887-96.
Robert Stewart, Second Marquis of Londonderry (1769-1822). President of the Board of Control, 1802-06. Secretary of State for War and Colonies, 1805-09. Foreign Secretary, 1812-22.
Cavagnari (Lt-Col Pierre Louis Napoleon)
Capt (later Lt-Col Sir) Pierre Louis Napoleon Cavagnari (1841-79), Bengal Army 1858-79, Deputy Commissioner, Peshawar 1877-78. Killed in Kabul Embassy riot, 1879.
Conolly (Cpt Arthur)
Captain Arthur Conolly (1807-42), Bengal Army 1823-42, envoy to Khiva 1840-42, executed by the Amir of Bokhara 1842.
Cranbrook, Gathorne Gathorne-Hardy, 1st earl of, Viscount Cranbrook Of Hemsted, Baron Medway Of Hemsted Park (1814-1906), Secretary of State for India, 1878-82(?).
George Nathaniel Curzon, Marquess Curzon of Kedleston (1859-1925), Viceroy of India 1899-1905.
Dane (Sir Louis)
Sir Louis William Dane (1856-1946), Indian Civil Service, Punjab 1876-1913, Foreign Secretary, Government of India 1903-08, Lieutenant-Governor of the Punjab 1908-13, head of the British Mission at Kabul 1904-05.
Sir Henry Dundas, 1st Viscount Melvill (1742-1911). President of the Board of Control, 1793-1801.
Sir Henry Mortimer Durand (1850-1924), Indian Civil Service, Bengal 1870-94, Foreign Secretary to Government of India 1885-94, negotiated frontier agreement with Afghanistan (`Durand Line') 1893, Minister Plenipotentiary at Teheran 1894-1900.
James Bruce, 8th Earl of Elgin (1811-63), Viceroy of India 1862-63.
Edward Law, Earl of Ellenborough (1790-1871), Governor-General of India 1842-44.
Mountstuart Elphinstone (1779-1859), Bengal Civil Service from 1795, Envoy to Afghanistan 1808-09, Resident at Poona 1810-17, Commissioner for territories annexed to Bombay 1817-19, Governor of Bombay 1819-27.
Elphinstone (Major-General William)
William Elphinstone (1782-1842), Battle of Waterloo 1815; First Afghan War 1841.
Evans (Sir George de Lacy)
George de Lacy Evans (1787-1870). British Army General. Commands held: British legion in 1st Carlist War, British 2nd Devision in Crimean War. Author of On the designs of Russia (1828).
First British official visited Afghanistan. Madras Civil Service of the East India Company, travelled overland from Bengal to England via Afghanistan in 1783.
Frere (Sir Henry Bartle Edward)
Sir Henry Bartle Edward Frere, 1st Bart (1815-84), Bombay Civil Service 1834-67, Chief Commissioner in Sind 1850-59, to Brig-Gen John Jacob, Political Superintendent of Upper Sind 1847-58.
Goldsmid (Frederic John)
Maj (later Maj-Gen Sir) Frederic John Goldsmid (1818-1908), Madras Army 1839-75, in civil employ under Bombay Government 1862-64, Director-General of the Indo-European Telegraph 1865-70, worked as Boundary Commissioner for the settlement of the Perso-Baluch frontier and Arbitrator in the Perso-Afghan dispute concerning Seistan 1870-72.
William Griffith (1810-45), Madras Medical Service 1832-45. Author of a book on the botanical, agricultural and natural products of Afghanistan, 1841.
Jones (Sir Harford)
Sir Harford Jones Brydges (1764-1830). East India Company Resident at Baghdad, 1798-1806. British Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Persia, 1807-10.
Kinneir (John Macdonald)
John Macdonald Kinneir (1782-1830), British traveller and diplomat. Envoy to Persia 1824–30. Author of Narrative of Travels in Asia Minor, Armenia, and Kurdistan in 1813–14, 1818.
Sir John Laird Mair Lawrence, 1st Baron Lawrence (1811-79), Bengal Civil Service 1830-59; Member, Board of Administration of the Punjab 1849-53; Chief Commissioner of the Punjab 1853-59; Member, Council of India 1859-63; Viceroy of India 1864-69.
Lumsden (Major H.P.)
Headed the British Mission to Kandahar 1857.
Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer- Lytton, 1st Earl of Lytton (1831-1891), Viceroy of India 1876-80.
Macdonald (Col John)
Col John Macdonald, Envoy to Persia sent by the Government of India, 1826-33.
Macnaghten (Sir William Hay)
Sir William Hay Macnaghten, Bart (1793-1841), Madras Army 1809, Bengal Civil Service 1814-41, Envoy and Minister at the Afghan Court of Shah Shuja from 1838. Killed in a conference at Kabul, 1841.
Malcolm (Sir John)
John Malcolm, Maj-Gen. Sir. Entered EIC 1782; Headed 1st British Mission to Persia 1799, 2nd Mission 1802, and 3rd Mission 1810; Governor of Bombay 1827-31.
Malleson (Major-General Sir Wilfred)
Major-General Sir Wilfred Malleson (1866-1946), Joined Royal Artillery 1886; transferred to the Indian Army 1904; on staff of FM Horatio Herbert Kitchener, 1st Earl Kitchener of Khartoum and Broome as Head of Intelligence Branch, Indian Army Headquarters 1904-1910; accompanied mission to Kabul, Afghanistan, under Sir Louis William Dane 1904-1905; Head of British Military Mission to Turkestan 1918-1920; Afghan War 1919; ran a network of spies from Meshed in north-eastern Persia against the Russians during the same period.
Charles Masson (1800-53), (pseudonym of James Lewis), Bengal Artillery 1822, deserted 1827, traveller, Agent to the Government of India at Kabul 1834-36.
Richard Southwell Bourke, 6th Earl of Mayo (1822-72), Viceroy of India 1869-72.
Metcalfe (Charles, 1st Baron Metcalfe)
Charles Theophilus Metcalfe, 1st Baron Metcalfe (1785-1846), Acting Governor-General of India, 1835-36.
Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto (1751 - 1814). Governor-General of India, 1807-13.
William Monteith(1790–1864), army officer in the East India Company, diplomatist, and historian.
William Moorcroft (1765?-1825), veterinary surgeon in the Bengal Army and superintendent of the Company's stud in Bengal 1808-25, apparently employed as a secret agent.
Napier (R. C.)
Robert Cornelis Napier, Field Marshal 1st Baron Napier of Magdala (1810-90), Bengal Engineers 1826; Military Member, Governor-General's Council 1861-65; Commander-in-Chief, Bombay 1865-68; commanded Abyssinian Expedition 1867-68; Commander-in-Chief, India 1870-76; Governor of Gibraltar 1876-82
Pelly (Sir Lewis)
Lt-Gen Sir Lewis Pelly (1825-1892), Bombay Army 1840; Indian Political Dept 1851; held political posts in Persia and Zanzibar 1859-62; Political Resident, Persian Gulf 1862-73; Agent to Governor- General and Chief Commissioner, Rajputana 1873-78; involved in Afghan affaires during the same period; Resident and Special Commissioner, Baroda 1874-75.
Pollock (Sir George)
Maj-Gen (later Field Marshal) Sir George Pollock, 1st Bart (1786-1872), Bengal Artillery 1803, Commanding Officer in Afghanistan campaign 1842
Pottinger (Lt Eldred)
Eldred Pottinger (1811-1843) "Hero of Herat", entered Herat in 1837, offered services to the Herati Grand Vizier, assumed control of all Herat's defences and held off the Russian-backed Persian besiege.
Pottinger (Sir Henry)
Henry Pottinger, Lt-Gen Sir, 1st Bart. (1789-1856). Explored Persia in 1804, travelling in disguise as Muslim merchant and studying local languages; entered EIC 1806; Resident of Sindh and Hyderabad 1820-?; negotiated Treaty of Nanking which ended the 1st Opium War and declared Hong Kong a Crown colony 1842; appointed the 1st Governor of Hong Kong the same year; Governor of Madras 1847-51.
Rawlinson (Sir Henry Creswicke)
Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson (1810-1895), Diplomat and Assyriologist, entered military service in 1827 with the East India Company; appointed political agent at Kandahar in 1840 and in 1843 consul at Baghdad; director of the East India Company in 1856 and from1859-1860 he was British minister in Persia and member of the Council of India in 1858-1859, 1868-1895. Apart from his official duties, he was a trustee of the British Museum (1876-95) and devoted scholar of cuneiform inscriptions of Babylon and Assyria.
Roberts (Frederick Sleigh)
Field Marshal Sir Frederick Sleigh Roberts, 1st Earl Roberts of Kandahar (1832-1914), C-in-C, Madras 1881-85, C-in-C, India 1885-93
Robert Arthur Talbot Gascoyne Cecil, 3rd Marquis of Salisbury (1830-1903), Secretary of State for India 1866-67 and 1874-78.
Stoddart (Lt-Col Charles)
Lt-Col Charles Stoddart (? - 1842). Bengal Army. Accompanied Arthur Conolly to Bokhara and Khiva. Executed together with Conolly by the Amir of Bokhara, 1842.
Lt-Gen Sir Richard Strachey (1817-1908), Bengal Engineers 1836-75; Member, Council of India 1875-78 and 1879-89; Chairman, East India Railway Company from 1889
Richard Colley Wellesley, 1st Marquis Wellesley (1760-1842). Governor-General of India, 1798-1805. Foreign Secretary, 1809-12.
Sir Henry Willock, British Envoy to Persia, 1815-26
Younghusband (Sir Francis)
Lt-Col Sir Francis Edward Younghusband (1863-1942), British Army 1882, Indian Foreign Dept 1889-1909, British Commissioner to Tibet 1903-04
- Introduction to the sources for the study of Afghanistan
- British Representatives in Afghanistan
- Afghan rulers
The India Office Records may be consulted in the Asia, Pacific and Africa Collections where the services and facilities of the Reading Room are available to researchers.
Asian and African Studies enquiries
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Tel: +44 (0)20 7412 7873
Fax: +44 (0)20 7412 7641