Archibald Seton


Archibald Seton

Archibald Seton, Esq. (b. 1758 d. March 30, 1818) was member of the Supreme Council at Fort William, Bengal, Lieutenant-Governor of the Prince of Wales' Island (Penang), President at the court of his Majesty Shah Allum at Delhi, among the many other roles he played during his long civil service with the British East India Company.The Gentleman's Magazine, August 1818, Published by F. Jefferies, 1818; Item notes: v.88 pt.2 1818; p. 184]

Bengal Service

In 1780, in early life, Mr. Seton went to Bengal in the civil service of the East India Company, where he remained during the protracted period of thirty-eight years. In this long interval he was successively employed in the execution of the duties of many of the most important office's in the administration of the affairs of our great and extensive empire, the East: and it is not more than simple justice to Mr. Seton to declare, that his conduct in the discharge of the functions of every situation which he filled, was equally honourable to himself, advantageous to the State, and calculated to promote the permanent comfort and happiness of the subjects of the Government whose welfare was entrusted to his charge.

After passing through the routine of early service in India with much credit to himself, Mr. Seton was successively entrusted with the charge of the collection of the Revenue, and the administration of Civil and Criminal Justice, in the Districts of Bhangolpore and Behar. He was then promoted to a seat in the Provincial Court of Justice in the Province of Behar ; and on the occasion of the cession of a portion of the dominions of the Nabob Vizier to the East India Company, in 1801, be was removed to the same station in the ceded provinces, and was one of the Gentlemen selected by Marquis Wellesley to assist Sir Henry Wellesley in the discharge of the trust of the office of Lieutenant governor of those Provinces.

1804: Seton, Fitzroy And The Seyud of Bareilly

During the first few months of Britain's governance at Bareilly in 1804, a magistrate, Fitzroy, in a dispute concerning a garden, struck a Sayud and a cry went up, "A Seyud has been insulted and struck; our houses are about to be demolished..." Archibold Seton, the Governor-General's agent at Bareilly fearing an uprising would overcome the small British occupying force made his way to the Mosque of the popular and respected Moftee Mahomed Ewuz. Seton was first barred entry as he removed his shoes to enter the mosque but was subsequently let go as he said to the guards, "Do you not see, my friends, that I am prepared to approach a sacred place, and meet a holy man."

1806: The Court At Delhi

In 1806, Mr. Seton was appointed to the office of President at the Court of his Majesty Shah Allum, at Delhi, and performed the grateful duty of securing the happiness of the last few months of the life of that interesting Prince, and also of providing for the comfort of his son and successor, the Emperor of Hindustan, on the accession of the latter to the Musnud. The arrangements made by Mr. Seton tor the management of the territory to the Westward of the Jumna, assigned for the maintenance of the Royal Family at Delhi, during the years in which he retained the office of President at his Majesty's Court from 1806 to 1811, were equally honourable to his own character, and well calculated to promote the welfare of all classes of the inhabitants of that territory ; and their advantages have been permanent.

1811: Governor of the Prince of Wales' Island

In 1811, Mr. Seton accompanied the late Gilbert Elliot-Murray-Kynynmound, 1st Earl of Minto on the expedition against the Island of Java; and after the successful conquest of that island, he was appointed to the office of Governor of Prince of Wales's Island (Penang). He was Lieutenant-Governor there from 9 May 1811 to 27 July 1812 but was absent on duty with The Java Expedition from 13 May 1811 until the end. [Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (Vol. 3, pt. 2 comprises a monograph entitled: British Malaya, 1864-1867, by L.A. Mills, with appendix by C. O. Blagden, 1925. Issued also separately) By Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland Malayan Branch Published by The Branch, 1923; p. 10]

1812: Supreme Council, Fort William, Bengal

From Lieutenant-Governor of the Prince of Wales' Island, he was promoted, in 1812, by the Court of Directors of the East India Company, as the reward of his long services, to a seat in the Supreme Council at Fort William in Bengal, which he filled with much credit for five years, and was on his return to his native country in 1818, at the period of his death.

Demise March 30, 1818

Archibald Seton died on board the East India Company's ship William Pitt (Capt. Graham), on the passage from St. Helena to England, aged 60, Archibald Seton, esq. of Touch, co. Stirling.

Epilogue

During the long period of Mr. Seton's services, he had the happiness to possess in succession, and in the fullest extent, the well-merited confidence of every Government under which he served — that of Marquis Cornwallis, Lord Teignmouth, Marquis Wellesley, Sir George Barlow, and the Earl of Minto : and the friend by whom this faint tribute is paid to his memory, and by whom his virtues will ever, be revered, can assert, from an intimate knowledge for a period of nearly forty years, that his desire to promote the happiness of others was uniformly enthusiastic, and that the virtues of his heart were pure, and unmixed with any tincture of alloy.

ee Also

*The Life of Sir Stamford Raffles By Demetrius Charles Boulger, Demetrius Charles de Kavanagh Boulger Published by H. Marshall, 1897; pp. 97, 223, 239
*The Life of Thomas Coutts, Banker ... By Ernest Hartley Coleridge Published by John Lane Company, 1920; pp. 107, 424, 450
* [http://www.microform.co.uk/guides/NLS-Minto1stEarl.pdf Minto, 1st Earl, National Library of Scotland]
*The life and correspondence of Charles, lord Metcalfe, from unpublished letters and journalsBy John William Kaye Published by , 1854; pp. 144, 145, 147, 214, 215
*Empire and Information: Intelligence Gathering and Social Communication in India, 1780-1870By Christopher Alan Bayly Contributor Christopher Alan Bayly Published by Cambridge University Press, 1996; ISBN 0521663601, ISBN 9780521663601; pp. 132, 165, 205, 291, 410
*Life and Times of Cantoo Baboo (Krisna Kanta Nandy), the Banian of Warren Hastings: Period Covered, 1742-1804 By Somendracandra Nandī Published by Allied, 1978; Item notes: v.2; pp. 291, 292, 369

References


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