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Dalhousie

Dalhousie, James Andrew Brown Ramsay, Marquis of (1812-1860), a noted Governor-General of India. The son of the Earl of Dalhousie, he was educated at Harrow and Christ Church, and, having become by courtesy Lord Ramsay in 1832 owing to the death of his elder brother, he entered Parliament as member for Haddingtonshire in 1837. In 1838 his father's death advanced him to the House of Peers. In 1843 he was Vice-President of the Board of Trade in Sir Robert Peel's government, and in 1845 President. In 1846 Lord John Russell succeeded to the government, and asked him to stay on in office. In 1847 he was Governor-General of India. In this office he displayed great power in acquiring territory and in developing the resources of the empire. Under his auspices Pegu and the Punjab were conquered, and Oudh with many other states annexed. He did much for trade, agriculture, forestry, and mining, encouraged railways, telegraphs, roads, and canals, reorganised the postal service, established irrigation works, formed a Legislative Council, and introduced the principle of competition in the Civil Service. He also tried to put down suttee, infanticide, and thuggee. One of his greatest works was the cutting of the Ganges Canal. In 1850 the state of his health forced him to resign. He had already in 1849 received the thanks of Parliament and of the East India Company, and been created Marquis, and in 1852 made Lord Warden of the Cinque Ports. He took no further part in public life, and as he left no male issue the marquisate died with him. It is a question sometimes raised whether his vigorous policy was not one of the causes of the Sepoy mutiny and general revolt.

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