Lord Ellenborough (Edward Law, Earl of Ellenborough, Viscount Southam of Southam, Baron of Ellenborough or Ellenborough) was born September 8, 1790 in London and educated at Eton and St. John's College, Cambridge, and entered the House of Commons in 1813 and the House of Lords as a baron after his father died in 1818. He served as lord privy seal in 1828 and was president of the board of control for India in 1828-30 and for brief periods in 1834-35 and 1841, when he was appointed governor-general of India. He opposed England's costly intervention in Afghanistan, but rash opportunism led him to acquiesce in actions of Sir Charles James Napier, his governor in Sind, which drove the Sindhi emirs into war and consequent defeat in 1841.

Pursuing plans to promote trade, Lord Ellenborough ended tolls and duties throughout Sind, Bahawalpur, the North Western Provinces, Madras, and Bombay. In December 1843, however, war with Gwalior prevented free trade. The directors, exasperated by Ellenborough's arrogant self-will, resolved to recall him in April 1844. On his return to England, he served as first lord of the Admiralty in 1846 and at the Board of Control in 1858. There he drafted the new plan for the government of India, which the Indian Mutiny had rendered necessary; but, by making public a caustic dispatch censuring Canning's Oudh proclamation, which Ellenborough thought betrayed a desire for indiscriminate vengeance, he roused such opposition that he chose to resign and never held office again. (Information from Britannica Online).

Carlyle refers to Lord Ellenborough only once in "Hudson's Statue", referring to the destruction of the Idol of Somnauth. Since Carlyle writes that "You can read it in Gibbon, — probably, too, in Lord Ellenborough," it is likely that Lord Ellenborough wrote something about the event in one of his works.

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Victorian Overview Thomas Carlyle Hudson's Statue

Last modified 23 October 2002