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Fort William College [East India College Calcutta]
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/15/19



Appendix II: The College of Fort William in Its Connexion with the East India College, Haileybury.

On the 18th of August, 1800, the Marquis Wellesley, Governor-General of India, wrote a minute in Council containing his reasons for establishing a College at Fort William, Calcutta.

It was a long document which, when printed, occupied nearly 43 pages 4to. I subjoin a brief summary: --

The age at which writers usually arrive in India [N.B., this was written in 1800] is from sixteen to eighteen. Some of them have been educated with a view to the Indian Civil Service, but on utterly erroneous principles; their education being confined to commercial knowledge and in no degree extended to liberal studies. On arrival in India they are either stationed in the interior, where they ought to be conversant with the languages, laws, and customs of the natives, or they are employed in Government offices where they are chiefly occupied in transcribing papers. Once landed in India their studies, morals, manners, expenses and conduct are no longer subject to any regulation, restraint, or guidance. Hence they often acquire habits destructive to their health and fortunes.

Under these circumstances the General has determined to found a College at Fort William in Bengal for the instruction of the junior Civil Servants in such branches of literature, science, and knowledge as may be deemed necessary to qualify them for the discharge of their duties; and, considering that such a College would be a becoming public monument to commemorate the Conquest of Mysore, he has dated the law for the foundation of the College on the 4th of May, 1800, the first anniversary of the reduction of Seringapatam.

A suitable building is to be erected at Garden Reach. There will be a Provost, Vice-Provost, and a complete staff of Professors both of European and Oriental subjects.1 [1. A list of these was printed. I select the following: -- Provost, Rev. David Brown; Vice-Provost, Rev. C. Buchanan (both of these were Chaplains of the H.E.I.C.S.); Sanskrit and Hindu Law, H.T. Colebrooke; British Law, Sir George Barlow, Bart.; Greek and Latin Classics, Rev. C. Buchanan; Persian, Francis Gladwin; Assistant in Persian and Arabic, Mathew Lumsden; second Assistant in Persian, Capt. Charles Stewart; Sanskrit and Bengali, Rev. William Carey; Hindustani, John Gilchrist.] Statutes are to be drawn up, and all Indian civilians on first arriving in India, even those destined for Bombay and Madras are to be educated at this College, which will be called the College of Fort William.

The statutes were promulgated by the first Provost (the Rev. David Brown), on April 10, 1801, and when printed occupied 12 pages 4to. The students were then located in provisional buildings, and the first Disputation in Oriental languages was held on the 6th of February, 1802; a speech being delivered on the occasion by Sir George Barlow, the acting Visitor. All this was done without the knowledge of the Court of Directors in London, who, when they heard of the foundation of the College, passed a resolution against it, on the ground of the enormous and indefinite expenditure which it might involve. They complimented the Marquis on his able minute, and acknowledged the necessity for obtaining a higher class of civil servants by raising the standard of their education and giving them an improved special training, but they only expressed their approbation of part of his plan. In fact a compromise was arranged (see note to line 6 of page 27 of this volume), and it was decided that although the proposed collegiate Building at Garden Reach was not to be erected, an Institution to be called “The East-India College” should be founded in Hertfordshire, which was to give a good general education, combined with instruction in the rudiments of the Oriental languages, while Lord Wellesley’s Institution was to be allowed to continue at Calcutta in a less comprehensive form under the name of Fort William College, with a local habitation in “Writers’ Buildings,” the name given to a long house with good verandahs looking south at the north end of Tank Square (now Dalhousie Square).

It was thus brought about that Fort William College became a kind of continuation of Haileybury, and that its work was restricted to the imparting of fuller instruction in Oriental subjects, the groundwork of which had been laid at Haileybury. And no doubt it was originally intended that all junior civilians who had passed through the Haileybury course should repair to the College in Calcutta for such instruction. Moreover, the process of sifting, which began at Haileybury, was continued at the Forst William Institution. At any rate, it occasionally happened that the worst of those “bad bargains,” which Haileybury, in its too great leniency, had spared, were eliminated from the service at Calcutta.

Yet, according to Mr. Malthus, the discipline at Fort William College was for some time in a most unsatisfactory state. He mentions that far too large a number of young civilians, whose ages ranged from 16 to 19, were collected at Calcutta between 1801 and 1808 (Haileybury being then barely founded, or at least not in actual working order), and that much dissipation and irregularity existed among them (Pamphlet, pp. 55-56).

Unquestionably the establishment of Haileybury had a beneficial effect in abridging the period of residence at Calcutta, as the following extract from Mr. Malthus’ pamphlet proves: --

In 1811 twenty students left Fort William College qualified for official situations. Of the twelve who had been previously at Haileybury, six left after six month’s residence, two after eight months, one after nine months, one after two years, two after three years. Of the eight who had not been at Haileybury three left after two and a quarter years, one after three years, one after three and a quarter years, two after four years, one after four and a half years.

Still, the co-existence of Haileybury in connexion with Fort William College does not seem to have caused much improvement in the state of the discipline at the latter college; for at p. 38 of Mr. Malthus’ pamphlet we read: --

In the last public examination [N.B., this was written in 1817] at the College in India, of which the account has arrived, five students were expelled. Notwithstanding the opportunities afford to them during a protracted stay at Calcutta, they had not acquired such a knowledge of two Oriental languages as would enable them to pass the examination necessary to qualify them for an official situation.

It appears, then, from the above extracts that, after the founding of Haileybury, the period of residence at Fort William College was sometimes completed by good men in six months. On the other hand, in the case of inferior men, it was sometimes protracted for three or four years, or even more. It appears, too, that for many years those who were transferred from Haileybury to Fort William lived a collegiate life there somewhat similar to that at Haileybury; that is to say, they had rooms assigned to them in “Writers’ Buildings,” and were subject to some sort of collegiate discipline. Moreover, it is clear that, for three or four years, even Bombay and Madras civilians were required to present themselves at Calcutta and go through their period of Indian probation at Fort William.1 [1. Mr. W.S. Seton-Karr has lent me a curious and scarce volume entitled “Roebuck’s Annals of the College of Fort William.” There I find reports of the results of all the examinations from 1801 to 1818, and it may be proved from these reports that civilians destined for Bombay and Madras gained prizes at Fort William in the years 1801-1804, and notably among them was a connexion of my own, Mr. John Romer, who was for some time a Judge in the Bombay Presidency.] As to Bengal civilians their residence there went on, I believe, till about the year 1835. So far as I have been able to ascertain, it was not till after that year that they were allowed to reside with their friends or in “chummeries,” or in lodgings anywhere in the town.2 [2. Mr. Seton-Karr tells me then in 1842 he and Mr. R.N. Cust and Mr. Montresor took a good three-storied house in Middleton Row, Calcutta, and there “chummed” together during their period of probation.] Even after that date, however, they had to go to “Writers’ Buildings” (where there was a good Library and Examination Room) for their monthly and final examinations.3 [3. Mr. Seton-Karr informs me, that in 1842 the two examiners (Colonel Ouseley, and Capt. Marshall) had offices in “Writers’ Buildings,” and that monthly examinations were held there, but that a considerable portion of the building was then let out as merchants’ offices.]

The annual Fort William “Disputations” (corresponding to the Haileybury “Visitations”), which took place in early years, were generally held at Government House, the Governor-General being the “Visitor,” but I find that in one year (1802) these “Disputations” – accompanied as they always were by a public distribution of prizes, and a speech from the Governor-General – took place in the Examination-room of the College Buildings.

It was not till January 24, 1854, that the College of Fort William was abolished. That year saw both the first introduction of the Indian Civil Service competitive system into England, and at the same time a change in the method of dealing with Indian civilians on their first arrival in India. Nevertheless, even after that year, examinations continued to be held in India under Boards of Examiners appointed by the Government, but not under collegiate regulations or in any special building.

Monier Monier-Williams.

-- Memorials of Old Haileybury College, by Frederick Charles Danvers, Sir Monier Monier-Williams, Sir Steuart Colvin Bayley, Percy Wigram, Brand Sapte

But it would be unpardonable not to speak of the College at Calcutta, of which the original plan was doubtless the most magnificent attempt ever made for the promotion of learning in the East. I am not conscious that I am biased either by personal feelings or literary prejudices, when I say that I consider that original plan as a wise and noble proposition, of which the adoption in its full extent would have had the happiest tendency to secure the good government of India, as well as to promote the interest of science. Even in its present mutilated state we have seen, at the last public exhibition, Sanscrit declamations by English youth; a circumstance so extraordinary*, [*It must be remembered that this Discourse was read in 1804. In the present year, 1818, this circumstance could no longer be called extraordinary. From the learned care of Mr. Hamilton, late Professor of Indian Languages at the East India College, a proficiency in Sanscrit is become not uncommon in an European Institution.] that, if it be followed by suitable advances, it will mark an epoch in the history of learning.

-- Transactions of The Literary Society of Bombay, With Engravings

The Asiatic Society was founded by civil servant Sir William Jones on 15 January 1784 in a meeting presided over by Sir William Jones, Justice of the Supreme Court of Judicature at Fort William at the Fort William in Calcutta, then capital of the British Raj, to enhance and further the cause of Oriental research. At the time of its foundation, this Society was named as "Asiatick Society". In 1825, the society dropped the antique k without any formal resolution and the Society was renamed as "The Asiatic Society". In 1832 the name was changed to "The Asiatic Society of Bengal" and again in 1936 it was renamed as "The Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal". Finally, on 1 July 1951, the name of the society was changed to its present one. The Society is housed in a building at Park Street in Kolkata (Calcutta). The Society moved into this building during 1808. In 1823, the Medical and Physical Society of Calcutta was formed and all the meetings of this society were held in the Asiatic Society.

-- The Asiatic Society [Asiatic Society of Bengal / Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal], by Wikipedia

Fort William, Calcutta

Fort William College, Calcutta (Kolkata).

Fort William College, Calcutta (variant College of Fort William) (1800 - 1854) was an academy of Oriental studies and a centre of learning. Founded on 10 July 1800, within the Fort William complex in Calcutta by Lord Wellesley, then Governor-General of British India. The statute of foundation was passed on 4 May 1800, to commemorate the first anniversary of the victory over Tipu Sultan at Seringapatam.[1] Thousands of books were translated from Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Bengali, Hindi, and Urdu into English at this institution. This college also promoted the printing and publishing of Urdu books.


The College of Fort William emerged as both a centre of research and a publication unit, a cradle of creativity as well as scholarship. Planned originally to train probationer British civilians in the languages and cultures of the subjugated country, the college rendered services tantamount to those of a university in promoting modern Indian literatures, Bengali in particular… Under the leadership of William Carey, the College could also claim credit for drawing together Sanskrit pandits and Perso-Arabic munshis to reshape Bengali prose… The variety of the College’s publication also deserve note. From colloquies and popular stories, chronicles and legends, to definitive editions of literary texts.[2]

-- Majumdar, Swapan[3]

Fort William College aimed at training British officials in Indian languages and, in the process, fostered the development of languages such as Bengali and Urdu.[4] The period is of historical importance. In 1815, Ram Mohan Roy settled in Calcutta. It is considered by many historians to be the starting point of the Bengali Renaissance.[5]:212 Establishment of The Calcutta Madrassa in 1781, the Asiatic Society in 1784 and the Fort William College in 1800, completed the first phase of Kolkata’s emergence as an intellectual centre.[2]

Teaching of Asian languages dominated: Arabic, Urdu, Persian, Sanskrit, Bengali. Later, Marathi and even Chinese were added.[6] Each department of the college was staffed by notable scholars. The Persian department was headed by Neil B. Edmonstone, Persian translator to the East India Company's government since 1794. His assistant teacher was John H. Harington, a judge of Sadar Diwani Adalat and Francis Gladwin, a soldier diplomat. For Arabic studies, there was Lt. John Baillie, a noted Arabist. The Urdu department was entrusted to John Borthwick Gilchrist, an Indologist of great repute. Henry Thomas Colebrooke, the famous orientalist, was head of the Sanskrit department. William Carey, a non-civilian missionary and a specialist in many Indian languages, was selected to head the department of vernacular languages.[7] While notable scholars were identified and appointed for different languages, there was no suitable person in Calcutta who could be appointed to teach Bengali. In those days, the Brahmin scholars learnt only Sanskrit, considered to be the language of the gods, and they did not study Bengali. The authorities decided to appoint Carey, who was with the Baptist Mission in Serampore. He, in turn, appointed Mrityunjoy Vidyalankar as head pandit, Ramnath Bachaspati as second pandit and Ramram Basu as one of the assistant pandits.[8]

Along with teaching, translations were organized. The college employed more than one hundred local linguists.[6] There were no textbooks available in Bengali. On 23 April 1789, the Calcutta Gazette published the humble request of several natives of Bengal for a Bengali grammar and dictionary.[8]


Fort William College, The Exchange, Calcutta, c1800 Jan, by অযান্ত্রিক

The college was located at the corner of Council House Street and the parade ground, (now named Maidan). After the college closed the building had a series of occupancies. First it was The Exchange of Messrs. Mackenzie Lyall & Co., then offices of the Bengal Nagpur Railway,[9]:271 and lastly the Raj Bhavan ('Government House').[9]:544


The College library of Fort William was an important centre of learning and housed a magnificent collection of old manuscripts and many valuable historical books from across South Asia. Multiple MS copies were printed.[6] [10] When the college was dissolved in 1854, the books of the collection listed for preservation were transferred to the newly formed Calcutta Public Library, now the National Library.[6]


The court of directors of the British East India Company were never in favour of a training college in Calcutta, and for that reason there was always a lack of funds for running the college. Subsequently, a separate college for the purpose, the East India Company College at Haileybury (England), was established in 1807. However, Fort William College continued to be a centre of learning languages.[6][7]

With the British settling down in the seat of power, their requirements changed. Lord William Bentinck announced his educational policy of public instruction in English in 1835, mostly to cater to the growing needs of administration and commerce.[5]:236 He clipped the wings of Fort William College, and the Dalhousie administration formally dissolved the institution in 1854.[7]

Eminent scholars

Fort William College was served by a number of eminent scholars. They contributed enormously towards development of Indian languages and literature. Some of them are noted below:

• William Carey (1761–1834) was with Fort William College from 1801 to 1831. During this period he published a Bengali grammar and dictionary, numerous textbooks, the Bible, grammar and dictionary in other Indian languages.[11]:112
• Matthew Lumsden (1777–1835)
• John Borthwick Gilchrist (June 1759 – 1841)
Mrityunjay Vidyalankar (c. 1762 – 1819) was First Pandit at Fort William College. He wrote a number of textbooks and is considered the first 'conscious artist' of Bengali prose.[12] Although a Sanskrit scholar he started writing Bengali as per the needs of Fort William College. He published Batris Singhasan (1802), Hitopodesh (1808) and Rajabali (1808). The last named book was the first published history of India. Mrityunjoy did not know English so the contents were possibly provided by other scholars of Fort William College.[8]
• Tarini Charan Mitra (1772–1837), a scholar in English, Urdu, Hindi, Arabic and Persian, was with the Hindustani department of Fort William College. He had translated many stories into Bengali.[11]:196
• Lallu Lal (also spelt as Lalloolal or Lallo Lal), the father of Hindi Khariboli prose, was instructor in Hindustani at Fort William College. He printed and published in 1815 the first book in the old Hindi literary language Braj Bhasha, Tulsidas’s Vinaypatrika.[4]
• Ramram Basu (1757–1813) was with the Fort William College. He assisted William Carey, Joshua Marshman and William Ward in the publication of the first Bengali translation of the Bible.[4]
• Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar (1820–1891) was head pandit at Fort William College from 1841 to 1846. He concentrated on English and Hindi while serving in the college.[11]:64 After discharging his duties as academician, and engagements as a reformer he had little time for creative writing. Yet through the textbooks he produced, the pamphlets he wrote and retelling of Kalidasa’s Shakuntala and Shakespeare’s A Comedy of Errors he set the norm of standard Bengali prose.[2]
• Madan Mohan Tarkalankar (1817–1858) taught at Fort William College. He was one of the pioneers of textbook writing.[11]:391


1. Danvers, FC; M. Monier-Williams; et al. (1894). Memorials of Old Haileybury College. Westminster: Archibald Constable and Company. p. 238.
2. Majumdar, Swapan, Literature and Literary Life in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, pp. 107–9, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
3. Reader in Comparative Literature at Jadavpur University and Director of the Indian Cultural Centre at Suva, Fiji. Ref: Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. vii, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
4. Sarkar, Nikhil, Printing and the Spirit of Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol. I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, pp. 130–2, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.
5. Sengupta, Nitish, 2001–02, History of the Bengali-speaking People, UBS Publishers’ Distributors Pvt. Ltd., ISBN 81-7476-355-4.
6. Diehl, Katharine Smith. "College of Fort William". College of Fort William. Katharine Smith Diehl Seguin, Texas. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
7. Islam, Sirajul (2012). "Fort William College". In Islam, Sirajul; Jamal, Ahmed A. (eds.). Banglapedia: National Encyclopedia of Bangladesh (Second ed.). Asiatic Society of Bangladesh.
8. Mukhopadhyay, Prabhatkumar, Rammohun O Tatkalin Samaj O Sahitya, 1965, pp. 47–51, Viswa Bharati Granthan Bibhag (in Bengali).
9. Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
10. Pritchett, Frances. "Selected publications of Fort William College" (PDF). First Editions recommended for preservation. Columbia University. Retrieved 19 February 2007.
11. Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), 1976/1998, Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan(Biographical dictionary) Vol I, ISBN 81-85626-65-0 (in Bengali).
12. Acharya, Poromesh, Education in Old Calcutta, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, pp. 108–9, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1.

Further reading

• Bowen, John (October 1955). "The East India Company's Education of its Own Servants". Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society. New Series. London: The Royal Asiatic Society. 87: 105–123. doi:10.1017/S0035869X00114029.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:42 pm

Fort William, India
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/15/19



Fort William, Kolkata, India
Fort William, a view from the inside, c. 1828
Coordinates 22.5577°N 88.3380°E
Type: Fortress, garrisoned and armoured Army Headquarters.
Site information
Controlled by: British East India Company
Siraj Ud Daulah
Indian Army (Current)
Site history
Built: 1696-1702
In use: 1781 - present
Battles/wars: Battle of Plassey
Garrison information
Garrison Eastern Command

Fort William is a fort in Calcutta (Kolkata), built during the early years of the Bengal Presidency of British India. It sits on the eastern banks of the River Hooghly, the major distributary of the River Ganges. One of Kolkata's most enduring Raj-era edifices, it extends over an area of 70.9 hectares.

The fort was named after King William III.[1] In front of the Fort is the Maidan, the largest park in the city. An internal guard room became the Black Hole of Calcutta.


A view of Calcutta from Fort William (1807).

Plan (top-view) of Fort William, c. 1844

Main article: History of Kolkata

There are two Fort Williams. The original fort was built in the year 1696 by the British East India Company under the orders of Sir John Goldsborough which took a decade to complete.[2][3] Sir Charles Eyre started construction near the bank of the Hooghly River with the South-East Bastion and the adjacent walls. It was named after King William III in 1700. John Beard, Eyre's successor, added the North-East Bastion in 1701, and in 1702 started the construction of the Government House (Factory, see Factory (trading post)) at the centre of the fort. Construction ended in 1706. The original building had two stories and projecting wings. In 1756, the Nawab of Bengal, Siraj Ud Daulah, attacked the Fort, temporarily conquered the city, and changed its name to Alinagar. This led the British to build a new fort in the Maidan.

Robert Clive started rebuilding the fort in 1758, after the Battle of Plassey (1757); construction was completed in 1781 at a cost of approximately two million pounds. The area around the Fort was cleared, and the Maidan became "the Lungs of Kolkata". It stretches for around 3 km in the north-south direction and is around 1 km wide.

The Old Fort was repaired and used as a customs house from 1766 onwards.

Today Fort William is the property of Indian Army. The headquarters of Eastern Command is based there, with provisions for accommodating 10,000 army personnel. The Army guards it heavily, and civilian entry is restricted.

Much of Fort William is unchanged, but St Peter's Church, which used to serve as a chaplaincy centre for the British citizens of Kolkata, is now a library for the troops of HQ Eastern Command.

Presidency of Fort William

Main article: Bengal Presidency


The Fort is built of brick and mortar in the shape of an irregular octagon with an area 5 km². Five of its sides face landward, and three towards the Hooghly River. The design is that of a star fort, suited to defence against cannon firing solid shot,and dates from before the advent of explosive shells. A dry moat 9 m deep and 15 m broad surrounds the fort. The moat can be flooded but is designed as an area in which to use enfilade (or "flanking") fire against any attackers reaching the walls. There are six gates: Chowringhee, Plassey, Calcutta, Water Gate, St Georges and the Treasury Gate. There are similar forts at places like Thalassery in Kerala.[4] It has a 9-hole golf course currently.


Fort William 1735

Fort William, Calcutta, 1756[5]

Fort William 1760

First English Chapel, Fort William, Calcutta. Raised in 1714, with contribution of Rs. 1000 by the East India Company (p. 197, March 1824)[6]

St Peter's Church, Fort William by William Prinsep 1835

The interior of the Arsenal, Fort William by William Prinsep 1835

Main entrance, Fort William 2013

South gate, Fort William 2013

St. Peter's Church, Fort William, Kolkata

Semaphore Tower, Fort William, Kolkata

See also

• Fort William College


1. Krishna Dutta (2003). Calcutta: A Cultural and Literary History. p. 71. ISBN 9781902669595.
2. Sudip Bhattacharya, Unseen Enemy: The English, Disease, and Medicine in Colonial Bengal, 1617 – 1847, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 30 Jun 2014, p.54
3. "Fort William Kolkata India - History of Fort William". Retrieved 27 December 2018.
4. Nandakumar Koroth, History of Forts in North Malabar
5. Grant, James (1873). British Battles On Land and Sea. Volume II. Cassell & Company, Limited. p. 69.
6. "The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle". The Gentleman's Magazine, and Historical Chronicle. 94 (1): 197. February 1824. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Mon Dec 16, 2019 11:59 pm

Christopher Hills
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/16/19

Christopher Hills
Christopher Hills, 1993
Born: 9 April 1926, Grimsby, Lincolnshire, United Kingdom
Died: 31 January 1997 (aged 70), Boulder Creek, California, United States
Nationality: British, American
Known for Spirituality, aquaculture
Notable work: Over 30 books on food from sunlight, spirulina chakras, consciousness, divining, world peace, creative conflict resolution, Movement Yoga, Nutrition
Patron(s): Jawaharlal Nehru

Christopher Hills (April 9, 1926 – January 31, 1997) was an English-born author, philosopher, and scientist, described as the "Father of Spirulina"[1] for popularizing spirulina cyanobacteria as a food supplement. He also wrote 30 books on consciousness, meditation, yoga and spiritual evolution, divining, world government, aquaculture, and personal health.

Hills was variously headlined by the press as a "Western Guru Scientist",[2] "Natural Foods Pioneer",[3] "Evolutionary Revolutionary"[4] and a "Modern Merlin".[5]

As a successful commodities trader and art patron in Jamaica, he retired from business at an early age to follow a spiritual quest that took him around the world as a speaker, author, entrepreneur and pioneer of algae as one of the most efficient sources of food and fuel for humanity.

Early biography

Born in Grimsby, England to a family of fishermen, Hills grew up sailing the bleak and turbulent North Sea. In 1940 he enrolled as a cadet in nautical school and joined the British Merchant Navy during World War II. At sea, Hills had several life and death experiences that formed his views on karma, divinity and destiny. On one occasion a rogue wave swept him off the deck hundreds of yards (metres) away from the vessel, but another wave picked him up and threw him back onto the ship,[6] cutting open his forehead but saving him from freezing to death. As German U-boats sank 2,828 merchant ships, he watched tanker crew colleagues incinerated in the flaming oil-slicked Atlantic.[7] At the end of the war, as navigating officer for an Esso oil tanker, Hills found himself docked in Curaçao, where he set up shop as a commodities trader with branch offices in Venezuela and Aruba.

Encountering problems with South American contract law when a client reneged on a deal, Hills moved to Jamaica, where business was conducted under the British judicial system. There with the help of plantocrat philanthropist Percy Junor [Percival Sigismund Junor, Justice of the Peace, Business Man, Financier, Planter and Philanthropist][8] he founded commodity companies specializing in sugar, bananas, insurance, telegraph communications and agricultural spices pimento, nutmegs and ginger. Financing for the first export corporation came from British businessman Andrew Hay,[9] then husband of best-selling motivational author Louise Hay[10] who in the 1950s was a high-fashion model and Hills family friend.[11]

Andrew Mackenzie Hay, 73, Trade Expert
by Eric Pace
New York Times
May 18, 2001

Andrew Mackenzie Hay, an importer and expert on international trade who was once married to the socialite Sharman Douglas, died in his sleep on May 2 at his home in Portland, Ore. He was 73 and had lived in Portland since 1982.

He had been ill, but the exact cause of death was unclear, said his wife, Catherine.

Mr. Hay, the son of a British banker, had become an American citizen, a New Yorker and the president of Calvert Vavasseur & Company, a food importing concern,....


Respondent Calvert, Vavasseur & Company, Inc., hereinafter referred to as Calvert-Vavasseur, is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York, with its principal office and place of business located at 19 Rector Street, New York, New York.

Calvert-Vavasseur is a subsidiary of J.H. Vavasseur & Company, Ltd., London, England, and acts as a selling agent in the United States for two other subsidiaries of J.H. Vavasseur & Company, Ltd., Red V Coconut Products, Ltd., Manila, Philippine Islands and Red V Coconut Products Company, Inc., which latter corporation is also named as a respondent herein. Calvert-Vavasseur engages in the dessicated and sweetened coconut business in the United States through another subsidiary of J.H. Vavasseur & Company, Ltd., Wood & Selick Coconut Company, Inc., which is also named as a respondent herein.

Respondent Red V Coconut Products Company, Inc., hereinafter referred to as Red V, is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New Jersey, with its principal office and place of business located at 19 Rector Street, New York, New York.

Respondent Wood & Selick Coconut Company, Inc., hereinafter referred to as Wood & Selick, is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of New York, with its principal office and place of business located at 19 Rector Street, New York, New YOrk.

Par. 2. The respondents hereinbefore named and described, either directly or indirectly through subsidiary or affiliated corporations, or operating divisions or units, are engaged in the importation, sale and distribution of Philippine dessicated coconut, and in the processing, sale and distribution, or sale and distribution of sweetened coconut….

Par. 5. The Philippine Islands supply practically all of the dessicated coconut imported, sold and distributed commercially in the United States. In 1958 total dessicated coconut imports into the United States amounted to 99,704,781 pounds, valued at $14,349,832, of which 98,361,868 pounds, valued at $14,195,960, or more than 98 percent on a quantity and value basis, were imported from the Philippine Islands.

Par. 6. For a number of years, respondent General Foods, through its foreign subsidiary, Franklin Baker Company of the Philippines, and respondent Calvert-Vavasseur, through its Philippine affiliate, Red V Coconut Products, Ltd., have produced, processed and exported from the Philippine Islands approximately 75 percent of all Philippine dessicated coconut imported, sold and distributed commercially in the United States….

Respondent Glidden engages in the importation, sale and distribution of Philippine desiccated coconut, and in the processing, sale and distribution of sweetened coconut, through its operating division, Durkee Famous Foods. For a number of years, Glidden has purchased and imported its total requirements of Philippine desiccated coconut on a contract basis from Red V Coconut Products, Ltd., an affiliated corporation of respondent Calvert-Vavasseur. Glidden, through its Durkee Famous Foods Division, operates a coconut processing plant at Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, which supplies its total requirements of sweetened coconut. This plant also produces and supplies on a contract basis the total sweetened coconut requirements of respondent Calvert-Vavasseur….

Par. 9. Each and all of the respondents, either directly or indirectly through subsidiary or affiliated corporations or operating divisions or units, acting between and among themselves, for a number of years last past and continuing to the present time, have maintained and now maintain and have in effect a conspiracy, combination, agreement and understanding to pursue, and they have pursued, a planned common course of action between and among themselves to adopt and adhere to certain practices and policies which hinder, lessen, restrict, restrain, suppress and eliminate competition in the importation, processing, sale and distribution of Philippine desiccated coconut and sweetened coconut in commerce, in violation of Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act.

Par. 10. Pursuant to and in furtherance of said conspiracy, combination, agreement, understanding and planned common course of action, each and all of the respondents, either directly or indirectly through subsidiary or affiliated corporations or operating divisions or units, acting between and among themselves, for a number of years last past and continuing to the present time, have engaged in and carried out by various methods and means the following acts, practices, systems and policies, among others:

(a) Agreed to fix, stabilize and maintain, and have fixed, stabilized and maintained, uniformly identical F.O.B. port of entry base prices and price schedules for all types or cuts of Philippine desiccated coconut imported, sold and distributed by respondents in the United States.

(b) Agreed to adopt, maintain and use, and revise from time to time, and have adopted, maintained and used, and revised from time to time, a system of established price differentials, composed of freight to and handling and storage charges at specified warehouse distribution points throughout the country, which each of the respondents by agreement applies to the fixed and stabilized uniformly identical F.O.B. port of entry base prices and price schedules for Philippine desiccated coconut, in calculating, determining and establishing uniformly identical prices and terms of delivery on all types or cuts of Philippine desiccated coconut sold and delivered anywhere in the United States.

© Agreed to fix, stabilize and maintain, and have fixed, stabilized and maintained, uniformly identical base prices and price schedules for all types or cuts of sweetened coconut processed, sold and delivered by respondents anywhere in the United States.


-- Federal Trade Commission Decisions, Volume 59, by United States. Federal Trade Commission

by 1968, when he married Sharman Douglas, known as ''Charmin' Sharman,'' a well-known friend of Princess Margaret's whose father was Lewis W. Douglas, the American ambassador to Britain in the late 1940's. They were divorced in 1977.

Principal of McGill University

In August 1937, [Lewis Williams] Douglas was approached by Sir Edward Beatty about becoming principal of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. Bored with his job at American Cyanamid, Douglas accepted and was installed on January 7, 1938. Douglas would subsequently refer to his time as McGill as the happiest in his life. As principal, he struggled to address the deficit in the university budget and to counteract what he perceived as the socialist leanings within the social science faculty of the university. By reducing expenditures and soliciting private donations he succeeded in restoring McGill to financial health, and launched a public lecture series designed to promote conservative viewpoints.

-- Lewis Williams Douglas, by Wikipedia

Some historians assert creating a "Manchurian Candidate" subject through "mind control" techniques was a goal of MKUltra and related CIA projects.[32] Alfred McCoy has claimed the CIA attempted to focus media attention on these sorts of "ridiculous" programs, so the public would not look at the primary goal of the research, which was developing effective methods of torture and interrogation. Such authors cite as one example the CIA's KUBARK interrogation manual refers to "studies at McGill University", and most of the techniques recommended in KUBARK are exactly those researcher Donald Ewen Cameron used on his test subjects (sensory deprivation, drugs, isolation, etc.).[30]

-- Project MKULtra, by Wikipedia

Mr. Hay was also president of the British-American Chamber of Commerce from 1966 to 1968.

The British American Council

The original organization was incorporated in 1954 as the British American Trade Centre, with the aim of promoting and assisting trade between the UK and the US.

The first President was C E C (Euan) Rabagliati, and the Consul-General in San Francisco at the time was KJM White.

Membership fees in 1954 were as follows:

▪ Sponsor Membership $250.00 US per annum
▪ Individual Membership $100.00 US per annum

(Worth noting when you look at the cost of membership 50 years later!)

Original Board Members included representatives of BOAC, Bechtel, Barclays, Wells Fargo and Orient & Pacific Lines.

In November 1957, the organization changed its name to the British American Chamber of Commerce and Trade Centre. Chalmers Graham, a founding partner of Graham and James (now Squire, Sanders and Dempsey LLP), spearheaded the Chamber's growth for several years.

For a period in the 1980s, the organization was known as the British American Chamber of Commerce San Francisco. It was changed in the 1990s to the British American Chamber of Commerce Northern California, to reflect the growth of the organization within the Bay Area, specifically in Silicon Valley. Mostyn Lloyd, OBE, served as Executive Director from 1990 to 2006 and was a driving force in bringing our Annual Christmas Lunch attendance from a mere 200 people to the 1000 that it is today.

Peter Gardiner, OBE, served as President for 10 years and was elected the first President of an umbrella network, British American Business Council (BABC) when it was formed in 1994. This umbrella organization helps steer the largest transatlantic business network, comprising nearly 30 independent BABC chapters in all major business centers across North America, and the United Kingdom, including the BABC in Northern California.

The BACC elected its first woman President, Kathleen Kimura, MBE, in 2001. Kathleen currently serves on our Board, Chairs the Annual Christmas Lunch and represents BABC Northern California and all other West Coast chapters within the umbrella organization.

In 2004, a re-branding changed our name to the British American Business Council Northern California to more closely align our organization with fellow chapters spread across the BABC international network.

With offices and staff in downtown San Francisco, and a Board comprising representatives of the Bay Area’s internationally minded business community, the BABC Northern California provides business networking, seminars and services in San Francisco, Silicon Valley and the East Bay.

In 1968, he was named a Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II, in recognition of his contributions to British-American trade.

He went on to become president of an American organization of exporters and importers from 1977 to 1979.

Mr. Hay was born in London, and he received a master's degree in economics from Cambridge University.
He served three years in the British Army as an officer in the Intelligence Corps.

His earlier marriages, to Jennifer Dimoline and to an author named Louise [Louise Lynn Hay/Helen Vera Lunney] who still uses the name Hay, also ended in divorce.

In addition to his wife, the former Catherine Newman, whom he married in 1977, he is survived by a brother, Dr. David, who lives in Hampshire, England; and a nephew, Crispin Hay of London.

In 1950 Christopher Hills married a young English woman, Norah Bremner, deputy headmistress of Wolmer's School in Kingston. Her father, Bernard E. Bremner B.E.M.,[12] was the Magistrate, Chief of Customs, and Mayor[13] of King's Lynn, Norfolk who in 1951 co-founded the King's Lynn Festival[14] with concert pianist[15] Ruth Roche, Baroness Fermoy. Lady Fermoy, wife of Baron Fermoy, is Diana, Princess of Wales' maternal grandmother.[16] The Hillses had two sons, both born in Jamaica. The family frequently sailed to England for events such as the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II and Mayor Bremner's presenting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother with Freedom of the Borough,[17] which encompassed the royal family's home at nearby Sandringham.

Jamaica business leader

From 1949 to 1967, Christopher and Norah Hills became influential forces in Jamaica's commerce, art, politics and culture.[18]

Governor of Jamaica Sir Hugh Foot opening a 1957 Hills Galleries exhibition showing works by Mallica "Kapo" Reynolds with Christopher Hills

Believing that Jamaica's strength lay in its agriculture, Christopher Hills co-founded the Jamaica Agriculture & Industrial Party (AIP)[19] as an alternative to the two major political parties: Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) and People's National Party (PNP), both of which he felt were too busy warring with each other to look out for the middle class and the country people who were the backbone of Jamaica's rural economy. Despite competing vigorously in the polls, the Hills couple were nevertheless close friends with JLP leader Sir Alexander Bustamante and Norman Manley, head of the PNP, who both served as Jamaican Prime Ministers. Norman Manley in fact had been best man at the Hills' wedding.[20]

In 1951 Christopher and Norah Hills founded Hills Galleries Ltd, which, in cooperation with the Prime Minister's wife Edna Manley,[21][22] became a nexus of the Jamaican art movement.
The Gallery & Antiques showroom[23] at 101 Harbour Street, Kingston was built on the site of Simon Bolivar's Jamaica residence where, in 1815, the revolutionary wrote his famous letter Carta de Jamaica.[24]

Throughout the 1950s and 1960s Hills Galleries supplied and exhibited local celebrity artists Ian Fleming and Noël Coward, enjoyed the patronage of British royals[25][26][27] and such high-profile clients as Sadruddin Aga Khan, Winthrop Rockefeller,[28] Elizabeth Taylor,[29][30] Lady Bird Johnson, Grace Kelly and Errol Flynn. Hills Galleries was also the main agent for Rowney's, Grumbacher and Winsor & Newton art supplies in the West Indies.[31] Through multiple exhibitions, the Hillses nurtured or launched the careers of a plethora of talented Jamaican artists, such as Gaston Tabois,[32] Kenneth Abendana Spencer, Carl Abrahams, Barrington Watson,[33] Albert Huie,[34][35] Gloria Escoffery, Karl Parboosingh, Vernon Tong and the revivalist preacher/painter/sculptor Mallica Reynolds.[36]

Christopher Hills opened a Hills Galleries branch on Jamaica's north coast at Montego Bay, mooring his yacht, the Robanne[37] at Round Hill, a popular resort for foreign leaders and industrialists vacationing in the Caribbean. It was there he met then Vice President Lyndon Johnson and CBS president William S. Paley, who in 1956, sponsored a Hills Galleries exhibition of Jamaican art at Barbizon Plaza[38][39] in New York City, which awoke U.S. art collectors to Jamaica's dynamic sphere of artistic talent. The exhibition was described by the Daily Gleaner as "Epochal in the establishment of a market for West Indian art."[40] The Hills family spent weekends and holidays at Port Antonio visiting friends and clients including their neighbor, novelist Robin Moore at Blue Lagoon.[41] There Hills met Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza who asked Hills to curate part of his art collection.[42] For five years many classic works of the baron's international art acquisitions decorated the walls of the Hills' home. Von Thyssen also granted Hills' children access to his private island at San San near Port Antonio.[43]

In 1955 Hills had just returned from sailing the Robanne to Havana when he met Adlai Stevenson who had given a speech honoring a visit to Jamaica by Princess Margaret, Countess of Snowdon. At the gallery Stevenson fell in love with Hills' George III period Sheraton bow-fronted desk,[44] immediately purchasing it for his own office in Chicago.[45] Over dinner, Hills shared his observations of simmering revolution in Cuba, while he and Stevenson compared their concepts of justice, democracy, conflict and dictatorships — a conversation that inspired Hills to publish his ideas for uplifting the world's underprivileged masses in his landmark volume Rise of the Phoenix.[46]

Rastafari movement

Hills also became an advocate for Jamaica's Rastafari movement, who were being oppressed in the late fifties.[47] He gave Rastafarians jobs as woodcarvers, free paints to poor artists, such as the now-famed Ras Dizzy and bailed them out of Spanish Town Prison while encouraging rasta brethren to sustain themselves through art and music. Christopher and Norah Hills were personally thanked for their years of support for struggling rastas by Mortimo Planno, the Rasta teacher of Bob Marley and one of the few Rastafarian elders[48] to have met with Emperor Haile Selassie in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Hills also "reasoned" Gandhian non-violence with Leonard Howell, the original "Gong"[49] activist who founded Pinnacle, a Rastafarian community farm at Sligoville, a few miles from Hills' home. In 1958 Pinnacle was raided in a brutal crackdown by the authorities, ostensibly for growing marijuana, but in fact Rastafarianism at that time was regarded by The Crown as a threat to social harmony. Hills interceded with the Prime Minister but, with an election coming, law & order politics prevailed and many sustainable farming families had to leave the land. For his support, Hills was given the moniker "The First White Rasta". Unlike his skeptical friends and business colleagues, he saw Rastafarian spirituality as a righteous way of life, indeed growing out his hair and beard in solidarity and also in keeping with his emerging interest in the sadhus and enlightened sages of India who had much in common with the vegetarian mystical Rastafarians.[50]

Spiritual awakening

By 1960 Christopher Hills had accumulated a large metaphysical library on frequent trips to Samuel Weiser Books in New York, while writing his own books, Kingdom of Desire, Power of the Doctrine and The Power of Increased Perception. At 30 he retired from business[51] and began to research multiple spiritual paths and the physics of what Einstein called Unified field theory. Prolific research papers and lectures came out of Hills' laboratory in the Blue Mountains (Jamaica) on subjects such as bioenergetics, hypnosis, tele-thought, biophysics, effects of solar radiation on living organisms, resonant systems of ionosphere, and capacitor effects of human body on static electricity and electron discharge of the nervous system. In 1960 he began a 30-year project to document the effects of sound and color on human consciousness and states of health.[52]

Global outreach

With Norah Hills running the galleries, Hills set forth on a two-year journey travelling in Asia, Europe, Pakistan and India, meeting with members of the UN and calling on politicians, scientists and religious leaders. UNESCO hired him to shoot 1,000 photographs of their projects in faraway countries, which appeared in an exhibit at United Nations headquarters.

Hills' global odyssey's itinerary grew out of publishing his views on conflict resolution and alternative government in a manifesto, Framework for Unity, that was circulated to The Commission for Research in the Creative Faculties of Man, a network he had founded of thinkers around the world which, in 1961, included Prof. Oliver Reiser, Humphry Osmond, Dr. Andrija Puharich, David Ben-Gurion, and Lady Isobel Cripps, among its 500 members.

After teaming up with his good friend and noted lawyer Luis Kutner (co-founder of Amnesty International), Hills decided to search the world for a spot to establish a Center where a dedicated community could live and test his World Constitution for Self-Government by Nature's Laws, which he published in a book with an introduction by Bertrand Russell.[53]

Friendship with Nehru

Working his way on a speaking tour through Europe in the direction of India, Hills decided to make a precarious expedition to the remote Himalayan Hunza Valley[54] where he had long been curious about the diet and extraordinary longevity of the Pashtun, Balti and Uzbek hill tribes. In Pakistan, Hills was the guest of Professors Duranni and Walid Uddin at Peshawar's College of Engineering. Visiting Sufi holy men and Islamic scholars in Karachi, he met Zulfikar Ali Bhutto to discuss possible Indo-Pakistan cooperation in algae cultivation in the climatically suitable Gujrat-Sind border region, which is where Bhutto and his ancestors were from. Later, when Bhutto was overthrown in a military coup, Hills orchestrated urgent appeals to General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq for clemency, but, like many westerners protesting Bhutto's imprisonment, was ignored, and Bhutto was hanged.

In the 1950s Hills became known to Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru[55] through his friend the Deputy leader of India's Congress Party, Surendra Mohan Ghose, a Bengali revolutionary and relative of Sri Aurobindo. Hills invited Ghose to Jamaica,[56] to speak at the 1961 Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference, and together they formed a partnership to promote World Union and global famine relief through algae aquaculture.[57] S.M. Ghose[58] was one of the founders of Auroville, an experimental sustainable-living International Village in Tamil Nadu. In 1962 Ghose took Hills to Sri Aurobindo Ashram for a personal audience with Aurobindo's successor, spiritual head of the ashram, Mirra Alfassa, known as "The Mother". Later Ghose arranged for Christopher Hills' son, John Hills, to give the keynote address at the World Parliament of Youth in Puducherry in 1971.

Christopher Hills with Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru at Teen Murti Bhavan, New Delhi

In 1959 Hills had lobbied Nehru to approve a government in exile for the Dalai Lama fleeing persecution in Tibet and to grant full refugee status to exiled Tibetans. He had become connected to the Tibetans through his study of Buddhism and in 1960 provided funding for the Young Lama's Home School[59] in Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh founded by his English friend Freda Bedi, one of Gandhi's handpicked satyagrahis[60] who became Gelongma Karma Kechog Palmo,[61] the first Western woman to take ordination in Tibetan Buddhism.[62] Freda Bedi is the mother of film and television star Kabir Bedi.[63] In 1968 Hills contributed to Freda Bedi's building of the Karma Drubgyu Thargay Ling nunnery at Tilokpur in the Kangra Valley and helped organize her journey to the West with the 16th Gyalwa Karmapa, Rangjung Rigpe Dorje in 1974.

When Hills arrived in India, he found Nehru besieged by border disputes with China and discussion inevitably turned to Hills' theories of conflict resolution and how to avoid war.[64] Their connection also evolved out of the fact that India was experiencing famine in some states. With dependence on wheat shipments from the United States, Hills helped lobby President Lyndon Johnson for an increase in wheat aid, which was granted. But when Hills mentioned his research with algae as a food source, then Nehru became interested and offered to support cultivation in India. (PDF will be posted)

While in New Delhi, Hills spent time with the prime minister at Teen Murti Bhavan, enjoying Jawaharlal Nehru's rose gardens and meeting his daughter Indira Gandhi. Hills was the guest of Indian industrialist G.D. Birla, where on his first day in India, he had met Swami Shantananda, an enlightened sage and a remarkably politically connected guru with whom Hills would travel throughout India for two years, much like a roaming sanyassin. On one of his "pilgrimages", Hills was taken by Shantanananda and Nehru's Parliamentary Secretary S.D. Upadhyaya to Brindavan for a private audience with India's highest female yogini Sri Anandamayi Ma, from whom he felt a "genuine sublime holiness" and received one of the most significant blessings in his life.[65]

In Patna, Bihar, Hills, along with Dr Raynor Johnson, were the only Europeans to attend the 1961 Science & Spirituality Conference, where seeds were sown for Hills' decade of cooperation with hundreds of Indian scientists and yogis, many of whom eventually journeyed to visit Hills' centers in the West and who comprised many of the delegates for a 1970 Yoga conference Hills staged in New Delhi.

In 1963, the Sri Aurobindo Ashram and Gandhi Peace Foundation sponsored another conference in Patna, hosted by Dr. Rajendra Prasad, Mahatma Gandhi's longtime right-hand disciple and first President of India. Prasad was supposed to speak at the conference but became ill, and Hills' guru Shantananda was leading prayers for him every day at the Sadaqat Ashram in Patna. Prasad requested to meet Hills, whose goals for World Union he had heard about from Nehru. Hills considered Prasad the most spiritual of the founders of Independent India, and their meeting was a profound encounter in which Prasad gave his blessing for Hills' global endeavors, but then the president lost consciousness, tightly holding onto Hills' hand.[66] Apparently Prasad never recovered, and at the time, there was a controversy that the man who, through satyagraha, had resisted multiple British governments and Viceroys and been jailed by them for so many years, had said his last words to an Englishman.

Microalgae International

In earlier travels from Jamaica to Japan, Hills had formed an aquaculture research company with his friend and colleague, biologist Dr Hiroshi Nakamura, Dean of Tokyo Women's University. Dr Nakamura was a noted scientist[67] and a colleague of Emperor Hirohito (himself a marine biologist) who asked Nakamura to research alternative food sources for Japan after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had devastated food supplies. The goal of Hills and Nakmura's organization Microalgae International Union, was to develop strains of algae as a way of harnessing the sun's energy for biofuels and human nutrition and as a solution to World Hunger.[68] Presented with M.I.U.'s feasibility studies, Indian Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru endorsed Hills' proposal for bringing the cultivation of protein-rich Chlorella algae to the villages of India.[69]

With India's Home Minister, Gulzari Lal Nanda, Hills had co-founded the Institute of Psychic and Spiritual Research in New Delhi. A devout Gandhian, Nanda feared social upheaval and possible communal violence if poor and hungry villagers started migrating to India's cities so he threw his support behind Hills' plan for developing rural economies via small footprint aquaculture that could help villages become sustainable. A detailed plan for a pilot project in the Rann of Kutch was approved by the Indian government. However, the initiative became mired in bureaucracy when Nehru died in 1964. Nanda became acting prime minister but only until the new Prime Minister Lal Bahadur Shastri was nominated to succeed Nehru. Shastri continued working with Hills and had his staff prepare a budget request for Parliament to fund the chlorella algae project. However, because it competed with traditional agricultural interests, the aquaculture project became victim to political jockeying as well as an outbreak of war with Pakistan. With Shastri's mysterious death[70] at the 1966 India-Pakistan peace conference in Tashkent, the project lost its key sponsor.

Nevertheless, the networks Hills had established with the founders of modern India proved valuable when his son, John Hills, was introduced by Nanda and S.M. Ghose to Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, who helped the younger Hills[71] garner support among India's Congress party and religious leaders for India's largest conference of Western scientists and Indian yogis.[72]

Centre House, London

Members of Centre House community with Hatha Yoga teacher Malcolm Strutt and Yoga Master B.K.S. Iyengar

Three years after Jamaica's 1962 declaration of Independence from Britain, the Hills family moved to London, at the suggestion of two of his mentors, Bertrand Russell and Sir George Trevelyan, 4th Baronet. They helped Hills find and purchase a six-story Edwardian building in London's leafy Kensington. There Christopher Hills and others, including Kevin Kingsland, founded Centre House, a self-discovery and human-potential community[73] known as a nucleus of yoga and spirituality in the emerging New Age movement throughout the late sixties and seventies. Seekers came from all over the world to study with visiting gurus, such as Swami Satchidananda, Muktananda, B.K.S. Iyengar, Sangharakshita and John G. Bennett as well as Sanskrit scholar Dr. Rammurti Mishra,[74] Christmas Humphreys, Tibetan lamas, chief Druids, homeopathic doctors and scientists studying meditation, telepathy and neuroplasticity in Hills' Yoga Science laboratory. It was here Christopher Hills wrote his magnum opus, Nuclear Evolution[75] - recognized as a definitive treatise on the chakras as they relate to the human endocrine system, light frequencies and human personality. Yoga Journal described the book as, "Synthesizing a vast amount of information ranging from the structure of DNA to the metaphysics of consciousness" and also as, "A giant step forward in integrating science with religion in a meaningful way."[76]

Centre House was an experiment in group consciousness where the majority of residents were well-educated students, teachers and scientists interested in the convergence of science and spirituality. For a while the large basement kitchen was a macrobiotic restaurant, first run by Craig Sams,[77]:141 then called Gandalf's Garden which counted John Lennon amongst its health-conscious patrons. Its founder, Muz Murray (Ramana Baba),[78] was one of the early residents of Centre House and there published the first issues of Gandalf's Garden magazine, a publication chronicling the vitality of London's New Age scene. Kevin Kingsland went on to found the Centre for Human Communication in Devon and Grael Associates (a Community Company)..

World Conference on Scientific Yoga, New Delhi

In December 1970 Christopher Hills, his son John, and Kevin Kingsland organized the world's first World Conference on Scientific Yoga (WCSY)[79] in New Delhi, bringing 50 Western scientists together with 800 of India's leading swamis, yogis and lamas to discuss their research and establish a network for the creation of a World Yoga University.

John Hills discusses the World Conference on Scientific Yoga program with Dhirendra Brahmachari and Amrit Desai in New Delhi

The conference generated some controversy[80] when Indian politics intersected with religion,[81] particularly the concept of Christ Yoga, a book Hills had written linking Christ's teachings to those of Buddha and the Vedas. But the conclave nevertheless emerged as a milestone in the soon-to-be-booming migration of Indian yogis to the West. John Hills,[82] helped by his father's prior relationship with Nehru, worked with India's Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the Nehrus' yoga master Dhirendra Brahmachari to steer a fractious committee of MPs, ministers and often competitive spiritual leaders from disparate religions and castes into creating a uniquely diverse and widely hailed program of events.[83] Presenters from the West included transpersonal psychology pioneer Dr. Stanislav Grof and Dr. Sidney Jourard who compared their research in lively sessions with Indian scholars, scientists, philosophers and yogis such as B.K.S. Iyengar, Shri K. Pattabhi Jois, Jiddu Krishnamurti, Swami Satchidananda, Padma Bhushan Murugappa Channaveerappa Modi,[84] R.R. Diwaker, Swami Rama, Acharya Dharma Deva Vidya Martand, Kaivalyadhama Health and Yoga Research Center and yoga hospital founder Dr. G. S. Melkote, M.P.[85]

The actor James Coburn, a yoga and martial arts practitioner, described the World Conference on Scientific Yoga as "Very rewarding for me, definitely worth the time and money getting here."[86]

During the conference, Dhirendra Brahmachari presided over the wedding of organizer Kevin Kingsland and yoga teacher Venika Mehra. James Coburn also attended. Kevin and Venika Kingsland went on to establish various Centres for Human Communication in the UK, USA and India, teaching yoga, human communication and promoting community consciousness.

Post-conference, the select delegates' presentations were published in CHAKRA magazine, founded with the help of Tantra scholar Ajit Mookerjee and Indian art patron Virendra Kumar and edited by John Hills whose first venture in publishing was mentored by Baburao Patel M.P., editor of Filmindia and Mother India magazines.[87]

The conference was deemed a success and Christopher Hills was elected by a majority of the delegates to establish a World Yoga University somewhere on the planet. A mission that would take him from the United Kingdom to the United States.[88]

University of the Trees

As the spiritual axis shifted to America, Christopher Hills visited his friend Laura Huxley[89] who urged him to move to the United States where he settled in Boulder Creek, California, and became a U.S. citizen. There, amidst the ancient redwoods, he founded in 1973,[90] an accredited college, University of the Trees, an alternative education and research center for the social sciences to study the laws of nature and their relation to human consciousness.[90] Students lived on campus and studied subjects as diverse as Radionics and dowsing (Hills was a well-known diviner[91]), meditation, hatha yoga, the Vedas, and early forms of social networking he called "Group Consciousness".

The campus housed University of the Trees Press which published Christopher Hills' writings and the research of a number of resident students who obtained degrees at the university and wrote books on light & color frequencies and the science of Radionics. A small workshop produced pendulums for dowsing and a line of negative ion generators. With the buildup of the vitamin business surrounding discoveries that spirulina had significant weight loss benefits University of the Trees became one of the largest employers in the San Lorenzo Valley[92] and leased more than 10 buildings in Boulder Creek for housing students and warehousing for Light Force,[93] a burgeoning nutritional products brand based on spirulina.

From this base in California, Hills extended his hospitality to a pantheon of visiting scientists, writers, philosophers and scholars such as Alan Watts, Edgar Mitchell, Barbara Marx Hubbard, Allen Ginsberg, Thelma Moss, Hiroshi Motoyama, Haridas Chaudhuri, Sri Lanka president Ranasinghe Premadasa, Menninger Foundation's Swami Rama, Dr. Evarts G. Loomis, Viktoras Kulvinskas, Max Lüscher, Marcia Moore, Bernard Jensen and countless others in the fields of human potential, holistic health, aquaculture, religion, quantum physics and alternative medicine.


Within the campus, Hills founded an experimental laboratory, managed by physicist Dr. Robert Massy,[94] to develop his theories on the Electro Vibratory Body – documenting what Hills' colleague Stanford University's William A. Tiller Ph.D,[95] calls "subtle energies" or "psychoenergetics". Shortly before he died radionics pioneer George de la Warr donated a substantial portion of his research files, library and instruments to Christopher Hills. In 1975 Hills wrote the book Supersensonics: The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, widely considered "The Bible of dowsing"[96] The book sheds new light on divining, telepathy, The I Ching, Egypt's Pyramids, Biblical miracles and discusses the value of low level extrasensory phenomena vs higher levels of insight, wisdom and consciousness. New Age Journal magazine called Supersensonics "A short course in miracles for scientist and seeker alike."[97]

International philanthropy

With the Cold War in full swing liberation from the evils of totalitarianism was a constant theme in Hills writings. He lobbied hard against the KGB's persecution of Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and the internal exile with police surveillance of Andrei Sakharov and the denial of an exit visa for Natan Sharansky's emigration to Israel.

Award presented to Christopher Hills for his humanitarian services during the Soviet–Afghan War

Christopher Hills' lifelong crusade against dictatorships and Man's inhumanity was manifested in the book Rise of the Phoenix while his passionate beliefs against deficit spending were set forth in a book on the global economy—The Golden Egg.[98] A recurring theme throughout all Christopher Hills' approaches to world, local and family problems was a process he developed called "Creative Conflict"—the same principles of solving differences between individuals, political parties and even nations that Hills had debated with Adlai Stevenson, Nehru and Luis Kutner.

Throughout the seventies and eighties Hills focused on international affairs, particularly the emergence of democracy in the Soviet Republics, eventually traveling to Russia to meet with Mikhail Gorbachev where he joined the Soviet Peace Committee. U.S. Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush bestowed awards on Hills for his commitment to democratic freedom and his humanitarian support for victims of oppression.

The Christopher Hills Foundation donated more than $9 million worth of spirulina products to charitable organizations in the U.S. and abroad. When the Soviet Union had occupied Afghanistan, Hills learned from his friends in Peshawar that Afghan freedom fighter Ahmad Shah Masoud's mujahadeen troops as well as Tajik and Pashtun tribals were starving because supply routes had been cut by Russian forces. Hills donated and shipped $300,000 worth of spirulina, which was packed in by mules with help from Senator Charlie Wilson to sustain the Afghans.[99]

In 1989 Sri Lanka president Ranasinghe Premadasa, struggling to find a formula to end the Sri Lankan Civil War, traveled to Boulder Creek to meet with Hills and learn more about his conflict resolution concepts. The two men shared a spiritual connection and established a close friendship. Premadasa then brought the Ceylon conflict closer to a democratic solution than any other Sri Lankan president had. However, the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam hierarchy had split and in 1993 a faction assassinated Premadasa in a suicide bombing that killed 23 people.[100]

Spirulina: food from sunlight

Hills and Nakamura had a vision of feeding the world from lakes, seas and backyard aquaculture and in 1975 they authored a book, Food from Sunlight which published all their proprietary research as open source for the world to use in the cause against global famine and malnutrition. Their company, Microalgae International, invested in research and technology to find a super food for solving World Hunger. Early research focused on chlorella but its cellular structure was too small to be collected without expensive centrifuges. However, in 1967, while Dr Nakamura was living at Centre House, they discovered that women at Lake Chad were harvesting an algae in baskets to make dihé, a highly nutritious sun-baked biscuit. After studying the lakes of Africa, Hills and Dr Nakamura developed seed culture for a strain of 70% protein algae called spirulina that they had collected from Lake Aranguachi in Ethiopia. Later, in 1981, Dr Hills made an expedition to Lake Chiltu at the invitation of Mr. Wollie Chekal, Minister of Trade for the Ethiopian Revolutionary Government and brought back a new set of spirulina samples to his California laboratory for hybridizing an optimal strain for commercial cultivation.

For millennia spirulina had been a food staple for natives of Lake Chad and also for the Aztecs but Hills funded much of the early experimentation needed for its successful modern day mass cultivation, described in Dr Nakamura's book Spirulina: Food for a Hungry World.[101]

To manufacture spirulina nutritional products Hills started the Light Force company in Santa Cruz, California, which was one of the early models for multi-level marketing. Customers began reporting weight loss and health benefits from spirulina and the success story was featured in The National Enquirer.[102] Sales skyrocketed into the millions of dollars propelling Light Force to 50,000 distributors worldwide. To grow that much spirulina Hills formed joint ventures with Koor Foods in Eilat, Israel,[103] Taiwan Aqua in Taipei and Sosa Texcoco at Lake Texcoco in Mexico. Hills also had an association with Cyanotech on the Big Island of Hawaii which grew a very pure Pacifica brand of spirulina. By 1995 more than 5,000 tons of spirulina a year were being imported for Light Force products. To encourage domestic research and production Hills purchased a 150-acre farm and built raceway ponds filled from the land's own natural geothermal aquifer in Desert Hot Springs, California. Professor Nakamura's student and protégé Dr Kotaro Kawaguchi relocated from Japan as chief research scientist and working with Sebastian Thomas, an algae cultivation expert from India, they refined desert-grown spirulina into consumable powder using the world's first 90,000 sq ft (8,400 m2) solar heated dryer.

While a staff of 40 ran the Southern California "Green Gold Farms," harvesting its own U.S.-grown spirulina for Light Force, Hills built a 13,000-square-foot (1,200 m2) home/laboratory on a mountain in the redwoods of Boulder Creek, California, dedicated to researching neutraceuticals and as a gathering place for scientists, innovators and spiritual "map makers". Three years after moving to the new home Norah Hills died from Alzheimers eliciting an outpouring of affection from the many who had seen her as the "divine mother" and a significant force in all that Christopher Hills had achieved.

Santa Cruz sanctuary

At the property he built a Hollywood quality video production studio to produce films on Enlightenment and, through new media, to inspire people to celebrate what he called the "Divine Goddess".[104] The studio is run today by his second wife, artist/producer Penny Slinger Hills.

In 1996, after three decades of globetrotting, Hills visited Vietnam to invest in a naturally carbonated underground spring water venture. He contracted an obscure virus which caused a deterioration of his health. Light Force and the research company Biogenics were sold to Royal Body Care which continued to market the products.

Christopher Hills died at home January 31, 1997[90] leaving his wife Penny Slinger Hills, two sons, John Hills and Anthony Hills and four grandchildren. He believed that "Algae biomass was God's way of providing an inexhaustible source of energy from the sun". Today millions of health conscious people enjoy the health benefits of spirulina in myriad products worldwide. Recent innovations have moved algae to the front burner as researchers recognize its efficiency as a carbon sequestration mechanism and alternative biofuel.

Hills' legacy of bio-innovation and commitment to hunger relief is being carried forward by the Christopher Hills Foundation.


Christopher Hills wrote over 30 books. The following are a selection of his works:

• The Power of Increased Perception—Philosophical Library New York, 1958
• Kingdom of Desire—Philosophical Library New York, 1959
• Supersenonics—The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, ISBN 0-916438-18-X (1975)
• Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body (2nd ed.), ISBN 0-916438-12-0 (1977) (hardcover)
• Food from Sunlight—Planetary Survival for Hungry People, ISBN 0-916438-13-9 (1978)
• Rise of the Phoenix—Universal Government by Nature's Laws, ISBN 0-916438-04-X (1979)
• The Golden Egg, ISBN 0-916438-32-5 (1979)
• Creative Conflict—The Secret to Heart-to-Heart Communication, ISBN 0-916438-36-8 (1980)
• The Christ Book, ISBN 0-916438-32-5 (1982)
• Spirulina—Food for a Hungry World, ISBN 0-916438-47-3 (1982)
• Instruments of Knowing—Human Biological Sensitivity, ISBN 0-916438-22-8 (1985)
• The Book of Vision, ISBN 978-0-916438-63-0 (1995)

Christopher Hills Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to empowerment of rural economies and feeding the world's hungry.


1. San Jose Mercury News obituary, February 2, 1997:- "Spirulina Czar"
2. Western Guru Scientist – Holistic Health & Medicine magazine, 1988
3. Natural Foods Pioneer – Los Angeles Times, Feb 10, 1997
4. "Evolutionary Revolutionary" – Monterey Peninsula Herald, Jan 29, 1977
5. Modern Merlin, Hills Seeks Answers in the Mountains – Oakland Tribune, 1978
6. The Movie of Life – Early Morning Meditations series, volume MM3
7. Thirty thousand men of the British Merchant Navy were killed. Battle of Wits, p. 280, ISBN 0-684-85932-7
8. "Indisputably one of Jamaica's most successful self-made men" - Sunday Gleaner, March 8, 1972
9. "Andrew Mackenzie Hay, 73, Trade Expert". The New York Times. 18 May 2001.
10. "The Queen of the New Age". The New York Times. 4 May 2008.
11. Louise Hay Interview, 23 April 2007.
12. "32 Years in Civil Defence" Mr. Bremner a leading figure in civil defence since 1930 awarded the British Empire Medal, Eastern Daily Press, pg 5, Oct 11, 1962
13. "Mr. and Mrs. B.E. Bremner, Mayor and Mayoress of Lynn" Lynn News, July 27, 1954
14. "History of King's Lynn Civic Society".
15. The Times (London), Thursday, 8 July 1993; p. 4 col. D and p. 19 col. A
16. Williamson, D The Ancestry of Lady Diana Spencer In: Genealogist’s Magazine, 1981; vol. 20 (no. 6) p. 192-199 and vol. 20 (no. 8) p. 281-282
17. "Kings Lynn Ceremony". Getty Images. 26 July 1954.
18. Music Awards, Christopher Hills Challenge Cup - The Daily Gleaner, July 4, 1955
19. "Statistics Support Call for Third Party" - Daily Gleaner, September 13, 1949
20. Given in Marriage by Mr. N. W. Manley K.C. - Daily Gleaner, July 31, 1950
21. "She changed Jamaica for the better" - Globe and Mail, June. 16, 2009
22. "Edna Manley: The Mother of Modern Jamaican Art" - Woman's Art Journal, Vol. 7, No. 2 (Autumn 1986 - Winter 1987) pp. 36-40
23. Hills Galleries - Daily Gleaner March 3, 1954
24. "The Selected Writings of Simón Bolívar". The Colonial Press Inc. 1951.
25. "Queen Mother and Lady Fermoy visit Jamaica" - Daily Gleaner, February 22, 1965
26. "Lady Morley opens Hills Galleries exhibition" - Daily Gleaner, November 21, 1962, p 20
27. "Of Beauty and Majesty", Princess Margaret's visit - Daily Gleaner, February 24, 1955
28. Knodler Gallery New York - "Jamaican Paintings Join Top Bracket" - Daily Gleaner, July 15, 1958
29. "Hills Dine with Elizabeth Taylor, Eddie Fisher" - Sunday Gleaner, March 31, 1960
30. "Elizabeth Taylor buys three Gaston Tabois paintings from Hills Galleries: "Village Street", "Rock River", "Rio Cobre Dam" - Daily Gleaner, March 26, 1960, p 18
31. "Dealer's Art" - Daily Gleaner, February 22, 1960
32. "Gaston Tabois First Solo Show at Hills Galleries, 1955". Daily Gleaner. 2 December 2012.
33. Tamara Scott-Williams, "Barrington Watson: A life in paint", Jamaica Observer, 16 October 2011.
34. "Albert Huie, First solo exhibition at Hills Galleries 1955". The Jamaica Gleaner. 24 December 2000.
35. "Huie More Than a Superb Craftsman" - Sunday Gleaner Magazine, October 28, 1973
36. Hills Galleries "This Is Jamaica" exhibit - Daily Gleaner, July 31, 1962
37. "Artists sail to Round Hill exhibit aboard Christopher Hills' yacht the 40-ton Robanne" - Daily Gleaner, April 17, 1956, p 12
38. New York Socialites Appreciate Jamaica's "Intuitive Art" - Sunday Gleaner, March 3, 1956
39. Art & Artists - New York Times, March 2, 1956
40. A World of Glory to Record. Review by George Campbell - Daily Gleaner, March 26, 1956
41. "Robin Moore's Big Marlin Bet" Telepathy experiment, Supersenonics - The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, 0-916438-18-X (1975) p 593
42. "Industrialist Who Built Fabled Art Collection, Dies at 81". The New York Times. 28 April 2002.
43. "Pellew Island". Jamaica Environment Trust. 5 March 2012.
44. "Jamaican Mementoes" - Daily Gleaner, September 18, 1955
45. Adlai Stevenson paid $328.00 with Northern Trust Company personal check No.5162 ($2,884 in today's dollars)
46. Rise of the Phoenix - Universal Government by Nature's Laws, 0-916438-04-X (1979)
47. "Rasta Spirit Knows no Boundaries" - Daily Gleaner, June 22, 1960
48. "Revered Rastafarian leader". The Independent. 25 April 2006.
49. Bob Marley named his record label Tuff Gong after Leonard "The Gong" Howell
50. "Back to Africa" movement, Christopher Hills' speech at Addis Ababa - Kingston Gleaner July 22, 1960.
51. "The Business of Art" - Business Sketch Magazine, July 1961
52. Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body (2nd ed.), ISBN 0-916438-12-0, pp. 108, 190, 431
53. Christ Yoga of Peace - Centre Publications, 1966
54. "Hunza – Dreamland of the Hillside Farmer". Sunday Gleaner, Feb. 3, 1963
55. "The Nehru I Knew" – Sunday Gleaner, full page, May 31, 1964.
56. S.M. Ghose, Commonwealth Parliamentary Conference – Daily Gleaner, Nov 7, 1961
57. Food from Sunlight - Planetary Survival for Hungry People, 0-916438-13-9 (1978)
58. "Indian Leader to announce World Centre project" – Daily Gleaner, November 4, 1964
59. Cave in the Snow: A Western Woman's Quest for Enlightenment, Vicki Mackenzie, 1999, ISBN 1-58234-045-5
60. Andrew Rawlinson, "The Book of Enlightened Masters". Open Court, 1997, ISBN 0-8126-9310-8, p. 181
61. The Revolutionary Life of Freda Bedi, Vicki Mackenzie, 2017, ISBN 9781611804256
62. "Remembering Freda". Mid-Day Magazine. 27 March 2015.
63. "Internationally acclaimed Indian actor". IMDb. 1971–2016.
64. Creative Conflict - The Secret of Heart-to-Heart Communication, 0-916438-36-8 (1980)
65. The One I Love, ISBN 0-916438-51-1, p. 96
66. The President's Last Words – The One I Love, ISBN 0-916438-51-1, p. 153
67. "SPIRULINA - Food From The Sun's Light". Yoga Journal. May–June 1982. p. 44.
68. Spirulina - Food for a Hungry World, 0-916438-47-3 - Micro Algae International Union, pp. 5, 69, 85
69. Food from Sunlight, 0-916438-13-9, pp. 103–109
70. "Mystery of Prime Minister Shastri's Death". Indian Express. 2 August 2009.
71. "Young British Yogi Plans World Meet", Hindustan Times, Sept 17, 1970, p.5
72. "World Conference on Scientific Yoga" – Times of India, Nov. 30, 1970
73. "The Superman Project", News of the World, Dec 5, 1966
74. Rammurti S. Mishra - Yoga Sutras: The Textbook of Yoga Psychology
75. Nuclear Evolution: Discovery of the Rainbow Body (2nd ed.), ISBN 0-916438-12-0
76. Yoga Journal magazine - The Rainbow Body, March 1978
77. Green, Jonathon (1988). Days In The Life: Voices from the English Underground 1961-1971. Heinemann. ISBN 978-1-448-10444-4. I remember Christopher Hills, who ran the Centre House, calling down one day, 'Can you please not smoke marijuana - we can smell it on the third floor.' After that we put in a guest book which said, 'I am not in possession of any kind of drugs,' and everyone signed it including Yoko Ono
78. "Gandalf's Garden publisher Muz Murray aka Ramana Baba".
79. "World Yoga Conference" – Times of India, Nov. 30, 1970
80. "Masters of Emotions – Yogis Wind Up Parley By Losing Tempers", Los Angeles Times, Dec 24, 1970
81. "Yogis Act Unyogalike", The Daily Herald, Dec 24, 1970
82. "Young British Yogi Plans World Meet", Hindustan Times, Sept 17, 1970, p.5
83. Time magazine, Dec 27, 1970 – "World Conference on Scientific Yoga"
84. "Man With A Vision". The Deccan Herald. 20 December 2005. Archived from the original on 12 February 2012.
85. "Members Bioprofile". Lok Sabha. 26 December 2008. Archived from the originalon 3 July 2011.
86. "Yogi Film Moghul" – Times of India, Dec 23, 1970
87. "Editor's Welcome" - CHAKRA Magazine, Vol 1, March–May, 1971
88. "Yoga University Seeks Site" - San Mateo Times, March 4, 1972
89. "Laura Huxley Obituary". The Guardian. 17 December 2007.
90. "Christopher Hills; Natural Foods Pioneer, Microbiologist". Los Angeles Times. Feb 10, 1997.
91. "Incredible Feat" – National Enquirer, June 22, 1976, p. 14 (Diviner finds stolen loot for Santa Cruz Police)
92. "From Counterculture to Mainstream" – Santa Cruz Sentinel (Cover), Aug 19, 1984
93. "Spirulina – Miracle Pill or Mind Pill? " – The Press Democrat, September 24, 1981, p. 11
94. "Revealing Look Into World Of Luminous Revelations", The Times, San Mateo, September 22, 1977
95. Robert Koehler (June 2, 2004). "What the #$*! Do We Know!? (Film review)". Variety. Retrieved April 3, 2012.
96. Supersenonics: The Science of Radiational Paraphysics, 0-916438-18-X (1975)
97. New Age Journal, July/August, 1976
98. The Golden Egg – 0-916438-32-5 (1979)
99. Hills received a Humanitarian Award from the Afghan National Islamic Council, 1985
100. "Assassination Clues Point to Tamil Rebels". Los Angeles Times. 3 May 1993.
101. Spirulina - Food for a Hungry World, 0-916438-47-3
102. "Doctors Praise Safe Diet Pill" – National Enquirer (Cover), June 2, 1981, p. 23
103. Hills-Koor Red Sea Negev Algae Partnership - How to Feed the Hungry, 1981
104. The Visionary State - 0-811848-35-3 (2006)

External links

• Penny Slinger
• John Hills
• Christopher Hills Foundation
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 6:24 am

Bengal Presidency
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/16/19



Bengal Presidency (1757–1912)
Bengal Province (1912–1947)
Presidency & province of British India
Flag of Bengal Presidency
Coat of arms of Bengal Presidency
Coat of arms
The presidency at its greatest extent
Capital Calcutta

The Bengal Presidency (1757–1912), later reorganized as the Bengal Province (1912–1947), was once the largest subdivision (presidency) of British India following the dissolution of the Mughal Bengal, with its seat in Calcutta (now Kolkata). It was primarily centred in the Bengal region. At its territorial peak in the 19th century, the presidency extended from the present-day Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan in the west to Burma, Singapore and Penang in the east. The Governor of Bengal was concurrently the Viceroy of India for many years. Most of the presidency's territories were eventually incorporated into other British Indian provinces and crown colonies. In 1905, Bengal proper was partitioned, with Eastern Bengal and Assam headquartered in Dacca and Shillong (summer capital). British India was reorganised in 1912 and the presidency was reunited into a single Bengali-speaking province.

The Bengal Presidency was established in 1765, following the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 23 June 1757, and the Battle of Buxar in 22 October 1764. Bengal was the economic, cultural and educational hub of the British Raj. During the period of proto-industrialization, Bengal made direct significant contributions to the Industrial revolution in Britain, although it was soon undertaken by the Kingdom of Mysore ruled by Tipu Sultan as South Asia's dominant economic power.[1]

It was the centre of the late 19th and early 20th century Bengali Renaissance and a hotbed of the Indian Independence Movement.

The Partition of British India in 1947 resulted in Bengal's division on religious grounds, between the Indian state of West Bengal and the Pakistani province of East Bengal, which first became East Pakistan in 1955 under Pakistani rule and finally the nation of Bangladesh in 1971.

Administrative changes and the Permanent Settlement

See also: Cornwallis in India

British conquest after the defeat of the last independent Nawab of Bengal at the Battle of Plassey in 1757

The Victoria Memorial, Kolkata, built in honour of Queen Victoria, Empress of India

A steam engine of the Bengal Provincial Railway, 1905. Bengal was the sixth earliest region in the world to have a railway network in 1854, after Britain, the United States, Italy, France and Spain.[2]

Contemporary map from 1858

Administrative divisions of Lower Bengal, the directly administered part of the presidency

Map showing the result of the partition of Bengal in 1905. The western part (Bengal) gained parts of Orissa, while the eastern part (Eastern Bengal and Assam) regained Assam that had been made a separate province in 1874.

Under Warren Hastings (British Governorships 1772–1785) the consolidation of British imperial rule over Bengal was solidified, with the conversion of a trade area into an occupied territory under a military-civil government, while the formation of a regularised system of legislation was brought in under John Shore. Acting through Lord Cornwallis, then Governor-General, he ascertained and defined the rights of the landholders over the soil. These landholders under the previous system had started, for the most part, as collectors of the revenues, and gradually acquired certain prescriptive rights as quasi-proprietors of the estates entrusted to them by the government. In 1793 Lord Cornwallis declared their rights perpetual, and gave over the land of Bengal to the previous quasi-proprietors or zamindars, on condition of the payment of a fixed land tax. This piece of legislation is known as the Permanent Settlement of the Land Revenue. It was designed to "introduce" ideas of property rights to India, and stimulate a market in land. The former aim misunderstood the nature of landholding in India, and the latter was an abject failure.

The Cornwallis Code, while defining the rights of the proprietors, failed to give adequate recognition to the rights of the under-tenants and the cultivators. This remained a serious problem for the duration of British Rule, as throughout the Bengal Presidency ryots (peasants) found themselves oppressed by rack-renting landlords, who knew that every rupee they could squeeze from their tenants over and above the fixed revenue demanded from the Government represented pure profit. Furthermore, the Permanent Settlement took no account of inflation, meaning that the value of the revenue to Government declined year by year, whilst the heavy burden on the peasantry grew no less. This was compounded in the early 19th century by compulsory schemes for the cultivation of opium and indigo, the former by the state, and the latter by British planters (most especially in Tirhut District in Bihar). Peasants were forced to grow a certain area of these crops, which were then purchased at below market rates for export. This added greatly to rural poverty.

So unsuccessful was the Permanent Settlement that it was not introduced in the North-Western Provinces (taken from the Marathas during the campaigns of Lord Lake and Arthur Wellesley) after 1831, in Punjab after its conquest in 1849, or in Oudh which was annexed in 1856. These regions were nominally part of the Bengal Presidency, but remained administratively distinct. The area of the Presidency under direct administration was sometimes referred to as Lower Bengal to distinguish it from the Presidency as a whole. Officially Punjab, Agra and Allahabad had Lieutenant-Governors subject to the authority of the Governor of Bengal in Calcutta, but in practice they were more or less independent. The only all-Presidency institutions which remained were the Bengal Army and the Civil Service. The Bengal Army was finally amalgamated into the new British-Indian Army in 1904–5, after a lengthy struggle over its reform between Lord Kitchener, the Commander-in-Chief, and Lord Curzon, the Viceroy.

1905 Partition of Bengal

Main articles: Partition of Bengal (1905) and Eastern Bengal and Assam

Eastern Bengal and Assam

Bihar and Orissa Province

A jute mill in Narayanganj, 1906. East Bengal accounted for 80% of the world's jute supply.[3]

The partition of the large province of Bengal, which was decided upon by Lord Curzon, and Cayan Uddin Ahmet, the Chief Secretary of Bengal carried into execution in October 1905. The Chittagong, Dhaka and Rajshahi divisions, the Malda District and the States of Hill Tripura, Sylhet and Comilla were transferred from Bengal to a new province, Eastern Bengal and Assam; the five Hindi-speaking states of Chota Nagpur, namely Changbhakar, Korea, Surguja, Udaipur and Jashpur State, were transferred from Bengal to the Central Provinces; and Sambalpur State and the five Oriya states of Bamra, Rairakhol, Sonepur, Patna and Kalahandi were transferred from the Central Provinces to Bengal.

The province of West Bengal then consisted of the thirty-three districts of Burdwan, Birbhum, Bankura, Midnapur, Hughli, Howrah, Twenty-four Parganas, Calcutta, Nadia, Murshidabad, Jessore, Khulna, Patna, Gaya, Shahabad, Saran, Champaran, Muzaffarpur, Darbhanga, Monghyr, Bhagalpur, Purnea, Santhal Parganas, Cuttack, Balasore, Angul and Kandhmal, Puri, Sambalpur, Singhbhum, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Palamau, and Manbhum. The princely states of Sikkim and the tributary states of Odisha and Chhota Nagpur were not part of Bengal, but British relations with them were managed by its government.

The Indian Councils Act 1909 expanded the legislative councils of Bengal and Eastern Bengal and Assam provinces to include up to 50 nominated and elected members, in addition to three ex officio members from the executive council.[4]

Bengal's legislative council included 22 nominated members, of which not more than 17 could be officials, and two nominated experts. Of the 26 elected members, one was elected by the Corporation of Calcutta, six by municipalities, six by district boards, one by the University of Calcutta, five by landholders, four by Muslims, two by the Bengal Chamber of Commerce, and one by the Calcutta Trades Association. Eastern Bengal and Assam's legislative council included 22 nominated members, of which not more than 17 be officials and one representing Indian commerce, and two nominated experts. Of the 18 elected members, three were elected by municipalities, five by district and local boards, two by landowners, four by Muslims, two by the tea interest, one by the jute interest, and one by the Commissioners of the Port of Chittagong.[5]

The partition of Bengal proved highly controversial, as it resulted in a largely Hindu West Bengal and a largely Muslim East. Serious popular agitation followed the step, partly on the grounds that this was part of a cynical policy of divide and rule, and partly that the Bengali population, the centre of whose interests and prosperity was Calcutta, would now be divided under two governments, instead of being concentrated and numerically dominant under the one, while the bulk would be in the new division. In 1906–1909 the unrest developed to a considerable extent, requiring special attention from the Indian and Home governments, and this led to the decision being reversed in 1911.

Reorganisation of Bengal, 1912

Administrative divisions of the province following re-organisation (Manbhum and Sylhet not included)

At the Delhi Durbar on 12 December 1911, King George V announced the transfer of the seat of the Government of India from Calcutta to Delhi, the reunification of the five predominantly Bengali-speaking divisions into a Presidency (or province) of Bengal under a Governor, the creation of a new province of Bihar and Orissa under a lieutenant-governor, and that Assam Province would be reconstituted under a chief commissioner. On 21 March 1912 Thomas Gibson-Carmichael was appointed Governor of Bengal; prior to that date the Governor-General of India had also served as governor of Bengal Presidency. On 22 March the provinces of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa and Assam were constituted.[6]

The Government of India Act 1919 increased the number of nominated and elected members of the legislative council from 50 to 125, and the franchise was expanded.[7]

Bihar and Orissa became separate provinces in 1936. Bengal remained in its 1912 boundaries until Independence in 1947, when it was again partitioned between the dominions of India and Pakistan.

Dyarchy (1920–37)

British India's Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms of 1919, enacted in 1921, expanded the Bengal Legislative Council to 140 members to include more elected Indian members. The reforms also introduced the principle of dyarchy, whereby certain responsibilities such as agriculture, health, education, and local government, were transferred to elected ministers. However, the important portfolios like finance, police and irrigation were reserved with members of the Governor's Executive Council. Some of the prominent ministers were Surendranath Banerjee (Local Self-government and Public Health 1921-1923), Sir Provash Chunder Mitter (Education 1921–1924, Local Self-government, Public Health, Agriculture and Public Works 1927–1928), Nawab Saiyid Nawab Ali Chaudhuri (Agriculture and Public Works) and A. K. Fazlul Huq (Education 1924). Bhupendra Nath Bose and Sir Abdur Rahim were Executive Members in the Governor's Council.[8]

Provincial Autonomy

The Government of India Act 1935 made the Bengal Presidency into a regular province, enlarged the elected provincial legislature and expanded provincial autonomy vis a vis the central government. In the elections held in 1937, the Indian National Congress won a maximum of 54 seats but declined to form the government. The Krishak Praja Party of A. K. Fazlul Huq (with 36 seats) was able to form a coalition government along with the All-India Muslim League.[9][10]

Minister / Portfolio

A. K. Fazlul Huq / Prime Minister of Bengal, Education
Khawaja Nazimuddin / Home
Nalini Ranjan Sarkar / Finance
Bijoy Prasad Singh Roy / Revenue
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy / Commerce and Labour
Khwaja Habibullah / Agriculture and Industry
Srish Chandra Nandy / Irrigation, Communications and Works
Prasanna Deb Raikut / Forest and Excise
Mukunda Behari Mallick / Cooperative, Credit and Rural Indebtedness
Nawab Musharraf Hussain / Judicial and Legislature
Syed Nausher Ali / Public Health and Local Self Government

Huq's government fell in 1943 and a Muslim League government under Sir Khawaja Nazimuddin as Prime Minister was formed. After the end of World War II, elections were held in 1946 where the Muslim League won a majority of 113 seats out of 250 in the assembly and a government under Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy was formed.[11]

Minister / Portfolio
Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy / Prime Minister of Bengal, Home
Mohammad Ali Bogra / Finance, Health, Local Self-government
Syed Muazzemuddin Hosain / Education
Ahmed Hossain / Agriculture, Forest and Fisheries
Nagendra Nath Ray / Judicial and Legislative Department
Abul Fazal Muhammad Abdur Rahman / Cooperatives and Irrigation
Shamsuddin Ahmed / Commerce, Labour and Industries
Abdul Gofran / Civil Supplies
Tarak Nath Mukherjee / Irrigation and Waterways
Fazlur Rahman / Land, Land Revenue and Jails
Dwarka Nath Barury / Works and Building

See also

• List of governors of Bengal
• Advocate-General of Bengal


1. Parthasarathi, Prasannan (2011), Why Europe Grew Rich and Asia Did Not: Global Economic Divergence, 1600–1850, Cambridge University Press, ISBN 978-1-139-49889-0
2. "Railway".
3. "Bast and Other Plant Fibres".
4. Ilbert, Sir Courtenay Peregrine (1907). "Appendix II: Constitution of the Legislative Councils under the Regulations of November 1909", in The Government of India. Clarendon Press. pp. 431.
5. Ilbert, Sir Courtenay Peregrine (1907). "Appendix II: Constitution of the Legislative Councils under the Regulations of November 1909", in The Government of India. Clarendon Press. pp. 432–5.
6. Ilbert, Sir Courtenay Peregrine (1922). The Government of India, Third Edition, revised and updated. Clarendon Press. pp. 117–118.
7. Ilbert, Sir Courtenay Peregrine (1922). The Government of India, Third Edition, revised and updated. Clarendon Press. p. 129.
8. The Working Of Dyarchy In India 1919 1928. D.B.Taraporevala Sons And Company.
9. Jalal, Ayesha (1994). The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, the Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan. Cambridge University Press. pp. 26–27. ISBN 978-0-521-45850-4.
10. Sanaullah, Muhammad (1995). A.K. Fazlul Huq: Portrait of a Leader. Homeland Press and Publications. p. 104. ISBN 9789848171004.
11. Nalanda Year-book & Who's who in India. 1946.

Works cited

This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Bengal". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
• C. A. Bayly Indian Society and the Making of the British Empire (Cambridge) 1988
• C. E. Buckland Bengal under the Lieutenant-Governors (London) 1901
• Sir James Bourdillon, The Partition of Bengal (London: Society of Arts) 1905
• Susil Chaudhury From Prosperity to Decline. Eighteenth Century Bengal (Delhi) 1995
• Sir William Wilson Hunter, Annals of Rural Bengal (London) 1868, and Odisha (London) 1872
• P.J. Marshall Bengal, the British Bridgehead 1740–1828 (Cambridge) 1987
• Ray, Indrajit Bengal Industries and the British Industrial Revolution (1757–1857) (Routledge) 2011
• John R. McLane Land and Local Kingship in eighteenth-century Bengal (Cambridge) 1993

External links

• Coins of the Bengal Presidency
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Aga Khan III
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/17/19



Prince Aga Khan III
The Aga Khan III in 1936
Title Aga Khan III
Born 2 November 1877[1]
Karachi, Bombay Presidency, British India (now Pakistan)
Died 11 July 1957 (aged 79)[1]
Versoix, near Geneva, Switzerland
Resting place Mausoleum of Aga Khan, Aswan, Egypt
Religion Shia Islam
Shahzadi Begum
Cleope Teresa Magliano
Andrée Joséphine Carron
Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (birth name, Yvonne Blanche Labrousse)
Giuseppe Mahdi Khan
Aly Salman Aga Khan
Sadruddin Aga Khan
Aqa Ali Shah (father)
Shams al-Muluk (mother)
Denomination Isma'ilism
School Nizari Ismaili
Lineage Fatimid
Other names Sultan Mahomed Shah
Senior posting
Predecessor Aga Khan II
Successor Aga Khan IV
Initiation 1885
Post 48th Nizari Imām

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III GCSI GCMG GCIE GCVO PC (2 November 1877 – 11 July 1957) was the 48th Imam of the Nizari Ismaili religion. He was one of the founders and the first president of the All-India Muslim League (AIML). His goal was the advancement of Muslim agendas and protection of Muslim rights in India. The League, until the late 1930s, was not a large organisation but represented the landed and commercial Muslim interests of the British-ruled 'United Provinces' (as of today Uttar Pradesh).[2] He shared Sir Syed Ahmad Khan's belief that Muslims should first build up their social capital through advanced education before engaging in politics. Aga Khan called on the British Raj to consider Muslims to be a separate nation within India, the so-called 'Two Nation Theory'. Even after he resigned as president of the AIML in 1912, he still exerted major influence on its policies and agendas. He was nominated to represent India to the League of Nations in 1932 and served as President of the League of Nations from 1937–38.[3]

Early life

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah was born in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province in British India, (now Pakistan) to Aga Khan II and his third wife,[4] Nawab A'lia Shamsul-Muluk, who was a granddaughter of Fath Ali Shah of Persia (Qajar dynasty).

Under the care of his mother, he was given not only that religious and Oriental education which his position as the religious leader of the Ismailis made indispensable, but also sound European training, an opportunity denied to his father and paternal grandfather.[5] He also attended Eton and the University of Cambridge.[6]


In 1885, at the age of eight, he succeeded his father as Imam of the Shi'a Isma'ili Muslims.[1][3]

The Aga Khan travelled in distant parts of the world to receive the homage of his followers, and with the objective either of settling differences or of advancing their welfare by financial help and personal advice and guidance. The distinction of a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire (KCIE) was conferred upon him by Queen Victoria in 1897; and he was promoted to a Knight Grand Commander (GCIE) in the 1902 Coronation Honours list,[7][8] and invested as such by King Edward VII at Buckingham Palace on 24 October 1902.[9] He was made a Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India (GCSI) by George V (1912), and appointed a GCMG in 1923. He received like recognition for his public services from the German Emperor, the Sultan of Turkey, the Shah of Persia and other potentates.[5]

In 1906, the Aga Khan was a founding member and first president of the All India Muslim League, a political party which pushed for the creation of an independent Muslim nation in the north west regions of India, then under British colonial rule, and later established the country of Pakistan in 1947.

During the three Round Table Conferences (India) in London from 1930–32, he played an important role to bring about Indian constitutional reforms.[1]

In 1934, he was made a member of the Privy Council and served as a member of the League of Nations (1934–37), becoming the President of the League of Nations in 1937.[3]


Under the leadership of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III, the first half of the 20th century was a period of significant development for the Ismā'īlī community. Numerous institutions for social and economic development were established in the Indian Subcontinent and in East Africa.[10] Ismailis have marked the Jubilees of their Imāms with public celebrations, which are symbolic affirmations of the ties that link the Ismāʿīlī Imām and his followers. Although the Jubilees have no religious significance, they serve to reaffirm the Imamat's worldwide commitment to the improvement of the quality of human life, especially in the developing countries.[10]

The Jubilees of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah, Aga Khan III, are well remembered. During his 72 years of Imamat (1885–1957), the community celebrated his Golden (1937), Diamond (1946) and Platinum (1954) Jubilees. To show their appreciation and affection, the Ismā'īliyya weighed their Imam in gold, diamonds and, symbolically, in platinum, respectively, the proceeds of which were used to further develop major social welfare and development institutions in Asia and Africa.

In India and later in Pakistan, social development institutions were established, in the words of Aga Khan III, "for the relief of humanity". They included institutions such as the Diamond Jubilee Trust and the Platinum Jubilee Investments Limited which in turn assisted the growth of various types of cooperative societies. Diamond Jubilee High School for Girls were established throughout the remote Northern Areas of what is now Pakistan. In addition, scholarship programs, established at the time of the Golden Jubilee to give assistance to needy students, were progressively expanded. In East Africa, major social welfare and economic development institutions were established. Those involved in social welfare included the accelerated development of schools and community centres, and a modern, fully equipped hospital in Nairobi. Among the economic development institutions established in East Africa were companies such as the Diamond Jubilee Investment Trust (now Diamond Trust of Kenya) and the Jubilee Insurance Company, which are quoted on the Nairobi Stock Exchange and have become major players in national development.

Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah also introduced organizational forms that gave Ismāʿīlī communities the means to structure and regulate their own affairs.[10] These were built on the Muslim tradition of a communitarian ethic on the one hand, and responsible individual conscience with freedom to negotiate one's own moral commitment and destiny on the other. In 1905 he ordained the first Ismā'īlī Constitution for the social governance of the community in East Africa. The new administration for the Community's affairs was organised into a hierarchy of councils at the local, national, and regional levels. The constitution also set out rules in such matters as marriage, divorce and inheritance, guidelines for mutual cooperation and support among Ismā'īlīs, and their interface with other communities. Similar constitutions were promulgated in India, and all were periodically revised to address emerging needs and circumstances in diverse settings.[10]

Following the Second World War, far-reaching social, economic and political changes profoundly affected a number of areas where Ismāʿīlīs resided. In 1947, British rule in the Indian Subcontinent was replaced by the sovereign, independent nations of India, Pakistan and later Bangladesh, resulting in the migration of millions people and significant loss of life and property. In the Middle East, the Suez crisis of 1956 as well as the preceding crisis in Iran, demonstrated the sharp upsurge of nationalism, which was as assertive of the region's social and economic aspirations as of its political independence. Africa was also set on its course to decolonisation, swept by what Harold Macmillan, the then British prime minister, termed the "wind of change". By the early 1960s, most of East and Central Africa, where the majority of the Ismāʿīlī population on the continent resided, including Tanganyika, Kenya, Uganda, Madagascar, Rwanda, Burundi and Zaire, had attained their political independence.

Religious and Social Views

The Aga Khan was deeply influenced by the views of Sir Sayyid Ahmad Khan.[11] Along with Sir Sayyid, the Aga Khan was one of the backers and founders of the Aligarh University, for which he tirelessly raised funds for and donated large sums of his own money to.[12] The Aga Khan himself can be considered an Islamic modernist and an intellectual of the Aligarh movement.[13]

From a religious standpoint, the Aga Khan followed a modernist approach to Islam.[13] He believed there to be no contradiction between religion and modernity, and urged Muslims to embrace modernity.[14] Although he opposed a wholesale replication of Western society by Muslims, the Aga Khan did believe increased contact with the West would be overall beneficial to Muslim society.[15] He was intellectually open to Western philosophy and ideas, and believed engagement with them could lead to a revival and renaissance within Islamic thought.[15]

Like many other Islamic modernists, the Aga Khan held a low opinion of the traditional religious establishment (the ʿUlamāʾ) as well as what he saw as their rigid formalism, legalism, and literalism.[16] Instead, he advocated for renewed ijtihād (independent reasoning) and ijmāʿ (consensus), the latter of which he understood in a modernist way to mean consensus-building.[17] According to him, Muslims should go back to the original sources, especially the Qurʾān, in order to discover the true essence and spirit of Islam.[17] Once the principles of the faith were discovered, they would seen to be universal and modern.[18] Islam, in his view, had an underlying liberal and democratic spirit.[19] He also called for full civil and religious liberties,[20] peace and disarmament, and an end to all wars.[21]

The Aga Khan opposed sectarianism, which he believed to sap the strength and unity of the Muslim community.[22] In specific, he called for a rapprochement between Sunnism and Shīʿism.[23] This did not mean that he thought religious differences would go away, and he himself instructed his Ismāʿīlī followers to be dedicated to their own teachings.[24] However, he believed in unity through accepting diversity, and by respecting differences of opinion.[24][25] On his view, there was strength to be found in the diversity of Muslim traditions.[26]

The Aga Khan called for social reform of Muslim society, and he was able to implement them within his own Ismāʿīlī community.[27] As he believed Islam to essentially be a humanitarian religion, the Aga Khan called for the reduction and eradication of poverty.[28] Like Sir Sayyid, the Aga Khan was concerned that Muslims had fallen behind the Hindu community in terms of education.[29] According to him, education was the path to progress.[30] He was a tireless advocate for compulsory and universal primary education,[31] and also for the creation of higher institutions of learning.[32]

In terms of women's rights, the Aga Khan was more progressive in his views than Sir Sayyid and many other Islamic modernists of his time.[33] The Aga Khan framed his pursuit of women's rights not simply in the context of women being better mothers or wives, but rather, for women's own benefit.[34] He endorsed the spiritual equality of men and women in Islam, and he also called for full political equality.[35] This included the right to vote[35][36] and the right to an education.[37] In regards to the latter issue, he endorsed compulsory primary education for girls.[38] He also encouraged women to pursue higher university-level education,[37] and saw nothing wrong with co-educational institutions.[39] Whereas Sir Sayyid prioritized the education of boys over girls, the Aga Khan instructed his followers that if they had a son and daughter, and if they could only afford to send one of them to school, they should send the daughter over the boy.[40]

The Aga Khan campaigned against the institution of purda and zenāna, which he felt were oppressive and un-Islamic institutions.[41] He completely banned the purda and the face veil for his Ismāʿīlī followers.[42] The Aga Khan also restricted polygamy, encouraged marriage to widows, and banned child marriage.[41] He also made marriage and divorce laws more equitable to women.[41] Overall, he encouraged women to take part in all national activities and to agitate for their full religious, social, and political rights.[35]

Today, in large part due to the Aga Khan's reforms, the Ismāʿīlī community is one of the most progressive, peaceful, and prosperous branches of Islam.[43]

Racehorse ownership and equestrianism

He was an owner of thoroughbred racing horses, including a record equalling five winners of The Derby (Blenheim, Bahram, Mahmoud, My Love, Tulyar) and a total of sixteen winners of British Classic Races. He was British flat racing Champion Owner thirteen times. According to Ben Pimlott, biographer of Queen Elizabeth II, the Aga Khan presented Her Majesty with a filly called Astrakhan, who won at Hurst Park Racecourse in 1950.

In 1926, the Aga Khan gave a cup (the Aga Khan Trophy) to be awarded to the winners of an international team show jumping competition held at the annual horse show of the Royal Dublin Society in Dublin, Ireland every first week in August.[44] It attracts competitors from all of the main show jumping nations and is carried live on Irish national television.

Marriages and children

• He married, on 2 November 1896, in Pune, India, Shahzadi Begum, his first cousin and a granddaughter of Aga Khan I.
• He married 1908,[45] Cleope Teresa Magliano (1888–1926). They had two sons: Prince Giuseppe Mahdi Khan (d. February 1911) and Prince Aly Khan (1911–1960). She died in 1926, following an operation on 1 December 1926.[46]
• He married, on 7 December 1929 (civil), in Aix-les-Bains, France, and 13 December 1929 (religious), in Bombay, India, Andrée Joséphine Carron (1898–1976). A co-owner of a dressmaking shop in Paris, she became known as Princess Andrée Aga Khan. By this marriage, he had one son, Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933–2003).[47] The couple were divorced in 1943.[48]
• He married, on 9 October 1944, in Geneva, Switzerland, Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (Yvonne Blanche Labrousse) (15 February 1906 – 1 July 2000). According to an interview she gave to an Egyptian journalist, her first name was Yvonne, though she is referred to as Yvette in most published references. The daughter of a tram conductor and a dressmaker, she was working as the Aga Khan's social secretary at the time of their marriage. She converted to Islam and became known as Om Habibeh (Little Mother of the Beloved). In 1954, her husband bestowed upon her the title "Mata Salamat".[49]


He wrote a number of books and papers two of which are of immense importance, namely (1) India in Transition, about the prepartition politics of India and (2) The Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough and Time, his autobiography.

Mausoleum of Aga Khan – Aswan, Egypt.

Mausoleum of Aga Khan, on the Nile.

Death and succession

Aga Khan III was succeeded as Aga Khan by his grandson Karim Aga Khan, who is the present Imam of the Ismaili Muslims. At the time of his death on 11 July 1957, his family members were in Versoix. A solicitor brought the will of the Aga Khan III from London to Geneva and read it before the family:

“Ever since the time of my ancestor Ali, the first Imam, that is to say over a period of thirteen hundred years, it has always been the tradition of our family that each Imam chooses his successor at his absolute and unfettered discretion from amongst any of his descendants, whether they be sons or remote male issue and in these circumstances and in view of the fundamentally altered conditions in the world in very recent years due to the great changes which have taken place including the discoveries of atomic science, I am convinced that it is in the best interest of the Shia Muslim Ismailia Community that I should be succeeded by a young man who has been brought up and developed during recent years and in the midst of the new age and who brings a new outlook on life to his office as Imam. For these reasons, I appoint my grandson Karim, the son of my own son, Aly Salomone Khan to succeed to the title of Aga Khan and to the Imam and Pir of all Shia Ismailian followers”

He is buried in at the Mausoleum of Aga Khan, on the Nile in Aswan, Egypt. 24.088254°N 32.878722°E


Pakistan Post issued a special 'Birth Centenary of Agha Khan III' postage stamp in his honor in 1977.[50]

Pakistan Post again issued a postage stamp in his honor in its 'Pioneers of Freedom' series in 1990.[3]


• 1 January 1934 Appointed a member of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council by King George V[51]
• 21 May 1898 Knight Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire, KCIE[52]
• 26 June 1902 Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Indian Empire, GCIE[8]
• 12 December 1911 Knight Grand Commander of the Order of the Star of India, GCSI[53]
• 30 May 1923 Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, GCVO – on the occasion of the King's birthday[54]
• 1 January 1955 Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George, GCMG –[55]
• 1901 First Class of the Royal Prussian Order of the Crown – in recognition of the valuable services rendered by His Highness to the Imperial German Government in the settlement of various matters with the Mohammedan population of German East Africa[56]


1., Biography of Aga Khan III on Encyclopedia Britannica, Updated 18 September 2003, Retrieved 31 March 2017
2. John Keay (2001). India: A History. Grove Press. p. 468. ISBN 9780802137975.
3. "Agha Khan III". Retrieved 19 September 2019.
4. Daftary, Farhad (1990). The Ismā‘īlīs: Their History and Doctrines. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. p. 518. ISBN 0-521-42974-9.
5. Bhownagree 1911.
6. "Aga Khan, Fashionable Londoner, Holds Enormous Power in Islam", The New York Times,8 July 1923, p. XX5.
7. "The Coronation Honours". The Times (36804). London. 26 June 1902. p. 5.
8. "No. 27448". The London Gazette. 26 June 1902. p. 4197.
9. "Court Circular". The Times (36908). London. 25 October 1902. p. 8.
10. Daftary, Farhad (1998). A Short History of the Ismailis. Edinburgh, UK: Edinburgh University Press. pp. 199–206. ISBN 0-7486-0687-4.
11. Purohit, Teena (2012). The Aga Khan Case: Religion and Identity in Colonial India. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-674-06639-7.
12. Mukherjee, Soumen (2017). Ismailism and Islam in Modern South Asia: Community and Identity in the Age of Religious Internationals. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. p. 131. ISBN 978-1-107-15408-7.
13. The Shi'a in modern South Asia : religion, history and politics. Jones, Justin, 1980-, Qasmi, Ali Usman,. Delhi, India. p. 53. ISBN 9781316258798. OCLC 927147288.
14. Haider, Najam Iftikhar, 1974-. Shi'i Islam : an introduction. New York, NY. p. 193. ISBN 9781107031432. OCLC 874557726.
15. Aga Khan III, 1877-1957. (1998). Aga Khan III : selected speeches and writings of Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah. Aziz, Khursheed Kamal. London: Kegan Paul International. p. 1067. ISBN 0710304277. OCLC 39678354.
16. Rattansi, Diamond (August 1981). "The Nizari Isma'ilis of Pakistan: Isma'ilism, Islam and Westernism Viewed Through the Firmans: 1936-1980". McGill University: 65.
17. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 1183
18. Aga Khan III 1998, pp. 1345-1346
19. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 211
20. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 876
21. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 1415
22. Aga Khan III 1998, pp. 210, 803
23. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 1184
24. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 1407
25. Aga Khan III 1998, pp. 842 & 1063
26. Rattansi 1981, p. 207
27. Voices of Islam. Cornell, Vincent J. Westport, Conn.: Praeger Publishers. 2007. p. 235. ISBN 9780313051166. OCLC 230345942.
28. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 216
29. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 235
30. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 208
31. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 217
32. Aga Khan III 1998, pp. 212-213
33. Khoja-Moolji, Shenila, 1982-. Forging the ideal educated girl : the production of desirable subjects in Muslim South Asia. Oakland, California. p. 27. ISBN 9780520970533. OCLC 1022084628.
34. Khoja-Moolji 2018, p. 31
35. Kaiser, Paul J. (1996). Culture, transnationalism, and civil society : Aga Khan social service initiatives in Tanzania. Westport, Conn.: Praeger. p. 51. ISBN 0275955281. OCLC 34545670.
36. Aga Khan III 1998, pp. 593 & 645
37. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 586
38. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 1117
39. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 587
40. Aga Khan III 1998, p. 1211-1212
41. Leonard, Karen Isaksen, 1939- (2003). Muslims in the United States : the state of research. New York: Russell Sage Foundation. p. 68. ISBN 9781610443487. OCLC 794701243.
42. Khoja-Moolji 2018, p. 32
43. Twaddle, Michael (July 1995). "Asians in East Africa Quest for Equality: Asian Politics in East Africa, 1900–1967. By Robert G. Gregory. Hyderabad and London: Orient Longman and Sangam Books (57 London Fruit Exchange, London E1 6EP, UK), 1993. Pp. xvi + 231. £14.95 (ISBN 0-86311-208-0)". The Journal of African History. 36 (02): 335. doi:10.1017/s0021853700034289. ISSN 0021-8537.
44. The Aga Khan Trophy, Dublin Horse Show, accessed 9 July 2007
45. "Marriages of the Aga Khan III". Retrieved 26 August 2014.
46. "Aga Khan's Wife Dies As He Buys Big Gem", The New York Times, 2 December 1926, p. 2
47. "Aga Khan Again a Father", The New York Times, 18 January 1933, p. 9.
48. "Princess Andrée", The New York Times, 30 December 1976, p. 19.
49. "The Begum Aga Khan III", Daily Telegraph, Issue 45115, 3 July 2000.
50. "Pakistan Philately". Retrieved 19 September 2019.
51. "No. 34010". The London Gazette. 1 January 1934. p. 1.
52. "No. 26969". The London Gazette. 21 May 1898. p. 3230.
53. "No. 28559". The London Gazette. 12 December 1911. p. 9357.
54. "No. 32830". The London Gazette. 2 June 1923. p. 3947.
55. "No. 40366". The London Gazette. 1 January 1955. p. 4.
56. "No. 27291". The London Gazette. 5 March 1901. p. 1576.


• This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Bhownagree, Mancherjee Merwanjee (1911). "Aga Khan I. s.v. Aga Khan III.". In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica. 1 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 363.
• Brown, Frank Herbert (1922). "Aga Khan III" . In Chisholm, Hugh (ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica (12th ed.). London & New York.
• Daftary, F., "The Isma'ilis: Their History and Doctrines", Cambridge University Press, 1990.
• Naoroji M. Dumasia, A Brief History of the Aga Khan (1903).
• Aga Khan III, "The Memoirs of Aga Khan: World Enough and Time", London: Cassel & Company, 1954; published the same year in the United States by Simon & Schuster.
• Edwards, Anne (1996). "Throne of Gold: The Lives of the Aga Khans", New York: William Morrow, 1996
• Naoroji M. Dumasia, "The Aga Khan and his ancestors", New Delhi: Readworthy Publications (P) Ltd., 2008
• Valliani, Amin; "Aga Khan's Role in the Founding and Consolidation of the All India Muslim League", Journal of the Pakistan Historical Society (2007) 55# 1/2, pp 85–95.

External links

• Video Clip from the History Channel website
• Institute of Ismaili Studies: Selected speeches of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III
• [1] The Official Ismaili Website
• [2] Official Website of Aga Khan Development Network
• Aga Khan materials in the South Asian American Digital Archive (SAADA)
• Newspaper clippings about Aga Khan III in the 20th Century Press Archives of the ZBW
Site Admin
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:16 am

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/17/19



Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan
Born 17 January 1933
Paris, France
Died 12 May 2003 (aged 70)
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Alma mater Harvard College
Spouse(s) Nina Dyer (m.1957–1962)
Catherine Aleya Sursock (m.1972–2003)
Parent(s) Aga Khan III (father)
Andrée Joséphine Carron (mother)

Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, KBE, KCSS (Arabic: صدرالّدين آغا خان‎, Ṣadr ad-Dīn Āghā Khān, 17 January 1933 – 12 May 2003) served as United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from 1966 to 1977, during which he reoriented the agency's focus beyond Europe and prepared it for an explosion of complex refugee issues. He was also a proponent of greater collaboration between non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies. The Prince's interest in ecological issues led him to establish the Bellerive Foundation in the late 1970s, and he was a knowledgeable and respected collector of Islamic art.

Born in Paris, France, he was the son of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan and Princess Andrée Aga Khan. He married twice, but had no children of his own. Prince Sadruddin died of cancer at the age of 70, and was buried in Switzerland.

Life and career

Childhood and education

Born in Neuilly-sur-Seine, France, he was the only child of Sir Sultan Mahomed Shah Aga Khan III and his French-born second wife, the former Andrée Joséphine Carron. He received his early education in Lausanne, Switzerland, before graduating Phi Beta Kappa in 1954 from Harvard College.[1] At Harvard, he lived in Eliot House with Paul Matisse, grandson of French artist Henri Matisse, with future Paris Review founders George Plimpton and John Train, and with Stephen Joyce, grandson of Irish writer James Joyce.[2] Along with Plimpton, he was an editor for the Harvard Lampoon. After three years of post-graduate research at the Harvard Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Prince Sadruddin began a lifelong career of international service.[3][4]

Although he was raised in Europe by his French mother, his father, who was the 48th hereditary Imam of the Nizari Ismaili Muslims, had a strong influence on him. He recalled that his father "insisted that I learnt the Koran and encouraged me to understand the basic traditions and beliefs of Islam but without imposing any particular views. He was an overwhelming personality but open-minded and liberal."[5]

Together with his father Prince Sadruddin traveled widely in Muslim countries, coming into contact with his Islamic roots from a young age. He described Iran as the cradle of his family, though he never lived there.[6] When he was a child, his paternal grandmother used to recite to him the great epic poems of Persian history.[5] He held French, Iranian, and Swiss citizenship, and was fluent in French, English, German and Italian, while also speaking some Persian and Arabic.[7]


Prince Sadruddin joined the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1958, and became the Executive Secretary to its International Action Committee for the Preservation of Nubia in 1961. This initiative brought together archaeologists from Eastern Europe and the West at the height of the Cold War. The construction of the Aswan Dam threatened ancient Egyptian treasures including Abu Simbel, the temples of Philae and Kalabsha, and the Christian churches of Nubia.[6][8] He would later describe it as "one of UNESCO's great achievements" because of the challenging historical context in which it took place—in particular the ongoing tensions in the Middle East and the Cold War.[6]

UN High Commissioner for Refugees

Prince Sadruddin began as a Special Envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1959 with a focus on World Refugee Year (1959–1960).[9] The initiative became known for its Stamp Plan, a philatelic programme that raised funds through United Nations member countries, as well as the support of the Universal Postal Union. At the time, the UNHCR's resources were primarily focused on supporting refugees crossing from Eastern Europe.[6]

In January 1966, Prince Sadruddin was appointed United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees after serving for three years as Deputy High Commissioner. At the age of 33 he became the youngest person ever to lead the UNHCR.[10] For the next twelve years he directed the UN refugee agency through one of its most difficult periods, coordinating the international response to the 1971 Bangladesh crisis that uprooted 10 million people, the 1972 exodus of hundreds of thousands of Hutus from Burundi to Tanzania, and the Vietnamese boat people tragedy of the mid-1970s. In 1972, Prince Sadruddin played a key role in finding new homes for tens of thousands of South Asians expelled from Uganda by Idi Amin.[10]

Prince Sadruddin's determination not to discriminate between European and Third World refugees helped prepare the UNHCR for a change in the landscape of internationally displaced persons. During the 1950s, between 200,000 and 300,000 refugees of European origin required assistance. By the 1970s the European refugee problems were mostly solved, but had been replaced by millions of displaced persons in the Third World. He had widened the UNHCR mandate well beyond its original focus on Eastern Europe, extending the organisation's reach to refugees from the Palestinian territory, Vietnam, Angola and Algeria.[10] As the scale and complexity of refugee issues continued to increase, the UNHCR and the international community at large was better positioned to adapt.[6] By the end of 1977 when he chose to step down from the position, he had become the longest-serving UN High Commissioner for Refugees.[1] He continued to serve in various capacities dealing with humanitarian situations on behalf of the UN.

United Nations diplomatic career

Prince Sadruddin had, since 1978, been variously: Special Consultant and Chargé de Mission to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Special Rapporteur of the UN Human Rights Commission and Convenor and Co-Chairman of the Independent Commission on International Humanitarian Issues and of the Independent Working Group on the UN Financial Emergency. He was later Coordinator for United Nations Humanitarian and Economic Assistance Programmes Relating to the People of Afghanistan and Executive Delegate of the Secretary-General for a United Nations Inter-Agency Humanitarian Programme, which dealt with problems of Iraq's border areas.[4][11]

His appointment in September 1990 as Personal Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Humanitarian Assistance Relating to the Crisis between Iraq and Kuwait[12] required diplomatic finesse. Iraq's President Saddam Hussein was deeply suspicious of the UN, and was loath to do anything that would benefit the country's Shia Muslims. Despite this, Prince Sadruddin was able to successfully negotiate with Foreign Minister Tariq Aziz for the establishment of a UN relief program for tens of thousands of Shia Muslims trapped in worsening conditions in the marshlands of southern Iraq.[1]

Prince Sadruddin was nominated and passed over twice for the post of UN Secretary-General. Although he won the 1981 vote, the Soviet Union considered him too Western and vetoed his election.[3] When he was nominated again in 1991, the United States and Britain expressed their disagreement with his belief in a policy of boosting aid to Iraq.[3]

Environmental protection and advocacy

In 1977, Prince Sadruddin, together with Denis de Rougemont and a few other friends, established a Geneva-based think-tank, Groupe de Bellerive (named after Bellerive, the municipality where he lived in Geneva), and a non-profit organisation, the Bellerive Foundation. The foundation collaborated with international institutions, British and Scandinavian bilateral aid organizations, and other NGOs such as the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).[6] It became a leading grassroots action group promoting environmental protection, natural resource conservation and the safeguarding of life in all its forms.

Initially, Bellerive worked with UNICEF and the United Nations Children's Fund in the struggle against deforestation. Prince Sadruddin was motivated in part by what he called "ecological refugees", who were forced to leave regions that could no longer sustain them due to desertification and other environmental changes. The foundation worked with Swiss specialists to develop low-cost, energy-efficient cooking stoves that relied on renewable energy sources such as methane and biogas. It distributed these among needy rural populations, primarily in Africa. Other areas of concern for Bellerive included the proliferation of nuclear weapons, and the protection of threatened species.[6]

As a resident of Switzerland, Prince Sadruddin was concerned about the impact of insensitive tourist development and deforestation on the European Alps. At the World Economic Forum in 1990, he launched Alp Action to protect the mountain ecosystem and preserve the Alps' cultural diversity and vitality. The Bellerive Foundation program encouraged eco-tourism, aiming to reduce the impact of outdoor adventure sports on the fragile alpine habitat. During its years of operation, Alp Action successfully launched over 140 projects in seven countries.[13] It found inspiration in the system of national parks of the Canadian Rockies.[7]

A long-standing trustee and former Vice-President of the World Wide Fund for Nature International, Prince Sadruddin led Bellerive's support for threatened species. Bellerive was also amongst the first organisations to warn of the potential human health hazards of modern intensive farming methods.[7]

In May 2006, the activities of the Bellerive Foundation were merged into the Geneva-based Aga Khan Foundation (founded in 1967 by Prince Sadruddin's nephew Karim Aga Khan IV) to form the Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Fund for the Environment.[14] The US$10 million fund is dedicated to finding practical solutions to environmental problems. The fund concentrates its activities in six areas that were important to Prince Sadruddin: environmental education; natural resource management in fragile zones; nature parks and wildlife reserves; environmentally and culturally appropriate tourism infrastructure; environmental health; and research.[14]

Death and remembrance

Prince Sadruddin died of cancer in Boston, Massachusetts, on 12 May 2003,[3][7] coincidentally, the same day as his elder half-brother Prince Aly Khan had died 43 years earlier. His body was conveyed to Switzerland, where members of the diplomatic corps, government officials and close friends were invited to pay their last respects at the Château de Bellerive, and sign books of condolence at various locations around the world.[15] Ruud Lubbers, then UNHCR High Commissioner, expressed the sadness of the UNHCR and the entire humanitarian community, commenting that "he left an indelible print on UNHCR's history—leading the agency through some of the most challenging moments. Sadruddin's name became synonymous with UNHCR."[10]

In accordance with his wishes, Prince Sadruddin's burial took place at a private ceremony attended by members of his family.[3][7][15] Traditional Muslim ceremonies were led by Sheikh Ahmed Ahmed Ibrahim, who leads the prayers at the mausoleum of the Prince's father, Aga Khan III, in Aswan, Egypt. Last respects were paid beneath the arches of the Château de Bellerive, before the bier was carried to the local cemetery of Collonge-Bellerive.[16] A tribute from the Canton of Geneva read: "The destiny of this family of high Persian nobility, descended from the Prophet Muhammad, is inextricably linked to that of this small European town and to an ambitious project to improve the human condition."[16]

The United Nations community celebrated Prince Sadruddin's life at a memorial ceremony held in his honour at its headquarters in New York on 28 October 2003. He was remembered for representing the moral and compassionate side of the international community.[17] Then United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan commented that "he combined respect for humankind with concern for our environment. He worked on behalf of the poor and dispossessed, while celebrating humanity through culture and art."[17] He concluded his tribute by praising Prince Sadruddin as "a role model to many of us ... his example will continue to inspire new world citizens for several generations to come."[17]

He was survived by his wife of 31 years, Princess Catherine; his three stepsons Alexandre, Marc and Nicolas; as well as his nephews and niece Prince Karim, Prince Amyn and Princess Yasmin; and his cousin Mme. Francoise Carron.[15] It was Prince Sadruddin's and Princess Catherine's wish that their remains be buried in Muslim soil in Egypt.[16]

Personal life

Prince Sadruddin's life was deeply influenced by his family roots and cultural heritage. Prince Sadruddin's grandmother was the granddaughter of the Qajar Emperor Fath'Ali Shah.[4]

International service was a family tradition, and throughout his life Prince Sadruddin was surrounded by it. His father held influential roles in British India.[18] He also served two terms as President of the League of Nations.[3] Prince Sadruddin's older half-brother, Prince Aly Khan, was Pakistan's Ambassador to the United Nations. Prince Karim Aga Khan IV, the 49th Imam of the Ismaili Muslims and present Aga Khan, was a nephew to Prince Sadruddin, and is the founder and Chairman of the Aga Khan Development Network. His brother, Prince Amyn, had previously worked with the United Nations before joining the Aga Khan's secretariat.[19] Meanwhile, Prince Sadruddin's niece Princess Yasmin, has devoted herself to the fight against Alzheimer's disease.[20]

Prince Sadruddin had a taste for culture, including music, art and literature. He was a familiar figure at music festivals and other cultural events, both in Europe and overseas. His concern for the environment was complemented by his enjoyment of the outdoors; he was a keen skier and an accomplished sailor.[4] While still at Harvard in 1953, Prince Sadruddin became the founding publisher of the Paris Review,[21] which was established with the aim of bringing original creative work to the fore. Every year the Review awards the Aga Khan Prize for Fiction (established by his father[21]) for the best short story that it published in the past year.


On 27 August 1957, in Bellerive, Switzerland, Prince Sadruddin married Nina Dyer (1930–1965). An Anglo-Indian fashion model, she was the former wife of Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza. She converted to Islam, taking the name "Shirin" (lit. "sweetness").[22] They had no children and divorced in 1962. Dyer committed suicide in 1965.

His second marriage took place in November 1972, in the British West Indies. He married Catherine Aleya Beriketti Sursock who was born in Alexandria, Egypt in 1938. She was formerly the wife of Lebanese aristocrat Cyril Sursock (son of Nicolas Sursock and Donna Vittoria Serra of the Dukes di Cassano). She and Prince Sadruddin had no children, but from this marriage he gained three stepchildren : Alexandre Sursock (married to Thai Princess Mom Rajawongse Charuvan Rangsit Prayurasakdi), Marc Sursock and Nicolas Sursock.[23]

Art collection

During his lifetime Prince Sadruddin assembled one of the finest private collections of Islamic art in the world.[24] He became a knowledgeable and respected collector, accumulating a priceless collection of paintings, drawings, manuscripts and miniatures over 50 years.[5] He had also gathered a collection of primitive and African art which he sold sometime prior to 1985.[4][24]

Prince Sadruddin's interest in Islamic art was sparked in his youth by his paternal grandmother's library of Persian books, mystical texts and astrological treatises.[1] While at Harvard in the 1950s, he would make purchases in New York, and eventually began to acquire from dealers in Paris, Geneva and London. He would bid regularly at Sotheby's and Christie's auctions in Europe and North America. For advice, he looked to his friend Stuart Cary Welch, a noted historian of Islamic art at Harvard University.[24]

His collection is vast and diverse, and includes Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and Indian pieces dating from the 10th century. One example is a Quranic page of North African origin written with gold lettering in the Kufic script – it is more than 1,000 years old. Prince Sadruddin's Persian roots are well represented in calligraphic as well as pictoral specimens reflecting a range of periods and dynastic patrons. Also included are several examples of Ottoman callgraphies, manuscripts and paintings.[24]

Over the years, parts of his collection were exhibited in New York, London, and Zurich, including a touring show, "Princes, Poets and Paladins",[25] which was organized by the British Museum in 1998.[1][5] The full collection is housed at the new museum established by Prince Sadruddin's nephew, the present Aga Khan, in Toronto.[4][26]

Awards and decorations

Prince Sadruddin received several honorary doctorates and national decorations from states as diverse as Pakistan, Poland and the Vatican, as well as the United Nations Human Rights Award.[10] He was elected a Foreign Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1991.[27] He was awarded the Bourgeois d'Honneur de Geneve,[28] made a Commandeur of the Légion d'honneur of France and a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Sylvester (KCSS) of the Holy See, and was a recipient of the Order of the Nile of Egypt.[3] Furthermore, he was made a Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE), this for his services to humanitarian causes and the arts.[1] He was an honorary citizen of Patmos, Greece, where he owned a house.[29]


1. "Genial diplomat shone under fire". The Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 16 June 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
2. Reed, Christopher (May–June 2002). "Pure Fabrications". Harvard Magazine (May–June 2002). Archived from the original on 3 December 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
3. "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (Obituary)". The Times. News Corporation. 16 May 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
4. "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan" (Press release). Secrétariat de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan, Aiglemont. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
5. Ducas, June (24 January 1998). "Hidden secrets of the universe". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 23 August2018.
6. "Interview with Sadruddin Aga Khan" (PDF). UNESCO Courier. May 1991. pp. 4–9. Retrieved 23 August2018.
7. Elbendary, Amina (22–28 May 2003). "Obituary: Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan (1933–2003)". Al-Ahram Weekly (No. 639). Al-Ahram Publishing House. Archived from the original on 14 April 2008. Retrieved 23 August2018.
8. "Obituary: Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 15 May 2003. Retrieved 23 August2018.
9. "Records of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – UNHCR Archives" (PDF). Retrieved 23 August 2018.
10. "Former UN refugee agency chief Sadruddin Aga Khan dies". UN News Centre. 13 May 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
11. "SG appoints Sadruddin Aga Khan to coordinate humanitarian programme for Iraq, Kuwait, border areas (SG/A/455, IK/15)" (Press release). United Nations. 9 April 1991.
12. "SG appoints Sadruddin Aga Khan as personal representative for humanitarian assistance relating to Iraq-Kuwait crisis (SG/A/442, IK/1)" (Press release). United Nations. 12 September 1990.
13. Chernushenko, David (ed.) (July 2001). "High Minded Action". The Sustainable Sport Sourceline. Archived from the original on 6 July 2011. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
14. "Bellerive Foundation Merges with the Aga Khan Foundation" (Press release). Aga Khan Development Network. 31 May 2006. Archived from the original on 8 March 2012. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
15. "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan's Funeral Ceremonies in Geneva" (Press release). Secrétariat de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan, Aiglemont. 14 May 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
16. "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Laid to Rest in Collonge-Bellerive" (Press release). Secrétariat de Son Altesse l'Aga Khan, Aiglemont. 16 May 2003. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
17. "Secretary-General Hails Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan as True Statesman, in Remarks to Memorial Ceremony for Former Refugee Chief" (Press release). United Nations Information Service. 29 October 2003. Retrieved 23 August2018.
18. Alidina, Sherali (30 December 2006). "Freedom movement and the Aga Khan". Dawn: One Hundred Years of the Muslim League 1906–2006. The DAWN Group of Newspapers, Pakistan. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
19. "His Highness the Aga Khan". Archived from the original on 3 December 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
20. "Princess Yasmin Aga Khan: Bringing the World Intelligent Awareness". Women's International Center. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
21. Kirby, David (4 March 1990). "Heavyweights and High Spirits (review – The Paris Review Anthology)". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
22. "Aly Khan's Brother Weds Model". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. Associated Press. 28 August 1957. p. 9. Retrieved 23 August 2018. (subscription required)
23. "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan, U.N. Commissioner, and Mrs. Sursock Married". The New York Times. The New York Times Company. 28 November 1972. p. 56. Retrieved 23 August 2018. (subscription required)
24. Safrani, Shehbaz H. (November–December 1984). "The Arts of the Islamic Book: The Collection of Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan". Arts of Asia. 14 (6): 55–66. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
25. "Exhibit at the Sackler to Present Islamic and Indian Paintings from One of the Most Important Private Collections in the World" (Press release). Harvard University Art Museums. 29 April 1998. Archived from the original on 21 January 2008. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
26. Thawer, Mehnaz (20 May 2010). "Aga Khan Museum Collection reflects pluralism of the Muslim world and shared human heritage". The Ismaili. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
27. "Book of Members, 1780–2010: Chapter A" (PDF). American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Retrieved 23 August2018.
28. "Décès de S.A. le Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – Site officiel de l'Etat de Genève, May 14, 2003" (in French). Archived from the original on 27 December 2004. Retrieved 23 August 2018.
29. "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan Honourable Citizen of Patmos". Macedonian Press Agency (News in English). 24 September 2000. Retrieved 23 August 2018.

External links

• "Sadruddin Aga Khan, le Prince qui voulait un monde meilleur – Site officiel de l'Etat de Genève, 19 May 2003" (in French). Archived from the original on 15 January 2013. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
• "Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan: Radical statesman of the United Nations who occupied a unique position between Islam and the West". The Independent (UK). 14 May 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2007.
• "Interview with Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan – Refugees, November 1988". Retrieved 1 January 2007.
• "Collection of articles on Prince Sadruddin at". Retrieved 2 January 2006.
• "The Paris Review Masthead". Retrieved 13 October 2010.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:20 am

Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/17/19



Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza
" Baron Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza Statue @ The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid Born 13 April 1921
Scheveningen, Netherlands
Died 27 April 2002 (aged 81)
Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Spain
Spouse(s) Princess Teresa of Lippe-Weissenfeld
(m. 1946; div. 1954)
Nina Sheila Dyer
(m. 1954; div. 1956)
Fiona Campbell-Walter
(m. 1956; div. 1965)
Denise Shorto
(m. 1967; div. 1984)
Carmen Cervera
(m. 1985)
Children 4, including Archduchess Francesca of Austria
Parent(s) Heinrich, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon
Margit, Baroness Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva

Hans Henrik Ágost Gábor, Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (13 April 1921 – 27 April 2002), a noted industrialist and art collector, was a Dutch-born Swiss citizen with a Hungarian title, a legal resident of Monaco for tax purposes, with a declared second residency in the United Kingdom, but in actuality a long-time resident of Spain, and son of a German father and a Hungarian and English American mother (related to Daniel M. Frost and John Kerry).[1] His fifth and last wife, Carmen "Tita" Cervera, is a former Miss Spain titleholder.

Early life

Thyssen-Bornemisza was born in Scheveningen, Netherlands, the son of Heinrich Thyssen (1875–1947) and his first wife, Margit, Baroness Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (1887–1971). The Thyssen family's fortune was built upon a steel and armaments empire: Heinrich Thyssen had abandoned Germany as a young man and settled in Hungary in 1905. In Budapest, Heinrich married the daughter of the king's Hungarian chamberlain Baron Gábor Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (1859-1915) who, having no sons of his own, adopted Heinrich, the Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary extending his father-in-law's baronial status in the Hungarian nobility to Hans Heinrich and his male-line descendants in 1907. Baroness Margit Bornemissza's grandparents were the Baron Albert Bornemisza de Kászon et Impérfalva (1832-1899) and the Countess Gabriella Kornis de Gönczruszka (1834-1902).


With his father's death, Thyssen-Bornemisza inherited TBG (Thyssen-Bornemisza Group) Holdings N.V., a business empire that included oil, Bremer Vulkan (naval construction) and large parts of Rotterdam harbor, as well as a major art collection with hundreds of paintings of European masters from between the 14th and the 19th century.

Thyssen-Bornemisza was also an avid horse lover. From then on, his business was limited to art. He bought more old masters, from Duccio to Francisco Goya; and fifteen years after his father's death, he bought his first piece of modern art, a watercolor painting by Emil Nolde dated from between 1931 and 1935, starting the entry of 20th century's paintings in the collection (including Edgar Degas, Piet Mondrian, Pablo Picasso, and Fernand Léger). His preference however went to German Expressionism, and he soon became a real expert in painting.

First marriage and issue

He married firstly at Lugano-Castagnola, 1 August 1946, Austrian Princess Teresa of Lippe-Weissenfeld at Vienna (21 July 1925 – 16 July 2008), whose family had been reigning princes until the fall of the German Empire in 1918 (following their divorce on 14 May 1954, she married secondly in 1960 Prince Friedrich Maximilian von Fürstenberg (1926–1969), by whom she had further issue). Their only son was:

• Baron Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (b. Lugano-Castagnola, 19 March 1950), chairman of TBG (Thyssen-Bornemisza Group) Holdings N.V., who has one son by Countess Catharina Eleonore von Meran, daughter of Count Maximilian von Meran (born 1930) and his wife, Princess Colienne zu Schwarzenberg (born 1937):
o Simon Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (b. Wien, 1 December 2001)

Second marriage

Coat of arms of Hans Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza

He married secondly at Colombo, Ceylon, or Paris, 23 June 1954, Anglo-Indian fashion model Nina Sheila Dyer (1930–1965), an heiress to properties in Ceylon; they had no children and divorced on 4 July 1956, pursuant to the settlement of which she received a château in France. She later married and divorced Prince Sadruddin Aga Khan and committed suicide in 1965.

Third marriage and issue

He married thirdly at Lugano-Castagnola on 17 September 1956 New Zealand-born British photographic and fashion model Fiona Frances Elaine Campbell-Walter [fr] (b. Takapuna, New Zealand, 25 June 1932). They divorced on 20 January 1965, and she went on to have a well-publicized relationship with Greek shipping heir Alexander Onassis, the only son of Aristotle Onassis. She was a daughter of Rear Admiral Keith McNeil Walter (later Campbell-Walter) (1904–1976) and his wife, Frances Henriette Campbell (1904 – ?), a maternal granddaughter of Sir Edward Campbell, 1st Baronet. Their children were:

• Baroness Francesca Thyssen-Bornemisza (born Lausanne, 7 June 1958), married at Mariazell, 31 January 1993 to Karl Habsburg-Lothringen, heir to the defunct Austro-Hungarian Imperial Throne, and had issue.
• Baron Lorne Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (born 15 June 1963), who converted to Islam; he is the producer and director of the 2003 film, "Labyrinth" and executive produced "The Garden of Eden" in 2008. He is the Chairman of Thyssen Petroleum and founder of the Kallos Gallery in London.

Fourth marriage and issue

He married fourthly at Lugano-Castagnola, 13 December 1967, Liane Denise Shorto (b. Garça, São Paulo, 23 December 1942), a Brazilian banker's daughter, from whom he was divorced 29 November 1984. They had one son:

• Baron Wilfried "Alexander" August Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon (born Zurich 1974), unmarried and without issue.

Fifth marriage

He married fifthly at Daylesford, Gloucestershire, on 16 August 1985, María del Carmen Rosario Soledad Cervera y Fernández de la Guerra, popularly known as Carmen "Tita" Cervera, (born Sitges, Barcelona, 23 April 1943), who was Miss Spain in 1961. They had no children, but Hans Heinrich adopted her son, Alejandro Borja (born Madrid, 1980, son of Manuel Segura), who married at Barcelona, 11 October 2007 Blanca María Cuesta Unkhoff[2] and had two children: Sacha Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon on 31 January 2008 and Eric Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kászon on 5 August 2010. His widow has also adopted two baby girls, twins, called Guadalupe Sabina and María del Carmen in July 2006.

Assets dispute


As part of an attempt to dissolve a trust, thereby acquiring control of her third husband's assets, Tita cast doubt on the paternity of Baron Georg Heinrich Thyssen-Bornemisza, alleging that his father was actually Count Iván Batthyány de Német-Ujvár, the husband of Thyssen's sister, Countess Margit Batthyány. However, a settlement was reached between the parties before the baron's death, which brought to a "peaceable" conclusion the wrangling over control of the vast Thyssen art collection, which is to remain in Spain, Hans Henrik having been the founder of the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid. One of the paintings in the museum, Rue Saint-Honoré in the Afternoon, Effect of Rain by Camille Pissarro, belonged to a Jewish couple who were forced to give it to the German government in exchange for an exit visa to the United Kingdom shortly after Kristallnacht in 1939.[3] By 2015, their descendants had filed a lawsuit against the museum, on the grounds that it was stolen by the Nazis.[3]


Hans Henrik died in Sant Feliu de Guíxols, Catalonia, Spain. He is buried in the family burial vault of Schloss Landsberg in the Ruhr valley near Essen, Germany.

See also

• Thyssen family
• Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum - museum link
• Exame - Negócios em Revista, April, 1989, Ano 1, N.º 1


1. The Ancestors of Senator John Forbes Kerry (b. 1943)
2. Boletín Oficial Estado
3. Torok, Ryan (December 12, 2016). "Pasadena trial focuses on Nazi-looted masterpiece". The Jewish Journal of Greater Los Angeles. Retrieved December 13, 2016.

External links

• Kendall, Jonathan (2002-04-28). "Baron Thyssen-Bornemisza, Industrialist Who Built Fabled Art Collection, Dies at 81". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-03.
• Profile by Taki for The Spectator, 4 May 2002
• Ancestors of Baroness Francesca Anne Thyssen-Bornemisza de Kaszon
• Ancestors of Archduchess Eleonore of Austria
• Ancestors of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria
• Ancestors of Archduchess Gloria of Austria
• Marek, Miroslav. "Thyssen-Bornemissza de Kászon et Impérfalva Family". Genealogy.EU.
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:26 am

Part 1 of 2

Ian Fleming
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/17/19




Sir. – Recent devastating events in Tibet caused over 15,000 Tibetans to cross the perilous Himalayas into India. It may be a long time before these unfortunate people can safely return to their overrun country. Our own consciences should allow us neither to neglect nor forget them.

The Indian Government has manfully coped with this addition to its own problems at home. In this country we are bound in honour to help relieve needs of the Tibetan refugees, because from 1905 to 1947 there was a special relationship between Tibet and the United Kingdom – a relationship handed on to the new India.

On balance we think it wisest to concentrate chiefly on collecting money which can be used for the benefit of the refugees, not least in the purchase of necessary antibiotics and other medicaments. The Tibet Society has opened a Tibet Relief Fund for which we now appeal in the hope of a generous response. Donations should be sent to the address below or direct to the National Bank Ltd. (Belgravia Branch), 21 Grosvenor Gardens, S.W.I.

Yours faithfully,

... Peter Fleming ... The Tibet Relief Fund, 58 Eccleston Square, S.W. I., Letter to the Times, July 31, 1959, p.7.

-- Tibet Society, by

Lord Rothermere succeeded his father in the viscountcy in 1940. He married three times and had four children ....

He married, secondly, Ann Geraldine Mary Charteris, widow of Shane Edward Robert O'Neill, 3rd Baron O'Neill, who was killed in action in 1944 in Italy. She also was the daughter of Captain Hon. Guy Lawrence Charteris and Frances Lucy Tennant and granddaughter of Hugo Richard Charteris, 11th Earl of Wemyss, on 28 June 1945 (divorced 1952). Ann Charteris then married the writer Ian Fleming in 1952.[3]

-- Esmond Harmsworth, 2nd Viscount Rothermere, by Wikipedia

Ian Fleming

Ian Lancaster Fleming (28 May 1908 – 12 August 1964) was an English author, journalist and naval intelligence officer who is best known for his James Bond series of spy novels. Fleming came from a wealthy family connected to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co., and his father was the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 until his death on the Western Front in 1917. Educated at Eton, Sandhurst and, briefly, the universities of Munich and Geneva, Fleming moved through several jobs before he started writing.

While working for Britain's Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War, Fleming was involved in planning Operation Goldeneye and in the planning and oversight of two intelligence units, 30 Assault Unit and T-Force. His wartime service and his career as a journalist provided much of the background, detail and depth of the James Bond novels.

Fleming wrote his first Bond novel, Casino Royale, in 1952. It was a success, with three print runs being commissioned to cope with the demand. Eleven Bond novels and two collections of short stories followed between 1953 and 1966. The novels revolve around James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond is also known by his code number, 007, and was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve. The Bond stories rank among the best-selling series of fictional books of all time, having sold over 100 million copies worldwide. Fleming also wrote the children's story Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang and two works of non-fiction. In 2008, The Times ranked Fleming 14th on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".

Fleming was married to Ann Charteris, who was divorced from the second Viscount Rothermere because of her affair with the author. Fleming and Charteris had a son, Caspar. Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker for most of his life and succumbed to heart disease in 1964 at the age of 56. Two of his James Bond books were published posthumously; other writers have since produced Bond novels. Fleming's creation has appeared in film twenty-six times, portrayed by seven actors.


Birth and family

The Glenelg War Memorial, listing Valentine Fleming

Ian Lancaster Fleming was born on 28 May 1908, at 27 Green Street in the wealthy London district of Mayfair.[1][2] His mother was Evelyn (née Rose), and his father was Valentine Fleming, the Member of Parliament for Henley from 1910 to 1917.[3] As an infant he briefly lived, with his family, at Braziers Park in Oxfordshire.[4] Fleming was a grandson of the Scottish financier Robert Fleming, who founded the Scottish American Investment Trust and the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co.[1][a]

In 1914, with the start of the First World War, Valentine Fleming joined "C" Squadron, Queen's Own Oxfordshire Hussars, and rose to the rank of major.[3] He was killed by German shelling on the Western Front on 20 May 1917; Winston Churchill wrote an obituary that appeared in The Times.[6] Because the family owned an estate at Arnisdale, Valentine's death was commemorated on the Glenelg War Memorial.[7]

Fleming's elder brother Peter (1907–1971) became a travel writer and married actress Celia Johnson.[8] Peter served with the Grenadier Guards during the Second World War, was later commissioned under Colin Gubbins to help establish the Auxiliary Units, and became involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war.[8]

Fleming also had two younger brothers, Michael (1913–1940) and Richard (1911–1977), and a younger maternal half-sister born out of wedlock, the cellist Amaryllis Fleming (1925–1999), whose father was the artist Augustus John.[9] Amaryllis was conceived during a long-term affair between John and Evelyn that started in 1923, six years after the death of Valentine.[10]

Education and early life

In 1914 Fleming attended Durnford School, a preparatory school on the Isle of Purbeck in Dorset.[11][ b] He did not enjoy his time at Durnford; he suffered unpalatable food, physical hardship and bullying.[11]

Eton College: Fleming's alma mater from 1921 to 1927

In 1921 Fleming enrolled at Eton College. Not a high achiever academically, he excelled at athletics and held the title of Victor Ludorum ("Winner of the Games") for two years between 1925 and 1927.[13] He also edited a school magazine, The Wyvern.[1] His lifestyle at Eton brought him into conflict with his housemaster, E. V. Slater, who disapproved of Fleming's attitude, his hair oil, his ownership of a car and his relations with women.[11] Slater persuaded Fleming's mother to remove him from Eton a term early for a crammer course to gain entry to the Royal Military College at Sandhurst.[11] He spent less than a year there, leaving in 1927 without gaining a commission, after contracting gonorrhea.[13]

In 1927, to prepare Fleming for possible entry into the Foreign Office,[14] his mother sent him to the Tennerhof in Kitzbühel, Austria, a small private school run by the Adlerian disciple and former British spy Ernan Forbes Dennis and his novelist wife, Phyllis Bottome.[15] After improving his language skills there, he studied briefly at Munich University and the University of Geneva.[1] While in Geneva, Fleming began a romance with Monique Panchaud de Bottens and the couple were briefly engaged in 1931.[16][c] His mother disapproved and made him break off the relationship.[18] He applied for entry to the Foreign Office, but failed the examinations. His mother again intervened in his affairs, lobbying Sir Roderick Jones, head of Reuters News Agency, and in October 1931 he was given a position as a sub-editor and journalist for the company.[1] In 1933 Fleming spent time in Moscow, where he covered the Stalinist show trial of six engineers from the British company Metropolitan-Vickers.[19] While there he applied for an interview with Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, and was amazed to receive a personally signed note apologising for not being able to attend.[20]

Fleming bowed to family pressure in October 1933, and went into banking with a position at the financiers Cull & Co.[19] In 1935 he moved to Rowe and Pitman on Bishopsgate as a stockbroker.[20] Fleming was unsuccessful in both roles.[21][19] Early in 1939 Fleming began an affair with Ann O'Neill (née Charteris), who was married to the 3rd Baron O'Neill;[22] she was also having an affair with Esmond Harmsworth, the heir to Lord Rothermere, owner of the Daily Mail.[23]

Second World War

The Admiralty, where Fleming worked in the Naval Intelligence Division during the Second World War

In May 1939 Fleming was recruited by Rear Admiral John Godfrey, Director of Naval Intelligence of the Royal Navy, to become his personal assistant. He joined the organisation full-time in August 1939,[24] with the codename "17F",[25] and worked out of Room 39 at The Admiralty.[26] Fleming's biographer, Andrew Lycett, notes that Fleming had "no obvious qualifications" for the role.[1] As part of his appointment, Fleming was commissioned into the Royal Naval Volunteer Reserve in July 1939,[24] initially as lieutenant,[26] but was promoted to commander a few months later.[27]

Fleming proved invaluable as Godfrey's personal assistant and excelled in administration.[1] Godfrey was known as an abrasive character who made enemies within government circles. He frequently used Fleming as a liaison with other sections of the government's wartime administration, such as the Secret Intelligence Service, the Political Warfare Executive, the Special Operations Executive (SOE), the Joint Intelligence Committee and the Prime Minister's staff.[28]

On 29 September 1939, soon after the start of the war, Godfrey circulated a memorandum that, "bore all the hallmarks of ... Lieutenant Commander Ian Fleming", according to historian Ben Macintyre.[29] It was called the Trout Memo and compared the deception of an enemy in wartime to fly fishing.[29] The memo contained several schemes to be considered for use against the Axis powers to lure U-boats and German surface ships towards minefields.[30] Number 28 on the list was an idea to plant misleading papers on a corpse that would be found by the enemy; the suggestion is similar to Operation Mincemeat, the 1943 plan to conceal the intended invasion of Italy from North Africa, which was developed by Charles Cholmondoley in October 1942.[31] The recommendation in the Trout Memo was titled: "A Suggestion (not a very nice one)",[31] and continued: "The following suggestion is used in a book by Basil Thomson: a corpse dressed as an airman, with despatches in his pockets, could be dropped on the coast, supposedly from a parachute that has failed. I understand there is no difficulty in obtaining corpses at the Naval Hospital, but, of course, it would have to be a fresh one."[31]

In 1940 Fleming and Godfrey contacted Kenneth Mason, Professor of Geography at Oxford University, about the preparation of reports on the geography of countries involved in military operations. These reports were the precursors of the Naval Intelligence Division Geographical Handbook Series produced between 1941 and 1946.[32]

Operation Ruthless, a plan aimed at obtaining details of the Enigma codes used by Nazi Germany's navy, was instigated by a memo written by Fleming to Godfrey on 12 September 1940. The idea was to "obtain" a German bomber, man it with a German-speaking crew dressed in Luftwaffe uniforms, and crash it into the English Channel. The crew would then attack their German rescuers and bring their boat and Enigma machine back to England.[33] Much to the annoyance of Alan Turing and Peter Twinn at Bletchley Park, the mission was never carried out. According to Fleming's niece, Lucy, an official of the Royal Air Force pointed out that if they were to drop a downed Heinkel bomber in the English Channel, it would probably sink rather quickly.[34]

Fleming also worked with Colonel "Wild Bill" Donovan, President Franklin D. Roosevelt's special representative on intelligence co-operation between London and Washington.[35] In May 1941 Fleming accompanied Godfrey to the United States, where he assisted in writing a blueprint for the Office of the Coordinator of Information, the department that turned into the Office of Strategic Services and eventually became the CIA.[36]

Admiral Godfrey put Fleming in charge of Operation Goldeneye between 1941 and 1942; Goldeneye was a plan to maintain an intelligence framework in Spain in the event of a German takeover of the territory.[37] Fleming's plan involved maintaining communication with Gibraltar and launching sabotage operations against the Nazis.[38] In 1941 he liaised with Donovan over American involvement in a measure intended to ensure that the Germans did not dominate the seaways.[39]

30 Assault Unit

In 1942 Fleming formed a unit of commandos, known as No. 30 Commando or 30 Assault Unit (30AU), composed of specialist intelligence troops.[40] 30AU's job was to be near the front line of an advance—sometimes in front of it—to seize enemy documents from previously targeted headquarters.[41] The unit was based on a German group headed by Otto Skorzeny, who had undertaken similar activities in the Battle of Crete in May 1941.[42] The German unit was thought by Fleming to be "one of the most outstanding innovations in German intelligence".[43]

Fleming did not fight in the field with the unit, but selected targets and directed operations from the rear.[42] On its formation the unit was thirty strong, but it grew to five times that size.[43] The unit was filled with men from other commando units, and trained in unarmed combat, safe-cracking and lock-picking at the SOE facilities.[42] In late 1942 Captain (later Rear-Admiral) Edmund Rushbrooke replaced Godfrey as head of the Naval Intelligence Division, and Fleming's influence in the organisation declined, although he retained control over 30AU.[1] Fleming was unpopular with the unit's members,[43] who disliked his referring to them as his "Red Indians".[44]

Before the 1944 Normandy landings, most of 30AU's operations were in the Mediterranean, and it also secretly participated in the Dieppe Raid in a failed pinch raid for an Enigma machine and related materials. Fleming observed the raid from HMS Fernie, 700 yards offshore.[45] Because of its successes in Sicily and Italy, 30AU became greatly trusted by naval intelligence.[46][47]

In March 1944 Fleming oversaw the distribution of intelligence to Royal Navy units in preparation for Operation Overlord.[48] He was replaced as head of 30AU on 6 June 1944,[42] but maintained some involvement.[49] He visited 30AU in the field during and after Overlord, especially following an attack on Cherbourg for which he was concerned that the unit had been incorrectly used as a regular commando force rather than an intelligence-gathering unit. This wasted the men's specialist skills, risked their safety on operations that did not justify the use of such skilled operatives, and threatened the vital gathering of intelligence. Afterwards, the management of these units was revised.[46] He also followed the unit into Germany after it located, in Tambach Castle, the German naval archives from 1870.[50]

In December 1944 Fleming was posted on an intelligence fact-finding trip to the Far East on behalf of the Director of Naval Intelligence.[51] Much of the trip was spent identifying opportunities for 30AU in the Pacific;[52] the unit saw little action because of the Japanese surrender.[53]


Goldeneye, where Fleming wrote all the Bond stories

The success of 30AU led to the August 1944 decision to establish a "Target Force", which became known as T-Force. The official memorandum, held at The National Archives in London, describes the unit's primary role: "T-Force = Target Force, to guard and secure documents, persons, equipment, with combat and Intelligence personnel, after capture of large towns, ports etc. in liberated and enemy territory."[54]

Fleming sat on the committee that selected the targets for the T-Force unit, and listed them in the "Black Books" that were issued to the unit's officers.[55] The infantry component of T-Force was in part made up of the 5th Battalion, King's Regiment, which supported the Second Army.[56] It was responsible for securing targets of interest for the British military, including nuclear laboratories, gas research centres and individual rocket scientists. The unit's most notable discoveries came during the advance on the German port of Kiel, in the research centre for German engines used in the V-2 rocket, Messerschmitt Me 163 fighters and high-speed U-boats.[57] Fleming would later use elements of the activities of T-Force in his writing, particularly in his 1955 Bond novel Moonraker.[58]

In 1942 Fleming attended an Anglo-American intelligence summit in Jamaica and, despite the constant heavy rain during his visit, he decided to live on the island once the war was over.[59] His friend Ivar Bryce helped find a plot of land in Saint Mary Parish where, in 1945, Fleming had a house built, which he named Goldeneye.[60] The name of the house and estate where he wrote his novels has many possible sources. Fleming himself mentioned both his wartime Operation Goldeneye[61] and Carson McCullers' 1941 novel Reflections in a Golden Eye, which described the use of British naval bases in the Caribbean by the American navy.[60]

Fleming was demobilised in May 1945, but remained in the RNVR for several years, receiving a promotion to substantive lieutenant-commander (Special Branch) on 26 July 1947.[62] In October 1947, he was awarded the King Christian X's Liberty Medal for his contribution in assisting Danish officers escaping from Denmark to Britain during the occupation of Denmark.[63] He ended his service on 16 August 1952, when he was removed from the active list of the RNVR with the rank of lieutenant-commander.[64]


Upon Fleming's demobilisation in May 1945, he became the Foreign Manager in the Kemsley newspaper group, which at the time owned The Sunday Times. In this role he oversaw the paper's worldwide network of correspondents. His contract allowed him to take three months holiday every winter, which he took in Jamaica.[1] Fleming worked full-time for the paper until December 1959,[65] but continued to write articles and attend the Tuesday weekly meetings until at least 1961.[66][67]

After Ann Charteris' first husband died in the war, she expected to marry Fleming, but he decided to remain a bachelor.[1] On 28 June 1945, she married the second Viscount Rothermere.[23] Nevertheless, Charteris continued her affair with Fleming, travelling to Jamaica to see him under the pretext of visiting his friend and neighbour Noël Coward. In 1948 she gave birth to Fleming's daughter, Mary, who was stillborn. Rothermere divorced Charteris in 1951 because of her relationship with Fleming,[23] and the couple married on 24 March 1952 in Jamaica,[68] a few months before their son Caspar was born in August. Both Fleming and Ann had affairs during their marriage, she with Hugh Gaitskell, the Leader of the Labour Party and Leader of the Opposition.[69] Fleming had a long-term affair in Jamaica with one of his neighbours, Blanche Blackwell, the mother of Chris Blackwell of Island Records.[70]


The scent and smoke and sweat of a casino are nauseating at three in the morning. Then the soul erosion produced by high gambling — a compost of greed and fear and nervous tension — becomes unbearable and the senses awake and revolt from it.

-- Opening lines of Casino Royale

Fleming had first mentioned to friends during the war that he wanted to write a spy novel,[1] an ambition he achieved within two months with Casino Royale.[71] He started writing the book at Goldeneye on 17 February 1952, gaining inspiration from his own experiences and imagination. He claimed afterwards that he wrote the novel to distract himself from his forthcoming wedding to the pregnant Charteris,[72] and called the work his "dreadful oafish opus".[73] His manuscript was typed in London by Joan Howe (mother of travel writer Rory MacLean), and Fleming's red-haired secretary at The Times on whom the character Miss Moneypenny was partially based.[74] Clare Blanchard, a former girlfriend, advised him not to publish the book, or at least to do so under a pseudonym.[75]

During Casino Royale's final draft stages, Fleming allowed his friend William Plomer to see a copy, and remarked "so far as I can see the element of suspense is completely absent".[76] Despite this, Plomer thought the book had sufficient promise and sent a copy to the publishing house Jonathan Cape. At first, they were unenthusiastic about the novel, but Fleming's brother Peter, whose books they managed, persuaded the company to publish it.[76] On 13 April 1953 Casino Royale was released in the UK in hardcover, priced at 10s 6d,[77] with a cover designed by Fleming.[78] It was a success and three print runs were needed to cope with the demand.[77][78][79]

The novel centres on the exploits of James Bond, an officer in the Secret Intelligence Service, commonly known as MI6. Bond is also known by his code number, 007, and was a commander in the Royal Naval Reserve. Fleming took the name for his character from that of the American ornithologist James Bond, an expert on Caribbean birds and author of the definitive field guide Birds of the West Indies. Fleming, himself a keen birdwatcher,[80] had a copy of Bond's guide, and later told the ornithologist's wife, "that this brief, unromantic, Anglo-Saxon and yet very masculine name was just what I needed, and so a second James Bond was born".[81] In a 1962 interview in The New Yorker, he further explained: "When I wrote the first one in 1953, I wanted Bond to be an extremely dull, uninteresting man to whom things happened; I wanted him to be a blunt instrument ... when I was casting around for a name for my protagonist I thought by God, [James Bond] is the dullest name I ever heard."[82]

Illustration commissioned by Fleming, showing his concept of the James Bond character.

Fleming based his creation on individuals he met during his time in the Naval Intelligence Division, and admitted that Bond "was a compound of all the secret agents and commando types I met during the war".[83] Among those types were his brother Peter, whom he worshipped,[83] and who had been involved in behind-the-lines operations in Norway and Greece during the war.[8] Fleming envisaged that Bond would resemble the composer, singer and actor Hoagy Carmichael; others, such as author and historian Ben Macintyre, identify aspects of Fleming's own looks in his description of Bond.[84][85] General references in the novels describe Bond as having "dark, rather cruel good looks".[86]

Fleming also modelled aspects of Bond on Conrad O'Brien-ffrench, a spy whom Fleming had met while skiing in Kitzbühel in the 1930s, Patrick Dalzel-Job, who served with distinction in 30AU during the war, and Bill "Biffy" Dunderdale, station head of MI6 in Paris, who wore cufflinks and handmade suits and was chauffeured around Paris in a Rolls-Royce.[83][87] Sir Fitzroy Maclean was another possible model for Bond, based on his wartime work behind enemy lines in the Balkans, as was the MI6 double agent Duško Popov.[88] Fleming also endowed Bond with many of his own traits, including the same golf handicap, his taste for scrambled eggs, his love of gambling, and use of the same brand of toiletries.[43][89]

After the publication of Casino Royale, Fleming used his annual holiday at his house in Jamaica to write another Bond story.[1] Twelve Bond novels and two short-story collections were published between 1953 and 1966, the last two (The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy and The Living Daylights) posthumously.[90] Much of the background to the stories came from Fleming's previous work in the Naval Intelligence Division or from events he knew of from the Cold War.[91] The plot of From Russia, with Love uses a fictional Soviet Spektor decoding machine as a lure to trap Bond; the Spektor had its roots in the wartime German Enigma machine.[92] The novel's plot device of spies on the Orient Express was based on the story of Eugene Karp, a US naval attaché and intelligence agent based in Budapest who took the Orient Express from Budapest to Paris in February 1950, carrying papers about blown US spy networks in the Eastern Bloc. Soviet assassins already on the train drugged the conductor, and Karp's body was found shortly afterwards in a railway tunnel south of Salzburg.[93]

Hoagy Carmichael, whose looks Fleming described for Bond

Many of the names used in the Bond works came from people Fleming knew: Scaramanga, the principal villain in The Man with the Golden Gun, was named after a fellow Eton schoolboy with whom Fleming fought;[91] Goldfinger, from the eponymous novel, was named after British architect Ernő Goldfinger, whose work Fleming abhorred;[91] Sir Hugo Drax, the antagonist of Moonraker, was named after Fleming's acquaintance Admiral Sir Reginald Aylmer Ranfurly Plunkett-Ernle-Erle-Drax;[94] Drax's assistant, Krebs, bears the same name as Hitler's last Chief of Staff;[95] and one of the homosexual villains from Diamonds Are Forever, "Boofy" Kidd, was named after one of Fleming's close friends—and a relative of his wife—Arthur Gore, 8th Earl of Arran, known as Boofy to his friends.[91]

Fleming's first work of non-fiction, The Diamond Smugglers, was published in 1957 and was partly based on background research for his fourth Bond novel, Diamonds Are Forever.[96] Much of the material had appeared in The Sunday Times and was based on Fleming's interviews with John Collard, a member of the International Diamond Security Organisation who had previously worked in MI5.[97] The book received mixed reviews in the UK and US.[98]

For the first five books (Casino Royale, Live and Let Die, Moonraker, Diamonds Are Forever and From Russia, with Love) Fleming received broadly positive reviews.[99] That began to change in March 1958 when Bernard Bergonzi, in the journal Twentieth Century, attacked Fleming's work as containing "a strongly marked streak of voyeurism and sado-masochism"[100] and wrote that the books showed "the total lack of any ethical frame of reference".[100] The article compared Fleming unfavourably with John Buchan and Raymond Chandler on both moral and literary criteria.[101] A month later, Dr. No was published, and Fleming received harsh criticism from reviewers who, in the words of Ben Macintyre, "rounded on Fleming, almost as a pack".[102] The most strongly worded of the critiques came from Paul Johnson of the New Statesman, who, in his review "Sex, Snobbery and Sadism", called the novel "without doubt, the nastiest book I have ever read".[103] Johnson went on to say that "by the time I was a third of the way through, I had to suppress a strong impulse to throw the thing away".[103] Johnson recognised that in Bond there "was a social phenomenon of some importance",[103] but this was seen as a negative element, as the phenomenon concerned "three basic ingredients in Dr No, all unhealthy, all thoroughly English: the sadism of a schoolboy bully, the mechanical, two-dimensional sex-longings of a frustrated adolescent, and the crude, snob-cravings of a suburban adult."[103] Johnson saw no positives in Dr. No, and said, "Mr Fleming has no literary skill, the construction of the book is chaotic, and entire incidents and situations are inserted, and then forgotten, in a haphazard manner."[103]

Lycett notes that Fleming "went into a personal and creative decline" after marital problems and the attacks on his work.[1] Goldfinger had been written before the publication of Dr. No; the next book Fleming produced after the criticism was For Your Eyes Only, a collection of short stories derived from outlines written for a television series that did not come to fruition.[104] Lycett noted that, as Fleming was writing the television scripts and the short stories, "Ian's mood of weariness and self-doubt was beginning to affect his writing", which can be seen in Bond's thoughts.[105]


In 1960 Fleming was commissioned by the Kuwait Oil Company to write a book on the country and its oil industry. The Kuwaiti Government disapproved of the typescript, State of Excitement: Impressions of Kuwait, and it was never published. According to Fleming: "The Oil Company expressed approval of the book but felt it their duty to submit the typescript to members of the Kuwait Government for their approval. The Sheikhs concerned found unpalatable certain mild comments and criticisms and particularly the passages referring to the adventurous past of the country which now wishes to be 'civilised' in every respect and forget its romantic origins."[106]

Fleming followed the disappointment of For Your Eyes Only with Thunderball, the novelization of a film script on which he had worked with others. The work had started in 1958 when Fleming's friend Ivar Bryce introduced him to a young Irish writer and director, Kevin McClory, and the three, together with Fleming and Bryce's friend Ernest Cuneo, worked on a script.[98] In October McClory introduced experienced screenwriter Jack Whittingham to the newly formed team,[107] and by December 1959 McClory and Whittingham sent Fleming a script.[108] Fleming had been having second thoughts on McClory's involvement and, in January 1960, explained his intention of delivering the screenplay to MCA, with a recommendation from him and Bryce that McClory act as producer.[109] He additionally told McClory that if MCA rejected the film because of McClory's involvement, then McClory should either sell himself to MCA, back out of the deal, or file a suit in court.[109]

Working at Goldeneye between January and March 1960, Fleming wrote the novel Thunderball, based on the screenplay written by himself, Whittingham and McClory.[110] In March 1961 McClory read an advance copy, and he and Whittingham immediately petitioned the High Court in London for an injunction to stop publication.[111] After two court actions, the second in November 1961,[112] Fleming offered McClory a deal, settling out of court. McClory gained the literary and film rights for the screenplay, while Fleming was given the rights to the novel, provided it was acknowledged as "based on a screen treatment by Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham and the Author".[113]

Fleming's books had always sold well, but in 1961 sales increased dramatically. On 17 March 1961, four years after its publication and three years after the heavy criticism of Dr. No, an article in Life listed From Russia, with Love as one of US President John F. Kennedy's ten favourite books.[114] Kennedy and Fleming had previously met in Washington.[82] This accolade and the associated publicity led to a surge in sales that made Fleming the biggest-selling crime writer in the US.[115][116] Fleming considered From Russia, with Love to be his best novel; he said "the great thing is that each one of the books seems to have been a favourite with one or other section of the public and none has yet been completely damned."[92]

In April 1961, shortly before the second court case on Thunderball,[1] Fleming had a heart attack during a regular weekly meeting at The Sunday Times.[66] While he was convalescing, one of his friends, Duff Dunbar, gave him a copy of Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin and suggested that he take the time to write up the bedtime story that Fleming used to tell to his son Caspar each evening.[66] Fleming attacked the project with gusto and wrote to his publisher, Michael Howard of Jonathan Cape, joking that "There is not a moment, even on the edge of the tomb, when I am not slaving for you";[117] the result was Fleming's only children's novel, Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang, which was published in October 1964, two months after his death.[118]

In June 1961 Fleming sold a six-month option on the film rights to his published and future James Bond novels and short stories to Harry Saltzman.[111] Saltzman formed the production vehicle Eon Productions along with Albert R. "Cubby" Broccoli, and after an extensive search, they hired Sean Connery on a six-film deal, later reduced to five beginning with Dr. No (1962).[119][120] Connery's depiction of Bond affected the literary character; in You Only Live Twice, the first book written after Dr. No was released, Fleming gave Bond a sense of humour that was not present in the previous stories.[121]

Fleming's second non-fiction book was published in November 1963: Thrilling Cities,[122] a reprint of a series of Sunday Times articles based on Fleming's impressions of world cities[123] in trips taken during 1959 and 1960.[124] Approached in 1964 by producer Norman Felton to write a spy series for television, Fleming provided several ideas, including the names of characters Napoleon Solo and April Dancer, for the series The Man from U.N.C.L.E.[125] However, Fleming withdrew from the project following a request from Eon Productions, who were keen to avoid any legal problems that might occur if the project overlapped with the Bond films.[126]

In January 1964 Fleming went to Goldeneye for what proved to be his last holiday and wrote the first draft of The Man with the Golden Gun.[127] He was dissatisfied with it and wrote to William Plomer, the copy editor of his novels, asking for it to be rewritten.[128] Fleming became increasingly unhappy with the book and considered rewriting it, but was dissuaded by Plomer, who considered it viable for publication.[129]


Ian Fleming's grave and memorial at Sevenhampton

Fleming was a heavy smoker and drinker throughout his adult life, and suffered from heart disease.[d] In 1961, aged 53, he suffered a heart attack and struggled to recuperate.[132] On 11 August 1964, while staying at a hotel in Canterbury, Fleming went to the Royal St George's Golf Club for lunch and later dined at his hotel with friends. The day had been tiring for him, and he collapsed with another heart attack shortly after the meal.[132] Fleming died at age 56 in the early morning of 12 August 1964—his son Caspar's twelfth birthday.[133][134] His last recorded words were an apology to the ambulance drivers for having inconvenienced them,[135] saying "I am sorry to trouble you chaps. I don't know how you get along so fast with the traffic on the roads these days."[136] Fleming was buried in the churchyard of Sevenhampton, near Swindon.[137] His will was proved on 4 November, with his estate valued at £302,147 (equivalent to £6,014,239 in 2018[138]).[139]

Fleming's last two books, The Man with the Golden Gun and Octopussy and The Living Daylights, were published posthumously.[90] The Man with the Golden Gun was published eight months after Fleming's death and had not been through the full editing process by Fleming.[140] As a result, the novel was thought by publishing company Jonathan Cape to be thin and "feeble".[141] The publishers had passed the manuscript to Kingsley Amis to read on holiday, but did not use his suggestions.[141] Fleming's biographer Henry Chandler observes that the novel "received polite and rather sad reviews, recognising that the book had effectively been left half-finished, and as such did not represent Fleming at the top of his game".[142] The final Bond book, containing two short stories, Octopussy and The Living Daylights, was published in Britain on 23 June 1966.[143]

In October 1975 Fleming's son Caspar, aged 23, committed suicide by drug overdose[144] and was buried with his father.[137] Fleming's widow, Ann, died in 1981 and was buried with her husband and their son.[23]


The author Raymond Benson, who later wrote a series of Bond novels, noted that Fleming's books fall into two distinct periods along stylistic lines. Those books written between 1953 and 1960 tend to concentrate on "mood, character development, and plot advancement",[145] while those released between 1961 and 1966 incorporate more detail and imagery. Benson argues that Fleming had become "a master storyteller" by the time he wrote Thunderball in 1961.[143]

Jeremy Black divides the series based on the villains Fleming created, a division supported by fellow academic Christoph Lindner.[146] Thus the early books from Casino Royale to For Your Eyes Only are classed as "Cold War stories", with SMERSH as the antagonists,[147] followed by Blofeld and SPECTRE as Bond's opponents in the three novels Thunderball, On Her Majesty's Secret Service and You Only Live Twice, after the thawing of East–West relations.[148][e] Black and Lindner both classify the remaining books—The Man with the Golden Gun, Octopussy and The Living Daylights and The Spy Who Loved Me—as "the later Fleming stories".[150]

Style and technique

Fleming said of his work, "while thrillers may not be Literature with a capital L, it is possible to write what I can best describe as 'thrillers designed to be read as literature'".[151] He named Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, Eric Ambler and Graham Greene as influences.[152] William Cook in the New Statesman considered James Bond to be "the culmination of an important but much-maligned tradition in English literature. As a boy, Fleming devoured the Bulldog Drummond tales of Lieutenant Colonel H. C. McNeile (aka "Sapper") and the Richard Hannay stories of John Buchan. His genius was to repackage these antiquated adventures to fit the fashion of postwar Britain ... In Bond, he created a Bulldog Drummond for the jet age."[89] Umberto Eco considered Mickey Spillane to have been another major influence.[153]

In May 1963 Fleming wrote a piece for Books and Bookmen magazine in which he described his approach to writing Bond books: "I write for about three hours in the morning ... and I do another hour's work between six and seven in the evening. I never correct anything and I never go back to see what I have written ... By following my formula, you write 2,000 words a day."[151] Benson identified what he described as the "Fleming Sweep", the use of "hooks" at the end of chapters to heighten tension and pull the reader into the next.[145] The hooks combine with what Anthony Burgess calls "a heightened journalistic style"[154] to produce "a speed of narrative, which hustles the reader past each danger point of mockery".[155]

Umberto Eco analysed Fleming's works from a Structuralist point of view,[156] and identified a series of oppositions within the storylines that provide structure and narrative, including:

• Bond—M
• Bond—Villain
• Villain—Woman
• Woman—Bond
• Free World—Soviet Union
• Great Britain—Non-Anglo-Saxon Countries
• Duty—Sacrifice • Cupidity—Ideals
• Love—Death
• Chance—Planning
• Luxury—Discomfort
• Excess—Moderation
• Perversion—Innocence
• Loyalty—Dishonour[157]

Eco also noted that the Bond villains tend to come from Central Europe or from Slavic or Mediterranean countries and have a mixed heritage and "complex and obscure origins".[158] Eco found that the villains were generally asexual or homosexual, inventive, organisationally astute, and wealthy.[158] Black observed the same point: "Fleming did not use class enemies for his villains instead relying on physical distortion or ethnic identity ... Furthermore, in Britain foreign villains used foreign servants and employees ... This racism reflected not only a pronounced theme of interwar adventure writing, such as the novels of Buchan, but also wider literary culture."[159] Writer Louise Welsh found that the novel Live and Let Die "taps into the paranoia that some sectors of white society were feeling" as the civil rights movements challenged prejudice and inequality.[160]

Fleming used well-known brand names and everyday details to support a sense of realism.[151] Kingsley Amis called this "the Fleming effect",[161] describing it as "the imaginative use of information, whereby the pervading fantastic nature of Bond's world ... [is] bolted down to some sort of reality, or at least counter-balanced."[162]
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

Postby admin » Tue Dec 17, 2019 7:31 am

Part 2 of 2

Major themes

Britain's position in the world

The Bond books were written in post-war Britain, when the country was still an imperial power.[163] As the series progressed, the British Empire was in decline; journalist William Cook observed that "Bond pandered to Britain's inflated and increasingly insecure self-image, flattering us with the fantasy that Britannia could still punch above her weight."[89] This decline of British power was referred to in several of the novels; in From Russia, with Love, it manifested itself in Bond's conversations with Darko Kerim, when Bond admits that in England, "we don't show teeth any more—only gums."[164][165] The theme is strongest in one of the later books of the series, the 1964 novel You Only Live Twice, in conversations between Bond and the head of Japan's secret intelligence service, Tiger Tanaka. Fleming was acutely aware of the loss of British prestige in the 1950s and early 60s, particularly during the Indonesia–Malaysia confrontation, when he had Tanaka accuse Britain of throwing away the empire "with both hands".[165][166][167]

Black points to the defections of four members of MI6 to the Soviet Union as having a major impact on how Britain was viewed in US intelligence circles.[168] The last of the defections was that of Kim Philby in January 1963,[169] while Fleming was still writing the first draft of You Only Live Twice.[170] The briefing between Bond and M is the first time in the twelve books that Fleming acknowledges the defections.[171] Black contends that the conversation between M and Bond allows Fleming to discuss the decline of Britain, with the defections and the Profumo affair of 1963 as a backdrop.[167] Two of the defections had taken place shortly before Fleming wrote Casino Royale,[172] and the book can be seen as the writer's "attempt to reflect the disturbing moral ambiguity of a post-war world that could produce traitors like Burgess and Maclean", according to Lycett.[173]

By the end of the series, in the 1965 novel, The Man with the Golden Gun, Black notes that an independent inquiry was undertaken by the Jamaican judiciary, while the CIA and MI6 were recorded as acting "under the closest liaison and direction of the Jamaican CID": this was the new world of a non-colonial, independent Jamaica, further underlining the decline of the British Empire.[174] The decline was also reflected in Bond's use of US equipment and personnel in several novels.[175] Uncertain and shifting geopolitics led Fleming to replace the Russian organisation SMERSH with the international terrorist group SPECTRE in Thunderball, permitting "evil unconstrained by ideology".[176] Black argues that SPECTRE provides a measure of continuity to the remaining stories in the series.[147]

Effects of the war

A theme throughout the series was the effect of the Second World War.[177] The Times journalist Ben Macintyre considers that Bond was "the ideal antidote to Britain's postwar austerity, rationing and the looming premonition of lost power",[178] at a time when coal and many items of food were still rationed.[89] Fleming often used the war as a signal to establish good or evil in characters:[95][179] in For Your Eyes Only, the villain, Hammerstein, is a former Gestapo officer, while the sympathetic Royal Canadian Mounted Police officer, Colonel Johns, served with the British under Montgomery in the Eighth Army.[180] Similarly, in Moonraker, Drax (Graf Hugo von der Drache) is a "megalomaniac German Nazi who masquerades as an English gentleman",[181] and his assistant, Krebs, bears the same name as Hitler's last Chief of Staff.[95] In this, Fleming "exploits another British cultural antipathy of the 1950s. Germans, in the wake of the Second World War, made another easy and obvious target for bad press."[181] As the series progressed, the threat of a re-emergent Germany was overtaken by concerns about the Cold War, and the novels changed their focus accordingly.[182]


Periodically in the series, the topic of comradeship or friendship arises, with a male ally who works with Bond on his mission.[183] Raymond Benson believes that the relationships Bond has with his allies "add another dimension to Bond's character, and ultimately, to the thematic continuity of the novels".[184] In Live and Let Die, agents Quarrel and Leiter represent the importance of male friends and allies, seen especially in Bond's response to the shark attack on Leiter; Benson observes that "the loyalty Bond feels towards his friends is as strong as his commitment to his job".[185] In Dr. No, Quarrel is "an indispensable ally".[186] Benson sees no evidence of discrimination in their relationship[187] and notes Bond's genuine remorse and sadness at Quarrel's death.[188]

The "traitor within"

From the opening novel in the series, the theme of treachery was strong. Bond's target in Casino Royale, Le Chiffre, was the paymaster of a French communist trade union, and the overtones of a fifth column struck a chord with the largely British readership, as Communist influence in the trade unions had been an issue in the press and parliament,[189] especially after the defections of Burgess and Maclean in 1951.[173] The "traitor within" theme continued in Live and Let Die and Moonraker.[190]

Good versus evil

Raymond Benson considered the most obvious theme of the series to be good versus evil.[183] This crystallised in Goldfinger with the Saint George motif, which is stated explicitly in the book:[108] "Bond sighed wearily. Once more into the breach, dear friend! This time, it really was St George and the dragon. And St George had better get a move on and do something";[191] Black notes that the image of St. George is an English, rather than British personification.[192]

Anglo-American relations

The Bond novels also dealt with the question of Anglo-American relations, reflecting the central role of the US in the defence of the West.[193] In the aftermath of the Second World War, tensions surfaced between a British government trying to retain its empire and the American desire for a capitalist new world order, but Fleming did not focus on this directly, instead creating "an impression of the normality of British imperial rule and action".[177] Author and journalist Christopher Hitchens observed that "the central paradox of the classic Bond stories is that, although superficially devoted to the Anglo-American war against communism, they are full of contempt and resentment for America and Americans".[194] Fleming was aware of this tension between the two countries, but did not focus on it strongly.[177] Kingsley Amis, in his exploration of Bond in The James Bond Dossier, pointed out that "Leiter, such a nonentity as a piece of characterization ... he, the American, takes orders from Bond, the Britisher, and that Bond is constantly doing better than he".[195]

For three of the novels, Goldfinger, Live and Let Die and Dr. No, it is Bond the British agent who has to sort out what turns out to be an American problem,[196] and Black points out that although it is American assets that are under threat in Dr. No, a British agent and a British warship, HMS Narvik, are sent with British soldiers to the island at the end of the novel to settle the matter.[197] Fleming became increasingly jaundiced about America, and his comments in the penultimate novel You Only Live Twice reflect this;[198] Bond's responses to Tanaka's comments reflect the declining relationship between Britain and America—in sharp contrast to the warm, co-operative relationship between Bond and Leiter in the earlier books.[167]


Bronze bust of Fleming by sculptor Anthony Smith, commissioned by the Fleming family in 2008 to commemorate the centenary of the author's birth.[199]

In the late 1950s the author Geoffrey Jenkins had suggested to Fleming that he write a Bond novel set in South Africa, and sent him his own idea for a plot outline which, according to Jenkins, Fleming felt had great potential.[200] After Fleming's death, Jenkins was commissioned by Bond publishers Glidrose Productions to write a continuation Bond novel, Per Fine Ounce, but it was never published.[201] Starting with Kingsley Amis's Colonel Sun, under the pseudonym "Robert Markham" in 1968,[202] several authors have been commissioned to write Bond novels, including Sebastian Faulks, who was asked by Ian Fleming Publications to write a new Bond novel in observance of what would have been Fleming's 100th birthday in 2008.[203]

During his lifetime Fleming sold thirty million books; double that number were sold in the two years following his death.[1] In 2008 The Times ranked Fleming fourteenth on its list of "The 50 greatest British writers since 1945".[204] In 2002 Ian Fleming Publications announced the launch of the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, presented by the Crime Writers' Association to the best thriller, adventure or spy novel originally published in the UK.[205]

The Eon Productions series of Bond films, which started in 1962 with Dr. No, continued after Fleming's death. Along with two non-Eon produced films, there have been twenty four Eon films, with the most recent, Spectre, released in October 2015.[206] The Eon Productions series has grossed over $6.2 billion worldwide, making it one of the highest-grossing film series.[207]

The influence of Bond in the cinema and in literature is evident in films and books including the Austin Powers series,[208] Carry On Spying[209] and the Jason Bourne character.[205] In 2011 Fleming became the first English-language writer to have an international airport named after him: Ian Fleming International Airport, near Oracabessa, Jamaica, was officially opened on 12 January 2011 by Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding and Fleming's niece, Lucy.[210]


See also: List of James Bond novels and short stories

• Casino Royale (1953)[f]
• Live and Let Die (1954)
• Moonraker (1955)[g]
• Diamonds Are Forever (1956)
• From Russia, with Love (1957)
• The Diamond Smugglers (1957)[214]
• Dr. No (1958)
• Goldfinger (1959)
• For Your Eyes Only (1960)[h]
• Thunderball (1961)[i]
• The Spy Who Loved Me (1962)[j]
• On Her Majesty's Secret Service (1963)
• Thrilling Cities (1963)[217]
• You Only Live Twice (1964)
• Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang (1964)[218]
• The Man with the Golden Gun (1965)[k]
• Octopussy and The Living Daylights (1966)[l]

Biographical films

• Goldeneye: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, 1989. A television film starring Charles Dance as Fleming. The film focuses on Fleming's life during the Second World War, his love life and the writing of James Bond.[220]
• Spymaker: The Secret Life of Ian Fleming, 1990. A television film starring Jason Connery (son of Sean) as Fleming in a Bond-like adventure set during World War II.[221]
• Ian Fleming: Bondmaker, 2005. A television drama-documentary, first broadcast on BBC on 28 August 2005. Ben Daniels portrayed Fleming.[222]
• Ian Fleming: Where Bond Began, 2008. Television documentary about the life of Ian Fleming, broadcast 19 October 2008 by the BBC. Presented by former Bond girl, Joanna Lumley.[223]
• The film Age of Heroes is based on the exploits of 30 Commando; James D'Arcy played Fleming.[224]
• Fleming: The Man Who Would Be Bond, a BBC America television four-episode mini-series, broadcast in January and February 2014, starring Dominic Cooper in the title role.[225][226]

See also

• Outline of James Bond


1. Since 2000 Robert Fleming & Co has been part of JP Morgan Chase.[5]
2. The school was near to the estate of the Bond family, who could trace their ancestry to an Elizabethan spy named John Bond, and whose motto was Non Sufficit Orbis—the world is not enough.[12]
3. Some sources provide the name as "Monique Panchaud de Bottomes".[17]
4. When he was 38, Fleming smoked up to 70 cigarettes a day;[130] he had been having them custom made at Morland of Grosvenor Street since the 1930s, and three gold bands on the filter were added during the war to mirror his naval commander's rank.[131]
5. Despite the thaw, the Cold War became increasingly tense again shortly afterwards, with the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the construction of the Berlin Wall and the Cuban Missile Crisis all occurring in an eighteen-month period from April 1961 to November 1962.[149]
6. The first US paperback edition of Casino Royale was re-titled You Asked For It,[211] and Bond's name was changed to "Jimmy Bond".[212]
7. First US paperback edition of Moonraker was re-titled Too Hot to Handle.[213]
8. Consisting of: "From a View to a Kill"; "For Your Eyes Only"; "Risico"; "Quantum of Solace" and "The Hildebrand Rarity".
9. Due to a legal battle, the book's storyline is also credited to Kevin McClory and Jack Whittingham;[113] see the controversy over Thunderball.
10. Fleming refused to allow a paperback edition to be published in the UK,[215] but one was published after his death.[216]
11. See the controversy over authorship.
12. Originally published as two stories, "Octopussy" and "The Living Daylights"; modern editions now also contain "The Property of a Lady" and "007 in New York".[219]


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• Longden, Sean (2010). T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets, 1945. London: Constable & Robinson. ISBN 978-1-84901-297-3.
• Lycett, Andrew (1996). Ian Fleming. London: Phoenix. ISBN 978-1-85799-783-5.
• Macintyre, Ben (2008). For Your Eyes Only. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-0-7475-9527-4.
• Macintyre, Ben (2010). Operation Mincemeat: The True Spy Story That Changed the Course of World War II. London: Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 978-1-4088-0921-1.
• MacLean, Rory (2012). Gift of Time. London: Constable & Robinson. ISBN 978-1-84901-857-9.
• Pearson, John (1967). The Life of Ian Fleming: Creator of James Bond. London: Pan Books.
• Pfeiffer, Lee; Worrall, Dave (1998). The Essential Bond. London: Boxtree Ltd. ISBN 978-0-7522-2477-0.
• Rankin, Nicholas (2011). Ian Fleming's Commandos: The Story of 30 Assault Unit in WWII. London: Faber and Faber. ISBN 978-0-571-25062-2.
• Winn, Christopher (2012). I Never Knew That About England. London: Random House. ISBN 978-1-4481-4606-2.

External links

• Media from Wikimedia Commons
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• Official website
• Works by or about Ian Fleming at Internet Archive
• Ian Fleming on IMDb
• Works by Ian Fleming at Faded Page (Canada)
• "Archival material relating to Ian Fleming". UK National Archives.
• Portraits of Ian Fleming at the National Portrait Gallery, London
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Re: Freda Bedi, by Wikipedia

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Black Hole of Calcutta
by Wikipedia
Accessed: 12/17/19



-- The Black Hole -- The Question of Holwell's Veracity, by J. H. Little, Bengal, Past & Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society, Vol. XI, Part 1, July-Sept., 1915

-- Full Proceedings of the Black Hole Debate, Bengal, Past & Present, Journal of the Calcutta Historical Society, Vol. XII. Jan – June, 1916

-- A Genuine Narrative of the deplorable Deaths of the English Gentlemen, and Others, who were suffocated in the Black Hole in Fort-William, at Calcutta, in the Kingdom of Bengal; in the Night succeeding the 20th Day of June 1756., In a Letter to a Friend, from India Tracts, by Mr. J.Z. Holwell, and Friends.

-- Interesting Historical Events, Relative to the Provinces of Bengal, and the Empire of Indostan. With a Seasonable Hint and Persuasive to the Honourable The Court of Directors of the East India Company. As Also The Mythology and Cosmogony, Facts and Festivals of the Gentoo's, followers of the Shastah. And a Dissertation on the Metempsychosis, commonly, though erroneously, called the Pythagorean Doctrine. Part II. By J.Z. Holwell, Esq.

-- Forging Indian Religion: East India Company Servants and the Construction of ‘Gentoo’/‘Hindoo’ Scripture in the 1760s, by Jessica Patterson

-- Holwell's Religion of Paradise, Excerpt from The Birth of Orientalism, by Urs App

John Zephaniah Holwell has received the eulogy of modern writers for his gallant defence of Calcutta in 1756 after the desertion of Governor Drake and his chief officers. He was the principal survivor of the Black Hole tragedy and wrote a narrative of his sufferings. When Clive left India in February 1760, Holwell succeeded him as Governor of Calcutta, but in August was superseded by Vansittart. His great achievement as Governor was to work up a case, in a most unscrupulous manner, against Nawab Mir Jafar. He prepared a memorial3 [The memorial may be found in Holwell's India Tracts and also in Vansittart’s Narrative Vol. 1 pp. 46-63.] on the state of the affairs of the province for the new Governor who was on his way to Calcutta. In this memorial he laid at the door of Mir Jafar all the evils under which the country was suffering; he charged him with treacherous dealings with the Dutch in the previous year, although Major Caillaud pointed out to him that this was never clearly proved, and even if it had been proved the fault had been condoned by Clive; he charged him with corresponding with the Shahzada, although Warren Hastings declared that the document was a forgery4 [The letters of Major Caillaud and Warren Hastings are given in India Tracts, but the writer has mislaid the exact reference.]; he charged him with the murder of persons who were alive when Mir Jafar himself was dead5 [See infra.] and he got £30,000 for himself when his scheme was successful.6 [Malcolm's Life of Clive (1836) Vol. 2, p. 289. See Bengal P. & P. Vol. VIII pp. 214-219.] The dethronement of Mir Jafar, condemned by Clive,7 [Malcolm's Life of Clive, Vol. 2, p. 255.] protested against by seven of the Company’s servants in Bengal who asserted that if the President had consulted the whole Council the measure would have been rejected,8 [Holwell’s India Tracts (1774) p. 107.] approved by the Court of Directors in such hesitating terms that Warren Hastings did not venture to translate the despatch to the new Nawab,9 [Hastings to Vansittart, July 14, 1762. (Vansittart’s Narrative Vol. 2, p. 69.)] was carried out by Governor Vansittart in October, and Mir Kasim was installed in his place.

Holwell was a man of great ability which he used unscrupulously to secure his own ends. Clive condemns him in the strongest terms: “Mr. Holwell is a specious and sensible man, but from what I have heard and observed myself I cannot be persuaded he will ever make use of his abilities for the good of the Company.”10 [Clive to William Mabbot, 31 Jan. 1757, (Hill’s Bengal in 1756-57 Vol. 2, p. 186)] He trembled to think of the fatal consequences if he were succeeded by such a mercenary man. “Mr. * * * has talents, but I fear wants a heart, therefore unfit to preside where integrity as well as capacity are equally essential.”11 [Malcolm's Life of Clive Vol. 2, p. 137 and p. 139. Asterisks are placed for the name but it is quite clear that Holwell is the man.] It seems ungenerous to add that when Siraj-ud-daula besieged Calcutta Holwell would have run away with the others if he had been able. But the statement was made at the time. Ives mentions it without condemnation12 [A Voyage from England to India in the year 1754 etc. (1773) p. 93. Ives was surgeon to Admiral Watson.] and Clive believed it. “I am well informed," he wrote, “there is no merit due to him for staying behind in the fort, nothing but the want of a boat prevented his escape and flight with the rest.”13 [In the letter quoted above. So Mr. William Lindsay who left the fort by permission on the 19th June. “It was much against his inclination being there, two gentlemen having carried away the budgerow he had waiting for him. I mention this as I understand he made a merit in staying when he found he could not get off." Letter to Mr. Robert Orme from Fulta July 1756. Hill’s Bengal in 1756-57, Vol. 1, p. 168.]

As a historian Holwell enjoys a reputation which is quite undeserved. To qualify himself to write on the history of India Holwell asserts that he “studiously perused all that has been written of the empire of Indostan, both as to its ancient as well as more modern state; as also the various accounts transmitted to us, by authors in almost all ages (from Arrian, down to the Abbé de Guyon) concerning the Hindoos, and the religious tenets of the Bramins.” He proceeds “to pronounce them all very defective, fallacious, and unsatisfactory to an inquisitive searcher after truth.”14 [Holwell's Interesting Historical Events, Part 1, p. 5.] Holwell may have been right, for all his reading did not save him from making the elementary blunder of declaring that Prince Nicosir, a pretender to the Empire in 1709, was a son of the great Akbar who died in 1605!15 [Holwell’s Interesting Historical Events, Part 1, p. 37.] If Holwell is correct in his history of the Mughal Empire from the death of Aurungzeb to the reign of Muhammad Shah then Elphinstone’s History of India needs revision for that period. If the Seir Mutaqherin approximates to history then Holwell’s account of the Transactions in Bengal from 1717 to 1750 is romance.

Here the reader may object: “Granted (though we should require better proof than you have brought forward) that Holwell was an inaccurate historian, that does not prove that he was a dishonest man." The latter point will now be established by showing (1) that Holwell fabricated a speech and fathered it on the Nawab Alivardi Khan; (2) that he brought false charges against the Nawab Mir Jafar; (3) that he fabricated a whole book and called it a translation from the ancient sacred writings of the Hindus.

(1) In a letter to the Court of Directors, dated Fulta, 30 November 1756,16 [Hill's Bengal in 1756-1757 Vol. 2, p. l.] Holwell is at pains to prove that the protection given by the Company’s servants to subjects of the Nawab was not the cause, as had been alleged, of Siraj-ud-daula’s attack on Calcutta. He asserts that Alivardi Khan “had long meditated to destroy the forts and garrisons of the Europeans,” and in support of this statement he quotes “verbatim, the last discourse and council which Mahabut Jung (Alivardi Khan) gave his grandson (Siraj-ud-daula) a few days before his death,” which, he adds, "I had from very good authority at Murshidabad, after my releasement.” Then follows the speech from which the following extract may be made:—“Keep in view the power the European nations have in the country. This fear I would also have freed you from if God had lengthened my days—The work, my son, must now be yours ....... ..Think not to weaken all three together. The power of the English is great; they have lately conquered Angria, and possessed themselves of his country; reduce them first; the others will give you little trouble, when you have reduced them. Suffer them not, my son, to have fortifications or soldiers: if you do, the country is not yours.”17 [Hill's Bengal in 1756-1757, Vol. 2, p. 16.]

This speech called forth some very plain language. Matthew Collet, second at Cassimbazar, contemptuously dismissed it with the words:—“As to Alliverde Cawn's last dying speech to his nephew, I look on it as a specious fable.”18 [Letter from Collet to Council, Fort William (Hill, Vol. 2, p. 129).] Richard Becher, chief of the Company’s factory at Dacca remarks:—“Mr. Holwell will excuse me if I do not admitt Alliverdee Cawn's speech as genuine till better proofs are brought to support it than any I have yet seen. Such advice if really given, it is reasonable to imagine had few or no witnesses, so that it appears very improbable Mr. Holwell in his distressed situation at Muxadavad should have been able to unravell the mysterries of the Cabinet and explore a secret never yet known to any one but himself.”19 [Letter from Becher to Council, Fort William (Hill, Vol. 2, p. 162).] William Watts, chief of the factory at Cassimbazar, observes:—“The last dying speech of Mahabut Jung or Alliverdi Cawn to his grandson neither he, or I believe, any of the gentlemen of the factory, ever heard of; neither have I since from any of the country people; it seems an imitation of the speech of Lewis XIV. to his grandson, and appears as Mr. Collet aptly terms it only a specious fable.”20 [Letter from Watts to Court of Directors, (Hill, Vol. 3, p. 336).]

Holwell replied to what (in his own words) was a charge of imposing on the Court of Directors a forgery that had no foundation but in his own invention. After quoting the words of Messrs. Collet, Becher and Watts he proceeds:—"That Mr. Becher should not believe the speech genuine I do not much wonder at, as he seems fully resolved that nothing shall drive him from his adopted principal cause of our misfortunes, the detention of the Nabob’s subjects, in confutation of which I have said sufficient; but the reasons this gentleman gives for his believing the speech not genuine had been better omitted for his own sake. The speech might probably enough have been a secret whilst it was necessary it should be so; but when I obtained it that necessity had long vanished, and Mr. Becher might have observed I say I had it from good authority, after my releasement, which was more than three months after the period it was uttered, and was no longer to be deemed a mystery of the cabinet, but might be judiciously enough divulged and circulated as an apology for and in support of Surajud Dowla's proceedings against the English, &c. Mr. Becher's opinion, “that I was unable to explore a secret, never yet known to any one but myself,” I would explain and reply to, could I possibly understand him. Shall only add, for Your Honours’ satisfaction, and in vindication of my own veracity, that I was released the 16th of July, and continued at the Tanksall, and the Dutch and French factories, until the 19th at night; during which period I had frequent conferences with the principal Armenians, and some the immediate servants of the late and present Suba, from whence I had the speech literally as I have given it; and notwithstanding the ingenious ridicule it meets from Messieurs Watts and Collet to cover their deficiency in matters which ought to have been known to them, I will not despair of giving Your Honours yet more convincing proofs of its being genuine.” The only proof that Holwell produces is a copy of a letter written by William Forth, surgeon at Cassimbazar, who relates that he was attending the Nawab fifteen days before his death when Siraj-ud-daula entered the room and charged the English with plotting to set up a rival to him in the succession. Alivardi Khan questioned Forth and at the end of his examination declared “he did not believe a word of the report he had heard.”21 [Letter from Holwell to Court of Directors, (Hill, Vol. 3, pp. 355, 356, 357.] How this helps Holwell it is difficult to see.

Holwell’s reply is as feeble as it could possibly be. Why did he not produce names with the date and hour of the conferences? He dared not. Watts and Collet were stationed close to Murshidabad and could have bowled him out. The only other remark of Holwell’s worthy of the slightest notice is his statement that the secret might have been circulated as an apology for the Nawab’s proceedings against the English. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Manningham, in his evidence before the Committee of the House of Commons said that “it was impossible to give any rational account of the origin of the Troubles”; that he was in Murshidabad with Clive in July 1757 and “enquiry was then made with all possible attention, but without success, into the motives of Surajah Dowla’s conduct from his principal officers, and likewise from the officers of his predecessor, from the Seats, and every other person from whom information was likely to be obtained.22 [First Report, (Hill, Vol. 3, p. 284).] Scrafton says the same. “I have made it my study since our intercourse with the great men at court, to penetrate into the cause of this event, but could never obtain anything satisfactory .... Perhaps it is a vain research to trace the motives of a capricious tyrant."23 [Scrafton, Reflections on the Government, &c., of Indostan (1763) p. 55.] Finally, on the main point we have the evidence of a relation24 [Hill, Vol. I Introduction, p. xxviii, foot note.] of Alivardi Khan’s—the author of the Seir Mutaqherin—who states:—“He (Alivardi Khan) used to compare the Europeans to a hive of bees, of whose honey you might reap the benefit, but that if you disturbed their hive they would sting you to death.” On another occasion, when his General, Mustafa Khan, supported by his nephew, Sayyid Ahmad, represented the ease with which the Europeans might be deprived of their immense wealth, he exclaimed: “My child, Mustapha Khan is a soldier, and wishes us to be constantly in need of his service, but how come you to join in his request? What have the English done against me that I should use them ill? It is now difficult to extinguish fire on land; but should the sea be in flames, who can put them out? Never listen to such advice as his, for the result would probably be fatal."25 [All this is borrowed from Hill’s Bengal in 1756-57 Vol I, Introduction p. xxxi.] Commenting on the inconsistency of these words with Holwell’s speech Dr. Busteed suggests that probably Alivardi Khan modified these views later on.26 [Echoes from Old Calcutta (2nd edition) p. 5 footnote.] Undoubtedly he did, or Holwell is guilty of forgery. Let the reader judge.

(2) With respect to the second charge against Holwell the reader will probably be disposed to accept the judgment of Clive and his Council who in 1766 considered it their duty to acquaint the Court of Directors in an official despatch that the “horrible massacres” with which Holwell had charged Nawab Mir Jafar were “cruel aspersions on the character of that prince" and had not the least foundation in truth. The persons who, according to Holwell, had been put to death by Mir Jafar “are all now living, except two, who were put to death by Meeran, without the Nawab’s consent or knowledge.“27 [Long's Selections from Unpublished Records of Government, p. 428.]

(3) Holwell asserts that the leisure hours of his thirty years’ residence in India were spent in collecting materials relative to the history and religion of the inhabitants of the country. Many curious Hindu manuscripts came into his possession and among them “two very correct and valuable copies of the Gentoo Shastah" procured with great labour and at great expense. He spent eighteen months in translating the Sastra.28 [Interesting Historical Events, Part 1, p. 3.] In one year more he would have completed the work but the catastrophe of 1756 intervened and when Calcutta was captured he lost manuscript and translation. By an unforeseen and extraordinary event “that possibly I may hereafter relate” (he never does so) he recovered some of his manuscripts.29 [Interesting Historical Events, Part 1, p. 4.] Hence he was able to give to the world an account of what he calls the “Chartah Bhade of Bramah,” the oldest and purest of the sacred writings of the Hindus. In Holwell’s time only three or four families were capable of reading and expounding it from the Sanskrit character.30 [Interesting Historical Events, Part 2, p. 15.] He obtained his information concerning it not from ordinary learned Brahmans who, in spite of their knowledge of the truth, pandered to the corrupt beliefs of the mob, but from those “whose purity of principle and manners and zeal for the primitive doctrines of Bramah’s Shastah sets them above disguising the truth."31 [Interesting Historical Events, Part 2, p 9 and p. 21.] Holwell gives an account of the doctrines contained in the “Chartah Bhade of Bramah”32 [Interesting Historical Events, Part 2, pp. 9 to 21.] and a translation of the first book and a section of the second. This version of the most ancient sacred book of the Hindus will make Sanskrit scholars stare and gasp. But what condemns the whole thing as a colossal fraud is the fact that Holwell has retained some words of the original in his translation which he explains in footnotes, and from these words it appears that his manuscript of the “Chartah Bhade” which only a few Brahman families were capable of reading and expounding from the Sanskrit character, was written in a mixture of Colloquial Bengali and Hindustani33 [Holwell starts his translation with the words "God is one" which according to a footnote are a translation of "ekhummesha" (ek, one hamesha, always?) pure Hindustani (Interesting Historical Events, Part 2 p. 31). The other words of the Sanskrit (?) original given in the translation or in footnotes are:—Debtah, angels; logue, a people, multitude or congregation; debtah-logue, the angelic host (p. 35); hazaar par hazaar (Hindustani), thousands upon thousands (p. 42); mahah surgo, supreme heaven; onderah (Hindustani) intense darkness (p. 44) dooneah or dunneah (Hindustani) the world; dunneahoudah, the worlds or the universe; boboons, regions or planets (p. 48) ghoij, the cow; ghoijal, cows; ghoijalbarry, a cowhouse; mhurd (Hindustani) the common name of man, from murto, matter or earth; jhoale, water, fluid; oustmaan (Hindustani) the air (p. 56) jogues, ages (p. 56); pereeth logue, purified people (p. 103); munnoo logue, people of contemplation, from mun or mon, thought, reflection (p. 104); modoo, discord, enmity; kytoo, confusion, tumult (p. 106); surjee, the sun; chunder, the moon (p. 110). (The meanings and derivations are Holwell’s).] —the latter apparently predominating. The fourth “sublime book" of the “Chartah Bhade" which “must lie in oblivion, until some one, blessed with opportunity, leisure, application, and genius, brings them to light" was according to Holwell, commonly called by Hindus “Bramah Ka Insoff (insaf) Bhade”! or “Bramah's Book of Justice." Such was the barefaced fraud foisted by Holwell on a Europe totally ignorant of Sanskrit, and it was for this that Voltaire gratefully thanked him.34 [Quoted in Busteed's Echoes from Old Calcutta, p. 38 (2nd edition).]

Three outrageous frauds have thus been brought home to Holwell, and we now proceed to reveal a fourth. Let us examine what he calls “a genuine Narrative of the deplorable deaths of the English gentlemen and others who were suffocated in the Black Hole in Fort William, at Calcutta."

-- The Black Hole -- The Question of Holwell's Veracity, by J. H. Little

The Black Hole of Calcutta, 20 June 1756

The Black Hole of Calcutta was a dungeon in Fort William, Calcutta measuring 4.30 × 5.50 ⁠metres (14 × 18 ⁠⁠feet), in which troops of Siraj ud-Daulah, the Nawab of Bengal, held British prisoners of war for three days starting on 20 June 1756. John Zephaniah Holwell, one of the British prisoners and an employee of the East India Company, said that, after the fall of Fort William, the surviving British soldiers, Anglo-Indian soldiers, and Indian civilians were imprisoned overnight in conditions so cramped that many people died from suffocation and heat exhaustion, and that 123 of 146 prisoners of war imprisoned there died.[1]


Fort William (Kolkata)
Coordinates: 22.573357°N 88.347979°E

Further information: History of Calcutta

Fort William was established to protect the East India Company's trade in the city of Calcutta, the principal city of the Bengal Presidency. In 1756 India, there existed the possibility of imperial confrontation with military forces of the Kingdom of France, so the British reinforced the fort. Siraj-ud-daula ordered the fortifications to be stopped by the French and British, and the French complied while British did not.

In consequence to that British indifference to his authority, Siraj ud-Daulah organised his army and laid siege to Fort William. In an effort to survive the losing battle, the British commander ordered the surviving soldiers of the garrison to escape, yet left behind 146 soldiers under the civilian command of John Zephaniah Holwell, a senior bureaucrat of the East India Company, who had been a military surgeon in earlier life.[2]

Moreover, the desertions of allied Indian troops made ineffective the British defence of Fort William, which fell to the siege of Bengali forces on 20 June 1756. The surviving defenders who were captured and made prisoners of war numbered between 64 and 69, along with an unknown number of Anglo-Indian soldiers and civilians who earlier had been sheltered in Fort William. The English officers and merchants based in Kolkata were rounded up by the forces loyal to Siraj ud-Daulah and forced into a dungeon known as the "Black Hole".

The Holwell account

A fenced display of the Black Hole of Calcutta. (1908)

Holwell wrote about the events that occurred after the fall of Fort William. He met with Siraj-ud-Daulah, who assured him: “On the word of a soldier; that no harm should come to us”.[3] After seeking a place in the fort to confine the prisoners (including Holwell), at 8.00 p.m., the jailers locked the prisoners in the fort’s prison — “the black hole” in soldiers' slang — a small room that measured 4.30 × 5.50 ⁠metres (14 × 18 ⁠⁠feet).[4] The next morning, when the black hole was opened, at 6.00 a.m., only about 23 of the prisoners remained alive.[2]

Historians offer different numbers of prisoners and casualties of war; Stanley Wolpert reported that 64 people were imprisoned and 21 survived.[2] D.L. Prior reported that 43 men of the Fort-William garrison were either missing or dead, for reasons other than suffocation and shock.[5] Busteed reports that the many non-combatants present in the fort when it was captured makes infeasible a precise number of people killed.[6] Regarding responsibility for the maltreatment and the deaths in the Black Hole of Calcutta, Holwell said, “it was the result of revenge and resentment, in the breasts of the lower Jemmaatdaars [sergeants], to whose custody we were delivered, for the number of their order killed during the siege.”[3]

Concurring with Holwell, Wolpert said that Siraj-ud-Daulah did not order the imprisonment and was not informed of it.[2] The physical description of the Black Hole of Calcutta corresponds with Holwell’s point of view:

The dungeon was a strongly barred room, and was not intended for the confinement of more than two or three men at a time. There were only two windows, and a projecting veranda outside, and thick iron bars within impeded the ventilation, while fires, raging in different parts of the fort, suggested an atmosphere of further oppressiveness. The prisoners were packed so tightly that the door was difficult to close.

One of the soldiers stationed in the veranda was offered 1,000 rupees to have them removed to a larger room. He went away, but returned saying it was impossible. The bribe was then doubled, and he made a second attempt with a like result; the nawab was asleep, and no one dared wake him.

By nine o'clock several had died, and many more were delirious. A frantic cry for water now became general, and one of the guards, more compassionate than his fellows, caused some [water] to be brought to the bars, where Mr. Holwell and two or three others received it in their hats, and passed it on to the men behind. In their impatience to secure it nearly all was spilt, and the little they drank seemed only to increase their thirst. Self-control was soon lost; those in remote parts of the room struggled to reach the window, and a fearful tumult ensued, in which the weakest were trampled or pressed to death. They raved, fought, prayed, blasphemed, and many then fell exhausted on the floor, where suffocation put an end to their torments.

About 11 o'clock the prisoners began to drop off, fast. At length, at six in the morning, Siraj-ud-Daulah awoke, and ordered the door to be opened. Of the 146 only 23, including Mr. Holwell [from whose narrative, published in the Annual Register & The Gentleman's Magazine for 1758, this account is partly derived], remained alive, and they were either stupefied or raving. Fresh air soon revived them, and the commander was then taken before the nawab, who expressed no regret for what had occurred, and gave no other sign of sympathy than ordering the Englishman a chair and a glass of water. Notwithstanding this indifference, Mr. Holwell and some others acquit him of any intention of causing the catastrophe, and ascribe it to the malice of certain inferior officers, but many think this opinion unfounded.

Afterwards, when the prison of Fort William was opened, the corpses of the dead men were thrown into a ditch. Moreover, as prisoners, Holwell and three other men were transferred to Murshidabad.

Imperial aftermath

The remaining survivors of the Black Hole of Calcutta were freed after the victory of a relief expedition commanded by Sir Robert Clive. After news of Calcutta's capture was received by the British in Madras in August 1756, Lieut. Col. Robert Clive was sent to retaliate against the Indians. With his troops and local Indian allies, Clive recaptured Calcutta in January 1757, and went on to defeat Siraj ud-Daulah at the Battle of Plassey, which resulted in Siraj being overthrown as Nawab of Bengal and killed.[2]

The Black Hole of Calcutta was later used as a warehouse.

Monument to the victims

The Black Hole Memorial, St. John's Church, Calcutta, India

In memoriam of the dead, the British erected a 15-metre-high obelisk; it now is in the graveyard of (Anglican) St. John's Church, Calcutta. Holwell had erected a tablet on the site of the 'Black Hole' to commemorate the victims but, at some point (the precise date is uncertain), it disappeared. Lord Curzon, on becoming Viceroy in 1899, noticed that there was nothing to mark the spot and commissioned a new monument, mentioning the prior existence of Holwell's; it was erected in 1901 at the corner of Dalhousie Square (now B. B. D. Bagh), which is said to be the site of the 'Black Hole'.[7] At the apex of the Indian independence movement, the presence of this monument in Calcutta was turned into a nationalist cause célèbre. Nationalist leaders, including Subhas Chandra Bose, lobbied energetically for its removal. The Congress and the Muslim League joined forces in the anti-monument movement. As a result, Abdul Wasek Mia of Nawabganj thana, a student leader of that time, led the removal of the monument from Dalhousie Square in July 1940. The monument was re-erected in the graveyard of St John's Church, Calcutta, where it remains.

The 'Black Hole' itself, being merely the guardroom in the old Fort William, disappeared shortly after the incident when the fort itself was taken down to be replaced by the new Fort William which still stands today in the Maidan to the south of B. B. D. Bagh. The precise location of that guardroom is in an alleyway between the General Post Office and the adjacent building to the north, in the north west corner of B.B.D. Bagh. The memorial tablet which was once on the wall of that building beside the GPO can now be found in the nearby postal museum.

"List of the smothered in the Black Hole prison exclusive of sixty-nine, consisting of Dutch and British sergeants, corporals, soldiers, topazes, militia, whites, and Portuguese, (whose names I am unacquainted with), making on the whole one hundred and twenty-three persons."

Holwell's list of the victims of the Black Hole of Calcutta:

Of Counsel — E. Eyre, Esqr., Wm. Baillie, Esqr., the Rev. Jervas Bellamy.

Gentlemen in the Service — Messrs. Jenks, Revely, Law, Coales, Valicourt, Jeb, Torriano, E. Page, S. Page, Grub, Street, Harod, P. Johnstone, Ballard, N. Drake, Carse, Knapton, Gosling, Robert Byng, Dod, Dalrymple, V. Ament Theme.

Military Captains — Clayton, Buchanan, Witherington.

Lieutenants — Bishop, Ifays, Blagg, Simson, Bellamy.

Ensigns – Paccard, Scot, Hastings, C. Wedderburn, Dumbleton.

Sergeants, &c. — Sergeant-Major Abraham, Quartermaster Cartwright, Sergeant Bleau (these were sergeants of militia).

Sea Captains — Hunt, Osburne, Purnell (survived the night; died on the morn), Messrs. Carey, Stephenson, Guy, Porter, W. Parker, Caulker, Bendall, Atkinson, Leech, &c., &c.

The list of the men and women who survived their imprisonment in the Black Hole of Calcutta:

Messrs. Holwell, John Zephediah, Court, Secretary Cooke, Lushington, Burdett, Ensign Walcott, Mrs. Carey, Captain Mills, Captain Dickson, Mr. Moran, John Meadows, and twelve military and militia (blacks & whites).[8]

In popular culture

Text on the Memorial in St John's Churchyard

Black Hole Monument

Holwell Monument, c. 1905

Inscription dating relocation

Scene of the Black Hole, c. 1905


Thomas Pynchon refers to the Black Hole of Calcutta in the historical novel Mason & Dixon (1997). The character Charles Mason spends much time on Saint Helena with the astronomer Nevil Maskelyne, the brother-in-law of Lord Robert Clive of India; themes of colonialism and racism are discussed in relation to the event. Later in the story, Jeremiah Dixon visits New York City, and attends a secret "Broad-Way" production of the "musical drama", The Black Hole of Calcutta, or, the Peevish Wazir, "executed with such a fine respect for detail. . . ."[9] Pynchon satirically refers to it in the long-running musical revue Oh! Calcutta!, which was played on Broadway for more than 7,000 performances. Edgar Allan Poe makes reference to the "stifling" of the prisoners in the introduction to "The Premature Burial" (1844).[10] The Black Hole is mentioned in Looking Backward (1888) by Edward Bellamy as an example of the depravity of the past.

In the science-fiction novel Omega: The Last Days of the World (1894), by Camille Flammarion, The Black Hole of Calcutta is mentioned for the suffocating properties of Carbonic-Oxide (Carbon Monoxide) upon the British soldiers imprisoned in that dungeon. Eugene O'Neill, in Long Day's Journey into Night, Act 4, Jamie says, "Can't expect us to live in the Black Hole of Calcutta." Patrick O'Brian in The Mauritius Command (1977) compared Jack Aubrey's house to the black hole of Calcutta "except that whereas the Hole was hot, dry, and airless", Aubrey's cottage "let in draughts from all sides."

Diana Gabaldon mentions briefly the incident in her novel Lord John and the Private Matter (2003). The Black Hole is also compared with the evil miasma of Calcutta as a whole in Dan Simmons's novel The Song of Kali. Stephen King makes a reference to the Black Hole of Calcutta in his 1983 novel Christine, and his 2004 novel Song of Susannah.

In Chapter V of "King Solomon´s Mines" (H.R. Haggard. 1885) the Black Hole of Calcutta is mentioned: "This gave us some slight shelter from the burning rays of the sun, but the atmosphere in that amateur grave can be better imagined than described. The Black Hole of Calcutta must have been a fool to it..." In John Fante's novel "The Road to Los Angeles" (1985), the main character Arturo Bandini recalls when seeing his place of work: "I thought about the Black Hole of Calcutta." In "Vanity Fair" W. M. Thackeray makes a reference to the Black Hole of Calcutta when describing the Anglo-Indian district in London, (Chapter LX). Swami Vivekananda makes a mention of Black Hole of Calcutta in connection with describing Holwell's journey to Murshidabad.[11]


In the period drama Turn: Washington's Spies, the character of John Graves Simcoe claims in Season 4 that he was born in India and that his father died in the Black Hole of Calcutta after being tortured. (In historical reality, Simcoe was born in England and his father died of pneumonia). In an episode of the Britcom Open All Hours Mr. Arkwright orders his assistant Granville to clean the outside window ledge. He attempts to say "There's enough dirt there to fill the Black Hole of Calcutta" but his extensive stuttering when trying to say 'Calcutta' causes him to change it to "There's enough dirt there to fill the Hanging Gardens of Babylon". In an episode of British Sitcom Only Fools and Horses, while discussing Uncle Albert's history of falling down numerous holes, Del Boy infers that the only hole Albert has not fallen down is "the black one in Calcutta".

In an episode of The Andy Griffith Show; S. 6 Ep. 11 The Cannon Deputy Warren is place in charge of security at the Mayberry Founders Day ceremony and he becomes obsessed with the town decorative cannon. He peers into the fuse breach and claims "It is darker than the Hole of Calcutta in there". In an episode of The L Word, Alice refers to the bad vibes in the coffee shop as “The Black Hole of Calcutta.” In an episode of British television series Yes, Minister, the permanent secretary refers to a packed train compartment as Black hole of Calcutta. [1]


The Black Hole of Calcutta was referenced early in the movie, "Albert, R.N." (renamed, "Break to Freedom"), a 1953 British film dealing with a German prisoner-of-war camp for allied naval officers.


According to Hong-Yee Chiu, an astrophysicist at NASA, the Black Hole of Calcutta was the inspiration for the term black hole referring to regions of space-time resulting from the gravitational collapse of very heavy stars. He recalled hearing physicist Robert Dicke in the early 1960s compare such gravitationally collapsed objects to the prison.[12]

See also

• War crime
• Human rights violation


1. Little, J. H. (1916) ‘The Black Hole — The Question of Holwell's Veracity’ (1916) Bengal: Past and Present, vol. 12. pp. 136–171.
2. Wolpert, Stanley (2009). A New History of India (8th ed.). New York, NY: Oxford UP. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-19-533756-3.
3. Holwell, John Zephaniah; Friends (1764). "A Genuine Narrative of the Deplorable Deaths of the English Gentlemen, and Others, who were suffocated in the Black-Hole in Fort-William, at Calcutta, in the Kingdom of Bengal; in the Night succeeding the 20th Day of June, 1756". India Tracts (2nd ed.). London, Great Britain: Becket & de Hondt. pp. 251–76. Retrieved 16 September 2011.
4. Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English
5. D. L. Prior, Holwell's biographer in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, reports figures of 64 prisoners and 21 survivors.
6. H.E. Busteed Echoes from Old Calcutta (Calcutta) 1908 pp. 30–56
7. Busteed Old Calcutta pp52-6
8. Busteed, 1888 appendix section of Echoes of Old Calcutta
9. Pychon, Thomas, Mason & Dixon, pp. 562–564.
10. "The Works of Edgar Allan Poe, Volume 2". Retrieved 25 December 2015.
11. Vivekananda, Swami (2002). Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda. Kolkata: Advaita Ashrama. p. 307. ISBN 81-85301-75-1.
12. Siegfried, Tom, "50 years later, it’s hard to say who named black holes", Science News, retrieved 2 January 2014


• Partha Chatterjee. The Black Hole of Empire: History of a Global Practice of Power. Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 2012. 425p. ISBN 9780691152004. Explores the incident itself and the history of using it to expand or critique British rule in India.
• Urs App (2010). The Birth of Orientalism. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press (ISBN 978-0-8122-4261-4); contains a 66-page chapter (pp. 297–362) on Holwell.
• Dalley, Jan (2006). The Black Hole: Money, Myth and Empire. London: Penguin Books. ISBN 0-670-91447-9.
• Tafseer, Usama (2013). Exile.

External links

• The Black Hole of Calcutta & The End of Islamic Power in India (1756—1757)
• The Black Hole of Empire[permanent dead link] – Stanford Presidential Lecture by Partha Chatterjee
• Photo of Calcutta Black Hole Memorial at St. John's Church Complex, Calcutta
• Partha Chatterjee and Ayça Çubukçu, "Empire as a Practice of Power: Introduction," The Asia-Pacific Journal, Vol 10, Issue 41, No. 1, 9 October 2012. [2] Interview with Chatterjee.
• Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Calcutta" . Encyclopædia Britannica. 5 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. pp. 981–983.
• The Black Hole of Calcutta—-the Fort William's airtight death prison
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