Discover your ancestors who served in the Bengal Civil Service in 1869. The records may reveal when your relative started service and details of their various appointments. Included in these records are those of Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton, who was Assistant Secretary to the Bengal Government in Calcutta in 1873 and later served as a liberal MP for Nottingham East, following his return to England.
Each record comprises a transcript and black and white image of the original register. The amount of information listed varies, but the transcript usually includes a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
• First name(s)
• Last name
The image may contain additional information that isn’t included in the transcript. Further details may include:
• Arrival date
• Date of starting service
• Details of appointments
• Dates of appointments
The record set comprises almost 560 records.
From 1858, after the demise of the East India Company’s governance in India, the British civil service assumed its administrative responsibilities. The change in ruling came about due to the Indian Rebellion of 1857, which started near Calcutta, in Bengal, and which came close to ending British rule in India.
The Indian Civil Service was a very small administrative elite of up to 1,200 individuals, and, until the twentieth century, overwhelmingly British in composition. It comprised those officers appointed under Section XXXII of the Government of India Act of 1858 to posts reserved for them alone. Officers were recruited by competitive examination initially held only in London but subsequently also in Allahabad. The ICS was limited to the number 'absolutely necessary to fill the supervising and controlling offices' of the governing structure. The lower ranks of the administration were staffed by a vast army of subordinate clerks and provincial staff, recruited in India to do the more mundane tasks, but the hierarchy was led by about 1,000 carefully selected British individuals who had been educated in elite British schools. These officers held all the significant posts: they surrounded the Viceroy, they dominated the provincial governments, and they were ultimately responsible for overseeing all government activity in the 250 districts that made up British India.
Sir Henry John Stedman Cotton
Included in these records are those of Henry John Stedman Cotton, born in 1845, who had a lengthy career in the Indian Civil Service. He came to India in 1867, serving in Midnapore, and Chuadanga, before being appointed Assistant Secretary to the Bengal Government in Calcutta in 1873. Cotton supported Indian home rule and was sympathetic to Indian nationalism. He served as a Liberal Party MP for Nottingham East between 1906 and 1910, following his return to England.