by KATHERINE PRIOR, LANCE BRENNAN, and ROBIN HAINES,
Flinders University of South Australia
In 1829, at the height of Lord William Bentinck's regime of reform, a keen young civil servant in north India took on one of the last of the Company's nabobs and won.
It was a clash of a new style of Haileybury civilian with an old Company servant which remarkably prefigured the personal and philosophical dynamics of the Anglicist-Orientalist education debate a few years later.
Sir Edward Colebrooke, Bt, was Resident of Delhi, 67 years old and nearly 50 years in the East India Company's service. His youthful adversary was his own first assistant, Charles Edward Trevelyan, aged 22 and, in Sir Edward's words, ‘a Boy just escaped from school’.
In June 1829 Trevelyan charged Colebrooke with corruption, and despite being cut by many of Delhi's European residents, saw the prosecution through to its conclusion some six months later when the Governor-General in Council was pleased to order Colebrooke's suspension from the service, a sentence ultimately confirmed by the Court of Directors.
Modern Asian Studies (2001), 35:1:75-112 Cambridge University Press
Copyright © 2001 Cambridge University Press