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William wedderburn

Sir William wedderburn (1838-1918) had a long association with India. His father john served in India (1807-37). William’s father in law was in the

William wedderburn
William wedderburn
service of the east India Company and his elder brother was a magistrate and collector of hissar, India who was killed along with his family during the 1857 uprising. Another brother David was an expert on Indian affairs.

He was born on 28 march 1838 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Wedderburn was sent along with his brother David, on a Swiss Italian tour and joined a school near Berne (Switzerland) in 1847. In 1854 he joined the University of Edinburgh and the Indian civil service in 1859. He served at various places in India and retired in 1887 as chief secretary, Bombay government. During his service he studied the economic conditions on India, especially that of the peasantry. His concern with these problems brought him in touch with the leaders of Indian national congress. He was a friend of A.O. Hume whose biography he wrote. He was president of the congress twice in Bombay and Allahabad. Wedderburn entered British parliament in 1893 as a liberal member and voiced Indian grievances in the House of Commons. He formed the Indian parliamentary committee, himself as chairmen (1889-1918).  In 1906 he arranged a meeting of 100 members of British parliament to meet Mahatma Gandhi who had come to London from south Africa. He worked for greater reforms and progressive realization of self-government for India. Though a civil servant he was a great friend of India.

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