Warren Hastings (Dictionary of World Biography: The 17th and 18th Centuries)
Article abstract: As the first governor-general, Hastings consolidated British rule in India by intervening in the internal politics of Indian states and by meeting threats elsewhere in the Indian subcontinent.
Warren Hastings was born December 6, 1732, at Churchill, Oxfordshire, England. He had a difficult childhood: His mother died in childbirth, and his father deserted him. In turn, a foster mother, his grandfather, and his aunt all cared for him until he lived with his uncle at Westminster at age eight. His uncle provided for his boarding school education. In 1749, Hastings’ uncle died, and a guardian helped him become a clerk in the East India Company. In 1750, at age eighteen, Hastings sailed for India.
Young Hastings worked in Bengal, an area important to Great Britain for its wealth. He rose quickly in the Company’s service. In 1755, he was promoted to the factory council as secretary and storekeeper. By 1757, the year of Robert Clive’s triumph at Plassey, Hastings was appointed, at the age of twenty-five, to the position of Company representative at the court of the nawab of Bengel. Increasingly successful financially, Hastings served on the Company’s directing council in Calcutta after 1760 as the East India Company became a ruling as well as a trading body. In 1764, with his fortune in doubt and after losing a political battle, he resigned and sailed for England, where he spent...
(The entire section is 2092 words.)
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