Tuesday, April 12, 2011
Henry Vansittart (1732- 1770)
Henry Vansittart was educated at Reading Grammer School and at Winchester College . He was an unruly youth. His father, alarmed with his extravagances, compelled him at the age of thirteen to enter youth service of the East Indian Company on the Madras establishment. In the summer of 1745 he sailed for fort St. Davids, where he was employed as a writer , and in the winter of next year (1746-47)took part in the defence of the place when the French made an abortive attack on it. He was assiduous in his duties, and early mastered Persian , the tongue employed in Indian diplomacy. While at Ford St. Davids he made the acquiantance of Clive , and a close friendship sprang up between them. In 1750, Vansittart was promoted to the grade factor, and in the following year visited England. He had amassed a considerale fortune, which he soon dissipated in gambling and riotous living.
In 1759, he took part in the defence of Madras against the French under Lally and on recommendation by Clive, he was appointed president of the Council and Governor of Fort William and the Company's settlements in Bengal, Bihar and Orissa, but owing to the critical condition of affairs at Fort St George, where he was acting as Governor ad interim, he did not arrive in Bengal until July 1760. He arrived in Bengal at the end of July, 1760.
He acted as Governor of Bengal, Bihar and Orissa during 1760 to 1764.
Owing chiefly to his quarrel with Clive , he had to come back to England.