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Abdul Razak bin Hussein, Tun (1922–1976), prime minister of Malaysia, was born in Pulau Keladi in the state of Pahang (a Malay state then under British ‘protection’), on 11 March 1922. Descended from a line of Bugis chieftains who had emigrated from Sulawesi...

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Sir George Edmond Brackenbury Abell (1904–1989) by Walter Bird, 1964 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Abell, Sir George Edmond Brackenbury (1904–1989), administrator in India, was born on 22 June 1904 in Sanderstead, Surrey, the eldest in the family of two sons and two daughters of George Foster Abell, director of Lloyds Bank, and his wife, Jessie Elizabeth Brackenbury...

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Abercromby, James (1707–1775), colonial agent and politician, was baptized on 24 August 1708 at Alloa, Clackmannanshire, the third son of Alexander Abercromby (d. 1753), MP for Clackmannanshire in the Scottish parliament, and Mary (b. c.1680), daughter of Alexander Duff of ...

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Abercromby, Sir Robert (1740?–1827), army officer and administrator in India, son of George Abercromby (1705–1800) of Tullibody and his wife, Mary, née Dundas (d. 1767), was baptized at his family's Scottish estate, Menstrie, near Tullibody, in Clackmannanshire, on 13 October 1740, which was possibly also the day of his birth. He came from one of those Scottish landed families that were to play an important role in British military and imperial history over the next two centuries. ...

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Abraham, Roy Clive (1890–1963), scholar of African languages and colonial administrator, was born on 16 December 1890 in Melbourne, Australia, the second son of Isaac Abraham (1849-1918) and his wife Amy nee Soloman (b. 1861). From a Jewish background, he studied at ...

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Acheson, Archibald, second earl of Gosford (1776–1849), governor-in-chief of British North America, was born on 1 August 1776, the eldest son of Arthur Acheson, first earl of Gosford, and his wife, Millicent, the daughter of Lieutenant-General Edward Pole, of Radbourne in Derbyshire. He entered ...

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Adam, John (1779–1825), administrator in India, was the eldest son of William Adam (1751–1839) and Eleanora Elphinstone (1749–1808), second daughter of Charles, tenth Baron Elphinstone. His brothers included Charles Adam, naval officer, and Frederick William Adam, who served in the army. He was born in ...

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William Patrick Adam (1823–1881) by John Moffat © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Adam, William Patrick (1823–1881), politician and administrator in India, was the elder son of Admiral Sir Charles Adam (1780–1853) of Blairadam, Kinross. His mother was Elizabeth (d. 1871), daughter of Patrick Brydone, FRS. Born at Ancrum, Roxburghshire, on 14 September 1823, Adam...

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Agnew, Patrick Alexander Vans (1822–1848), East India Company servant, was born at Raipur in Chhattisgarh in central India on 21 April 1822, the second son of Patrick Vans Agnew (1783–1842), lieutenant-colonel in the Madras army and afterwards a director of the East India Company...

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Ainsworth, John (1864–1946), colonial administrator, was born at 29 Lyme Street, Chorlton upon Medlock, Lancashire, on 16 June 1864, the son of John Dawson Ainsworth, commercial traveller, and his wife, Margaret, née Bond. His eight years of formal education were meant to prepare him for commercial employment. At the age of twenty he visited the west African coast; this led to employment with an English trading company in the lower ...

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Aitchison, Sir Charles Umpherston (1832–1896), administrator in India, born in Edinburgh on 20 May 1832, was the son of Hugh Aitchison of that city, and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Charles Umpherston of Loanhead, near Edinburgh. He was educated at Edinburgh high school...

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Al-Nahas, Mustafa (1879–1965), prime minister of Egypt, was born on 15 June 1879 in Samanud, in the Gharbiyya province of Egypt's Nile delta, where his father was a timber merchant. He attended the Khedival Secondary School in Cairo between 1891 and 1896, and graduated from the ...

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Du Pre Alexander, second earl of Caledon (1777–1839) by Charles Turner, pubd 1840 (after Richard Rothwell) © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Alexander, Du Pre, second earl of Caledon (1777–1839), politician and colonial administrator, was born on 14 December 1777, the only son of James Alexander (1730–1802), first earl of Caledon, of Caledon Castle, co. Tyrone, and his wife, Anne (d. 1777), daughter of ...

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Abdullah Yusuf Ali (1872–1953) by Lafayette, 1930 © National Portrait Gallery, London

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Ali, Abdullah Yusuf (1872–1953), Indian civil servant and Islamic scholar, was born on 4 April 1872 in Surat, Gujarat, India. His father, Yusuf Ali Allahbuksh, otherwise Khan Bahadur Yusuf Ali, a Shi'i in the Dawoodi Bohra tradition, had abandoned the traditional occupation of his community, business, and entered instead the police force, being presented on retirement with the title of ...

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William Pitt Amherst, first Earl Amherst of Arracan (1773–1857) by Sir Thomas Lawrence, 1821 Toledo Museum of Art, Ohio; photograph National Portrait Gallery, London

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Amherst, William Pitt, first Earl Amherst of Arracan (1773–1857), diplomatist and governor-general of Bengal, was born on 14 January 1773 in Bath, the first of three children of Lieutenant-General William Amherst (1732–1781), aide-de-camp to the king, governor of St John's, Newfoundland, and adjutant-general of the army, and his wife, ...