List of Indian Civil Servants

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Information on some notable members of the Indian Civil Service.

  • Alexander Dalrymple 1737-1808 page 217 ‪The General Biographical Dictionary: Volume 11[1] by Alexander Chalmers 1813. Appointed a writer 1752 in Madras. Obtained a grant of the island of Balambangan (an island off North Borneo) controlled by the Sultan of Sulu (Sooloo) for the East India Company in 1763. Hydrographer.
Alexander Dalrymple’s Treaties with Sulu in Malay and Tausug 05 June 2014 British Library Asian and African studies blog.
  • Sir Charles D'Oyly, 7th Baronet 1781-1845 Wikipedia. "Charles D'Oyly's voyage to Patna" by J.P. Losty 04 September 2014 British Library Untold lives blog. Retrieved 11 September 2014. Amateur artist Sir Charles D’Oyly of the Bengal Civil Service was based in Calcutta, Dhaka and Patna from 1797 to 1838. He wrote and illustrated Tom Raw, the Griffin: a burlesque poem, in twelve cantos: illustrated by twenty-five engravings, descriptive of the adventures of a cadet in the East India company's service, from the period of his quitting England to his obtaining a staff situtation in India by “ a Civilian and an Officer on the Bengal Establishment” 1828 Image: Taylor & Co.'s emporium in Calcutta by Charles D'Oyly . Watercolour. Calcutta, India, 1828. Victoria and Albert Museum, London
  • William Browne Hockley 1792-1860, was in the Bombay Civil Service 1813-1824. Dismissed from his judgeship in September 1821, he was finally dismissed with a pension in March 1824. On return to England he wrote two novels, see W B Hockley for more details, including online versions of his books which "rank along with Meadows Taylor's as the best stories of Hindustan in English literature".
  • John Beames (Wikipedia) served in India 1858-1893 in the Civil Service. In addition, he was a scholar of Indian history, literature and linguistics. He wrote Memoirs of a Bengal Civilian, which describes his work "defending powerless peasants against rapacious planters, improvising fifteen-gun salutes for visiting dignitaries, and presiding over the blissful coast of Orissa". This book is available as a pdf download on the Digital Library of India.
  • Henry Mortimer Durand (Wikipedia) was Foreign Secretary from 1884-1894. Further information in Simla Rifles.
  • Richard Walmesley Blair, who joined the Service 1875, was in the Opium Department, and was the father of the author George Orwell. [2]
  • Sir Michael Francis O'Dwyer and Michael O'Dwyer(Wikipedia). Joining the service in India in 1885 he was first posted to Shahpur in the Punjab.In December 1912, he was appointed to be lieutenant-governor of the Punjab, a post which he held until May 1919. Like many administrators O'Dwyer believed that ‘extremist’ nationalist politics and terrorism were inter-connected. His decision to implement martial law in some parts of the Punjab was controversial.
  • See Cecil Champain Lowis. Lowis was a member of the Indian Civil Service in Burma from 1888 until 1912, who, from 1899 wrote more than a dozen novels set in Burma, mostly written after he retired.
  • Waldemar Haffkine was a bacteriologist, who worked firstly on a cholera vaccine, then on a successful plague vaccine. Haffkine commenced research in India in March 1893 on cholera, in Calcutta, and from October 1896 on plague research, in Bombay. In December 1901 he was appointed director-in-chief of the Plague Research Laboratory at Government House in Parel, Bombay, and later the Calcutta Biological Laboratory. In 1914, aged 55, Haffkine retired from the Indian Civil Service.
In Memoriam. Waldemar Mordecai Wolff Haffkine. Born 15 (3) March, 1860. Died 26 October, 1930 by W Bulloch [William]. Repr. from: The journal of pathology and bacteriology, vol. 34 1931.
"W.M.W.Haffkine, Bacteriologist - A Great Saviour of Mankind" by H I Jhala Indian Journal of History of Science, Volume 2, Issue 2 1967.
"Waldemar Haffkine: The vaccine pioneer the world forgot" by Joel Gunter and Vikas Pandey c 12 December 2020. BBC News.
The book The Brilliant and Tragic Life of W. M. W. Haffkine, Bacteriologist by Selman A Waksman, published New Brunswick, N.J. : Rutgers University Press, 1964 is available at the British Library UIN: BLL01003831470
  • See Maurice Collis. Collis was a member of the Indian Civil Service in Burma from 1911 to 1934. He wrote over twenty books, including volumes of autobiography, travel writing, novels, histories and three plays
  • Olaf Caroe (Wikipedia) joined the Indian Political Service in 1923; served as Foreign Secretary (1939-45) and as Governor of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) from March 1946 to June 1947
  • Philip Mason joined the Civil Service in 1928. He was the author of the books about the Indian Civil Service, The Men Who Ruled India, published as The Founders (1953) and The Guardians (1954). The books were originally published under the name Philip Woodruff. A one volume abridged edition was published in 1985. His many books include an autobiography A Shaft of Sunlight–Memories of a Varied Life by Philip Mason 1978. Link to a pdf download, PAHAR Mountains of Central Asia Digital Dataset. If the download does not display, located under Books/Indian Subcontinent. Review of the book


  1. Full title ‪The General Biographical Dictionary: Containing an Historical and Critical Account of the Lives and Writings of the Most Eminent Persons in Every Nation‬: ‪Particulary the British and Irish; from the Earliest Accounts to the Present Time‬, Volume 11