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Auckland, George Eden

AUCKLAND, GEORGE EDEN, Earl of (1784-1849), English statesman, was the second son of the 1st Baron Auckland. He completed his education at Oxford, and was admitted to the bar in 1809. His elder brother was drowned in the Thames in the following year; and in 1814, on the death of his father, he took his seat in the House of Lords as Baron Auckland. He supported the Reform party steadily by his vote, and in 1830 was made president of the Board of Trade and master of the Mint. In 1834 he held office for a few months as first lord of the admiralty, and in 1835 he was appointed governor-general of India. He proved himself to be a painstaking and laborious legislator, and devoted himself specially to the improvement of native schools, and the expansion of the commercial industry of the nation committed to his care. These useful labours were interrupted in 1838 by complications in Afghanistan, which excited the fears not only of the Anglo-Indian government but of the home authorities. Lord Auckland resolved to enter upon a war, and on the 1st of October 1838 published at Simla his famous manifesto dethroning Dost Mahommed. The early operations were crowned with success, and the governor-general received the title of earl of Auckland. But reverses followed quickly, and in the ensuing campaigns the British troops suffered the most severe disasters. Lord Auckland had the double mortification of seeing his policy a complete failure and of being superseded before his errors could be rectified. In the autumn of 1841 he was succeeded in office by Lord Ellenborough, and returned to England in the following year. In 1846 he was made first lord of the admiralty, which office he held until his death, on the 1st of January 1849. He died unmarried, and the earldom became extinct, the barony (see below) passing to his brother Robert.

See S.J. Trotter, The Earl of Auckland ("Rulers of India" series), 1893.

Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)

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