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Eden, Sir Ashley

EDEN, SIR ASHLEY (1831-1887), Anglo-Indian official and diplomatist, third son of Robert John Eden, third Lord Auckland and bishop of Bath and Wells, was born on the 13th of November 1831, and was educated at Rugby, Winchester and the East India Company's college at Haileybury, entering the Indian civil service in 1852. In 1855 he gained distinction as assistant to the special commissioner for the suppression of the Santal rising, and in 1860 was appointed secretary to the Bengal government with an ex officio seat on the legislative council, a position he held for eleven years. In 1861 he negotiated, as political agent, a treaty with the raja of Sikkim. His success led to his being sent on a similar mission to Bhutan in 1863; but, being unaccompanied by any armed force, his demands were rejected and he was forced under circumstances of personal insult to come to an arrangement highly favourable to the Bhutias. The result was the repudiation of the treaty by the Indian government and the declaration of war against Bhutan. In 1871 Eden became the first civilian governor of British Burma, which post he held until his appointment in 1877 as lieutenant-governor of Bengal. In 1878 he was made a K.C.S.I., and in 1882 resigned the lieutenant-governorship and returned to England on his appointment to the council of the secretary of state for India, of which he remained a member till his death on the 8th of July 1887. The success of his administration of Bengal was attested by the statue erected in his honour at Calcutta after his retirement.

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

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