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Skinner, James

SKINNER, JAMES (1778-1841), British military adventurer in India, son of Lieut.-Colonel Hercules Skinner, was born in India in 1778, his mother being a Rajput lady. At the age of eighteen he entered the Mahratta army under de Boigne, where he soon showed military talents; and he remained in the same service under Perron until 1803, when, on the outbreak of the Mahratta War, he refused to serve against his countrymen. He joined Lord Lake, and raised a regiment of irregular horse called " Skinner'3 Horse " or the " Yellow Boys," which became the most famous regiment of light cavalry in the India of that day. He was present at the siege of Bharatpur, and in 1818 was granted ajagir yielding Rs. 20,000 a year, appointed lieutenantcolonel in the British service and made C.B. He had an intimate knowledge of the character of the natives of India, and his advice was highly valued by successive governor-generals and com- manders-in-chief. He died at Hansi on the 4th of December 1841, and was buried in a church at Delhi which is called after his name.

See J. Baillie Fraser, Military Memoir of Lieut.-Colonel James Skinner (1851).

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

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