The Indian papers of the 1st Earl of Minto, 1806-1813
Gilbert Elliot Murray-Kynynmond, first Earl of Minto, after a distinguished diplomatic career, especially in Corsica and Vienna (to be published separately), was appointed President of the East India Company's Board of Control in 1806, and then Governor-General during a crucial period of colonial state-formation in India. The first of the six Scots who were to rule India, his six-year period in office from 1807 to 1813 occurred in a period in which British officials were anxious about their position in India but which nonetheless saw a process of imperial consolidation. His government saw dramatic debates about the way rural society should be governed, and witnessed efforts to greater regulate the activities of missionaries. In foreign policy, Minto inaugurated imperial interest across a range of territories and South East Asia, and saw greater immersion in the politics of then-independent Punjab and Afghanistan. The National Library of Scotland’s Collections on first Earl of Minto reflect this multitude of imperial interests and actions within Indian subcontinent as well as its wider sea-frontiers, the later region being increasingly popular among the historians of international and global history. Allowing students and scholars to trace the Governor-General's thought and actions through Minto's extensive correspondence, the papers also include large numbers of local records collected by Minto, including court cases and correspondence with district officials. These collections can prove immensely useful to the students and historians of governance and culture in South Asia itself as well as to those who are interested in the history of imperial and global connections across Asia, from Persian Gulf to Java, by the turn of the nineteenth century.