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The Age of George III

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British India

Sir John Shore, Baron Teighnmouth, as Governor General (1793-1798)

This information comes from the biography of Shore, written by George Fisher Russell Barker in 1897


The period of Shore's rule as governor-general was comparatively uneventful. He implicitly obeyed the pacific injunctions of parliament and the East India Company, and pursued a thoroughly unambitious and equitable policy. Being more anxious to extend the trade than the territories of the company, his policy was attacked by the jingoes of that period as temporising and timid. That there was some truth in this cannot be denied. He acquiesced in the successful invasion by the Mahrattas of the dominions of the nizam; he permitted the growth of a French subsidiary force in the service of more than one native power; he thwarted Lord Hobart's efforts for extending the sphere of British influence; he allowed the growth and aggressions of the Sikh states in northern India; and he looked on passively while Tippoo was preparing for war. The only answer to these charges is that Shore faithfully obeyed his instructions, and nothing more could be expected of him.

Though he showed great weakness in dealing with the mutiny of the officers of the Bengal army, he displayed courage of a very high order in settling the question of the Oude succession. His substitution of Saadut Ali for Vizier Ali met with universal approval in India, and the court of directors recorded that ‘in circumstances of great delicacy and embarrassment Sir John Shore had conducted himself with great temper, ability, and firmness.’ As a reward for his services Shore was created Baron Teignmouth in the peerage of Ireland by letters patent executed at Dublin on 3 March 1798. Resigning the government into the hands of Sir Alured Clarke, he left India in March 1798, and on his return to England received the thanks of the court of directors ‘for his distinguished merit and attention in the administration of every branch of the company's service during the period in which he held the office of governor-general.’


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Last modified 12 January, 2016

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