Lyall, Sir Alfred Comyn (1835 - 1911)

Biography: 

Born on January 4, 1835, in Coulston, Surrey, Lyall received his education at Eton and Haileybury College. He joined the Indian civil service at Bulandshahr in the Doab in 1856 and served in many capacities until his retirement in 1887. After being honoured for fighting in the Mutiny in 1857-58, Lyall successively became commissioner of Nagpur, commissioner of West Berar, the governor-general's agent in Rajputana, and (from 1878 to 1881) foreign secretary to the Government of India. During this period he helped negotiate peace and a monarchy in Afghanistan, a solution that earned him more honours, the C.B. (1879) and K.C.B. (1881). His last position, as Lieutenant-governor of the North-west Provinces and Oudh, enabled him to introduce local self-government there. After returning to England, Lyall served on the India Council from 1888 to 1902, and then as a privy councillor under Edward VII. These services earned him a K.C.I.E (1887) and a G.C.I.E. (1896). Throughout his life Lyall enjoyed the life of a man of letters, historian, essayist, and poet. His literary achievements brought him advanced degrees, a D.C.L. from Oxford (1889) and an LL.D. from Cambridge (1891), a fellowship at King's College Cambridge (1893), and membership in the British Academy (1902), among other honours. He and Cora Cloete of Cape Town married in 1863 and had four children, both sons and daughters. He died of a heart attack on April 10, 1911, and is interred at Harbledown, near the Canterbury of Chaucer's General Prologue.

  • H., B. H. "Lyall, Sir Alfred Comyn." Dictionary of National Biography 1901-11. 492-94.
  • Lyall, Alfred Comyn. Asiatic studies, religious and social. 2nd edn. London: J. Murray, 1884. R.H L Robarts Library.
  • --. "VIII. From the close of the seventeenth century to the present time." History of India. Ed. A. V. Williams Jackson. London: Grolier society, ca. 1906-07. 9 vols. HIn J128hi Robarts Library.
  • --. The Life of the Marquis of Dufferin and Ava. London: Murray, 1905. 2 vols. DA 17 .D9L82 1905 Robarts Library.
  • --. The Rise of the British Dominion in India. New York: Scribner, 1893. HIn L981r Robarts Library.
  • --. Studies in literature and history. London: John Murray, 1915. AC 8 .L93 1915 Robarts Library.
  • --. Tennyson. New York: Macmillan, 1902. PR 5581 .L8 1902 Victoria College Library.
  • --. Verses Written in India. London: K. Paul, Trench, 1889. PR 4894 .L7V4 Robarts Library.
  • --. Warren Hastings. London: Macmillan, 1889. DS 473 .L95 Robarts Library.
Given Name: 
Alfred Comyn
Family Name: 
Lyall
Birth Date: 
January 4, 1835
Death Date: 
April 10, 1911
Nationality: 
Family Relations: 
wife : Cora Cloete

Occupations

Literary Period: 
Literary Movement: 
Cause of Death: 
First RPO Edition: 
2001