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KAYE, John William.

The Life and Correspondence of Henry St. George Tucker.

Late Accountant-General of Bengal, and Chairman of the East India Company.

London, Richard Bentley, 1854 Stock Code: 111720

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Family presentation copy of the second edition, inscribed by Henry Tucker's wife on the title page, "Clarice Elizabeth Tucker, from her affection mother Jane Tucker, 1859", in a superior binding with the gilt supralibros of the Tucker family to both covers. "In 1786 Tucker 1771/2-1851 sailed to Calcutta as a midshipman on an East Indiaman and upon arrival took up various clerical appointments, including that of private secretary to Sir William Jones" (ODNB). In 1792 he joined the Bengal civil service and displayed a particular flair for financial matters, drafting plans for establishing a bank (later realised in the Bank of Bengal) before being appointed judicial and revenue secretary in 1799, and then accountant-general in 1801. In 1806 he was convicted of the attempted rape of Dorothea Simpson, wife of a former colleague, for which he was imprisoned for six months and heavily fined, though the episode, entirely unmentioned in Kaye's biography, in fact did little to affect his career. He married Jane (d. 1869), daughter of Robert Boswell, signet of Ediburgh, in 1811, and returned to England permanently in 1815. In 1826 he was elected a director of the East India Company and remained on the court until his death, "devoting great energy to issues of Indian administration" (idem.) He led the conservation reaction to the radical anti-landlord revenue measures of the 1830s, the defence of the company's privileges against missionaries and free-traders, and the company's opposition to the annexation of Sindh and to the First Afghan War. Kaye's Life was first published the previous year.

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Octavo (215 x 130 mm). Bound for presentation in cream full morocco, raised bands to spine forming compartments, second and third gilt-lettered directed, remaining compartments richly gilt with floral sprays, gilt supralibros of the Tucker family to sides enclosed by concentric floral, Greek-key, dotted and twin fillet rolls, all edges gilt, floral roll to turn-ins gilt, white moiré silk-effect endpapers, bound silk page-marker.


Engraved portrait frontispiece with facsimile signature.


Extremities, joints and raised bands lightly rubbed, spine toned, light foxing to endleaves, frontispiece and final page. A very good copy in a handsome binding.


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