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Beadon, Sir Cecil


Beadon, Sir Cecil (1816-1880) civilian and Lieutenant Governor of Bengal from April 1862 to April 1867. Educated at Eton and Haileybury, Cecil Beadon was appointed to the Bengal Civil Service at the age of 18. Before joining as the Lt Governor, Cecil Beadon served as the Under Secretary to the Bengal Government, 1843; Secretary to the board of revenue, 1847; Secretary to the Government of Bengal, 1852; Home Secretary to the Government of India, 1854 and Foreign Secretary to the Government of India, 1859. He was a member of the Supreme Council (1860-62) immediately before his appointment as Lieutenant Governor.

During the sepoy revolt of 1857 Beadon was the Home Secretary and had to deal with the policy measures towards suppressing the revolt. It is alleged that many of the most harsh and inhuman measures adopted for dealing with the mutineers originated from Beadon and the success of such measures made him immensely popular among the Anglo-Indian community. Beadon was mainly responsible for the idea of sending an expedition to Bhutan for conquering the country, a plan that led to vassalage of Bhutan to the Raj in 1865.

As Lt Governor, Beadon is held responsible for destroying the settlements of some resisting Khasi and Nagas in 1862 - 63. He is said to have mismanaged the after-effects of the great cyclone of 1864 and the famine of 1866-67. While the famine was raging Orissa and Bihar, Beadon chose to shift his Secretariat to Darjeeling to escape the heat and humidity of Bengal summer. The Famine Commission (1867) made Beadon responsible for the loss of lives and properties during the famine. The House of Commons also criticized his role. In the face of general criticism Cecil Beadon retired and left India in April 1867. He died on 18 July 1880. [Sirajul Islam]