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Bird, William Wilberforce


Bird, William Wilberforce (1784-1857) arrived in Calcutta in 1807 as a member of the Covenanted Service of the east india company. William Wilberforce Bird's father Sherman Bird was a Bengal civilian in the 1780s and 1790s. William Wilberforce Bird retired from the service as acting Governor General of India in 1844.

As a civilian Bird made remarkable contributions to the reform and reorganisation of the board of revenue in the 1820s and to the district administration system in the early 1830s. Bird held many posts at district and divisional levels before he became a member of the Sadar Board of Revenue in 1829. In 1837 he became a member of the Council of the Governor General. In 1842 he became president of the Council of Education which had been instituted for organising educational reforms in the country. The system of establishing a model English High School in every Bengal district was mainly the work of William Bird. In 1842 he became Deputy Governor of Bengal. It may be noted that the Governor General used to act as the governor of Bengal presidency and on his behalf a deputy governor used to look after the administration of Bengal. [Sirajul Islam]