Halliday, Sir Frederick James

Halliday, Sir Frederick James (1806-1901) a civilian and the first Lieutenant Governor of Bengal (1854-59). Born on 26 December 1806 and educated at St. Paul's School, Rugby, and the East India College, (Haileybury), Sir Frederick James Halliday was appointed to the Bengal Civil Service in 1824. Since then he served in several East Bengal districts including Rajshahi, Tripura and Noakhali, before he became Secretary to the Sadar Board of Revenue in 1836. He was Secretary to the Government of Bengal (1838), Secretary to the Home Department of the Government of India (1849) and member of the Governor General's Council (December 1853).

Administratively, Bengal was turned into a Lieutenant Governor's province in 1854 and James Halliday joined as the first Lieutenant Governor on 1 May 1854. Halliday's term of office as Lieutenant Governor was eventful. Implementing the famous wood’s education despatch of 1854 became his major concern. According to the instructions of the Government of India, Halliday established a separate Department for Education, which was to look after the implementation of Wood's Education Despatch at all levels from the primary to university education. He also set up a committee to establish a university at the Presidency town, Calcutta. He took necessary measures to establish a number of Teachers' Training Institutions. Attempts were made to establish at least one government and several grant-in-aid schools in every sub-division.

The Santal Rebellion of 1855 and the Great sepoy revolt of 1857 particularly marked James Halliday's regime. Railway communication in Bengal began during his administration. In establishing the east indian railway, Halliday played significant roles in the requisition and acquisition of land for the use of the Railway Company. He received vote of thanks from Parliament for his commendable services during the mutiny and was made KCBE in 1860. He was Member of the Council of India from 1868 to 1886. Sir Frederick James Halliday died on 22 October 1901. [Sirajul Islam]