Brajendranath De

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Brajendranath De
Born 1852
Died 1932
Occupation Civilian, orientalist
Spouse(s) Nagendranandini De (nee Bose)

Brajendranath De (1852-1932), was an early Indian member of the Indian Civil Service.


In Lucknow he studied at Canning College, Lucknow, and later travelled to England, where he was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple. He was also admitted to St. Mary Hall, Oxford, where he spent one year on a Boden Sanskrit Scholarship.[1] He then joined the ICS.[2]


He served as the district magistrate and collector of Khulna.[3] He became the magistrate and collector of Balasore in Orissa and then of Malda and Hooghly. He was thrice the commissioner (acting) of the Burdwan Division.[citation needed]

As the district officer of Hooghly, he started the Duke Club there which was meant to be exclusively for Indians.[4] One of his Commissioners once told him not to entertain the thought of wanting to join a British club in the district.[5]

After retirement he translated and edited, in two volumes, Nizamuddin Ahmad's Tabaqat-i-Akbari. The third volume, which he had left fully prepared, was published posthumously by Dr.Hidayat Hosain.[6] He was also appointed as a Member of the Calcutta Improvement Trust.[7]


In 2001, approximately 2,000 photographs of himself and his family members were given in loan to the photographic archives of the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. Later, the archive was shifted to the newly established Jadunath Sarkar Centre for Historical Research, CSSSC, Calcutta, and the photographs too were deposited at 'Jadunath Bhavan', where the new Centre is located.[8]


De translated Kālidāsa's play Vikramorvasi which was published in the Calcutta Review.[9]

  • (trans.), 'Vikramorvaçi', Canto I., in Calcutta Review, Oct. 1884, pp. 440–2.

His other works include:

  • "Reminiscences of an Indian Member of the Indian Civil Service", in Calcutta Review, (1953–5).
  • (trans.), The Tabaqat-i-Akbari of Khwaja Nizamuddin Ahmad, Vols. 1 and 2, (Calcutta, reprint, 1973).


  1. ^ Oxford University Calendar, 1875, p. 366
  2. ^ Geraldine Forbes, Women in Modern India (Cambridge, 1996)
  3. ^ Peter Heehs,The Lives of Sri Aurobindo, (New York: Columbia University Press, 2008), pp.33–4
  4. ^ Mrinalini Sinha, "Britishness, Clubbability, and the Colonial Public Sphere: The Genealogy of an Imperial Institution in Colonial India", The Journal of British Studies, Vol. 4, No. 4, Oct. 2001, pp.489–521
  5. ^ Tony Ballantyne, Antoinette M. Burton (2005). Bodies in Contact. Duke University Press. ISBN 0-8223-3467-4. 
  6. ^ "Mr.B.De Dead Retired Member of the Civil Service" in The Statesman, 30 September 1932
  7. ^ "Late Mr. B. De, Calcutta Corporation Tributes", in Liberty, Saturday, 1 October 1932
  8. ^ Jadunath Sarkar Resource Centre for Historical Research, (Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta, 2009), p. 7
  9. ^ Schuyler, Jr., Montgomery (1902). "Bibliography of Kālidāsa's Mālavikāgnimitra and Vikramorvaçī". Journal of the American Oriental Society 23: 93–101. JSTOR 592384. 

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