Hugh Clifford

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Sir
Hugh Charles Clifford
GCMG GBE
Hugh Charles Clifford (The Straits Times, 15 October 1929).jpg
24th Governor of British Ceylon
In office
30 November 1925 – June 1927
Monarch George V
Preceded by Edward Bruce Alexander
Succeeded by Arthur George Murchison Fletcher
Acting Governor of British Ceylon
In office
11 July 1907 – 24 August 1907
Monarch Edward VII
Preceded by Henry Arthur Blake
Succeeded by Henry Edward McCallum
Personal details
Born (1866-03-05)5 March 1866
Roehampton, London, England, United Kingdom
Died 18 December 1941(1941-12-18)
Roehampton, London, England, United Kingdom
Political party None
Spouse(s) Minna Beckett, married 15 April 1896, three children
Religion Catholic

Sir Hugh Charles Clifford, GCMG GBE (5 March 1866 – 18 December 1941) was a British colonial administrator.

Early life[edit]

Clifford was born in Roehampton, London, the sixth of the eight children of Major-General Sir Henry Hugh Clifford and his wife Josephine Elizabeth, née Anstice; his grandfather was Hugh Clifford, 7th Baron Clifford of Chudleigh.

Family[edit]

Clifford married Minna à Beckett, daughter of Gilbert Arthur à Beckett, on 15 April 1896, and they had one son and two daughters: Hugh Gilbert Francis Clifford, Mary Agnes Philippa and Monica Elizabeth Mary. Minna Clifford died on 14 January 1907.

On 24 September 1910 Hugh Clifford remarried, to Elizabeth Lydia Rosabelle Bonham,[1] CBE,[2] daughter of Edward Bonham of Bramling, Kent, a British consul. A Catholic, she was the widow of Henry Philip Duracel de la Pasture of Llandogo Priory, Monmouthshire. Clifford thus became stepfather to E. M. Delafield, author of the Provincial Lady series.

Career[edit]

Hugh Clifford intended to follow his father, a distinguished colonial general, into the British Army, but later decided to join the civil service in the Straits Settlements, with the assistance of his relative Sir Frederick Weld, the then Governor of the Straits Settlements and also the British High Commissioner in Malaya. He was later transferred to the British Protectorate of the Federated Malay States. Clifford arrived in Malaya in 1883, aged 17.

He first became a cadet in the State of Perak. During his twenty years in Perak, Clifford socialised with the local Malays and studied their language and culture deeply. He served as British Resident at Pahang, 1896–1900 and 1901–1903, and Governor of North Borneo, 1900–1901.

In 1903, he left Malaya to take the post of Colonial Secretary of Trinidad. Later he was appointed Governor of the Gold Coast, 1912–1919, Nigeria, 1919–1925, and Ceylon, 1925–1927. He continued to write stories and novels about Malayan life. His last posting was as Governor of the Straits Settlements and British High Commissioner in Malaya from 1927 until 1930. He wrote Farther India, which chronicles European explorations and discoveries in Southeast Asia.

Honours[edit]

Clifford was appointed Knight Commander of the Order of St Michael and St George (KCMG) in 1909, Knight Grand Cross of the Order of St Michael and St George (GCMG) in the 1921 Birthday Honours,[3] and Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the British Empire (GBE) in 1925.

Clifford died peacefully on 18 December 1941 in his native Roehampton. His widow, Elizabeth, died on 30 October 1945.

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ The Catholic Who's Who & Yearbook, 1930
  2. ^ Everyman's Dictionary of Literary Biography, 3rd ed. (1962)
  3. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 32346. p. 4533. 4 June 1921.

References[edit]

First published as: East coast etchings. Singapore : Straits Times Press, 1896.
  • Clifford, Hugh (1993) At the court of Pelesu and other Malayan stories. Kuala Lumpur : Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Clifford, Hugh (1992) Report of an expedition into Trengganu and Kelantan in 1895. Kuala Lumpur : MBRAS.
"First published in the Journal of the Malayan Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society, v. 34 pt. 1 in 1961" --T.p. verso.
"An expedition to Kelantan and Trengganu : 1895"--cover title.
  • Clifford, Hugh (1989) Saleh : a prince of Malaya. Singapore : Oxford University Press.
Originally published: A prince of Malaya. New York : Harper & Brothers, 1926.
  • Clifford, Hugh (1978) Journal of a mission to Pahang : January is to April 11, 1887. Honolulu : University of Hawaii, Southeast Asian Studies Program.
  • Clifford, Hugh (1970) In a corner of Asia; being tales and impressions of men and things in the Malay Peninsula. Freeport, N.Y. : Books for Libraries Press.
  • Clifford, Hugh (1966) Stories by Sir Hugh Clifford. Kuala Lumpur : Oxford University Press.
  • Cowan, C. D. (Charles Donald)(1961) Nineteenth-century Malaya : the origins of British political control. London : Oxford University Press.
  • Swettenham, Frank Athelstane (1907), British Malaya: an account of the origin and progress of British influence in Malaya. London : John Lane the Bodley Head.
  • Gailey, Harry A. (1982) Clifford, imperial proconsul. London : Rex Collings.
  • Holden, Philip (2000) Modern subjects/colonial texts : Hugh Clifford & the discipline of English literature in the Straits Settlements & Malaya, 1895-1907. Greensboro, NC : ELT Press.

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
John Pickersgill Rodger
British Resident of Pahang
1896-1900
Succeeded by
Arthur Butler
Preceded by
D.H. Wise
British Resident of Pahang
1901-1905
Succeeded by
Cecil Wray
Preceded by
Leicester Paul Beaufort
Governor of North Borneo
1900-1901
Succeeded by
Sir Ernest Woodford Birch
Preceded by
Henry Arthur Blake
Acting
Governor of Ceylon

1907
Succeeded by
Henry Edward McCallum
Preceded by
Herbert Bryan, acting
Governor of the Gold Coast
1912-1919
Succeeded by
Sir Alexander Ransford Slater, acting
Preceded by
Sir Frederick Lugard
Governor of Nigeria
1919-1925
Succeeded by
Sir Graeme Thomson
Preceded by
Edward Bruce Alexander
acting governor
Governor of Ceylon
1925–1927
Succeeded by
Arthur George Murchison Fletcher
acting governor
Preceded by
Sir Laurence Nunns Guillemard
Governor of Straits Settlements and British High Commissioner in Malaya
1927-1930
Succeeded by
Sir Cecil Clementi