Andrew Dalgleish

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Andrew Dalgleish (1853 – 1888) on Karakoram Pass, between Ladakh, India and China was a Scottish trader, traveller and government agent during the Great Game.

Life and murder[edit]

He took part in the first trading venture of the Central Asian Trading Company, the company having been set up in 1873 with the encouragement of Robert Barkely Shaw. Dalgleish was one of the first British traders in Ladakh, engaged in trans-Karakoram trade in the 1870s and 1880s. He married a Yarkandi wife. He had for some years traded between Yarkand and Leh and he was fluent in Uyghur.[1]

Dalgleish was murdered by an Afghan named Daud Mohammad, a Kakar Pathan from Quetta who was once a merchant but had gone bankrupt. According to Hamilton Bower, in May 1888 Dalgleish, accompanied by some pilgrims and servants, left Leh for Yarkand. Several days into their journey they were joined by Mohammad. On April 8, 1888 the party crossed the Karakoram Pass and set up some tents to rest. While drinking tea in a tent Dalgleish and Mohamed had a conversation regarding Mohammad’s debts. Mohammad excused himself and then returned with a gun and fired into the tent, striking Dalgleish in the shoulder. Dalgleish escaped from the tent but Mohammad pursued him with a sword. Mohammad did not immediately flee and instead forced Dalgleish's servants to make him a meal him and then he slept in his victim's tent. The next day Mohammad departed and Dalgleish's servants and pilgrims made their way to Yarkand. The British community in Yarkand expressed their outrage over the murder and pleaded with the local yamen to have the murderer arrested. Mohammad later arrived in Kashgar and despite pleas from the Russian Consul Nikolai Petrovsky local officials refused to arrest Mohammad.[1]

During his travels through Qing China's Xinjiang Province from 1889–90, British military officer Hamilton Bower attempted without success to pursue Dalgleish's killer.[1] Mohammad was arrested in 1890 in Samarkand (then Russia) and committed suicide in prison.

A small memorial made of marble slab was erected by Bower on the desolate site of his death. It read in English and Persian, "Here fell Andrew Dalgleish, murdered by an Afghan, April 6th, 1888."[2]

His resting place is in a Christian cemetery in Leh, Ladakh.

Further reading[edit]

  • Rizvi, Janet. (1996) Ladakh. Crossroads of High Asia. Oxford University Press, New Delhi. ISBN 0-19-564546-4, pp. 105–106


  1. ^ a b c Hamilton Bower. A trip to Turkistan. Geographical Journal. 1895. pp. 241-257
  2. ^ The Earl of Dunmore. Journey in the Pamirs and Central Asia. Geographical Journal. V. II. No. 5. November. 1893.

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