Anthony Oliphant

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Hon. Sir Anthony Oliphant (1793–1859) was a British lawyer who was appointed Chief Justice of Ceylon by Her Majesty's Government.[1][2][3] Prior to his appointment, Sir Anthony was Attorney General in the Cape Colony.

Sir Anthony lived in Colombo, purchasing a property called 'Alcove,' in Captains Gardens, subsequently known as Maha Nuge Gardens in Colpetty. When the Oliphant family left Ceylon he sold it to Sir Harry Dias. Sir Anthony Oliphant's tea estate, the Oliphant Estate, situated in the hill country in Nuwara Eliya, was the first estate to grow tea in Ceylon, when thirty plants were smuggled from China.[4] Sir Anthony and his son Laurence are both credited with being the first people to grow tea in Ceylon.

Sir Anthony's son, Laurence Oliphant, went on become a well-known author, international traveller, lawyer, and a Member of the House of Commons.

Family background[edit]

Sir Anthony grew up at Condie House (also known as Newton of Condie) in Forgandenny, Perthshire.

Drawing of Newton of Condie by Thomas Oliphant (circa 1853), Sir Anthony's birthplace and ancestral home.

His eldest brother, Laurence Oliphant, 8th of Condie was Member of the House of Commons for Perth, whose son was General Sir Laurence Oliphant KCB KCVO, 9th of Condie. Another of Sir Anthony's brothers, Col. James Oliphant was Chairman of the Honourable East India Company and a third brother was the artist and composer Thomas Oliphant who is accredited with having written the words of "Deck the Hall(s) with Boughs of Holly", "Men of Harlech", "The Ash Grove" and accomplished many other works including cataloguing the manuscript music at the British Museum and writing the chorale for the wedding of King Edward VII and Queen Alexandra.


  1. ^ Lundy, Darryl. "Sir Anthony Oliphant as Chief Justice of Ceylon". Retrieved 2009-08-06. [unreliable source?]
  2. ^ Burke's Landed Gentry 19th Edition, The Kingdom in Scotland
  3. ^ Burke’s Peerage & Baronetage 107th Edition
  4. ^ "Reference to Sir Anthony Oliphant and the introduction of Tea to Ceylon". Retrieved 2009-08-07. 


  • Ceylon Under British Rule, 1795-1932 By Lenox A. Mills (Cass)

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