Charles James O'Donnell
O'Donnell was born in Donegal in 1849. He was educated at Queens College Galway, and passed the Indian Civil Service Examinations in 1870. He served in Bengal and dealt with the famine of 1874. His duties also included tenant rights and judicial control of rents.
He was appointed assistant to the Director General of Statistics William Wilson Hunter in 1875 but returned to district work as a joint magistrate in 1884. He was the Superintendent of Bengal for the census of 1891, and rose to Commissioner in 1898 before his retirement in 1900.
O'Donnell had a palpable dislike of Lord Curzon as Viceroy of India, addressing "The Failure of Lord Curzon" to Lord Rosebery. Elected as a Liberal member for Walworth in the 1906 general election, O'Donnell levelled heavy criticism at the Secretary of State for India, for actions such as the partition of Bengal in 1905. He decided not to contest the January 1910 general election.
His legacy includes the commission of the lectures named after him at Oxford University, on the subject of "British or Celtic elements in the English language or in the existing population of England". The inaugural lecturer was J.R.R. Tolkien in 1954.
- Leigh Rayment's Historical List of MPs – Constituencies beginning with "W" (part 1)
- Craig, F. W. S. (1989) . British parliamentary election results 1885–1918 (2nd ed.). Chichester: Parliamentary Research Services. p. 36. ISBN 0-900178-27-2.
- Parker, C. "Catalogue of the O'Donnell lectures in Celtic Studies, University of Oxford, 1955-90". Bodleian Library, University of Oxford. Retrieved 7 September 2016.
- Jim Haughey (2002). The First World War in Irish Poetry. Bucknell University Press. p. 19. ISBN 978-0-8387-5496-2.
- Robert Knight (1880). The Statesman: a monthly review of home & foreign politics, ed. by R. Knight. p. 229.
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by Charles James O'Donnell
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
| Member of Parliament for Walworth
1906 – January 1910
James Arthur Dawes