Donald Friell McLeod

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The grave of Sir Donald Friell McLeod, Kensal Green Cemetery

Sir Donald Friell McLeod KCSI CB (6 May 1810 – 28 November 1872) was a Lieutenant Governor of British Punjab (in office: 10 January 1865 – 1 June 1870). He was one of the founders of Punjab University (the Lahore Oriental University) and is generally remembered as a philanthropic administrator and promoter of education (of both Oriental studies by Europeans, and European literature studies in India).


Son of Lieutenant General Duncan McLeod, he was born in Fort William, Calcutta, and was educated at Edinburgh High School, Dulwich, Putney, and Haileybury. He returned to Bengal in 1828 as an officer to start his career. He worked in the Sagar and Nerbudda territories and Benares in 1831–49. He was appointed Commissioner of Jalandhar in 1849 and Judicial Commissioner of the Punjab in 1854.

He was at Lahore during the Indian Rebellion of 1857 and earned C.B. He was Lieutenant-Governor of the Panjab in 1865–1870, receiving K.C.S.I. in 1866. He was Chairman of the Sind, Panjab and Delhi Railway before he retired and settled in London.

He had pronounced religious opinions, and was a philanthropist. Sir John Lawrence called him "cunctator". Due to the lack of education among the natives in the Punjab, he started the Punjab University in Lahore. His efforts won praises from the natives and the officials. He also encouraged Oriental Studies and voiced his opinion on education in vernaculars. Due to his efforts the British Government introduced vernaculars in universities alongside English.

He died from the effects of an accident on the London Underground.[1]

He is buried on the east side of the south section of the central north-south path in Kensal Green Cemetery in London.




 Archbold, William Arthur Jobson (1893). "McLeod, Donald Friell". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography. 35. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 


  • Lake, Major-General Edward John. Sir Donald McLeod, C.B., K.C.S.I: A record of forty-two years' service in India. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1873.
  • McLeod, Sir Donald Friell, an entry in: Charles Edward Buckland. Dictionary of Indian biography. London, 1906.