George Russell Clerk

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Sir George Russell Clerk GCSI KCB (1800–1889) was a British civil servant in India.


Like all civil servants until the introduction of Competitive examinations in the 1850s, Clerk had studied at Haileybury in Hertfordshire, being posted to Bengal as a writer in 1817. [1]

Early in his career he worked in the Political and Secret Department of the Government, and most of his subsequent work was in that line. He thus worked as an Assistant to the President in Rajputana and Delhi, before being posted as Political Agent at Ambala and subsequently at Ludhiana in 1839 and Lahore in 1840.

In 1843, he was posted as Lieutenant-Governor of the North-Western Provinces (present day U.P.). He was then appointed Governor of Bombay from 1848 to 1850.

Subsequently, he worked outside India, helping establish the Orange Free State between 1853 and 1856 and then became the first Permanent Under-Secretary of State for India, a position which replaced that of the Examiner at East India House when the Government of India was looked after by the East India Company.[1]

He was Governor of Bombay for a second time from 11 May 1860 to 24 April 1862. After this, like a lot of eminent personnel in the civil and military line, he was appointed as a member of the Council of India. He remained there until 1876. He died in London at his residence, 33 Elm Park Gardens, on 25 July 1889.[1]


He married Mary (died 26 Nov. 1878), widow of Colonel Stewart.



 This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domainCarlyle, Edward Irving (1901). "Clerk, George Russell". In Lee, Sidney. Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement​. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 

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Government offices
Preceded by
previously by-
T. C. Robertson
Lieutenant Governor of North-Western Provinces
30 June 1843 – 22 December 1843
Succeeded by
James Thomason
Preceded by
Lestock Robert Reid
Governor of Bombay
Succeeded by
The Viscount Falkland
Preceded by
The Lord Elphinstone
Governor of Bombay
Succeeded by
Sir Henry Bartle Frere