James Silk Buckingham
|James Silk Buckingham|
James Silk Buckingham by Clara S. Lane
25 August 1786|
|Died||30 June 1855
|Occupation||author, journalist, traveller|
James Silk Buckingham (25 August 1786 – 30 June 1855) was a Cornish-born author, journalist and traveller.
James Silk Buckingham infused a new light to Indian Journalism. He was the pioneer among the Europeans who fought for a liberal press in India. He was born at Flushing near Falmouth, the son of a farmer, and had a limited education. His youth was spent at sea, and in 1797 he was captured by the French and held as a prisoner of war at Corunna. In 1821, his "Travels in Palestine" were published, followed by "Travels Among the Arab Tribes" in 1825. After years of wandering he settled in India, where he established a periodical, the Calcutta Journal, in 1818. This venture at first proved highly successful, but in 1823 the paper's outspoken criticisms of the East India Company led to the expulsion of Buckingham from India and to the suppression of the paper by John Adam, the acting governor-general in 1823. His case was brought before a select committee of the House of Commons in 1834, and a pension of £500 a year was subsequently awarded to him by the East India Company as compensation.
Buckingham continued his journalistic ventures on his return to England; he settled at Cornwall Terrace, Regent's Park, and started the Oriental Herald and Colonial Review (1824–9) and the Athenaeum (1828) which was not a success in his hands, Buckingham selling to John Sterling after a few weeks. In parliament, where he sat as member for Sheffield from 1832–1837, he was a strong advocate of social reform, calling for the end of flogging in the armed services, abolition of the press-gang and the repeal of the Corn Laws. He was a prolific writer. He had travelled in Europe, America and the East, and wrote many useful travel books, as well as many pamphlets on political and social subjects. "In 1851, the value of these and of his other literary works was recognized by the grant of a Civil List pension of £200 a year. At the time of his death in London, Buckingham was at work on his autobiography, two volumes of the intended four being completed and published (1855)". This work is important as it mentions in detail the life of the black composer Joseph Antonio Emidy who settled in Truro. His youngest son, Leicester Silk Buckingham, was a popular playwright.
- National Evils and Practical Remedies. With the Plan of a Model Town. Jackson, Fisher, Son, London, 1849.
- (1821): Travels in Palestine Through the Countries of Bashan and Gilead, East of the River Jordan, Including a Visit to the Cities of Geraza and Gamala in the Decapolis In two volumes, Only VOL. I
- (1825): Travels among the Arab Tribes Inhabiting the Countries East of Syria and Palestine. The full text, google-books,
|Wikisource has original works written by or about:
James Silk Buckingham
- This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Buckingham, James Silk". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press.
- G. F. R. Barker, ‘Buckingham, James Silk (1786–1855)’, rev. Felix Driver, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004 accessed 11 Oct 2007
- Hansard 1803–2005: contributions in Parliament by James Silk Buckingham
- Portraits of James Silk Buckingham at the National Portrait Gallery, London
|Parliament of the United Kingdom|
|New constituency||Member of Parliament for Sheffield
1832 – 1837
With: John Parker
Henry George Ward