Josias Du Pre

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Josias Du Pre[1] (1721–1780) was an English merchant, a director of the East India Company and Governor of Madras.[2]


He joined the civil service of the East India Company in 1752, as a factor, and rose through a succession of positions. He spent a period in England in the 1760s, and married there.[2] He purchased the Wilton Park Estate in Buckinghamshire from the Basil family, in 1760,[3] or around 1770.[4]

Du Pre was Governor of Madras from 1770 to 1773. He was mostly preoccupied with the construction of fortifications there. His authority was circumscribed: Eyre Coote, the military commander, and Sir John Lindsay who had overall command in the East Indies, left him little room in which to operate.[2]

Du Pre at the end of his life became a Fellow of the Royal Society, owing the honour to his appointment two decades earlier of Alexander Dalrymple as his deputy.[5] He died at Beaconsfield.[4]


He married Rebecca Alexander, daughter of Nathaniel Alexander and sister of James Alexander, 1st Earl of Caledon, another nabob: Du Pre Alexander, 2nd Earl of Caledon, son of the first Earl, was named after Josias.[6]

Of the children of Josias and Rebecca:

Josias Du Pre's sister Esther married Paul Porcher, and was mother of the MP Josias Du Pré Porcher.[8]


  1. ^ Also Du Pré, Dupré or Dupre.
  2. ^ a b c Henry Davidson Love. Indian Records Series Vestiges of Old Madras. Mittal Publications. pp. 1–3. GGKEY:GE1U0JNYH0Q. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  3. ^ a b, Du Pré, James (1778–1870), of Wilton Park, Beaconsfield, Bucks.
  4. ^ a b 'Parishes: Beaconsfield', A History of the County of Buckingham: Volume 3 (1925), pp. 155-165. URL: Date accessed: 20 April 2012.
  5. ^ Christa Jungnickel; Russell McCormmach (1999). Cavendish: The Experimental Life. Bucknell University Press. p. 264. ISBN 978-0-8387-5445-0. Retrieved 20 April 2012.
  6. ^ Jupp, P. J. "Alexander, Du Pre". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/93359. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)
  7. ^, Eliza Dupré.
  8. ^, Porcher, Josias Du Pré (?1761–1820), of Hillingdon House, Mdx. and Winslade House, Devon.
Political offices
Preceded by
Charles Bourchier
Governor of Madras
Succeeded by
Alexander Wynch