L. F. Rushbrook Williams

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Laurence Frederic Rushbrook Williams, CBE, FRSA (1890–1978) was a British historian and civil servant who spent part of his working life in India, and had an abiding interest in Eastern culture.[1]

Life and work[edit]

Williams was a Fellow of All Souls' College, Oxford.[2] He built up a school of Mughal studies at the University of Allahabad,[3] where he was professor of Modern Indian History.[1] He was briefly Eastern Services Director of the B.B.C.,[1] and also worked on the editorial staff of The Times (London). He acted as a government advisor on Middle East and Asian affairs,[4] and contributed to publications like the Royal Central Asian Society Journal and the Encyclopædia Britannica.[3]

He became interested in Sufism through his contact with Sirdar Ikbal Ali Shah and later edited an anthology of contributions to a symposium in honor of the work of the noted Sufi author, Idries Shah.[5]


Williams wrote several works on India, Asia and the Middle East, among them the following:

  • Pakistan Under Challenge
  • What About India?
  • The State of Israel
  • India in 1921-22: A report prepared for presentation to Parliament in accordance with the requirements of the 26th Section of the Government of India Act
  • An Empire Builder of the Sixteenth Century: A Summary Account of the Political Career of Zahir-Ud-Din Muhammad, Surnamed Babur
  • Ethnic diversity in India
  • The black hills: Kutch in history and legend: a study in Indian local loyalties
  • Handbook for Travellers in India, Pakistan and Nepal
  • The East Pakistan tragedy
  • The State of Pakistan
  • Great Men of India


  1. ^ a b c "Williams, (Laurence Frederic) Rushbrook". Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (online ed.). Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/ref:odnb/31836. (Subscription or UK public library membership required.)}
  2. ^ Kaul, Chandrika (2004) Reporting the Raj: the British Press and India c. 1880-1922. Manchester University Press. p. 83. ISBN 0-7190-6176-8.
  3. ^ a b Williams, L.F. Rushbrook, editor (1974). Sufi Studies: East and West, E.P.Dutton & Co., p. 259. ISBN 0-525-47368-8.
  4. ^ McLeod, John (1999). Sovereignty, Power, Control: Politics in the State of Western India, 1916-1947.Brill Academic Publishers. p. 242. ISBN 90-04-11343-6.
  5. ^ Williams, L.F. Rushbrook, editor (1974). Sufi Studies: East and West, E.P.Dutton & Co., p. 18-19; 259. ISBN 0-525-47368-8.

External links[edit]