Robert Montgomery (colonial administrator)

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Photograph by Felice Beato, 1858

Sir Robert Montgomery, GCSI, KCB (2 December 1809 – 28 December 1887), was a British colonial administrator in India.


Montgomery was born at the family seat at New Park in Moville, a small town in Inishowen in the north of County Donegal in Ulster, Ireland. He was educated at Foyle College, Derry; Wraxall Hall School, Wiltshire; and, from 1823 to 1825, at Addiscombe Military Seminary, Croydon, Surrey.[1] In 1827 he was appointed to the Indian Civil Service.

He married in India and brought up a family. His second son was Henry Hutchinson Montgomery, father of Field Marshal The 1st Viscount Montgomery of Alamein. Henry inherited the family estate in Ireland after his father's death.[2]

His first notable position was as a commissioner in Cawnpore. In May 1857, at the start of the Indian Mutiny, he was in Lahore in the Punjab,[3] where he was Judicial Commissioner (and in-charge of Chief Commissioner at Lahore) of the province. He immediately had the native garrison disarmed, which prevented them from taking any action in the rebellion. He was awarded with a knighthood for this action. During the period of 3 April 1858 to 15 February 1859, he was Chief Commissioner of Oudh. He was then the second Lieutenant-Governor of Punjab from 1859 to 1865, preceded by Sir John Lawrence and succeeded by Sir Donald McLeod.[4] He served as Lieutenant-Governor up to an advanced age.[2]

He was made a civil K.C.B. on 19 May 1859. On 20 February 1866 he was made a G.C.S.I.


He died on 28 December 1887 in London of bronchitis, aged 79, and was interred in the family vault in St Columb's Cathedral, Londonderry on 3 January 1888.[5]


He married Frances Thomason, a sister of James Thomason; she died of smallpox at Allahabad in 1842.[5]


  • The city of Sahiwal, Pakistan, founded in 1865, was formerly named "Montgomery", after Sir Robert Montgomery.[6]
  • The district of Montgomery in Punjab.


  1. ^ Vibart 1894, pp. 403–405.
  2. ^ a b Moorehead, Alan (1958). Montgomery. London: Four Square. p. 13. 
  3. ^ "Provinces of British India: Punjab". Retrieved 3 February 2017. 
  4. ^ The Imperial Gazetteer of India. 20 (new ed.). Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1908. p. 331. 
  5. ^ a b Hamilton and Penner 2004.
  6. ^ Encyclopaedia Britannica

Further reading[edit]