Sir William Duke (1863–1924; full name is sometimes given as William Taylor Duke, and he appears to have been a Scot) studied at Arbroath and then at University College London, before joining the Indian Civil Service, in the Bengal Cadre.
After various District and Secretariat postings, he became acting Lieutenant Governor of Bengal. At the time the province was again being re-organised and the capital of India was being shifted from Calcutta to New Delhi. Bengal also became a full-fledged Governorship at this time and Sir Thomas David Gibson Carmichael, was shifted from Madras to Governor of Bengal. Duke remained with him as his senior member of Council until 1914 when he retired and was appointed as a member of the Council of India. Here he is said to have provided a lot of the inputs which led to the Montagu-Chelmsford Reforms and the Principles of Dyarchy.
He joined the India Office as Permanent Under-Secretary of State, remaining there till his death on 11 June 1924 in London.