- Richard Strachey
Lieutenant-General Sir Richard Strachey (1817 – 1908), British soldier and Indian administrator, third son of Edward Strachey and grandson of
Sir Henry Strachey, 1st Baronetwas born on 24 July 1817, at Sutton Court, Stowey Somerset. From Addiscombehe passed into the BengalEngineers in 1836, [Bombay engineers according to Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (2005)] and was employed for some years on irrigationworks in the Northwestern Provinces. Many members of the family were in the Indian government that sarcastic mentions were made of the "Government of the Stracheys".Holdich, T. H. (1908) Obituary: General Sir Richard Strachey, G. C. S. I., F. R. S., LL. D. The Geographical Journal, Vol. 31, No. 3 (Mar., 1908), pp. 342-344]
Strachey served in the
First Anglo-Sikh Warof 1845-46, and was at the battles of Aliwal and Sobraon, was mentioned in dispatches, and received a brevet-majority. From 1858 to 1865 he was chiefly employed in the public works department, either as acting or permanent secretary to the government of India, and from 1867 to 1871 he filled the post of director-general of irrigation, then specially created.
During this period the entire administration of public works was reorganized to adapt it to the increasing magnitude of the interests with which this department has had to deal since its establishment by Lord Dalhousie in 1854. For this reorganization, under which the accounts were placed on a proper footing and the forest administration greatly developed, Strachey was chiefly responsible. His work in connection with Indian finance was important. In 1867 he prepared a scheme in considerable detail for decentralizing the financial administration of India, which formed the basis of the policy afterwards carried into effect by his brother Sir John Strachey under Lord Mayo and Lord Lytton. He left India in 1871, but in 1877 he was sent there to confer with the government on the purchase of the East Indian railway, and was then selected as president of the commission of inquiry into Indian
famines. In 1878 he was appointed to act for six months as financial member of the governor-general's council, when he made proposals for meeting the difficulties arising from the depreciation of the rupee, then just beginning to be serious. These proposals did not meet with the support of the secretary of state. From that time he continued to take an active part in the efforts made to bring the currencies of India and Englandinto harmony, until in 1892 he was appointed a member of Lord Herschell's committee, which arrived at conclusions in accordance with the views put forward by him in 1878.
In 1892, Strachey attended the International Monetary Conference at
Brusselsas delegate for British India. He was a member of the council of the secretary of state for India from 1875 to 1889, when he resigned his seat in order to accept the post of chairman of the East Indian Railway Company.
Strachey's scientific labors in connection with the
geology, botanyand physical geography of the Himalayaswere considerable. He devoted much time to meteorological research, was largely instrumental in the formation of the Indian meteorological department, and became chairman of the meteorological council of the Royal Societyin 1383. From 1888 to 1890 he was president of the Royal Geographical Society. In 1897 he was awarded one of the royal medals of the Royal Society, of which he became a fellow in 1854; and in the same year he was created G.C.S.I. He died on 12 February 1908.
His first wife Caroline Bowles died in 1855, within a year of their marriage.
Jane, Lady Strachey (1840 - 1928), formerly Jane Maria Grant, who he married on
4 January 1859, was a well-known authoress and supporter of women's suffrage. She co-led the Mud Marchof 1907 in London. She was born at sea off the Cape of Good Hope on 13 March 1840, and died on 14 December 1928.
Lord and Lady Strachey were the parents of thirteen children of whom ten survived to adulthood, among then the authors
Lytton Strachey, James Strachey, Oliver Stracheyand Dorothy Bussy "née" Strachey.
* Sabyasachi Bhattacharya (2005) The Financial Foundations of the British Raj. Orient Longman. ISBN 8125029036
* Barbara Caine (2005) Bombay to Bloomsbury: A Biography of the Strachey Family. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0199250340
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.