John Anderson (governor)

John Anderson (governor)

honorific-prefix = The Honourable
name = Sir (Dr) John Anderson
honorific-suffix =

birth_date =birth date|1858|6|23|df=y
birth_place =Gartly, Aberdeenshire GBR
death_date =death date|1918|3|24|df=y
death_place =Colombo, Ceylon
spouse =
order =Governor of Straits Settlements
term_start =15 April 1904
term_end =9 April 1911
successor =Sir Frank Athelstane Swettenham
predecessor =Sir Arthur Henderson Young
order2 =Governor of Ceylon
term_start2 =15 April 1916
term_end2 =24 March 1918
successor2 =Reginald Edward Stubbs
predecessor2 =Reginald Edward Stubbs |

Sir (Dr) John Anderson LL.D., JP, CMG, KCMG was born on 23 June 1858 at Gartly, Aberdeenshire. He was the only son of Mr. John Anderson, the Superintendent of the Gordon Mission, Aberdeen. He died on 24 March 1918


Before he was twenty, he graduated M.A. at Aberdeen University, gaining a first class in mathematics and being awarded the gold medal of the year.


Two years after graduating, he entered the Colonial Office as a second class clerk. In 1887, he was Bacon Scholar of Gray's Inn, and in the following year he was the Inns of Court student.

He proceeded with Sir John F. Dickinson in 1891 to Gilbraltar, in order to inquire into the matters connected with the Registry of the Supreme Court. He was next appointed as the private secretary to Sir R. Meade, Permanent Under-Secretary of the State for the Colonies, in 1892 he served as the British Agent for Behring Sea Arbitration.

From 1883 to 1897 he edited the Colonial Office List, later he appointed as the principal clerk. He became the secretary to the Conference between Mr. Joseph Chamberlain and the Colonial Premiers in that year he had considerable opportunities of gaining an intimate knowledge of the feelings of the self-governing colonies. For the second time he was despatched to Gilbraltar in 1899, on this occasion to inquire into the rates of pay of the Civil Service there. He returned back in London in the same year and remained until 1901, where Mr. Joseph Chamberlain chose him as Colonial Office representative to accompany T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, then the Duke and Duchness of York, on their famous tour around British Empire in the Ophir. It was during that trip that Sir Anderson saw for the first time the colony over which he would preside.

In 1902, again he acted as the Secretary to the Colonial Conference, and in 1903 he received thanks of the Canadian Government and the Confederation medal for services rendered in connection with the Alaska Boundary question and other matters.


He was knighted with C.M.G. in 1898 and K.C.M.G. in 1901. In 1906, he was awarded LL.D. from his former alma mater.


Sir John Anderson suddenly fell ill at Queens Cottage, Nuwara Eliya in 1918 and passed away on 24 March 1918. It is recorded that his Maha Mudaliyar, Sir Solomon Dias Bandaranaike, who happened to be at his bedside, wrote:

"Sir John was the first Governor of this country to die while his term of office in Sri Lanka and was as yet unfinished, and every circumstances combined to make his death a matter of genuine and universal grief, so that it seemed almost a personal loss." May our people of Lanka take an example from this Great and Good man!


* [ Daily News]
* Arnold Wright, Twentieth Century Impressions of British Malaya, 1908


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