‘A Moderate Infusion of Oriental Learning’: Representations of the East India College at Haileybury and its influence on constructing the Company official by Sopna Nair
This essay explores two artefacts relating to the early history of the East India College at Haileybury and its specific mission in training new civil servants in India. The first of these artefacts is ‘A Letter to Lord Grenville on the East India Company’s Establishment for the Education of Their Civil Servants’ written in 1813 by the Rev. T.R. Malthus, Professor of History at the East India College. The letter reveals the tensions between education and empire and the ambiguity over how best to ‘construct’ the Company official. This letter will be juxtaposed with a newspaper article from 1830 containing a copy of a wood engraving of the College. Published in ‘The Mirror’, the article chronicles the educational progress of the Honourable East India Company’s aspiring civil servants. These artefacts reveal how the education of the imperial official was inextricably tied to imperial expansion in India throughout the nineteenth century.