Warren Hastings
Born: 06 Dec, 1732
Died: 22 Aug, 1818
Field: Statesman; diplomat
Location in the Abbey: North transept
Type of memorial: Bust
Type of material: Marble

Warren Hastings, Governor General of Bengal, has a memorial monument with a bust in the west aisle of the north transept of Westminster Abbey. The designer was John Bacon junior and the bust is by Samuel Manning. Two versions of an inscription were put forward mentioning his impeachment and acquittal but neither was used. So the inscription reads:

"Sacred to the memory of the Right Honorable Warren Hastings, Governor-General of Bengal, member of His Majesty's Most Honorable Privy Council, L.L.D. [doctor of laws] F.R.S.[Fellow of the Royal Society] descended from the elder branch of the ancient and noble family of Huntingdon. Selected for his eminent talents and integrity, he was appointed by Parliament in 1773 the 1st Governor-General of India; to which high office he was thrice re-appointed by the same authority. Presiding over the Indian governments during thirteen years of a most eventful period, he restored the affairs of the East India Company, from the deepest distress to the highest prosperity, and rescued their possessions from a combination of the most powerful enemies, ever leagued against them. In the wisdom of his councils and the energy of his measures, he found unexhausted resources and successfully sustained a long, varied, and multiplied war with France, Mysore and the Mahratta States, whose power he humbled, and concluded an honorable peace; for which and for his distinguished services he received the thanks of the East India Company, sanctioned by the Board of Control. The kingdom of Bengal, the seat of his government, he ruled with a mild and equitable sway, preserved it from invasion and while he secured to its inhabitants the enjoyment of their customs, laws and religion, and the blessing of peace, was rewarded by their affection and gratitude; nor was he more distinguished by the highest qualities of a statesman and a patriot, than by the exercise of every Christian virtue. He lived for many years in dignified retirement, beloved and revered by all who knew him, at his seat of Daylesford in the county of Worcester, where he died in peace in the 86th year of his age, August the 22nd in the year of Our Lord 1818. This memorial was erected by his beloved wife and disconsolate widow, M.A.Hastings"

He was born at Churchill in Oxfordshire on 6 December 1732, a son of Rev.Penyston Hastings and his wife Hester (Warren). His family had been at Daylesford since the 12th century. His father abandoned the family and his mother died soon after his birth. Warren and his sister were brought up by their grandfather and uncle. He was educated at Westminster School and was Captain of the Kings' Scholars but had to leave when his uncle died. His new guardian set him up in the East India Company's Bengal service. He married Mary, widow of Capt.John Buchanan but his children died young. His second wife was Anna von Chapuset but they had no children. Accusations of corruption were brought against him during his career and he left India in 1785. He was impeached and put on trial at Westminster Hall for mis-government but acquitted in 1795. He is buried at Daylesford.

A photo of the memorial can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library.

Further reading:

G.R.Gleig "Memoir of the Rt.Hon. Warren Hastings, 3 vols, 1841

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004

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