Biography Alfred Comyn Lyall
- Time Period1835 - 1911
Sir Alfred Comyn Lyall was born on 4th January 1835, in Surrey, England. He was educated first at the prestigious Eton College and later at Haileybury College.
In 1856 he joined the Indian civil service and served in many capacities until his retirement in 1887. He also fought during the Mutiny of 1857-58 and was honoured for this. Subsequently he held a number of high-ranking roles including Commissioner of Nagpur, Commissioner of West Berar, the Governor-General's agent in Rajputana, and (from 1878 to 1881) Foreign Secretary to the Government of India. During this period he helped negotiate peace and a monarchy in Afghanistan.
Lyall returned to England in the 1887 and served on the India Council for four years. During his time both in India and England Lyall earned a number of honours, including:
Throughout his life Lyall also worked as a writer. As a biographer his chosen subjects were Warren Hastings Lord Dufferin. As a historian he was acclaimed for his imaginative as well as philosophical insights into the course of Indian history. He also produced a number of volumes of poetry. These
literary achievements brought him advanced degrees, a D.C.L. from Oxford (1889) and an L.L.D. from Cambridge (1891), a fellowship at King's College Cambridge(1893), and membership in the British Academy (1902), among other honours.
He married Cora Cloete of Cape Town in 1863 and they had four children.
He died of a heart attack on April 10, 1911.