Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900/Fraser, William (1784?-1835)

FRASER, WILLIAM (1784?–1835), Indian civilian, youngest son of Edward Satchell Fraser of Reelick, Inverness-shire, arrived in India to take up a nomination to the Bengal civil service in 1799. After acting in subordinate capacities, he was appointed secretary to Sir David Ochterlony, then resident at Delhi, in 1805, and in 1811 he accompanied Mountstuart Elphinstone's expedition to Cabul as secretary. In 1813 he was promoted to be assistant to Mr. Seton, the resident at Delhi, and in 1815 was political agent to General Martindale's army, and subsequently travelled with his brother, James Baillie Fraser [q. v.], in the Himalayas. In 1819 he was sent to settle the hill state of Garhwal, which had just been freed from the Goorkhas. In 1826 he was appointed second member of the board of revenue of the north-western provinces, and in 1830 he was promoted resident and agent to the governor-general at Delhi, in succession to Sir T. F. Colebrooke. He held this appointment until the evening of 22 March 1835, when he happened to be riding along the junction of the roads leading from the Cashmere and Lahore gates of Delhi, attended only by a single sowar, and was suddenly shot dead by a Muhammadan, named Kureem Khan. The actual perpetrator of the deed was tried and hanged, and earnest efforts were made to find out who had suggested the murder. Suspicion fell upon a wealthy Muhammadan nobleman, Shams-ud-din, nawab of Firozpur, against whom Fraser had issued a decree, and after a long trial he too was found guilty and hanged. His trial greatly excited the Muhammadans of Delhi.

[East India Directory; Gent. Mag. February 1836.]

H. M. S.