Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Malleson, George Bruce

MALLESON, GEORGE BRUCE (1825–1898), colonel and military writer, born in London on 8 May 1825, was second son of John Malleson of Wimbledon, by Lucy (Nesbitt), whose father was colonial secretary in the Bahamas. He was educated at Wimbledon and at Winchester College, where he became an ardent cricketer. Through Colonel Oliphant, a director of the East India Company, he was given a direct commission as ensign on 11 June 1842, and was posted to the 65th Bengal native infantry on 26 Sept. He obtained a lieutenancy in the 33rd B.N.I. on 28 Sept. 1847. He was appointed to the commissariat department on 30 Nov. 1852, and served in the second Burmese war, which resulted in the annexation of the lower province in 1853. On 28 March 1856 he was appointed an assistant military auditor-general, and he was engaged with accounts at Calcutta during the mutiny. He wrote 'The Mutiny of the Bengal Army,' which was published anonymously in 1857, and was known as 'the red pamphlet.' In this he pointed to Lord Dalhousie's administration, and especially the annexation of Oudh, as mainly responsible for the revolt.

He was promoted captain on 16 Aug. 1861, major in the Bengal staff corps on 18 Feb. 1863, lieutenant-colonel on 11 June 1868, and colonel in the army on 11 June 1873. He was appointed a sanitary commissioner for Bengal in 1866, and controller of the military finance department in 1868. In 1869 he was chosen by Lord Mayo to be the guardian of the young Maharajah of Mysore; he held this post till 1 April 1877, when he retired on full pay. He had been made C.S.I. on 31 May 1872.

He had been a frequent contributor to the 'Calcutta Review' since 1857, and was also a correspondent of the 'Times.' After his retirement he devoted himself to literature, dealing chiefly with military history, especially Indian. He had a broad grasp, great industry, a vigorous and picturesque style, but was apt to be a strong partisan. He did much to draw attention to Russian progress in Central Asia, and its dangers to British rule in India. He died at 27 West Cromwell Road, London, on 1 March 1898. In 1856 he married Marian Charlotte, only daughter of George Wynyard Battye of the Bengal civil service, and sister of three distinguished soldiers, Quintin, Wigram, and Frederick Battye, all of the Guides, and all killed in action. She survived her husband, and on 14 June 1899 received a civil-list pension of 100l. in recognition of his eminence as an Indian and military historian.

He was author of the following works:

  1. 'The Mutiny of the Bengal Army,' 1857, 2 pts. 8vo.
  2. 'History of the French in India,' 1868, 8vo.
  3. 'Recreations of an Indian Official' (biographical articles on Anglo-Indians, &c., reprinted from periodicals), 1872, 8vo.
  4. 'Studies from Genoese History,' 1875, 8vo.
  5. 'Historical Sketch of the Native States of India,' 1875, 8vo.
  6. 'Essays and Lectures on Indian Historical Subjects,' 1876, 8vo.
  7. 'Final French Struggles in India and in the Indian Seas,' 1878, 8vo.
  8. 'History of the Indian Mutiny ' (in continuation of vols. i. and ii. of Kaye's 'Sepoy War'), 1878-80, 3 vols. 8vo.
  9. 'History of Afghanistan,' 1879, 8vo.
  10. 'Herat, the Garden and Granary of Central Asia,' 1880, 8vo.
  11. 'The Founders of the Indian Empire: Lord Clive,' 1882, 8vo.
  12. 'The Decisive Battles of India,' 1883, 8vo.
  13. 'Captain Musafir's Rambles in Alpine Lands,' 1883, 8vo.
  14. 'The Battlefields of Germany,' 1884, 8vo.
  15. 'Loudon' (series of military biographies), 1884, 8vo.
  16. 'Prince Eugene of Savoy' (same ser.), 1888, 8vo.
  17. 'The Russo-Afghan Question and the Invasion of India,' 1885, 8vo.
  18. 'Ambushes and Surprises,' 1885, 8vo.
  19. 'Prince Metternich' (Statesmen ser.), 1888, 8vo.
  20. 'Wellesley' (same ser.), 1889, 8vo.
21-2. 'Akbar' and 'Dupleix' (Rulers of India ser.), 1890, 8vo.
  1. 'Refounding of the German Empire,' 1893, 8vo.
  2. 'Warren Hastings,' 1894, 8vo.
  3. 'The Lakes and Rivers of Austria, Bavaria, and Hungary,' 1897, 8vo.

[Times, 2 March 1898 E. I. Registers; Allibone's Dictionary, supplement; private information.]

E. M. L.