Malet, Charles Warre (DNB00)

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MALET, Sir CHARLES WARRE (1753?–1815), Indian administrator and diplomatist, was the eldest son of the Rev. Alexander Malet, rector of Combe-Florey, Somerset, and Maiden Newton, Dorset, and his wife Ann, daughter of the Rev. Laurence St. Lo, D.D., rector of Pulham, Dorset. He was a descendant in the twenty-first generation of William Malet [q. v.] of Graville. At an early age he entered the service of the East India Company, and after filling various posts, including a mission to the great mogul, he was in 1785 appointed resident minister at Poona, at the court of the peishwa. While at Poona, he negotiated and executed in June 1790, under the instructions of the governor-general, Lord Cornwallis, a treaty of alliance between the East India Company, the peishwa, and the nizam, against Tippoo Sultan, and for his services in this respect he was created a baronet 24 Feb. 1791. Subsequently Malet was for some time acting governor of Bombay, an office which he held until 1798, when he retired from the service and returned to England. He was F.R.S. and F.S.A., and died in 1815 (Gent. Mag. 1815, pt. i. p. 185). In 1799 he married Susanna, daughter of James Wales, esq., by whom he left eight sons. The second son, Charles St. Lo Malet (1802–1889), lieutenant-colonel, was stationed successively in Jamaica, Guernsey, Ireland, and at Portsmouth; and the third son, William Wyndham Malet (1803–1885), vicar of Ardeley, Hertfordshire, from 1843 till his death, was author, among other works, of ‘An Errand to the South in the Summer of 1862,’ London, 1863, 8vo, and of ‘The Olive Leaf, a Pilgrimage to Rome, Jerusalem, and Constantinople in 1867,’ London, 1868.

The eldest son, Sir Alexander Malet (1800–1886), diplomatist, born at Hartham Park, Wiltshire, in June 1800, succeeded to the baronetcy in 1815. He was educated at Winchester and at Christ Church, Oxford (B.A. 1822), and entered the diplomatic service in 1824 as unpaid attaché at St. Petersburg, where he was an eye-witness of the military insurrection which took place on the accession of the Emperor Nicholas in 1825. He afterwards became secretary of legation at Lisbon under Lord Howden [see Caradoc, Sir John Hobart] during the Miguelite war of 1832–4. He served in a like capacity at the Hague, and was later secretary of the embassy at Vienna and British minister at Würtemberg. In 1849 he became minister plenipotentiary to the Germanic confederation at Frankfort, and there formed an intimate friendship with Prince Bismarck. Events of the greatest moment took place during Malet's tenure of office—the suppression of the revolutionary movement in Baden by Prussian troops, the long parliamentary and diplomatic struggle between Prussia and Austria in the Diet, the attack on and dismemberment of Denmark by those two powers in concert, and finally the rupture of 1866 which culminated in the defeat of the Austrian army at Sadowa and the expulsion of Austria from the confederation (cf. Malleson, Refounding of the German Empire). On the consequent fall of the Germanic confederation in 1866, Malet retired on a pension, and was made a K.C.B. He died on 28 Nov. 1886 (Times, 29 Nov. 1886). In 1834 he married Marian Dora, only daughter of John Spalding, esq., of the Holm, N.B., and stepdaughter of the first Lord Brougham, by whom he left two sons, Lieutenant-colonel Sir Henry Charles Eden Malet, third and present baronet, and Sir Edward Baldwin Malet, now British ambassador at Berlin. He was the author of ‘Some Account of the System of Fagging at Winchester School, with Remarks … on the late Expulsions thence for resistance to the Authority of the Prefects,’ London, 1828; of an English metrical translation of Wace's ‘Roman de Rou,’ London, 1860; and of ‘The Overthrow of the Germanic Confederation by Prussia in 1866,’ London, 1870.

The fourth son, George Grenville Malet (1804–1856), lieutenant-colonel, entered the Indian army as cadet in the 3rd light cavalry, Bombay, in 1822, and became ensign 15 April 1824, lieutenant 21 Feb. 1825, captain 4 Jan. 1838, major 23 Aug. 1851, and lieutenant-colonel 28 Nov. 1854. He took part in 1824 in the capture of Godhrá, Champáner, and Powanghen in Guzerat, and was actively engaged in 1832 in Káthiáwár, under Lieutenant-colonel Jervis, against the noted Sirdar Champoaj, and again in Guzerat in 1834 against rebels in the Mahi-Kantha. He was a keen sportsman, and especially fond of hog-hunting. On 26 Jan. 1837, while hunting big game, a tiger attacked Malet and he escaped uninjured, although his head was actually in the animal's mouth when another member of the party, Captain George Reeves of Malet's regiment, shot it dead. In 1839 he became political superintendent of Mellanee, Rájputána. He was wounded in the Afghan war in 1842, receiving a silver medal for his services, and in the next year served with equal distinction at Hyderabad under Sir Charles Napier. In 1843 he was also appointed resident at Khairpur, the court of the Sind prince, Meer Ali Merad Khan, and in 1845 accompanied Meer Ali and Sir Charles Napier in an expedition against rebel Beloochee chiefs. In 1850 he was made superintendent of the Guicowar contingent of horse. In 1856 he commanded his regiment (the 3rd light cavalry) in the war with Persia, and fell in action at the capture of Bushire, 9 Dec. 1856. In the following February, at the battle of Kooshat, Malet's regiment fiercely and successfully charged the enemy in order, as the men stated, to give ‘an answer (jewab) for the death of Malet Sahib Bahadur’ (Illustrated London News, 18 April 1857). He married Mary Fleming, daughter of Colonel John Taylor, and left one son. He was the author of ‘A History of Sind,’ translated from the Persian of Muhammad Ma‘sūm, Bombay, 1855.

The fifth son, Arthur Malet (1806–1888), Indian civilian, was educated at Winchester, Addiscombe, and Haileybury. In 1824 he was appointed to the Bombay civil service, and in May 1826 he arrived at Bombay to assume his duties. After serving successively as assistant collector and magistrate at Khándesh, as assistant to the resident of Baroda, as political agent and resident at Cutch in 1842, and as political agent at Kathiawar in 1843, he was appointed in 1846 secretary for the political and secret departments to the government of Bombay, and chief secretary in the following year. Malet was appointed a member of the legislative council of India in 1854, a member of the government council of Bombay in 1855, and chief judge of the court of Sudder Dewannee and Sudder Foujdarree Adawlut in 1857. His action while he was on the council of Bombay during the Indian mutiny won high praise from Lord Elphinstone. He initiated the defence system for Bombay, and a great scheme of works for the reclamation of land on Bombay harbour, which was subsequently carried out according to his design. He married, first, Mary Sophia, third daughter of Sir J. P. Willoughby, bart., and, secondly, Annie Louisa, daughter of G. Powney Thompson, esq., E.I.C.C.S., and left two sons and seven daughters. He retired in 1860, and died on 13 Sept. 1888. He was the author of an English metrical version of the Psalms, London, 1863; of ‘The Books of Job, Ecclesiastes, and Revelation rendered into English verse,’ with ‘Solomon and his Bride, a Drama from the Song of Songs,’ London, 1883; and of ‘Notices of an English Branch of the Malet Family,’ London, 1885.

[Burke's Peerage and Baronetage. 1892; Brit. Mus. Cat.; Cornwallis Correspondence, 2nd ed. i. 224, 323, 345–8, 410, ii. 162, 179, 480, 481, 487, 542, 552; Hart's Army Lists; Army and Navy Gazette, 12 Oct. 1889; Clergy Lists; India Office List, 1887; Arthur Malet's Notices of the Malet Family, 1885; private information; authorities cited.]

C. E. M.