Sir Charles Lewis Tupper

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Sir Charles Lewis Tupper

Birthplace: London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
Death: July 20, 1910 (62)
East Molesey, Surrey, England, United Kingdom
Immediate Family:

Son of Capt. Charles William Tupper and Letitia Frances Tupper
Husband of Jessie Catherine Tupper
Father of Maj. Geoffrey Tupper
Brother of Admiral Sir Reginald Godfrey Otway Tupper, KCB, GBE

Occupation: Anglo-Indian Official And Author
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Sir Charles Lewis Tupper

TUPPER, Sir CHARLES LEWIS (1848–1910), Anglo-Indian official and author, born in London on 16 May 1848, was elder son of Capt. Charles William Tupper, 7th fusiliers, by his wife Frances Letitia, sister of Sir Charles F. D. Wheeler-Cuffe, 2nd bart. Rear-Admiral R. G. O. Tupper, C.V.O., is his younger brother. He went to Harrow in the midsummer term 1861, was in the football eleven of 1865, and passed out in the following year as Neeld scholar. He became a scholar of Corpus Christi College, Oxford, graduating B.A. in 1870. He took fourth place in the Indian civil service examination of 1869, and arrived in India on 1 Nov. 1871.

Posted to the Punjab, he, after serving as assistant commissioner and assistant settlement officer, was appointed under-secretary to the local government in April 1877. He was under-secretary in the revenue department of the government of India from September 1878; junior secretary to the Punjab government from March 1882; secretary from November 1888; and chief secretary from March 1890.

Tupper brought to his official work an aptitude for minute literary research. In 1880 he compiled, with great care under official authority, ‘The Customary Law of the Punjab’ (3 vols.), while in ‘Our Indian Protectorate’ (1893) he laboriously classified and co-ordinated for the first time the rich store of materials concerning the relations between the British government and its Indian feudatories. Somewhat discursive and at times conjectural, the latter volume proved of administrative service and remains of value, though for practical purposes it has been superseded by Sir William Lee-Warner's more compact ‘Protected Princes’ (1894, revised as ‘The Native States of India,’ 1910). Owing to his historical knowledge, Tupper was placed on special duty in the foreign department of the government of India in 1893–4, and from April 1895 he was engaged in drawing up for confidential official use a body of leading cases, illustrating the political relationship of the paramount power to the native states. Therein he fully maintained his reputation as an historian.

Tupper reached the grade of commissioner and superintendent in September 1895, and in November 1899 he was appointed financial commissioner of the Punjab. In 1900 he served on both the provincial and the supreme legislatures, and from April to October 1905, and again from April to September 1906, acted as a member of the governor-general's executive council. He had been made a C.S.I. in January 1897, and was created K.C.I.E. in January 1903. His last service in India was to preside over the telegraph committee which devised the scheme whereby the department was reorganised so as to meet expanding needs. Tupper helped to create the Punjab university in Oct. 1882, and was vice-chancellor in 1900–1. His addresses to the students dealt elaborately with questions of constitutional law and jurisprudence. He also was one of the founders of the Punjab Law Society in 1903, and gave the inaugural address as first president. A warm love of justice distinguished his relations with the Indian people and with his subordinates.

After retirement from India in 1907, Tupper settled in East Molesey, and devoted himself to literature and to local and national affairs. He was a strong advocate of imperial federation from the first inception of the movement, and of the National Service League. He died at his residence, East Molesey, on 20 July 1910, and was buried in West Molesey cemetery. A bust of Tupper by Henry Bain Smith was exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1892. Tupper married on 2 Oct. 1875 Jessie Catherine, daughter of Major-general Henry Campbell Johnstone, C.B., by whom he had two sons and a daughter.

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Sir Charles Lewis Tupper's Timeline

May 16, 1848
London, Greater London, England, United Kingdom
July 20, 1910
Age 62
East Molesey, Surrey, England, United Kingdom