) was a surgeon in the
British East India
. He was a part of the delegation that went
from Calcutta, the base of
the company, to meet Mughal emperor
Farrukhsiyar in his court in Delhi in
Treatment of Farrukhsiyar
In Delhi, Hamilton first had to treat Taqarab Khan (the
, or lord steward). In August 1715, the surgeon
was called to treat a swelling in the groin
the emperor Farrukhsiyar, which he treated successfully. In October
of the same year, the emperor again suffered from violent pain and
feared it would be a fistula
Hamilton’s treatment was again successful. As a result, in
December 1715 Farrukhsiyar finally arranged his marriage to the
daughter of Raja Ajit Sinh of Jodhpur, which had
been delayed by his recurrent illness.
Royal gift to Hamilton
Hamilton was generously rewarded on the occasion of the wedding. He
received "an elephant, a horse, five thousand rupees
in money, two diamond rings, a jewelled
, a set of gold buttons, and models
of all his instruments in gold."
More important than these personal rewards to Hamilton was what the
British East India
achieved. The Company's delegation was placed in high
regard in the royal court of Farrukhsiyar. In April 1717, the
(grant) was issued, meeting all the
requests that the Company had made in its petitions. Permission was granted
to purchase 38 villages surrounding the three already held by the
company (Sutanuti, Gobindapur and Kalikata, the predecessor of modern Calcutta).
Company was also granted trading privileges in Bengal and further
fortification of Calcutta. This grant was instrumental in the setting
up of business and the colonisation of Bengal, later to be followed
by the rest of India, by the East
Farrukhsiyar's wish to retain Hamilton
After the grant, Farrukhsiyar expressed his wish to retain Hamilton
in Delhi as his personal physician, but Hamilton was unwilling to
stay. Hamilton promised to the emperor that after a visit to Europe
he would return and join him as his personal physician.
died in Calcutta on [4
He was buried at the churchyard of St.
John's Church, Calcutta. The inscription tells the story of his
curing a "Malignant Distemper" of Farrukhsiyar.
- Kochhar, Rajesh. The truth behind the legend: European doctors
in pre-colonial India.
- A Guidebook to Calcutta Agra Delhi Karachi and
Bombay. The American Red Cross of the China-Burma-India
- Chatterton, Eyre. 1924. A History of the Church of England in India: Since the
Early Days of the East India Company. Project Canterbury