It was to Lord Lytton’s personal action—in the face of would-be obsequious apathy in certain quarters—that Aberigh-Mackay, the youngest on the list, was nominated a Fellow of the Calcutta University in 1880, an honour usually reserved for officials of high standing. He then availed himself of that status to bring about the affiliation of the Rajkumar College at Indore to the same University, with, as a matter of course, the concurrence of the Syndicate.
We have here an admirable summary of the highly important personal duties of a tactful A.D.C. to an Indian Viceroy. Not the least important being the superintendence of the Invitation Department. It was in this very connection that an A.D.C. to an Indian Governor, fresh from a West Indian appointment and Society somewhat on “Tom Cringle’s Log” conditions, by issuing invitations to a Quality Dance, gave rise, in Southern India, to a social commotion which reacted very unfavourably as regards the efficient working of various departments of his Chief’s general administration.
In pre-Mutiny days in India an officer who could not carve meat and fowl well had a very poor chance of such an appointment. Happily the institution of a la Russe fashions in the service of the table has or many years past rendered such qualifications unnecessary.
To the regret of a very wide circle, the “loud, joyful and steeplechasing Lord “—the late Lord William Beresford—alluded to by Ali Baba, died in England in 1900. From 1875 to 1881 he was A.D.C. to Viceroys of India, and it was in the “distant wars” of the Jowaki expedition, 1877-8, in the Zulu War, 1879, where he gained the Victoria Cross, and in the Afghan War, 1880, that his military career was spent.
From 1881 to 1894 Lord William Beresford very ably served Viceroys of India as their Military Secretary. Services which were admirably summed up by a speaker on Dec. 30, 1893, when he was entertained at a farewell dinner at the Town Hall, Calcutta, by 180 friends, who declared that “he had raised the office to a science, and himself from an official into an institution, and acquired a reputation absolutely unique.”
The voluminous and noteworthy annals of Indian sport can show no keener sportsman and successful rider of steeplechases and polo player. He won the Viceroy’s Cup six times and many other principal events at race-meetings in India.
In 1894 Lord William retired from India, and in England maintained a renowned racing stable, being in addition one of the first to own American horses and employ American jockeys.
WITH THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF
An exceedingly important change affecting the power and functions of the Indian Commander-in-chief, together with various other reforms in the military administration of India, were all anticipated, foreshadowed, and—it is believed—largely helped on by this very paper, and others under the general heading of Things in India, contributed by Ali Baba to Vanity Fair during 1879.