Gov. Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler Memorial, Lucknow, UP. - he made a mark in higher education

Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler memorial, Lucknow

Above image:  Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler, (1 August 1869 – 2 March 1938) Memorial; died 2 March 1938, Camden, London, UK...

 Harcourt Butler  was the first governor of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (now Uttar Pradesh, India) and was one of the finest colonial officers of British India.   Like Lord Thomas Munroe and Ripon (George Frederick Samuel Robinson, 1st Marquess of Ripon) from 1859 to 1871, Butler made a niche for himself in India. Ripon was a well-known British politician and Viceroy and Governor General of India who served in every Liberal cabinet between 1861 and 1908. He  introduced legislation that would grant  native Indians more legal rights, including the right of Indian judges to judge Europeans in court but was not supported by conservatives in the council. However, his acts in the council were of great help to the peasants  in particular, in Bengal  As for Sir Thomas Munro, an enigmatic colonial administrator and the Governor of Madras Presidency from 1820 to 1827, he was called  the father of the Ryotwari system in India. He stopped the exploitation of peasants by the  Zamindars  who were given the task of collecting revenues. Apart from it, Munro introduced  District Administration empowered with revenue, police and administrative powers. This system is being followed across all Indian states.

Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler, being  a well educated person  (educated at Harrow School and Balliol College, University of Oxford, and completed the Indian Civil Services in 1890)  developed a passion for education and wanted the Indian natives to develop advanced skill in sciences, particularly in the technical fields.  Harcourt Butler played a greater role in setting up schools in the city and evinced keen interest in their development. Some of the institutions stll bear his legacy.  

The memorial publically commissioned is  located in Butler Park at Qaiser Bagh, Lucknow, now the capital city of Uttar Pradesh, It  was  erected by (Vide inscription On The Pedestal) 

''Talukdars Zamindars Friends and Admirers
In Loving Remembrance of

His Excellency Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler G C I E G C S I

First Governor of the United Province of Agra and Oudh

And  In recognition of His Distinguished Services to India 1926."

Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler

Above image: Credit:collection National Portrait Gallery, London

Equestrian statue of  Sir Harcourt Butler,Lucknow, India

Above image: Equestrian statue of  Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler Lucknow. UP. .......................

Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler (born 1 August 1869) landed in India with his wife  Florence Nelson Wright and joined the Indian Civil Service in 1890  under the  direct British Crown administration.  He held the post of  the first Governor of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh (now part of Uttar Pradesh, India) and Lieutenant Governor of British Crown Colony of Burma  effectively with aplomb and won the admiration of the natives, princely states and the government. 

The Government of India in 1910 made him the first Member for Education with a seat on the Viceroy's Executive Council. He was also the first president of Delhi Gymkhana, founded in 1913. For his exemplary services in many areas in particular, education  Butler was bestowed with many awards -  Companion of the Order of the Star of India (CSI) in 1909, a Knight Commander (KCSI) of the same order in 1911, and Knight Grand Cross (GCSI) of the order in 1928.  From 1927 to 1929 he chaired the Butler Committee on the governance of the British Raj in relation to the princely states across India.

Harcourt Butler Higher Secondary School (now known as Harcourt Butler Senior Secondary School) on Mandir Marg New Delhi was also named after him in 1917. It was earlier called Bengali Boys School. It was one among the Delhi schools that used to shift to Shimla during the summer season. The practice was discontinued in 1939 due to the Second World War. The practice began after 1911 when the capital was shifted from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Delhi. During the Summer season Shimla served as the summer capital of the Empire and the schools moved uphill to serve the students of the government officials. 

Sir Spencer Harcourt Butler,  then the governor of the United Provinces, on 25 November 1921 formally laid the foundation of the present main (administration) building. The Government Research Institute at Cawnpore was renamed  Government Technological Institute at that time. In 1928, the G.T.I. was given the name Harcourt Butler Technological Institute. Apart, Harcourt Butler helped the opening of the University of Medicine 1, Yangon, in Burma (Myanmar)  on 2 February 1927.