Leighton-Linslade Past Times: including Billington, Eggington, Heath & Reach and Stanbridge
Leighton Buzzard
Contents Menu
Domesday Book
What's in a name?
Town Coat of Arms
Guided Tours
Leighton Buzzard Observer
Trade Directories
Local People
Wills Transcripts
Manorial History
Impacts of Wars
Contents & photos
© copyright Kevin Quick

Sir Alexander Phillips Muddiman (1875 - 1928), administrator in India

Muddiman was born in Leighton Buzzard 14th February 1875. He was the second son of Alexander Phillips Muddiman and his wife Anne Griffiths. His father was a bookseller and publisher. Alexander received his education at Wimborne School and University College London. In 1897 he passed the Indian Civil Service examination and in 1899 he joined the service in Bengal.

After three years he became an under-secretary to the Bengal government, and then registrar on the appellate side in the Calcutta high court. In 1910 he became deputy secretary in the legislative department of the government of India and was appointed as a representative of this government on Lord Southborough's committee on franchises and other rules of business, when it was on tour in India and on a deputation to London from 1918 - 1919. His role on the committee seems to have been primarily one of drafting. He subsequently was appointed president of the council of state, the new central upper house.

In 1924 he became home member in the government of India. He is remembered particularly for his pledge in 1925 which was an early instance of positive discrimination, and which reserved places for Muslims in the Indian Civil Service. The important focus for him was the legislature.

1924 also saw Muddiman appointed to head a committee to report on the workings of the Montagu - Chelmsford reforms. The committee was appointed to resist a constitutional conference demanded of the new British Labour government by the Swaraj Party leader, Motilal Nehru. Muddiman's task was to produce consensus on further concessions to prevent more radical revisions.

This task was made more complicated by calls to reverse the reforms of 1919, rather than extend them, especially after the formation of a Conservative government back in Britain, and the appointment of the ignorant and slanderous Birkenhead as Secretary of State for India.

After 18 months Muddiman had failed to produce a unaminous report from his committee.

In 1922 Muddiman was knighted and in 1926 created KCSI. In 1928 he was appointed governor of the United Provinces. But after only six months in office, on 17th July 1928, at Naini Tal he died of heart failure. He was unmarried.