(Last Updated on : 29/08/2012)
Michael Knatchbull, officially known as Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne, GCSI, GCIE, MC, was one of the most renowned Governors of Bengal Presidency
from the year 1937 to 1939, in undivided India under the rule of the British Empire. He was also a British peer and a colonial soldier. Knatchbull was born on 8 May 1895 as the son of the 4th Baron Brabourne. He was baptized as Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull Hugessen, but later dropped the Hugessen part of his surname in the year 1919. He received his education at Wellington College and the Royal Military Academy, Woolwich.
Career of Michael Knatchbull
Michael Knatchbull served in the Royal Artillery and was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and in the RAF, ascending to the rank of Captain. He participated in World War I and was awarded the Military Cross and mentioned in dispatches for 3 times, for his services. Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne, was elected Conservative Member of Parliament (MP) for Ashford in the year 1931. Later from 1932 to 1933, he served as Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Secretary of State for British India, Samuel Hoare.
After the death of his father, Knatchbull succeeded as the Baron Brabourne in 1933. He was later appointed the Governor of Bombay. Michael Knatchbull was knighted with Knight Grand Commander of the Most Eminent Order of the Indian Empire
(GCIE). As the Governor of Bombay, he laid the foundation stone at the Brabourne Stadium cricket ground in the year 1936 after holding negotiations for the land with the Cricket Club of India (CCI). Michael Herbert Rudolf Knatchbull, 5th Baron Brabourne was honoured as the Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India
(GCSI) in the year 1937.
In the same year he was appointed as the Governor of Bengal. The Bengal Presidency originally comprised east and west Bengal and was a colonial region of the British Empire in India
. The region included the territories of undivided Bengal like West Bengal
and modern Bangladesh. He was preceded by Sir John Anderson as the Governor of Bengal Presidency. Michael Knatchbull served in office till the year 1939 and was succeeded by John Arthur Herbert.
Personal Life of Michael Knatchbull
Michael Knatchbull was married with Lady Doreen Browne, who was the daughter of the 6th Marquess of Sligo on 22 January 1919. The couple had 2 children, namely Norton Cecil Michael Knatchbull, 6th Baron Brabourne and John Ulick Knatchbull, 7th Baron Brabourne. Michael Knatchbull died on 23 February 1939 and was buried at St. John's Churchyard, Calcutta (now Kolkata
) in British India.