Early Life of William Duke
William Duke was born as William Taylor Duke in the year 1863. He received his education from Arbroath (Aberbrothock) abd later studied at the University College London. After the successful completion of his graduation, Duke joined the Indian Civil Service (ICS) in the Bengal Cadre.
Career of William Duke
William Duke was initially assigned to different District and Secretariat postings. In the year 1911, Duke was appointed as the Acting Lieutenant Governor of Bengal Province. He was preceded by Sir Edward Norman Baker as the Lieutenant 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, Tripura, Orissa, Meghalaya, Bihar, Assam and modern Bangladesh.
During that period, the former British Bengal province was being restructured and the capital of British India was being moved to New Delhi from Calcutta (now Kolkata). In the year 1912, the British government of India reunified East Bengal and West Bengal to establish a single presidency under the administrative control of a governor. Bengal Presidency became a fully developed Governorship. William Duke served in office as the Lieutenant Governor until the year 1912.
Later Life of William Duke
Sir William Duke was succeeded by Sir Thomas David Gibson Carmichael, 1st Baron Carmichael GCSI, GCIE, KCMG, DL. Carmichael was shifted to Bengal from Madras and was appointed as the first Governor of Bengal province. William Duke acted as his senior member of Council until the year 1914. After his retirement, Duke served as a member of the Council of India. Later he became a Permanent Under Secretary of State in the India Office. He held the position until his death in London on 11 June 1924.