MACAULAY, T(homas) B(abington)

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MACAULAY, T(homas) B(abington) [1800–59].British essayist, critic, poet, and historian, born in Rothley Temple, Leicestershire, son of the Presbyterian philanthropist Zachary Macaulay, who hailed from the Hebrides, had been governor of Sierra Leone, and opposed slavery. His mother was a Quaker and the daughter of a Bristol book-seller. Macaulay was educated at a private school and Trinity College Cambridge. In 1830, he became Whig Member of Parliament for Calne in Wiltshire and helped pass the Reform Act of 1832. He became a member, then secretary, of the Board of Control that oversaw the work of the East India Company in India, and in 1834 went there to serve on the new Supreme Council of India. He played a part in the slow transfer of government from Company to Crown, and supported both freedom of the press and the equality of Indians and Europeans before the law. He set up a national system of education and in 1835 wrote the Minute that made English the subcontinent's future language of education: see INDIAN ENGLISH, CHURCHILL, PROSE.