Warren Hastings was born at Churchill in Oxfordshire on 6 December 1732. In 1743 he attended Westminster School, where he became king's scholar and captain of the school in 1747. In 1750 he travelled to Calcutta [Kolkata] to work as a writer in the East India Company's Bengal service. Hastings' first appointment was at Cossimbazar, near the nawab's capital at Murshidabad.
In 1756 he married Mary, née Elliott (d. 1759), widow of Captain John Buchanan. From Britain, Hastings sailed for Madras in 1769. During the journey he met his second wife, Marian, née Anna Maria Apollonia Chapuset (1747-1837). Hastings spent two successful years at Madras and his management of the company's commercial concerns was particularly commended. In 1772 the directors of the East India Company appointed Hastings as governor of Bengal. From the outset of his government Hastings felt obliged to impress on British opinion the importance of what Britain had acquired in Bengal. He believed that Bengal must be governed in ways to which its people were presumed to be accustomed. Indian methods of government and Indian law must be preserved. During his time as governor he moved the central government to Calcutta under direct British control and remodelled the justice system. In 1774 he acquired the new title of governor-general.
He retired in 1785 and returned to England. In 1786, Edmund Burke introduced an impeachment process against him on charges of corruption, and following a trial that lasted from 1788 to 1795, Hastings was acquitted. In 1813 he was asked to give evidence to the House of Commons on the renewal of the East India Company's charter. In his later years he received an honorary doctorate from Oxford University and was made a privy counsellor. He died in 1822 and was buried in Daylesford churchyard.
Source: P.J. Marshall, 'Hastings, Warren (1732-1818)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/12587.
Sir Thomas Phillipps, baronet and collector of books and manuscripts, was born on 2 July 1792 in Manchester. In 1796 Phillipps moved to Broadway, Worcestershire and was educated locally before going to Rugby School in 1807. He studied at University College Oxford between 1811 and 1815.
In 1819 Phillipps married Henrietta Elizabeth (1794/5-1832), third daughter of Major-General Thomas Molyneux. He was elected a fellow of the Royal Society in 1820, and was made a baronet in the coronation honours in 1821. He set about buying books and manuscripts with gusto, copying and commissioning transcripts of historic documents, and from 1822 having them printed, usually coarsely and in small quantities, by a succession of his own printers on a private press at Broadway Tower. Amongst other acquisitions, he bought extensively at the sales of David Powell, the genealogist, George Baker, the historian of Northamptonshire, and Viscount Kingsborough, author of The Antiquities of Mexico, in 1842, and of Augustus, Duke of Sussex, in 1844. At the Wilks sale in 1847 he bought the Caxton Recuyell of the Historyes of Troy and the first folio of Shakespeare, but failed to secure the Gutenberg Bible. He died on 6 February 1872 and was buried at St Eadburga's Church, Broadway.
Following Phillipps's death his manuscripts were gradually sold through Sotheby's. Some twenty-two sales had taken place before the still vast residue was bought in 1946 by the London antiquarian booksellers Lionel and Philip Robinson. They dispersed the manuscripts through their own retail catalogues and a further series of auctions at Sotheby's. The remainder was acquired by the New York dealer H.P. Kraus in 1977.
Source: Alan Bell, 'Phillipps, Sir Thomas, baronet (1792-1872)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, Oxford University Press, 2004. By permission of Oxford University Press - http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ref:odnb/22143.