Gnanendramohan Tagore

Gnanendramohan Tagore (also Gyanendramohan Tagore) (24 January 1826 – 5 January 1890) was the first Bengali, Indian or Asian to be called to the bar in England, in 1862.[1]

Gnanendramohan Tagore
Born(1826-01-24)24 January 1826
Died5 January 1890(1890-01-05) (aged 63)

Early lifeEdit

Gnanendramohan Tagore was the son of Prasanna Coomar Tagore and grandson of Gopi Mohan Tagore one of the founders of Hindu College, of the Pathuriaghata branch of the Tagore family. He had won a scholarship of Rs. 40 per month and joined Calcutta Medical College in 1842, but did not complete his medical education. While a student of Hindu College, amongst his classmates were Rajnarain Bose and Gobinda Chandra Dutt (father of Toru Dutt).[1]

When Hindu College was opened, orthodox sections of Hindu society thought that western education would not affect the rigid structure of Hindu society.[2] They had even forced Ram Mohan Roy to stay out of it.[3] However, ‘the contradictions between the College’s name and its secular curriculum soon became evident’ and many students of Hindu College embraced Christianity.[2]

Gnanendramohan converted to Christianity in 1851, under the influence of his mentor, Krishna Mohan Banerjee and married his daughter Kamalmani.[1] As a result, he was disowned by his father and deprived of his inheritance.[4] Prasanna Coomar Tagore left his vast landed estates to his nephew, Maharaja Bahadur Sir Jatindramohan Tagore.[5] Gnanendramohan later regained some of the inheritance through court.[1]

Later lifeEdit

In 1859, Gnanendramohan Tagore went to England, with his wife, for medical treatment. On being cured he joined the University of London as professor of Hindu Law and Bengali. In 1861, he was living at Kensington Park Gardens, where he was visited by student and diarist Rakhal Das Haldar on 28 May.[6] He passed the law examinations and was called to the Bar from Lincoln's Inn in 1862, being the first Asian to be so called.[1] He returned to India in 1864 and joined Calcutta High Court in 1865.[1] After his wife's death in 1869, he went back to England with his two daughters, Bhabendrabala and Satyendrabala, and died there subsequently. He was buried in Brompton Cemetery.[1][7] When Gynandanandini, wife of Satyendranath Tagore, went with her children to England in 1877, Gnanendramohan received them and was their host for some time.[8]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Sengupta, Subodh Chandra and Bose, Anjali (editors), Sansad Bangali Charitabhidhan (Biographical dictionary) Vol I, 1976/1998, (in Bengali), p. 184, Sahitya Sansad, ISBN 81-85626-65-0
  2. ^ a b Raychoudhuri, Subir, The Lost World of the Babus, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. 73, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1
  3. ^ Collet, Sophia Dobson, The Life and Letters of Raja Rammohun Roy, 1900/1988, p. 76, Sadharan Brahmo Samaj.
  4. ^ Deb, Chitra, Jorasanko and the Thakur Family, in Calcutta, the Living City, Vol I, edited by Sukanta Chaudhuri, p. 65, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-563696-1
  5. ^ Cotton, H.E.A., Calcutta Old and New, 1909/1980, p. 345, General Printers and Publishers Pvt. Ltd.
  6. ^ Haldar, Rakhal Das (1903). The English Diary of an Indian Student. Dacca: The Asutosh Library. pp. 23.
  7. ^ "বাঙালির ১৩০ বছরের ভুলের বোঝা কমল (Bengali)". Retrieved 27 June 2019.
  8. ^ Devi Choudhurani, Indira, Smritisamput, (in Bengali), Rabindrabhaban, Viswabharati, pp. 3-4