Sir James Robert Longden GCMG (7 July 1827 – 4 October 1891) was an English colonial administrator.

Sir James Robert Longden
15th Governor of British Ceylon
In office
4 September 1877 – 10 July 1883
MonarchQueen Victoria
Preceded byWilliam Henry Gregory
Succeeded byJohn Douglas
(Acting governor)
Personal details
Born7 July 1827[1]
Fitzroy Square, London
Died4 October 1891(1891-10-04) (aged 64)
Longhope, Watford
Resting placeBrookwood Cemetery
51°18′01″N 0°37′32″W / 51.300307°N 0.625660°W / 51.300307; -0.625660

Longden was born as the youngest son of John R. Longden, proctor, of Doctors' Commons, London. In 1844, two years after the establishment of a civil government, he was appointed government clerk in the Falkland Islands, and became acting colonial secretary the year after. In 1861 he was appointed President of the Virgin Islands, in 1865 Governor of Dominica, in 1867 Governor of British Honduras, in 1870 Governor of Trinidad, Governor of British Guiana in 1874, and in December 1876 Governor of Ceylon, which post he held until his retirement in 1883. Most notable of his tenure in Ceylon was his grant of land that established the Borella General Cemetery, that has since interred the names of many great Ceylonese over the centuries. He was made CMG in 1871, KCMG in 1876, GCMG in the 1883 Birthday Honours.[2]

After his retirement he resided at Longhope, near Watford, Hertfordshire, and took a very active part in county affairs. He was a J.P. and alderman for the county under the Local Government Act. He died at Longhope on 4 October 1891. His funeral took place at Brookwood Cemetery on 9 October 1891.



On 22 September 1864[3] on the island of Saint Kitts, he married Alice Emily Berridge (1846–1910), younger daughter of James Samuel Berridge (1806–1885), a local landowner and businessman, and his wife Jane Chapman (1803–1888). They had six children, including:

  • Colonel Arthur Berridge Longden DSO (1868–1936)[4]
  • Cyril Chapman Longden KPM (1873–1913)
  • Vice-Admiral Horace Walker Longden CMG (1877–1953)[5]
  • Alice Emily Longden, who married in 1900 W. Engelenburg of Soerabaia, Java.[6]
  •   This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain"Longden, James Robert". Dictionary of National Biography. London: Smith, Elder & Co. 1885–1900.
  • Longden biography, specific for Trinidad and Tobago
  • Description and image in Twentieth century impressions of Ceylon (Google books)


  1. ^ Miscellanea Genealogica Et Heraldica. Hamilton, Adams, and Company. 1900. p. 107. Retrieved 2 September 2016.
  2. ^ "No. 25233". The London Gazette. 24 May 1883. p. 2731.
  3. ^ Gloucestershire Notes and Queries. Reprint. London: Forgotten Books, 2013. 245-6 Archived 8 December 2015 at the Wayback Machine. Retrieved 2 December 2015
  4. ^ Retrieved 2 December 2015 [user-generated source]
  5. ^ "Longden, Vice-Adm. Horace Walker, (1877–4 Jan. 1953)". 2007. doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.U239967. Retrieved 2 December 2015.
  6. ^ "Marriages". The Times. No. 36074. London. 24 February 1900. p. 1.
  • Dod's Knightage, 1891
  • Colonial Office List, 1891
  • Times, 5 and 10 October 1891
Government offices
Preceded by Governor of Ceylon
Succeeded by
John Douglas
acting governor
Preceded by Governor of British Guiana
Succeeded by
Preceded by Governor of Trinidad
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of British Honduras
Succeeded by
Preceded by Lieutenant Governor of Dominica
Succeeded by
Preceded by President of the Virgin Islands
Succeeded by