Aberdeen Grammar School
Aberdeen Grammar School is a state secondary school in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is one of thirteen secondary schools run by the Aberdeen City Council educational department, it is the oldest school in the city and one of the oldest grammar schools in the United Kingdom, with a history spanning more than 750 years. Founded around 1257, the year used in official school records, it began operating as a boys' school. On Skene Street, near the centre of the city, it was situated on Schoolhill, near the current site of Robert Gordon's College, it moved to its current site in 1863, became co-educational in 1973. From 1970 to 1977, it was known as Rubislaw Academy, named after the nearby Rubislaw area of Aberdeen. In an annual survey run by the British broadsheet newspaper The Times, Aberdeen Grammar was rated the 12th best Scottish state secondary school in 2007, second in Aberdeen behind Cults Academy; the most notable alumnus is the Romantic poet and writer. A statue of him was erected in the front courtyard of the school.
Other alumni include Scottish international footballer Russell Anderson, mathematician Hector Munro Macdonald, Nobel Prize winner John Macleod and the last living recipient to have been awarded the Victoria Cross during the Second World War, John Cruickshank. The exact date of the school's founding is unknown. 1257, the date, now used for official school purposes. The earliest documented date of its existence is in the Burgh Records of 1418, when the Lord Provost and Council nominated John Homyll to replace the deceased Andrew of Chivas as "Master of the Schools". On Schoolhill, near the site of the current Robert Gordon's College, the curriculum consisted of Latin and ancient geography. In 1580, new pupils were reprimanded, under the penalty of £10, if they did not show good behaviour or did not listen to their Magistrates or masters. In 1612, the pupils, many of whom were related to the gentry in the country, rioted with pistols and hagbuts, took over part of the school; the masters stopped the riot, 21 pupils were expelled, while some were arrested.
From 1861–1863, the school moved to its current location on Skene Street. A large granite building in Scottish baronial style was constructed and opened on 23 October 1863; this allowed expansion of the curriculum to include English, modern languages and gymnastics. Other buildings and extensions have been added to the 1863 building; these include the Bennum Building and the 1960s modern design: a west-wing science block, a dining hall. A private boys' school, it became a council grammar school and a comprehensive academy in 1970, it became co-educational in 1973. In 1986, the original building was devastated by a fire, destroying most of the rooms including the large library, a collection of Byron's notebooks, the trophy room and other classrooms, although the historic facade was undamaged; the school was rebuilt over many years, with modern facilities, while pupils studied in temporary classrooms in the playground. These Portakabins were used by the Art Departments; the school and FPs club own the 18-acre Rubislaw Playing Fields at a site about a mile away from the main school building.
Shared with the former pupils' club, the location has rugby union pitches with a stand, football pitches, grass hockey pitches and an artificial hockey pitch built in 2005. In recent years the school has been the site of a number of newsworthy events, including a protest against PETA, the painting pink of an entire temporary classroom block, a bomb threat; the school marked its 750th anniversary year in 2007 with a series of fund-raising events, the proceeds of which went towards buying a new school minibus. In 2007, work was completed on a new gymnasium, begun two years previously; the new building has a modern interior compared with the old granite. The building at the Rubislaw Playing Fields was refurbished in 2008 in much the same style as the gym, was extended to include four extra changing rooms and a reception area. In February 2019, the school was shut for a suspected gas leak; the motto is Bon Record. This is not to be confused with that of the City of Aberdeen—Bon Accord—which was first heard of in 1308, over 50 years after the school was founded.
Today the school is run by Aberdeen City Council in accordance with the Scottish Executive's educational guidelines for state schools. In the 2013/14 academic year, the education of each pupil at the Grammar School cost £4,252; this was the lowest spending per pupil out of the local authority secondary schools. In the session 2006–2007, 43% of fifth- and sixth-year pupils received a qualification equivalent of five Highers or more—a 3% increase on the previous year, it is now ranked 12th equal in Scotland for these qualifications. Furthermore, 64% of fourth-years gained a Standard Grade at Credit level—an increase of 4%; the school is ranked 10th in this field. In an annual survey run by the British broadsheet newspaper The Times, Aberdeen Grammar was rated the 19th best Scottish state secondary school in 2005 based on exam results, rising to 16th in 2006 and, most 12th in 2007. About 1100 pupils attend the school each year, between the ages of about 11 to 18; the school's catchment area centres on the west end including Rosemount and Mannofield.
There are five main primary schools that feed into the school, located throughout the centre and west-end of Aberdeen: Ashley Road Primary School, Gilcomstoun Primary School, Mile-End School, Skene Square Primary School and St. Joseph's Primary School (a Roman Cathol
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936. Born during the reign of his grandmother Queen Victoria, George was third in the line of succession behind his father, Prince Albert Edward, his own elder brother, Prince Albert Victor. From 1877 to 1891, George served in the Royal Navy, until the unexpected death of his elder brother in early 1892 put him directly in line for the throne. On the death of his grandmother in 1901, George's father ascended the throne as Edward VII, George was created Prince of Wales, he became king-emperor on his father's death in 1910. George V's reign saw the rise of socialism, fascism, Irish republicanism, the Indian independence movement, all of which radically changed the political landscape; the Parliament Act 1911 established the supremacy of the elected British House of Commons over the unelected House of Lords. As a result of the First World War, the empires of his first cousins Nicholas II of Russia and Wilhelm II of Germany fell, while the British Empire expanded to its greatest effective extent.
In 1917, George became the first monarch of the House of Windsor, which he renamed from the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha as a result of anti-German public sentiment. In 1924 he appointed the first Labour ministry and in 1931 the Statute of Westminster recognised the dominions of the Empire as separate, independent states within the Commonwealth of Nations, he had smoking-related health problems throughout much of his reign and at his death was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII. George was born on 3 June 1865, in London, he was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales, Alexandra, Princess of Wales. His father was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert, his mother was the eldest daughter of King Christian IX and Queen Louise of Denmark, he was baptised at Windsor Castle on 7 July 1865 by the Archbishop of Charles Longley. As a younger son of the Prince of Wales, there was little expectation, he was third in line after his father and elder brother, Prince Albert Victor.
George was only 17 months younger than Albert Victor, the two princes were educated together. John Neale Dalton was appointed as their tutor in 1871. Neither Albert Victor nor George excelled intellectually; as their father thought that the navy was "the best possible training for any boy", in September 1877, when George was 12 years old, both brothers joined the cadet training ship HMS Britannia at Dartmouth, Devon. For three years from 1879, the royal brothers served on HMS Bacchante, accompanied by Dalton, they toured the colonies of the British Empire in the Caribbean, South Africa and Australia, visited Norfolk, Virginia, as well as South America, the Mediterranean and East Asia. In 1881 on a visit to Japan, George had a local artist tattoo a blue and red dragon on his arm, was received in an audience by the Emperor Meiji. Dalton wrote an account of their journey entitled The Cruise of HMS Bacchante. Between Melbourne and Sydney, Dalton recorded a sighting of the Flying Dutchman, a mythical ghost ship.
When they returned to Britain, Queen Victoria complained that her grandsons could not speak French or German, so they spent six months in Lausanne in an unsuccessful attempt to learn another language. After Lausanne, the brothers were separated, he travelled the world. During his naval career he commanded Torpedo Boat 79 in home waters HMS Thrush on the North America station, before his last active service in command of HMS Melampus in 1891–92. From on, his naval rank was honorary; as a young man destined to serve in the navy, Prince George served for many years under the command of his uncle, Prince Alfred, Duke of Edinburgh, stationed in Malta. There, he fell in love with his cousin, Princess Marie, his grandmother and uncle all approved the match, but the mothers—the Princess of Wales and the Duchess of Edinburgh—opposed it. The Princess of Wales thought the family was too pro-German, the Duchess of Edinburgh disliked England. Marie's mother was the only daughter of Tsar Alexander II of Russia.
She resented the fact that, as the wife of a younger son of the British sovereign, she had to yield precedence to George's mother, the Princess of Wales, whose father had been a minor German prince before being called unexpectedly to the throne of Denmark. Guided by her mother, Marie refused George, she married Ferdinand, the future King of Romania, in 1893. In November 1891, George's elder brother, Albert Victor, became engaged to his second cousin once removed, Princess Victoria Mary of Teck, known as "May" within the family. May's father, Prince Francis, Duke of Teck, belonged to a morganatic, cadet branch of the house of Württemberg, her mother, Princess Mary Adelaide of Cambridge, was a male-line granddaughter of King George III and a first cousin of Queen Victoria. On 14 January 1892, six weeks after the formal engagement, Albert Victor died of pneumonia, leaving George second in line to the throne, to succeed after his father. George had only just recovered from a serious illness himself, after being confined to bed for six weeks with typhoid fever, the disease, thought to have killed his grandfather Prince Albert.
Queen Victoria still regarded Princess May as a suitable match for her grandson, George and May grew close during their shared perio
Ellon is a town in Aberdeenshire, Scotland 16 miles north of Aberdeen, lying on the River Ythan, which has one of the few undeveloped river estuaries on the eastern coast of Scotland. It is in the ancient region of Formartine, its name is believed to derive from the Gaelic term Eilean, an island, on account of the presence of an island in the River Ythan, which offered a convenient fording point. Places of interest within the town include the ruins of Ellon Castle, surrounded by walls known as the Deer Dyke, the Auld Brig, a category A listed bridge across the Ythan, built in 1793 and still in use as a pedestrian bridge; the Riverside Park offers walkways alongside the Ythan, from which herons, salmon and otters may be observed. In 2013, a new 5.5 acre eco-brewery and crowdfunded by BrewDog, was opened in a greenfield site just outside of Ellon. The town has three primary schools: Ellon Primary School Auchterellon Primary School Meiklemill Primary SchoolEach of these schools has some type of greenspace as well as a concrete playground.
These schools feed into Ellon Academy, the local secondary school, which has a roll of about 1200 students. A new school was opened on the outskirts of Ellon. Ellon has a community centre, which includes a swimming pool and café; the Ythan Centre is a building dedicated to serving the needs of Ellon's teenage population. This facility includes a soundproofed room where amateur bands can practise and a large hall with roof to floor length mirrors, which the dance group Refresh uses for their weekly practice; the Meadows sports centre, located on the outskirts of Ellon, has many sporting facilities and clubs, including football and rugby pitches, an astroturf pitch for hockey, a gym, a multi-use sports hall. The Meadows is home to the Ellon United football team, the Ellon RFC and the Ellon HC; the town has two weekly newspapers: the Ellon Times, published on Thursdays by Angus County Press and the Ellon Advertiser, published on Fridays by Peters of Turriff. Ellon has benefited from the North Sea oil demand, is one of the main dormitory towns for Aberdeen.
It is part of the proposed Energetica corridor of development. The population is expanding as young families seek to escape Aberdeen and move to nearby towns like Ellon and Banchory. During 2006, Ellon ranked as the town with the fourth most increasing average house prices in Scotland. Ellon is bypassed by the A90 road, which offers convenient access to Aberdeen to the south and Peterhead and Fraserburgh to the north. Other major road links are the A920 west to Oldmeldrum and Huntly, the A948 north to New Deer. Regular and frequent bus services link Ellon with Aberdeen, Peterhead and surrounding towns and villages, serving both the town centre and the large Park and Ride facility at the eastern edge of the town. Ellon railway station was a principal station on the Great North of Scotland Railway line that ran from Aberdeen to Fraserburgh and Peterhead. Due to the Beeching Axe, passenger services were withdrawn on the Formartine and Buchan Railway line in 1965. Freight services continued on the line until 1979.
The former railway line was purchased by Grampian Regional Council in 1981, is now part of the National Cycling Route network. Due to the population expansion since the North Sea Oil boom, the A90 has become overloaded between Aberdeen and Peterhead; the Aberdeen Crossrail project has looked at reopening sections of the former railway, however as of March 2009 this is still unlikely. The Boddam Branch that ran to Boddam via Cruden Bay started at Ellon; this closed in 1945. Alexander Mitchell, U. S. Representative from Wisconsin Teddy Scott, coach for Aberdeen F. C. Tom Patey and doctor Paul Sturrock, footballer Evelyn Glennie, percussionist Fiona Campbell, international cricketer Natalie Ross, footballer Iain Sutherland, musician- The Sutherland Brothers Rev James Robertson Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland and first person in Britain to use bone meal as a fertiliser Ellon overview at Aberdeenshire Towns Partnership Ellon Tourism Group website Ellon AAC Website Ellon Academy website Ellon Webcam, local picture galleries and historic info Ellon Times, local newspaper website The Victoria Hall public leisure facility St Mary-on-the-Rock Church
University of Aberdeen
The University of Aberdeen is a public research university in Aberdeen, Scotland. It is an ancient university founded in 1495 when William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen and Chancellor of Scotland, petitioned Pope Alexander VI on behalf of James IV, King of Scots to establish King's College, making it Scotland's third-oldest university and the fifth-oldest in the English-speaking world. Today, Aberdeen is ranked among the top 200 universities in the world and is ranked within the top 30 universities in the United Kingdom. In the 2019 Times Higher Education University Impact Rankings, Aberdeen was ranked 31st in the world for impact on society. Aberdeen was named the 2019 Scottish University of the Year by The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide; the university as it is comprised was formed in 1860 by a merger between King's College and Marischal College, a second university founded in 1593 as a Protestant alternative to the former. The university's iconic buildings act as symbols of wider Aberdeen Marischal College in the city centre and the crown steeple of King's College in Old Aberdeen.
There are two campuses. Although the original site of the university's foundation, most academic buildings apart from the King's College Chapel and Quadrangle were constructed in the 20th century during a period of significant expansion; the university's Foresterhill campus is next to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary and houses the School of Medicine and Dentistry as well as the School of Medical Sciences. Together these buildings comprise one of Europe's largest health campuses; the annual income of the institution for 2017–18 was £219.5 million of which £56.1 million was from research grants and contracts, with an expenditure of £226.8 million. Aberdeen has 13,500 students from undergraduate to doctoral level, including many international students. An abundant range of disciplines are taught at the university, with 650 undergraduate degree programmes offered in the 2012-13 academic year. Many important figures in the field of theology were educated at the university in its earlier history, giving rise to the Aberdeen doctors in the 17th century and prolific enlightenment philosopher Thomas Reid in the 18th.
Five Nobel laureates have since been associated with Aberdeen. The first university in Aberdeen, King's College, formally The University and King's College of Aberdeen, was founded in February 1495 by William Elphinstone, Bishop of Aberdeen, Chancellor of Scotland, a graduate of the University of Glasgow drafting a request on behalf of King James IV to Pope Alexander VI resulting in a Papal Bull being issued; the university, modelled on that of the University of Paris and intended principally as a law school, soon became the most famous and popular of the Scots seats of learning due to the prestige of Elphinstone and his friend, Hector Boece, the first principal. Despite this founding date, teaching did not start for another ten years, the University of Aberdeen celebrated 500 years of teaching and learning in 2005. Following the Scottish Reformation in 1560, King's College was purged of its Roman Catholic staff but in other respects was resistant to change. George Keith, the fifth Earl Marischal was a moderniser within the college and supportive of the reforming ideas of Peter Ramus.
In April 1593 he founded a second university in Marischal College. It is possible the founding of another college in nearby Fraserburgh by Sir Alexander Fraser, a business rival of Keith, was instrumental in its creation. Aberdeen was unusual at this time for having two universities in one city: as 20th-century University prospectuses observed, Aberdeen had the same number as existed in England at the time. Marischal College offered the Principal of King's College a role in selecting its academics, but this was refused - the first blow in a developing rivalry. Marischal College, in the commercial heart of the city, was quite different in outlook. For example, it was more integrated into the life of the city, such as allowing students to live outwith the College; the two rival colleges clashed, sometimes in court, but in brawls between students on the streets of Aberdeen. As the institutions put aside their differences, a process of attempted mergers began in the 17th century. During this time, both colleges made notable intellectual contributions to the Scottish Enlightenment.
Both colleges supported the Jacobite rebellion and following the defeat of the 1715 rising were purged by the authorities of their academics and officials. The nearest the two colleges had come to full union was as the "Caroline University of Aberdeen", a merger initiated by Charles I of Scotland in 1641. Following the civil conflicts of the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, a more complete unification was attempted following the ratification of Parliament by Oliver Cromwell during the interregnum in 1654; this united university survived until the Restoration whereby all laws made during this period were rescinded by Charles II and the two colleges reverted to independent status. Charles I is still recognised as one of the university's founders, due to his part in creating the Caroline University and his benevolence towards King's College. Further unsuccessful suggestions for union were brought about throughout the 18th and early 19th centuries; the two universities in Aberdeen merged on 15 September 1860 in accord
Order of the Crown (Prussia)
The Royal Order of the Crown was a Prussian order of chivalry. Instituted in 1861 as an honour equal in rank to the Order of the Red Eagle, membership could only be conferred upon commissioned officers, but there was a medal associated with the order which could be earned by non-commissioned officers and enlisted men; the Order of the Red Eagle and the Order of the Crown were equal. Most officials did however prefer to be appointed in the older Order of the Red Eagle; the Order of the Crown was used as an award for someone who had to be rewarded while the Prussian government did not want to use the Order of the Red Eagle. The Order had six classes: Grand Cross - wore the Grand Cross badge on a sash on the right shoulder, plus the star on the left chest; the badge of the Order for the 1st to 4th classes was a gilt cross pattée, with white enamel. The obverse gilt central disc bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto of the German Empire Gott Mit Uns; the reverse gilt disc has the Prussian royal monogram, surrounded by a blue enamel ring with the date 18 October 1861.
The star of the Order was a gilt eight-pointed star, a silver eight-pointed star, or a silver four-pointed star, all with straight rays. The gilt central disc again bore the crown of Prussia, surrounded by a blue enamel ring bearing the motto Gott Mit Uns; the ribbon of the Order was blue. The insignias of the order could be awarded in dozens of variations. For example with superimposed Cross of Geneva, with swords and with oak leaves; the following lists show a fair cross section of individuals who were known to be conferred membership of the Order in its several classes, in order of precedence. Sir Christopher George Francis Maurice Cradock Mustafa Kemal Atatürk - 1st Class. Count Léo d'Ursel Knight Grand Cross. Ernst von Bibra - 3rd Class 1869 Gen. Flaviano Paliza - 2nd Class 1899 Robert James Lindsay VC KCB, 1st and last Baron Wantage of Lockinge - 3rd Class with Cross of Geneva Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala - 1st Class 1911 Friedrich Wilhelm von Lindeiner-Wildau - 4th Class with Swords Victor Spencer, Baron Churchill - 1st class, 1899 - in connection with the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II to the United Kingdom.
Major-General Sir John McNeill - 1st class, 1899 - in connection with the visit of Emperor Wilhelm II to the United Kingdom. Sir James Reid, 1st Baronet - 2nd class 1901 Lieutenant-Colonel Sir James Grierson, British Military Attaché at Berlin - 1st class 1901 Sir William Carington and Treasurer to the Prince of Wales - 2nd class, with star, January 1902 - during the visit to Berlin of the Prince for the birthday of Emperor Wilhelm II Sir Charles Cust, Equerry to the Prince of Wales - 2nd class, January 1902 - during the visit to Berlin of the Prince for the birthday of Emperor Wilhelm II Lieutenant-Colonel James Robert Johnstone - 2nd class, May 1902 - in recognition of his services in China during the Boxer Rebellion. Major-General Sir Ian Hamilton, British Military Secretary - invested 1st class in September 1902 - when he visited Prussia for German Army maneuvers. General Leutnant Friedrich Fahnert 4th class with Swords, German General of Luftwaffe Signals
George VI was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death on 6 February 1952. He was the first Head of the Commonwealth. Known publicly as Albert until his accession, "Bertie" among his family and close friends, George VI was born in the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, was named after his great-grandfather Albert, Prince Consort; as the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. He attended naval college as a teenager, served in the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force during the First World War. In 1920, he was made Duke of York, he married Lady Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon in 1923 and they had two daughters and Margaret. In the mid-1920s, he had speech therapy for a stammer, which he never overcame. George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936; however that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson.
British prime minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated to marry Simpson, George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor. During George's reign, the break-up of the British Empire and its transition into the Commonwealth of Nations accelerated; the parliament of the Irish Free State removed direct mention of the monarch from the country's constitution on the day of his accession. The following year, a new Irish constitution changed the name of the state to Ireland and established the office of President. From 1939, the Empire and Commonwealth – except Ireland – was at war with Nazi Germany. War with Italy and Japan followed in 1941, respectively. Though Britain and its allies were victorious in 1945, the United States and the Soviet Union rose as pre-eminent world powers and the British Empire declined. After the independence of India and Pakistan in 1947, George remained king of both countries, but relinquished the title of Emperor of India in June 1948.
Ireland formally declared itself a republic and left the Commonwealth in 1949, India became a republic within the Commonwealth the following year. George adopted the new title of Head of the Commonwealth, he was beset by smoking-related health problems in the years of his reign. He was succeeded by his elder daughter, Elizabeth II. George was born at York Cottage, on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk, during the reign of his great-grandmother Queen Victoria, his father was Prince George, Duke of York, the second and eldest-surviving son of the Prince and Princess of Wales. His mother was the Duchess of York, the eldest child and only daughter of the Duke and Duchess of Teck, his birthday, 14 December 1895, was the 34th anniversary of the death of his great-grandfather, Prince Consort. Uncertain of how the Prince Consort's widow, Queen Victoria, would take the news of the birth, the Prince of Wales wrote to the Duke of York that the Queen had been "rather distressed". Two days he wrote again: "I think it would gratify her if you yourself proposed the name Albert to her".
Queen Victoria was mollified by the proposal to name the new baby Albert, wrote to the Duchess of York: "I am all impatience to see the new one, born on such a sad day but rather more dear to me as he will be called by that dear name, a byword for all, great and good". He was baptised "Albert Frederick Arthur George" at St. Mary Magdalene's Church near Sandringham three months later. Within the family, he was known informally as "Bertie", his maternal grandmother, the Duchess of Teck, did not like the first name the baby had been given, she wrote prophetically that she hoped the last name "may supplant the less favoured one". Albert was fourth in line to the throne at birth, after his grandfather and elder brother, Edward, he suffered from ill health and was described as "easily frightened and somewhat prone to tears". His parents were removed from their children's day-to-day upbringing, as was the norm in aristocratic families of that era, he had a stammer. Although left-handed, he was forced to write with his right hand, as was common practice at the time.
He suffered from chronic stomach problems as well as knock knees, for which he was forced to wear painful corrective splints. Queen Victoria died on 22 January 1901, the Prince of Wales succeeded her as King Edward VII. Prince Albert moved up to third in line after his father and elder brother. From 1909, Albert attended Osborne, as a naval cadet. In 1911 he came bottom of the class in the final examination, but despite this he progressed to the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth; when his grandfather, Edward VII, died in 1910, Albert's father became King George V. Edward became Prince of Wales, with Albert second in line to the throne. Albert spent the first six months of 1913 on the training ship HMS Cumberland in the West Indies and on the east coast of Canada, he was rated as a midshipman aboard HMS Collingwood on 15 September 1913, spent three months in the Mediterranean. His fellow officers gave him the nickname "Mr. Johnson"; the First World War broke out a year after his commission. Three weeks after the outbreak of war he was medically evacuated from the ship to Aberdeen where his appendix was removed by Sir John Marnoch.
He was mentioned in despatches for his action as a turret officer aboard Collingwood i
Abdul Karim (the Munshi)
Mohammed Abdul Karim, known as "the Munshi", was an Indian attendant of Queen Victoria. He served her during the final fourteen years of her reign, gaining her maternal affection over that time. Karim was born the son of a hospital assistant near Jhansi in British India. In 1887, the year of Victoria's Golden Jubilee, Karim was one of two Indians selected to become servants to the Queen. Victoria came to like him a great deal and gave him the title of "Munshi". Victoria appointed him to be her Indian Secretary, showered him with honours, obtained a land grant for him in India; the close platonic relationship between Karim and the Queen led to friction within the Royal Household, the other members of which felt themselves to be superior to him. The Queen insisted on taking Karim with her on her travels, which caused arguments between her and her other attendants. Following Victoria's death in 1901, her successor, Edward VII, returned Karim to India and ordered the confiscation and destruction of the Munshi's correspondence with Victoria.
Karim subsequently lived near Agra, on the estate that Victoria had arranged for him, until his death at the age of 46. Mohammed Abdul Karim was born into a Muslim family at Lalitpur near Jhansi in 1863, his father, Haji Mohammed Waziruddin, was a hospital assistant stationed with the Central India Horse, a British cavalry regiment. Karim had one older brother, Abdul Aziz, four younger sisters, he was taught Persian and Urdu and, as a teenager, travelled across North India and into Afghanistan. Karim's father participated in the conclusive march to Kandahar, which ended the Second Anglo-Afghan War, in August 1880. After the war, Karim's father transferred from the Central India Horse to a civilian position at the Central Jail in Agra, while Karim worked as a vakil for the Nawab of Jaora in the Agency of Agar. After three years in Agar, Karim resigned and moved to Agra, to become a vernacular clerk at the jail, his father arranged the sister of a fellow worker. Prisoners in the Agra jail were trained and kept employed as carpet weavers as part of their rehabilitation.
In 1886, 34 convicts travelled to London to demonstrate carpet weaving at the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in South Kensington. Karim did not accompany the prisoners, but assisted Jail Superintendent John Tyler in organising the trip, helped to select the carpets and weavers; when Queen Victoria visited the exhibition, Tyler gave her a gift of two gold bracelets, again chosen with the assistance of Karim. The Queen had a longstanding interest in her Indian territories and wished to employ some Indian servants for her Golden Jubilee, she asked Tyler to recruit two attendants. Karim was hastily coached in British manners and in the English language and sent to England, along with Mohammed Buksh. Major-General Thomas Dennehy, about to be appointed to the Royal Household, had employed Buksh as a servant, it was planned that the two Indian men would wait at table, learn to do other tasks. After a journey by rail from Agra to Bombay and by mail steamer to Britain and Buksh arrived at Windsor Castle in June 1887.
They were put under the charge of Major-General Dennehy and first served the Queen at breakfast in Frogmore House at Windsor on 23 June 1887. The Queen described Karim in her diary for that day: "The other, much younger, is much lighter and with a fine serious countenance, his father is a native doctor at Agra. They both kissed my feet."Five days the Queen noted that "The Indians always wait now and do so, so well and quietly." On 3 August, she wrote: "I am learning a few words of Hindustani to speak to my servants. It is a great interest to me for both the language and the people, I have never come into real contact with before." On 20 August she had some "excellent curry" made by one of the servants. By 30 August Karim was teaching her Urdu, which she used during an audience in December to greet the Maharani Chimnabai of Baroda. Victoria took a great liking to Karim and ordered that he was to be given additional instruction in the English language. By February 1888 he had "learnt English wonderfully" according to Victoria.
After he complained to the Queen that he had been a clerk in India and thus menial work as a waiter was beneath him, he was promoted to the position of "Munshi" in August 1888. In her journal, the Queen writes that she made this change so that he would stay: "I wish to retain his services as he helps me in studying Hindustani, which interests me much, & he is intelligent & useful." Photographs of him waiting at table were destroyed and he became the first Indian personal clerk to the Queen. Buksh remained in the Queen's service, but only as a khidmatgar or table servant, until his death at Windsor in 1899. According to Karim biographer Sushila Anand, the Queen's own letters testify that "her discussions with the Munshi were wide-ranging—philosophical and practical. Both head and heart were engaged. There is no doubt that the Queen found in Abdul Karim a connection with a world, fascinatingly alien, a confidant who would not feed her the official line." Karim was made responsible for their accounts.
Victoria praised him in her letters and journal. "I am so fond of him" she wrote, "He is so good & gentle & understanding all I want & is a real comfort to me." She admired "her personal Indian clerk & Munshi, an excellent, clever pous & refined gentle man, who says,'God ordered it'... God's Orders is what they implicitly obey! Such faith as theirs & such conscientiousness set us a gt. example." At Balmo