The UK has always been good at looking beyond its own shores to meet other people. We make friends, do business or simply learn from, or try to help, others. There are countless adventurers and travellers from Scotland who are remembered in distant parts of the globe. One such character was Dr William Hamilton. He was a Scottish surgeon of the East India Company in the early 18th century. He was part of an entourage that visited the Mughal Emperor, Farrukh Siyyar, at his court of Delhi in 1715. Twice the Emperor suffered from a swelling in his groin, and twice Hamilton managed to save him. As a reward, the Emperor granted the East India Company permission to purchase 38 villages around what became Calcutta, as well as trading rights in Bengal. This was a major step in the East India Company developing its presence on that sub-continent. Hamilton was obviously a brave man because, according to a recent book I have been reading, Farrukh Siyyar came to power after brutally killing the previous Emperor, and his own short reign ended with the brutal killing of hundreds of Sikh soldiers who had surrendered to his forces.
Today may be one of first occasions when the overseas work of judges in my jurisdiction has been brought together in a single speech. I am of course, speaking to you as an English judge. I will, as far as I am able to do so, refer to similar work beng done in Scotland. My understanding is that we have much in common in this realm of activity.
Speech by Lady Justice Arden: International Judicial Work
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