MACKESON, FREDERICK (1807-1853), son of William and Harriet Mackeson, was born on 28 September 1807, and educated at the King's School, Canterbury, and in France. In 1825, he joined the Bengal Native Infantry. In 1831, and for several years afterwards, his regiment was stationed at Ludhiāṇā. In 1832, he was appointed assistant political agent at Ludhiāṇā and in that capacity accompanied Claude Martin Wade on a Mission to Lahore and Bahāwalpur in connection with the Indus navigation scheme. From 1835 to 1838, he was agent for the navigation of the Indus and the Sutlej, first at Bahāwalpur and then at Miṭhankoṭ. He efficiently served British political interests in the name of commercial enterprise, keeping a vigilant watch over the Sikhs with a view to checking them from extending their influence towards Shikārpur and Sindh. He also played an important role in the negotiations between Sir William Macnaghten and Mahārājā Raṇjīt Siṅgh which resulted in the Tripartite treaty. In 1838, he proceeded to Peshāwar with the concurrence of the Lahore Darbār to win over the people of the Khaibar region, to the side of Shāh Shujā'. He hobnobbed both with the Sikhs and the Afghāns soliciting help for the Khaibar operations. He remained at Peshāwar till 1842.

         During the first Anglo-Sikh war Mackeson was with Sir Harry Smith's division in the field and was present at 'Alīvāl. In March 1846, he was appointed superintendent of the cis-Sutlej territory. In the second Anglo-Sikh war he was with Hugh Gough as Governor-General's agent. From 1851 to 1853, he served as commissioner at Peshāwar, where he was assassinated by a local guardsman on 10 September 1853.


  1. Fauja Singh, Military System of the Sikhs (1799-1849) . Delhi, 1864
  2. Hasrat, B. J., Anglo-Sikh Relations (1799-1849) . Hoshiarpur, 1968
  3. Buckland, C.E., Dictionary of Indian Biography. London, 1906

B. J. Hasrat