Warren Hastings
(1732 - 1818)

image of Warren Hastings
Warren Hastings joined the British East India Company in 1750 as a clerk. He served as the first governor-general of British India from 1773 to 1786. Hastings was accused by anti-opium campaigners of a cynical willingness to poison foreigners for commercial advantage. Some of his comments lend weight to this charge: "Opium is not a necessity of life, but a pernicious article of luxury, which ought not to be permitted but for the purpose of foreign commerce only, and which the wisdom of the Government should carefully restrain consumption".

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