Humphreys, Robert (1871-1916)

Robert Humphreys was the deputy commissioner of the Hoshiarpur District, chosen for his tact and experience to accompany the police sent from Punjab to meet the Komagata Maru on its return to India. He was among the wounded in the Budge Budge riot, although his wound was more dramatic than serious: a graze that bled profusely but did little damage. Humphreys was born in County Cork, Ireland. He graduated from the Royal University of Ireland and Trinity College Cambridge before writing the India Civil Service Exams and entering the Indian Civil Service with a posting to Punjab in 1873. He received the Kaier-i-Hind gold medal for his work during the famine in the Hissar District of Punjab in 1899-1900. He held several senior posts in Punjab before being appointed deputy commissioner of Hoshiarpur in April 1913. He died unexpectedly of an attack of colitis a few days after returning to Hoshiarpur in October 1916 after a lengthy leave in Britain. His Customary Law of the Hoshiarpur District, published by the government printing office in Lahore in 1914, remains a reference work in civil cases in Punjab today.

Sources: Obituary, Lahore Gazette, 8 Nov. 1916; indiankanoon website.