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*Tracing Your Roots > South Asian > Pulling it All Together
* Case Study of Lord Satyendra Prasanna Sinha (1863-1928) 
 
Sir Satyendra P. Sinha, was born in Raipur Calcutta Bengal, India in March 1863. He was Hindu and married to Gobinda Mohini Mitter in the same religion on 15 May 1880 at Mahata, in the district of Burdwan, Bengal.

He came to England in 1881 to study law and stayed as a student until 1886. Returning to Calcutta in 1886, he found himself treated as an outcast by his family.

In 1886, he adhered to the Sadharan Brahmo Samaj together with his wife, and thereafter professed the tenets of Brahmoism and took a leading part in the activities of the sect.

He was a barrister, and he died 5 March 1928 (his certified copy of the page of the registrar of deaths of the municipality of Berhampor is in National Archives reference (PRO) TS16/150).

His eldest son was born Aroon Kumar Sinha on 22 August in 1887, second son Sirsir Kumar Sinha was born on 22 September 1890, third son Sushil Kumar Sinha was born 9 June 1894. Fourth was Tarun Kumar Sinha who was born 9 February 1899 as well as three other daughters.

He was the first Indian to become the Advocate-General of Bengal (1905) and also the first Indian to enter the Governor General's Executive Council (1909). Although an active member of the Indian National Congress from 1896 to 1919, Satyendra joined a rebellion of moderates who abandoned the organisation.

A strong advocate of the rule of law, he proposed before the Calcutta session of the Congress in 1896 that no ruler of any Indian State should be deposed without an open judicial trial. Elected to preside over the Bombay session of the Congress in 1915, he found himself four years later raised to the peerage as Baron Sinha of Raipur. He was then put in charge of navigating the Government of India Bill (1919) through the House of Lords. Lavished with many honours, Satyendra Prasanna received a knighthood in 1914.


His First Son: Lord Arun Kumar Sinha

Arun Kumar Sinha's father was made a peer when he was Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for India in 1919. When his father died, there was much argument, lasting several years, on the question of whether his eldest son could receive a Writ of Summons to Parliament as a Baron, or whether he was disqualified because he was the offspring of a 'potentially polygamous marriage'.

Eventually the argument was settled in 1939 by the decision of Lord Maugham in the Committee for Privileges in favour of Lord Arun Sinha's claim, with the result that he was listed as a member of the House of Lords. In 1959, Lord A. K. Sinha possessed a UK passport, that had been issued in 1955, describing him as a British subject. Some legal experts believed that, although he was not a citizen of the UK and colonies, he was qualified to be registered under section 6(1) of the British Nationality Act, 1948 on the basis that he had applied to the Home Office for registration. However, it was refused on the grounds that he was not ordinarily resident in the UK.

Relevant correspondence between the Secretary of State, the Foreign Office and the Home Office, and the difficulties he had experienced with regards to the refusal of his British Passport is in the National Archives record (PRO) DO35/10425.

Case of Aroon Kumar Sinha, on his claim to the Barony of Sinha of Raipur in 1938 is in record (PRO) TS16/150. His petition for Writ of Summons to Parliament as Baron Sinha's is in (PRO) HO45/18798 covering dates 1936-41.


His Third Son: Lord Sinha, Sushil Kumar

Sinha, Sushil Kumar, was born in India on 9 June 1895 at Calcutta. He came to this country as a student in 1907. His first school was at Colet Court, Kensington, London, from June 1907 to July 1909. He attended his second school, St. Paul's School, West Kensington, London from September 1909 to July 1913, and he matriculated in October 1913.

He was also a student at Balliol College, Oxford 1913-17, where he finished his BA. He completed his ICS classes at Pembroke College, Cambridge, 1917-18. He used to reside at 24 Florence Road, Ealing with his uncle Major N. P. Sinha.

He was married in 1917 to a white woman, (unable to trace her maiden name) who was living with her mother at Merrington Villa, Cutnall Green, Droitwich. They had a baby in early summer 1918.

The National Archives holds his Indian Civil Service correspondence, which includes a recommendation letter about his character and medical certificate for his physical qualification, knowledge and ability. The National Archives also has his final examination application form 1918, his open competition forms for Indian Civil Service, August 1917 and 1918. The ICS certificate was granted to him on 15 October 1919.

According to The Times newspaper on 10 December 1919, the Hon. Mrs S K Sinha, daughter-in-law of Lord S. P. Sinha, died on 9 December 1919 at the age of 20. She was the elder of the two daughters of Mr A. C. Chaterjee, ICS. She was the second wife of S. K. Sinha. The cremation took place at Golder's Green. They got married in October 1919 at Brentford (General Register Office Reference: December 1919 Quarter, Volume a. Page 498). We have been unable to find records on what happened to his first wife.


Creators: Abi Husainy

 
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