Allan Octavian Hume, CB ICS (4 June 1829 – 31 July 1912) was a member of the Imperial Civil Service (later the Indian Civil Service), a political reformer, ornithologist and botanist who worked in British India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress. A notable ornithologist, Hume has been called "the Father of Indian Ornithology" and, by those who found him dogmatic, "the Pope of Indian ornithology".

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  • Allan Octavian Hume, CB ICS (4 June 1829 – 31 July 1912) was a member of the Imperial Civil Service (later the Indian Civil Service), a political reformer, ornithologist and botanist who worked in British India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress. A notable ornithologist, Hume has been called "the Father of Indian Ornithology" and, by those who found him dogmatic, "the Pope of Indian ornithology". As an administrator of Etawah, he saw the Indian Rebellion of 1857 as a result of misgovernance and made great efforts to improve the lives of the common people. The district of Etawah was among the first to be returned to normality and over the next few years Hume's reforms led to the district being considered a model of development. Hume rose in the ranks of the Indian Civil Service but like his father Joseph Hume, the radical MP, he was bold and outspoken in questioning British policies in India. He rose in 1871 to the position of secretary to the Department of Revenue, Agriculture, and Commerce under Lord Mayo. His criticism of Lord Lytton however led to his removal from the Secretariat in 1879. He founded the journal Stray Feathers in which he and his subscribers recorded notes on birds from across India. He built up a vast collection of bird specimens at his home in Shimla by making collection expeditions and obtaining specimens through his network of correspondents. Following the loss of manuscripts that he had long been maintaining in the hope of producing a magnum opus on the birds of India, he abandoned ornithology and gifted his collection to the Natural History Museum in London, where it continues to be the single largest collection of Indian bird skins. He was briefly a follower of the theosophical movement founded by Madame Blavatsky. He left India in 1894 to live in London from where he continued to take an interest in the Indian National Congress, apart from taking an interest in botany and founding the South London Botanical Institute towards the end of his life. (en)
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  • Allan Octavian Hume, CB ICS (4 June 1829 – 31 July 1912) was a member of the Imperial Civil Service (later the Indian Civil Service), a political reformer, ornithologist and botanist who worked in British India. He was one of the founders of the Indian National Congress. A notable ornithologist, Hume has been called "the Father of Indian Ornithology" and, by those who found him dogmatic, "the Pope of Indian ornithology". (en)
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  • Allan Octavian Hume (en)
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