William Hay Macnaghten

William Hay Macnaghten

Sir William Hay Macnaghten, 1st Baronet (24 August 1793 – 23 December 1841) was a British civil servant in India, and the assistant of Lord Auckland in the late 1830s.

In 1839, William Hay Macnaghten and General Francis Cotton planned to poison Maharaja Ranjit Singh of the Sikh Empire, the last remaining Indian nation opposing the conquests of the British Empire. While Macnaghten's affiliation to the Templars is uncertain and both men wanted to unite India under the British Crown,[1] Cotton's motivations were also driven by his membership of the Templar Order.[2]

Macnaghten and Cotton joined a feast thrown by the Maharaja in Amritsar, where they met the Assassin Arbaaz Mir, posing as an emmissary from Kashmir. Later, while consulting with the Maharaja in private, they had poisoned Ranjit Singh's tea, which would later result in his death.[2]



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