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Thomas Evans Bell
Thomas Evans Bell (11 November 1825 - 12 September 1887) was an English Indian army officer and writer. He used the pseudonyms Undecimus (in The Reasoner) and Indicus (1865).
The son of William Bell, he was educated in Wandsworth, London. In 1841 he went to Madras in the East India Company's service. He was a secularist and supporter of George Jacob Holyoake, who gave Bell's name in 1856 on a short list of those who had done most for the free-thought movement, and he had a share in Holyoake's "British Secular Institute of Secularism and Propagandism". In 1851 he spoke at the first Free Discussion Festival, at the City Road Hall of Science. He was also one of John Chapman's authors. Bell was strongly critical of the East India Company, and its impact on peasant proprietorship in India.
After the Indian Rebellion of 1857, Bell lost his position in Nagpur, for complaining over the head of his immediate superior about the treatment of the Ranis of the Nagpur kingdom. In Madras in the early 1860s, he was secretary of the Madras Literary Society, and edited its Madras Journal in 1861. When Whitley Stokes moved to India, he successfully identified an anonymous translator of Omar Khayyám as Edward FitzGerald, much before this fact was generally known, and named him in the Journal. In 1864 Stokes attributed the Madras (pirate) edition of the Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam to Bell.
Bell retired on half pay in 1866. He was a member of the London National Society for Women's Suffrage in 1866. In 1871 and 1875 he was on the council of the East India Association, where he supported trust as a principle of imperial policy. He was on the Greek Committee of 1879.
Bell married Emily Magnus (c. 1839-1893), another freethinker who was an actor and classical musician. They had a daughter Ernestine (1871-1959); an older daughter had died in an outbreak of typhoid at Barnes, London, where they had moved to be close to Henry Davis Pochin and his wife Agnes. Ernestine married the doctor Herbert Mills (1868-1947) who shared her Fabian views; and is known as an artist.
^George Birdwood, On competition and the Indian Civil Service: a paper read before the East India Association, Tuesday, 21 May 1872, p. 2, Bristol Selected Pamphlets (1872). Contributed by: University of Bristol Library. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/60243628
^James Long, The position of Turkey in relation to British interests in India, p. 32, Foreign and Commonwealth Office Collection (1876). Contributed by: The University of Manchester, The John Rylands University Library. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/60235578
^Report of the meeting at Willis' rooms, Saturday, 17 May 1879, in support of the claims of Greece, p. 4. Earl Grey Pamphlets Collection (1879). Contributed by: Durham University Library. Stable URL: https://www.jstor.org/stable/60226976