Blue Plaques

ROY, Rammohun (1772-1833) a.k.a. Ram Mohun

Plaque erected in 1985 by Greater London Council at 49 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury, London, WC1B 3DP, London Borough of Camden

All images © English Heritage


Scholar, Reformer


Journalism and Publishing, Philanthropy and Reform, Religion


RAM MOHUN ROY 1772-1833 Indian Scholar and Reformer lived here


Enamelled steel

The Indian scholar and reformer Rammohun Roy is commemorated with a blue plaque at 49 Bedford Square, where he stayed in 1832–3.

Rammohun Roy pictured in about 1800
Rammohun Roy pictured in about 1800 © Hulton Archive/Getty Images


Born in Bengal, Rammohun (also spelt Ram Mohun) was among the first professional journalists in India, founding Bengali and Persian newspapers in 1822. As a religious scholar, he was a pioneer in exploring the common ground between Christianity and Hinduism. He made enemies among both faiths for his rejection of the Holy Trinity and of image worship, but found allies in the Unitarian movement – those who believed God is one entity, rather the trinity of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Rammohun was politically liberal, and opposed the monopoly of the East India Company in India. He also successfully campaigned against the practice of suttee, the (notionally voluntary) practice whereby widows burn themselves on their husbands’ funeral pyres. As well as condemning it on humanitarian grounds, Rammohun demonstrated that Sanskrit texts did not mandate the practice.


Rammohun arrived in England in April 1831 as an emissary of the Mughal emperor. He was tasked with appealing to the king for an increase in the income allowed to the emperor by the East India Company. His negotiations were partially successful, but ultimately the terms of the renewal of the Company’s charter in 1833 were a disappointment to him.

He attended the coronation of William IV in 1831 and witnessed the passage of the 1832 Reform Act, which introduced major electoral changes in Britain. Rammohun considered standing for Parliament himself and enjoyed the company of such political luminaries of the left as Robert Owen and Jeremy Bentham.

After spells in Regent Street and Cumberland Terrace, Regent’s Park, he lodged at 49 Bedford Square in Bloomsbury from January 1832 with Joseph Hare, the brother of Rammohun’s acquaintance from Calcutta – the watchmaker and philanthropist David Hare. From here, Rammohun travelled to Bristol in late summer 1833, where he died soon after.

He was buried in the grounds of the house where he died, but his remains were later reinterred at Bristol’s Arnos Vale cemetery.

Read more about Rammohun Roy at the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography.

Nearby Blue Plaques

Nearby Blue Plaques

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