William Harrison Moreland

British civil servant in India and historian

William Harrison Moreland CSI CIE (13 July 1868 – 28 September 1938) was a British civil servant who served in the Indian Civil Service and wrote several books on the economic history of India based on Mughal, Dutch, and Portuguese sources.


  • We have now reached the final stage of our study. We have seen that the economic life of India at the end of the sixteenth century was characterised essentially by inadequate production and faulty distribution, and it remains only to take account of the tendencies at work ; did the situation existing at the death of Akbar hold out a promise or a threat for the future prosperity of the coimtry ? The answer to this question must be that the whole tendency of the economic environment was still further to discourage production, and to enhance the existing faults of distribution, so that a period of increasing impoverishment was to be expected, but that other and less conspicuous forces were just beginning to operate which offered a more hopeful prospect for the distant future.
    • W.H. Moreland, India at the Death of Akbar,
  • It became a fashion to raid a village or group of villages without any obvious justification, and carry off the inhabitants as slaves.
    • W.H. Moreland, India at the Death of Akbar, also quoted in Lal, K. S. (1994). Muslim slave system in medieval India. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan. Chapter 6

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