Sir William Macnaghten

Sir William Hay MacNaghten (1793-1841) was convinced that Dost Mohammed should be replaced by the pro-British Shah Shujah. He was instrumental in driving Lord Auckland's policy forward and did not deviate from his goal even when observers and fellow officers pointed out the lack of support for Shah Shujah and the dangerous developments occuring in and around Kabul. To make matters worse, he offended many Afghan leaders by cutting traditional payments to the hill tribes who controlled access through the passes to India - the Danegeld of the North-West Frontier. He was shot and murdered on 23 December 1841 by Akbar Khan the son of the former Amir Dost Mohammed. The envoy's body was then hacked to pieces by fanatical Ghazis.

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by Stephen Luscombe