Badruddin Tyabji

Date of birth: 
10 Oct 1844
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Date of death: 
19 Aug 1906
Location of death: 
London, England
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
01 Apr 1860
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

1860-4, 1865-7, 1906


Badruddin Tyabji was the son of Cambay merchant, Tyab Ali, and his wife, Ameena, the daughter of a rich mullah, Meher Ali. Tyab All of Tyab Ali's sons went to England for further education or trade. His elder brother, Camruddin, had been the first Indian solictor admitted in England, and inspired the 15-year-old Badruddin to join the Bar.

In April 1860 Tyabji went to England to study at the Highbury New Park College. His father gave him letters of introduction to Lord Ellenborough, the retired Viceroy of India. Tyabji passed the London matriculation examination and entered London University and the Middle Temple as a student in 1863. Because of deteriorating eyesight he returned to Bombay in late 1864 but resumed terms at the Middle Temple in late 1865. While in India he was married to a 14-year-old girl. He was called to the Bar in April 1867, and on his return to Bombay in December 1867 became the first Indian barrister in the High Court of Bombay.

Tyabji was elected to the municipal corporation in 1873. He was a member of the University of Bombay senate (1875–1905) and appointed to the Bombay legislative council in 1882, resigning in 1886 owing to ill health. Along with Pherozeshah Mehta and K. T. Telang, he was largely responsible for forming the Bombay Presidency Association in 1885, a body which championed Indian interests and hosted the first meeting of the Indian National Congress in Bombay at the end of 1885. Tyabji was the third President of Congress. He was deeply concerned with matters affecting Muslims. To promote social interaction among the city's Muslims, Tyabji was instrumental in founding both the Islam Club and the Islam Gymkhana. He sent all of his daughters to be educated in Bombay and in 1904 he sent two of them to boarding school in Haslemere in England.

In June 1895 Tyabji was made a judge of the Bombay High Court, the first Muslim and the third Indian to be so elevated. While on a year's furlough in London in 1906 Tyabji died suddenly of a heart attack.


W. C. Bonnerjee, Danial Latifi (grandson, educated at St John's College, Oxford, and called to the Bar), Pherozeshah Mehta, Dadabhai Naoroji, Moshin Tyabji (first son, educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and joined ICS), Husain Tyabji (second son, educated at Downing College, Cambridge, and called to the Bar), Faiz Badr-ud-din Tyabji (third son, barrister), Salman Tyabji (fourth son, educated at Cooper's Hill Engineering College and worked in Public Works Department), Hatim Tyabji (fifth son, educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and called to the Bar), Badr-ud-din Tyabji (grandson, educated at Balliol College, Oxford, and in the ICS), Kamila Tyabji (granddaughter, educated at St Hugh's College, Oxford, and called to the Bar).


Morning Post, 27 August 1895

The Times, 21 August 1906

Indian Magazine and Review

429, September 1906, pp.  237-44  



Secondary works: 

Brown, F. H., 'Tyabji, Badruddin (1844–1906)', rev. Jim Masselos, Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004) []

Futehally, Laeeq, Badruddin Tyabji (New Delhi: National Book Trust, India, 1994)

Husain, S. Abid, The Destiny of Indian Muslims (London: Asia Publishing House, 1965)

Indian Judges. Biographical and Critical Sketches. With Portraits, Etc. [by Various Authors.] (Madras: G. A. Natesan & Co., 1932)

Masselos, Jim C., Towards Nationalism: Group Affiliations and the Politics of Public Associations in Nineteenth Century Western India (Bombay: Popular Prakashan, 1974)

Noorani, Abdul Gafoor Abdul Majeed, Badruddin Tyabji, Builders of Modern India ([New Delhi]: Publications Division, Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Govt. of India, 1969)

Sen, S. P., Dictionary of National Biography (Calcutta: Institute of Historical Studies, 1972-74), 4 vols, Vol. 4., pp. 365-7

Shakir, Moin, Muslims and Indian National Congress: Badruddin Tyabji and His Times (Delhi: Ajanta Publications (India): Distributors, Ajanta Books International, 1987)

Tyabji, Husain Badruddin, Badruddin Tyabji: A Biography (Bombay: Thacker, 1952)

Umar, Mohd, Badruddin Tyabji: A Political Study (Bangalore: Ultra, 1997)

Archive source: 

Correspondence and papers, National Archives of India, New Delhi

Fyzee Collection, Bombay University, Mumbai