Sir John F. Malcolm (2 May 1769 – 1833) was a Scottish soldier, statesman, and historian, born at Burnfoot, Dumfriesshire.
In 1782 Sir John F. Malcolm entered the service of the East India Company; and a part of his success is to be ascribed to the zeal with which he applied himself at first to study the manners and languages of the east. Having distinguished himself at the siege of Seringapatam in 1792, he was appointed by Lord Cornwallis to the situation of Persian interpreter to a British force serving with a native prince. In 1795, on his return from a short visit to his native country, on account of his health, he performed some useful services in General Clarke’s expedition at the Cape of Good Hope, for which he received the thanks of the Madras government, and was appointed secretary to the commander-in-chief.
He was employed in many important negotiations and held various distinguished posts, being Ambassador to Persia, Resident of Gwalior (1803-1804) and Governor of Bombay 1827-1830. He was the commander of the British Army which defeated the Holkars who ruled Indore at the Battle of Mahidpur in 1818. After defeating the Holkars he signed the Treaty of Mandsaur with them. It was under this treaty that the British were given the cantonment town of Mhow which is 23 km from Indore. He was the author of several valuable works regarded as authorities, viz., Sketch of the Sikh (1812) A History of Persia (1815), Memoir of Central India (1823), Political History of India from 1784 to 1823 (1826), and Life of Lord Clive (1836).