Sir John Malcolm 1769-1833, Governor of Bombay 1827-1830.
[Malcolm] was a grandson of the manse, his father being a small farmer of Eskdale. He was one of seventeen children and when his father fell suddenly into financial trouble it became necessary to settle as many sons as possible. The Directors of the East India Company were doubtful whether they could stretch things so far as to commission a boy of thirteen. ‘Why, my little man,’ asked one of them playfully, ‘what would you do if you met Hyder Ali?’ he being the father of Tippoo and the ogre of the moment. ‘I would draw ma sworrd and cut off his heid,’ replied the candidate, and was commissioned at once with acclamation.”
–Philip Woodruff, The Men Who Ruled India: The Founders, 1953.