BURNELL, Arthur Coke. St.Briavels, Gloucestershire 11.7.1840 — London 12. or 16.10.1882. British Civil Servant and Indologist in India. Son of Arthur B., of E.I.C.’s marine service, educated at Bedford School and at King’s College in London. Joined the I.C.S. in 1860, served in various parts of Madras Presidency from Malabar to Nellore. In 1868-70 was on leave in England, then back to India, where he served as a District Judge in various places (the longest period in Tanjore). He spent 11 months cataloguing the splendid Sanskrit manuscript library of the Maharaja of Tanjore, but could not finish the work. Made a good collection of manuscripts himself, too. In 1876 visited Java. In 1879 came to England because of ill-health, but returned soon to India without being better. In he 1880 returned definitely to Europe, visited Germany in 1880 and spent long time in Italy in 1881. Died of pneumonia in England.
Burnell was a many-sided scholar interested in the Veda, in palaeography, Sanskrit grammar, and Indian medicine, in the history of Portuguese India, in Dravidian and in law. A book-collector. He had also travelled in Arabia and Egypt, and knew many Oriental languages. Death put an early end to many great plans. His manuscript collection (several hundred South Indian Sanskrit manuscripts) went to the India Office Library.
Publications: Dâya-Vibhâga. The Law of Inheritance. Madras 1868; Vyavahâranirṇaya of Varadarâja. The Law of Partition and Succession. 56 p. Mangalore 1872.
– Catalogue of a Collection of Sanskrit Manuscripts. I. Vedic Manuscripts. 65 p. L. 1869 (his own collection); Classified Index to the Sanskrit Manuscripts in the Palace of Tanjore. L. 1879-80 (1. Vedic & Technical Literature; 2. Philosophy and Law; 3. Dramas, Epics, Puranas and Tantras).
– Specimens of South Indian Dialects. Mangalore 1872-77.
– Edited: The Sâmavidhâna Brâhmaṇa: Being the Third Br. of the Sâma Veda with the Commentary of Sâyana. 38+104 p. L. 1873; The Vaṁśa Brâhmaṇa of the Sâma Veda with an Introduction on Sâyana’s life and works, his Commentary and Index. 43+12+19 p. Mangalore 1872; The Devatâdhyâya Brâhmaṇa of the Sâma Veda with Sâyana’s Comm. 12+16+5 p. Mangalore 1873; Arsheya Brâhmaṇa: Being the Fourth Br. of the Sâma Veda. The Sanskrit Text together with extracts from Commentary. 52+109 p. Mangalore 1876; The Samhitopanishad Brâhmaṇa: Beint the Seventh Br. of the Sâma Veda with a Commentary. 20+49+13 p. Mangalore 1877; Jaiminîya text of the Arsheya Brâhmaṇa. 1878; “A legend from the Talavakâra or Jaiminîya Brâhmaṇa”, OC 4, Florence 1878, Atti 2, 1880, 97-111; Riktantravyakarana, a praticakhya of the Samaveda. 57+84 p. Mangalore 1879.
– Edited and translated: Dâyadaśaślokî. Mangalore 1875.
– Elements of South Indian Palaeography. Bangalore 1874, 2nd ed. 98 p. 30 pl. L. 1878; On some Pahlavi inscriptions of South India. 15 p. Mangalore 1878.
– On the Aindra School of Sanskrit Grammarians. 120 p. Mangalore 1875.
– Tentative list of Books and Manuscripts relating to the History of the Portuguese India. 6+131 p. Mangalore 1880 (only 16 exemplaries printed).
– Edited with P. A. Tiele, The Voyage of J. H. van Linschoten. 1-2. L. 1885.
– Published on his own cost the Clavis of Beschi (1876), Adam Smith’s On the Principles which lead and direct Philosophical Enquiries (1880), and Hippocrates on Airs, Waters and Places, the received Greek text of Littré, with Latin, French and English Translations by Eminent scholars (1881).
– With H. Yule: Hobson-Jobson. A Glossary of colloquial Anglo-Indian words and phrases, and of kindred terms, etymological, historical, geographical and discursive. L. 1886, new ed. [rev.] by W. Crooke. 1021 p. 1903.
– Translated: The Ordinances of Manu. Ed. by E. W. Hopkins. 47+399 p. L. 1891.
– “The Devil Worship of the Tuluvas, from the Papers of the late A.C.B. edited by R. C. Temple”, IA 23-25, 1894-97 (c. 170 p.).
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *S.L[ane]-P[oole], D.N.B. 7, 1886, 384-386, rev. in *Oxford D.N.B.; JRAS 15, 1883, Proc. iv-xi (with bibliography); Wikipedia; there is a photo in the collection of W. Rau (he sent a copy of it to F. Weller, among whose papers I saw it in 1995 in Leipzig).
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