DAVIS, Samuel

DAVIS, Samuel. West Indies 1760 — 16.6.1819. British Engineer and Civil Servant in India interested in Indian Astronomy. Son of an officer, lost early his father and came to England with his morther. He “went to Bengal as an officer of Engineers, was an excellent artist. Accompanied Turner’s Embassy to Tibet in 1783, but he himself did not advance beyond Bhutan. He was afterwards admitted to the E.I.Co.’s service, was District Judge and Agent to the Governor-General at Benares and had an observatory there. As a mathematician and astronomer, he identified astronomical references in Sanskrit works.” During the revolt of Wazir Ali, the deposed Nawab of Oudh, he defended himself and his family in a hard situation and was rescued by British troops. Retired and returned to England in 1806. From 1810 to 1819 director of the E.I.C. and wrote the well-known Fifth Report on permanent settlement. F.R.S. Married, children.

Publications: “The Astronomical Computations of the Hindus”, As. Res. 2, 1789 = 8vo repr. 1799, 225-287; “On the Indian Cycle of Sixty Years”, As. Res. 3 = 8vo repr. 1799, 579-602.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia.

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