HAY, William Edmund. near Bath 31.1.1805 — 1879. British (Scottish) Colonial Officer in India. Born in a gentry family, son of Major James Hay (d. 1822) and Mary Ramsay. Cadet of E.I.C. 1821. Participated in Afghan War, in 1844 departed from army because of personal problems (unhappy marriage). Travelled and worked as postmaster of Shimla. From 1847 Assistant Commissioner in Kulu. In 1854 returned to the U.K. with a large collection of maps (including Tibetan ones), naturalia and antiquities. Major. Married 1835 Elizabeth Taylor, no children.
Publications: “Account of Coins found at Bameean”, JASB 9, 1840, 68f.; further articles on animals and fossils, report of his survey of Spiti.
Sources: *D. Lange, “William Edmund Hay: the pioneer of Tibetan Studies who sold his fame”, Fs. Peter Schwieger 2020, 1–12; stray notes in Internet.
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