EASTWICK, Edward Backhouse

EASTWICK, Edward Backhouse. Warfield, Berkshire 13.3.1814 — Ventnor, Isle of Wight 16.7.1883. British Colonial Officer, Diplomat, Indologist and Oriental Scholar (Urdu and Persian). Son of sea-captain Robert William E. (1772-1865), brother of William Joseph E. (1808-1889; of I.C.S. and Council of India). Educated at Charterhouse and from 1832 at Merton College, Oxford, but broke off and joined the army. Arrived at Bombay on 5.6.1836 as a cadet of infantry. He learnt quickly local languages and passed in 1837-42 the examination of interpreter in Urdū, Hindī, Marāṭhī, Persian, Gujarātī, and Kannaḍa. At the same time he was Political Agent in Kathiavar and Upper Sind. In 1842 visited Nanjing in China. Because of ill-health he returned in 1843 to Europe and settled down in Frankfurt, where he learnt quickly German. In 1845 to England, where he became Professor of Urdu at Haileybury and in 1850 also librarian. In 1859 Assistant Political Secretary at India Office. In 1860 called to the bar, Middle Temple. From May 1860 secretary to British Embassy in Persia and consul in Tehran. In 1861 he travelled in Caspian provinces, in 1862 in Khurasan, and wrote reports of both journeys. He negotiated the contract of a telegraph line from Baghdad to British India and as recognition was conferred a C.B. In 1864 and 1867 he was Commissioner for settling a loan to the government of Venezuela and in 1866 private Secretary of State Secretary of India. In 1868-74 Conservative M.P. for the boroughs of Penryn and Falmouth. He visited India again three times, in 1875, 1877, and 1880, travelling widely, also in Burma, but these travels broke his health. M.A. 1875 Oxford. Married 1847 Rosina Jane Hunter, at least one son.

Publications: “Translation, from the Persian, of the Kissah-i-Sanján; or History of the Arrival and Settlement of the Pársís in India”, JBRAS 1:4, 1842, 167-191; “Zartiusht Namah”, translation in J. Wilson’s Parsi Religion. Bombay 1843.

Sindhi Vocabulary. Lith. Bombay 1843, repr. in TrBAS.

Translated: Schiller: Revolt of the Netherlands. 1844, 2nd ed. 1846.

Translated Bopp’s A Comparative Grammar of the Sanskrit, Zend, Greek, Latin, Lithuanian, Gothic, German and Slavonic Languages. 1-3. London 1845-50.

A Concise Grammar of the Hindustani Language. 88 p. L. 1847, 2nd ed. 1854; The Bāgh o Bahār; or, The Garden and the Spring: Being the Adventures of King Āzad Bakht and Four Darweshes, Literally Translated from the Urdū of Mīr Amman of Dihlī. Hertford 1852, 2nd ed. 12+255 p. L. 1877.

The Prem Ságar; or the Ocean of Love, being a History of Kṛiṣhṇ, according to the tenth Chapter of the Bhágavat of Vyásadev, translated into Hindí from the Braj Bhákhá of Chaturbhuj Misr, by Lallú Lál, late Bhákhá Múnshí of the College of Fort William. A new edition with a Vocabulary. 240 p. Hertford 1851.

A Glance at Sind Before Napier or Dry Leaves from Young Egypt. L. 1849, 3rd ed. 1851.

Edited in Persian: The Gulistan (Rose-Garden) of Sadi with Vocabulary. 378 p. Hertford 1849; translated the same, 32+312 p. Hertford 1852.

Translated The Anwár-i Suhailí; or, the lights of Canopus; being the Persian version of the Fables of Pilpay. 27+650 p. Hertford 1854; Autobiography of Lutfullah, A Mohamedan Gentleman. 2nd ed. 12+435 p. L. 1857.

Catalogue of Ouseley Manuscripts in Bodleiana. 1852.

Edited in Urdū: Khirad-Afroz (the Illuminator of the Understanding by Maulawí Ḥafíẕu’d-dín. 14+322 p. Hertford 1857 (instead of it should be z with two dots under it).

Edited for the Bible Soc.: the Genesis in Dakhni. 1858.

Journal of a Diplomate’s Three Years’ Residence in Persia. 1-2. L. 1864; Venezuela, or, Sketches of life in a South American Republic. L. 1867-68.

Kaisar-namah-i-Hind. 1-2. 1878-82.

Handbooks for Madras (1878), Bombay (1880), Panjab and Kashmir (1883).

Articles in the Enc. Brit.: North-western Provinces, Oudh, Persia, Panjab, Sind, etc.

Sources: JRAS 16, 1884, Proc. viii-xii; Buckland, Dictionary; S.L[ane]-P[oole], D.N.B. 16, 334f.; P. Loloi, Encyclop. Iranica 2009 (online); Wikipedia.

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