ELIAS, Ney. Widmore, Bromley, Kent 10.2.1844 — London 31.5.1897. British Diplomat and Explorer. Son of Ney Elias, a merchant with Jewish background, and Sophia, educated in London, Paris and Dresden. “Went to Shanghai in a merchant’s firm in 1866, led an expedition in 1868 to examine the channels of the Hoang-ho river. In 1872 crossed the Gobi desert, nearly 5000 miles from the Great Wall to Nijni Novgorod. Gold medal of the R.G.S., 1873. Joined the Indian Foreign Office, 1874, served at Mandalay and in Ladak. Travelled over the Karakorum to Yarkand, 1879; and Kashgar, 1885; from Yarkand to the Pamirs and the Oxus, 1885; Badakshan, Balkh, Chitral, N. Afghanistan; was in Sikkim, 1888-9; in the Shan States, 1889-90; Agent at Mashad and Consul-General; retired from the service, 1896.” Died suddenly. In 1888 refused to receive the C.I.E. It has been suggested that he was in fact British agent. Unmarried.
Publications: Wrote several reports of his travels, often in the JRGS.
– Translated with E. D. Ross: The Tarikh-i-Rashidi of Mirza Muhammad Haidar, Dughlat. L. 1895.
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; *E. Baigent, Oxford D.N.B.; *G. Morgan, Ney Elias. Explorer and envoy extraordinary in High Asia. L. 1971; S[tephen E.] W[heeler], D.N.B. Suppl. 1901, 178f. and *Geogr. Journal 10, 1897, 101-106; Wikipedia with photo