ELLIOT, Henry Miers. Westminster 1.3.1808 — Cape Colony 20.12.1853. Sir. British Civil Servant in India and a Historian of Muhammadan India. Son of John E., an officer, and his wife, née Lettson. Educated in Winchester. He intended to go to Oxford, but became interested in India and, as there were not enough recruits from Haileybury, was accepted in 1826 as the very first competition-wallah. Served as an assistant to the collector of Bareilly, as the political agent in Delhi, and as the Collector of Southern Division of Muradabad. Then Secretary to the Sudder (Sadar) Board of Revenue for the Northwest Provinces. In 1847 Secretary to the Gouvernor-General in council for the Foreign Department (Foreign Secretary). Travelled in the Pañjāb and on western frontier, negotiated the treaty with the Sikhs in 1849. Ill-health forced him to retire, but he died during the journey to home. K.C.B. 1849. Married Eliza Rebecca Cowell, three sons and one daughter.
The majority of his studies was published posthumously. His main work for which he is still remembered, is the massive 8-volume collection of translations and summaries of Arabic and Persian histories of India, posthumously edited by Dowson.
Publications: Supplement to the Glossary of Indian Judicial and Revenue Terms. 8+447 p. Agra 1845, 2nd ed. 1860.
– Bibliographical Index to the Historians of Mohammadan India. 1. General Histories. 30+8+394 p. Calcutta 1849.
– Edited by J. Dowson: History of India as told by its own Historians. The Muhammadan Period. 1-8. L. 1866-77; with a “Sequel” by E. C. Bayley, 1886.
– Edited by J. Beames: Memoirs of the History, Folklore, and Distribution of the Races of the Northwest Provinces. 1-2. 389+400 p. L. 1869.
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; S.L[ane]-P[oole], D.N.B. 17, 1889, 258f.; *Tripta Wahi, “H.M.E. – A reappraisal”, JRAS 1990, 64-90; *History of India as told… 1, 1866, xxviii-xxix; Wikipedia; portrait in Chatterjee & Burn 1943.
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