FERGUSON, Donald William. Colombo 8.10.1853 — Croydon 29.6.1910. British (Scottish) Journalist and Scholar of Sri Lankan History (especially of Colonial Period). Son of —> A. M. F. who came to Ceylon in 1837, was a long time the chief proprietor and editor of the Ceylon Observer, and died there in 1892. Educated in England, at Denmark Hill Grammar School and at Regent’s Park Baptist College. Studies of medicine at University College in London, but gave up without graduating. For many years he was co-proprietor and co-editor of the Ceylon Observer with his father and his cousin. Because of health problems he retired to England in 1893, settling down in Croydon where he concentrated on his studies on Sri Lankan history (mainly concentrating on the Portuguese period). Married 1883 Winifred Meredith Waldock, two daughters.

Publications: Articles in JRAS-CB: “Captain João Ribeiro: His Work on Ceylon, and the French translation thereof by the Abbé le Grand”, 10:36, 1888, 263-309; “Ribeiro’s Account of the Seige of Colombo in 1655-56”, 12:42, 1891, 74-108 (tr.); “Robert Knox’s Siṇhalese Vocabulary”, 14:47, 1896, 155-200; “Correspondance between Rája Sinha II and the Dutch”, 18:55, 1904, 166-275; “John Gideon Loten, F.R.S., the Naturalist Governor of Ceylon (1752-57) and the Ceylonese Artist de Bevere”, 19:58, 1907, 217-269; “The Discovery of Ceylon by the Portuguese in 1506”, 19:59, 1907, 284-385; “Mulgiri-Gala”, 22:64, 1911, 197-235; “The Earliest Dutch visits to Ceylon”, 30:80, 1927, 361-409; also shorter articles, also in CALR.

Translated: The History of Ceylon, from the Earliest Times to 1600 A.D., as related by João de Barros and Diogo do Couto. 445 p. Publ. in JRAS-CB as vol. 20:60. Colombo 1908.

The Earliest Dutch Visits to Ceylon. 185 p. N.D. 1998 (reprinted from JRAS-CB 1927-30).

Sources: A.M. Ferguson, IA 40, 1911, 103f.; *R. C. Temple, JRAS 1911, 269f.; Ceylon Literary Register 3rd ser. 1, 1931, 1f. with photo; list of articles in JRAS-CB 22:64, 1911, 131f.