FORBES, Charles James Forbes Smith

FORBES, Charles James Forbes Smith- (C. J. F. Smith). 18?? — ?.11.1879. British Colonial Officer and Indologist (Pāli and Burmese scholar) in Burma. Came to the East in 1858 as Captain of Queen’s Army, and was sent to Burma with his regiment. He soon became so fascinated with the country that he left the army in 1863, married a Burmese woman and joined the Civil Service. At the time of his death S-F was Deputy Commissioner in Sweegyeen. In 1877/78 visited England, but perhaps never visited India at all. Died after a brief illness.

Because of his Burmese family S-F had an exceptionally good occasion to become acquainted with Burmese life and customs. He learnt Pāli and started a study of Burmese Buddhism (as different from Ceylonese and Nepalese) using MSS. and monk informants as his sources.

Publications: British Burmah and its People. 1878.

– “On Tibeto-Burman Languages”, JRAS 1878; “On the connexion of the Môns of Pegu with the Koles of Central India”, JRAS 1878, 234ff.; A Fragment of Comparative Grammar of the Languages of Further India. And other Essays. L. 1881.

Sources: JRAS 12, 1880, Proc. vi.

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