FORLONG, James George Roche. Springhall, Lanarkshire 11.1824 — Edinburgh 29.3.1904. British (Scottish) Military Engineer and Scholar of Religion in India. Major-General. Son of William F., of Erines, and Crawfurd Pollock Gordon. Educated as an engineer, joined the Indian army in 1843. “In the S. Mahratta Company, 1845-6, in the Madras Army 1847, in the second Burmese war, 1852. After the annexation he was head of the Public Works Department there. Travelled widely, 1858-9” in Egypt, Syria and the Middle East; “on special public works, inquiries and construction of prisons in the Andamans. Superintending Engineer in Bengal, N.W.P., Rajputana, 1861-71. Secretary and Chief Engineer, Oudh, 1872-7.” Retired in 1877. Married 1863 Lavinia (Nina) Perreaud.

Furlong was interested in comparative religion and warmly interested in Asian religions, especially in Buddhism. He rejected Christianity, but also engaged in rather speculative theories about origins of religion, with strong emphasis on phallic elements, based on Indian liṅga worship. His will (1901) established the James G. Forlong Fund of R.A.S.

Publications: “Wrote largely in periodicals on religions, archaeology, philology” of India and Asia.

Rivers of Life, or the Faiths of Mankind in all Lands. 1-2. L. 188; Faiths of Man: A Cyclopaedia of Religions. 1-3. L. 1906.

Short Studies in the Science of Comparative Religions, embracing all the Religions of Asia. 28+663 p. L. 1897 (with 80 p. on Buddhism and Jainism, separately reprinted. 2005).

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; C.R. Conder, JRAS 1904, 517-523; Wikipedia with small photo