ROEBUCK, Thomas. Linlithgowshire ?.12.1784 — Calcutta 8.12.1819. British (Scottish) Colonial Officer and Linguist in India. Son of an iron-works manufacturer, educated at Alloa and Edinburgh. Came to India in 1801 and served in Madras, in 1805 health problems forced him to return to the U.K., but he came back in 1810, now to Calcutta. In 1806-09 he was living in Edinburgh assisting Gilchrist in his lexicographical work. Captain 1815. According to his tombstone he was “Captain in the Madras Native Infantry, and Examiner in the Hindoostanee, Bruj Bhasha, Persian and Arabic Languages, in the College of Fort William”.
Publications: An English and Hindostanee Naval Dictionary of Technical Terms and Sea Phrases, as also the various words of Command given in working a Ship, etc., with many sentences of great Use at Sea; to which is prefixed a Short Grammar of Hindoostanee Language. The whole calculated to enable the Officers of the Hon. East India Company’s and Country Service to give their Orders to the Lascars with that Exactness and Promptitude, which, upon many Occasions, must prove of the greatest Importance. 72+168 p. Calcutta 1811, repr. L. 1813 (Roman characters); new ed. rev. and corrected by W. Carmichael Smyth, The Hindoostanee Interpreter, containing the Rudiments of Grammar, and extensive Vocabulary, and a Useful Collection of Dialogues and a Naval Dictionary. L. 1824, new ed. P. & L. 1841, new ed. A Laskarī Dictionary or Anglo–Indian Vocabulary of Nautical Terms and Phrases in English and Hindustani. Chiefly in the Corrupt Jargon in use among Laskars. Compiled by Th. R., rev. by W. C. Smyth and now re-edited by G. Small. L. 1882.
– Muzhubi Ishq, or the Gooli Bukawulee, written in the Oordoo Dialect, by Moonshee Nihal Chund … and afterwards revised by Meer Sher Ulee Ufsos. 2nd ed. rev. by T.R. (from Gilchrist’s first ed.) 18+354 p. Calcutta 1815.
– The Khirud Ulfroz; originally translated into Hindoostanee Language, by Mouluwee Hufeez ood-Deen Uhmud, from the Uyar Danish, written by the celebrated Shuekh Ubool Fuzl, Prime Minister to the Illustrious Ukbur, Emperor of Hindoostan. Revised, compared with the original Persian, and prepared for the Press by Captain Th. R. with the Assistance of Moulavee Kazim Ulee and Moonshees Ghoolam Ukbar, Mirzae Beg and Ghoolam Qadir. 10+368 p. Calcutta 1815.
– The Annals of the College of Fort William, from the period of its Foundation … to the present time, compiled from Office Records. 53+590 p. Calcutta 1819.
– A collection of proverbs and proverbial phrases commenced by W. Hunter, in the Persian and Hindoostanee languages. Compiled and translated by T.R., edited with additions by H. H. Wilson. 1-2. Calcutta 1824.
– Also wrote on Persian.
Sources: C.F.S[mith], D.N.B. 49, 1897, 95f.; Tombstone in C.R. Wilson, List of Inscriptions on Tombs and Monuments in Bengal. Calcutta 1896, 85 (no. 297); Wikipedia.
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