FRASER, James. 1713 — Easter Moniack, Inverness-shire 21.1.1754. British (Scottish) Factor in India, Historian and Manuscript Collector. Son of Alexander F. (d. 1733) of Reelick near Inverness. Residing in Surat in 1730-40 he is said to have learned Sanskrit and Avestan (at least he knew Persian). Back in England started his career as historian. After two years returned to India as E.I.C.’s factor, rose to be a Member of Council in Surat, where he stayed six years. He brought to England c. 200 Sanskrit and Parsi manuscripts (the first collection brought to England, listed in an appendix to his book), now in the Bodleian Library. Early death cut off his plans to work himself with this material (he planned a translation and a dictionary of Avesta). Married 1742 Mary Satchwell, three daughters, one son. —> J. B. Fraser is his grandson.

Publications: The history of Nadir Shah, formerly called Thamas Kuli Khan, the present Emperor of Persia; to which is prefixed a short History of the Moghol Emperors. 295 p. L. 1742.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; A.A.M[acdonell], D.N.B. Suppl. 1901, 244f.

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