THORNTON, Edward Parry

THORNTON, Edward Parry. 7.10.1811 — London 10.12.1893. British Civil Servant in India. Son of John Thornton of Clapham and Eliza Parry. Educated at Haileybury and Charterhouse, joined Bengal C.S. in 1830. Served in Goruckpore (Gorakhpur), in 1842-45 on furlough in England. Then Magistrate and Collector in Mathura, from 1848 in Serampore. From 1849 Commissioner in Rawalpindi, after 1857 Judicial Commissionar for the Punjab. Retired in 1862. Married 1840 Louisa Chicheliana Plowden, four sons and two daughters.

The matter with two Edward Thorntons is far from clear. Carlyle ascribes all books (except Thugs) to E.P.Th., but Supplement corrects the matter with all others. Only the 1835 volume remains to E.P.Th., but even this is not stated and ascribes also this to cousin (—> Edward Th.). Neither source mentions Thugs, which is, however, quoted as written by Edward Thornton. Hathi Trust ascribes also Thugs to cousin. Yet it seems curious that E.P.Th. enjoyed the fame of productive author without writing a single book. On the title page of the 1835 book the author is simply Edward Thornton, Esq., just like in the cousin’s 1840 and 1858 books. Buckland gives all books, including 1835, ro the elder E.P., but is silent about Thugs.

Publications: India, its State and Prospects. 20+354 p. L. 1835.

– Illustration of the history and practices of the Thugs. 475 p. L. 1837 (anonymously published), 2nd ed. 1851.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; E.I.C[arlyle], D.N.B. 56, 299f. and Suppl. 1904, 264, rev. by *P. Penner in Oxford D.N.B. 2004.

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