LAIDLAY, John Watson. Glasgow 27.3.1808 — 1884?. British Archaeologist and Numismatist in India. Studied chemistry under Faraday, then, for India, Hindustani in London under Gilchrist. At 17 in 1825 went to India, employed in the mercantile house of his two uncles. In 1826–41 worked in charge of indigo and silk factories, from 1844 stayed in Calcutta concentrating on the study of epigraphy, numismatics and chemistry. Retired in 1849 returning to England, resided first in London, then many years in Berwick studying chemistry, meteorology, archaeology and natural history.
Publications: eight articles in the JASB, e.g. “Note on a Sanskrit Inscription from Behar”, JASB 17:1, 498ff. & 18, 498ff.; also on ancient numismatics and on science.
– translated Fa Hian (Faxian) from Abel-Remusat’s French version. Calcutta 1848.
– “Examination of the Karen Dialects”, JRAS 16, 1856, 59-72 (trying to make them Indo-European).
Sources: JRAS 17, 1885, Proc. xxvii-xxix.