MAINWARING, George Byres

MAINWARING, George Byres. Banda, U.P. India 18.7.1825 — Serampore 16.1.1893. British Colonial Officer in India. Son of George M. of B.C.S. and Isabella Byres. Educated in Aberdeen and Wimbledon. He became ensign in Bengal Army in 1842, Captain 1856, from 1868 Lieutenant-Colonel in Bengal Staff Corps, finally Major-General. Also worked as interpreter of Hindi/Urdu. Retired in 1887.

Mainwaring often visited Sikkim (first 1867) and was greatly interested in Lepcha language and culture. Although his view of Lepcha as a sort of Ursprache was rather romantic (“earlier than Hebrew and Sanskrit”) he did important pioneer work making it known and available to scholars. He is also said to have been the first philatelist in India.

Publications: (Remarks on the Term Mun, Mwon or Món), ProcASB 1873, 133f.

– A Grammar of the Róng of Lepcha Language, as it Exists in the Dorjeling and Sikim Hills. 27+146 p. Calcutta 1876.

Edited and revised by A. Grünwedel: Dictionary of the Lepcha Language. 16+552 p. Berlin 1898.

Sources: Boase, English Biogr. in Br. Biogr. Arch.; https://cas.uab.edu/peacefulsocieties/2013/10/10/mainwaring-celebrated-the-lepchas/.

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