MASTER, Alfred

MASTER, Alfred. 12.2.1883 — 16.6.1978 (when 95). British Indologist (New Indo-Aryan and Telugu scholar). Son of George Reginald Master. Educated at King Edward VI School in Norwich, studies at Epsom College, Oxford (M.A.). In 1906 he joined the I.C.S., first as Assistant Collector and Magistrate in Bombay. Served in 1917 as Municipal Commissioner in Ahmadabad. Temporary Major on a military mission to Turkestan and Persia, 1918. Again in the I.C.S.: 1925 Officiating Secretary to the Government of Bombay, General Department. In 1932-34 Collector of Bombay City and Suburbs. Retired in 1934 and returned to England. Now at S.O.A.S., London: Lecturer in Marathi 1937-38, Lecturer in Gujarati 1938-39, Lecturer in Indian Philology 1944-50, after retirement in 1950 served as a Member of the Governing Body in 1952–60. In the India Office Library he was Assistant Keeper for printed books and manuscripts in modern Indian languages in 1951-57. C.I.E. 1931. Wrote a dissertation in retirement and was awarded a D.Phil. at Oxford in 1962. Married 1909 Dorothy Amy Thorne (d. 1952), three daughters.

Master was a well-known specialist of New Indo-Aryan Linguistics, especially of Old Marathi, but also interested in history and epigraphy.

Publications: Diss. The development of the Marathi language up to AD 1300. Manuscript, Oxford 1962.

Introduction to Telugu Grammar. 31 p. L. 1947.

Revised and enlarged edition of J. F. Blumhard’s Catalogue of the Gujarati and Rajasthani Manuscripts in ithe India Office Library. 10+167 p. L. 1954.

– “The order of succession of the six Pallava kings preceding Mahendravarman I”, JRAS 1939, 78-84; “Thre Nanda couplet”, BSOS 10:3, 1941, 657-665; “Nalajanampadu Old Telugu Inscription”, EI 27, 1947-48 (1956), 203-206; “Some Marathi Inscriptions, A.D. 1060–1300”, BSOAS 20, 1957, 417-435.

– “‘The Mysterious Paiśācī’”, JRAS 1943, 34-45, 217-233; “An Unpublished Fragment of Paiśācī”, BSOAS 12:3-4, 1948 (Barnett Vol.), 659-667, 1 facs. pl.

A Grammar of Old Marathi. 15+172 p. Oxford 1964.

Translated J. Bloch’s Indo-Aryan from Veda to Modern Times. 336 p. P. 1965.

Linguistic articles, e.g. “Some parallelism in Indo-Aryan and Dravidian with special references to Marathi, Gujarati and Kanarese”, JBRAS 5, 1930, 95-140 & 8, 1932, 29-68; “Indo-Aryan and Dravidian”, BSOS 11:2, 1944, 297-307 & 12:2, 1948, 340-364; “Initial cerebrals in Indoaryan”, P. K. Gode Comm. Vol. Poona 1960, 260-269; “A Phase of Dravidian Phonetics”, ALB 25, 1961, 188-202; further short articles and many reviews.

Sources: Who Was Who 1971–80; India Office Library and Records. Report for the year 1978. L. 1979, p. 5; several photos in National Portrait Gallery (

Last Updated on 1 year by Admin


Comments are closed.