NORRIS, Edwin. Taunton, Somerset 24.10.1795 — Brompton 10.12.1872. British Oriental and Celtic Scholar. Uncle of —> J. Dowson. As young he spent some years in France and Italy as tutor in an English family and, in addition to local languages, learned Armenian and Romani. Back in England, in1818-37 clerk to the E.I.C. in London. In 1837-59 Assistant Secretary, from 1859 Secretary and 1861 Honorary Secretary and Librarian of the R.A.S. Also the editor of the JRAS.
He was a notable pioneer in Cuneiform studies, an early supporter of Rawlinson’s (correct, but then much criticized) decipherment, and made himself important progress in decipherment of the Cuneiform Elamite. He also edited Rawlinson’s (still in Baghdad) long decipherment for the JRAS. In Indology he is mainly remembered of his decipherment of the Kharoṣṭhī Aśoka inscription of Shāhbāzgarh (then known as Kapur-di-Giri) from Masson’s impressions. A third interest of his was Cornish, the Celtic language of Cornwall.
Publications: “On the Kapur-di-Giri Rock Inscription”, JRAS 8, 1846, 303-307.
– “Scythic version of the Behistun Inscription”, JRAS 15, 1855, 1-213.
– Assyrian Dictionary. 1-3. 1868-72 (Aleph to Nun).
– Also wrote on African languages and Cornish.
Sources: JRAS Proc. 1873, xix-xxii; D.N.B. 41, 1895, 119 (unsigned); *D.N.B. 41; Wikipedia.
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