OLDHAM, Charles Frederick

OLDHAM, Charles Frederick. Liverpool 2.1.1832 — Great Bealings, Suffolk 25.3.1913 (or New Zealand 1913/14). British Physician and Indologist. Studies in St. George’s Hospital in London, from 1858 member of Royal College of Surgeons of England. From 1859 in North India, from 1875 permanently in Dharamsala. Surgeon-Major (1873) and Brigade Surgeon (1887), retired in 1890. Participated in the second Anglo-Afghan war. Returned to England (joined the R.A.S. in 1888). Married, two daughters and one son.

Oldham thought that Nāga and serpent cults hailed from Pre-Vedic period and also combined Asuras with this. His book was received rather well, although criticized for defective knowledge of history and ethnography.

Publications: A study of Malaria, 1871; other medical publications.

– “Serpent-Worship in India”, JRAS 1891, 361-392; “The Nāgas”, JRAS 1901, 461-473.

– “The Sarasvatī and the lost River of the Indian Desert”, JRAS 1893, 49-76.

The Sun and the Serpent. A contribution to the History of Serpent worship. 207 p. 33 ill. L. 1905.

Sources: Death in New Zealand mentioned in anniversary report of R.A.S. for 1913-14, but more detailed account in Br. Med. Journal 1913, 802 has it in Suffolk; German Wikipedia (after BMJ).

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