PLATTS, John Thompson. Calcutta 1.8.1830 — London 21.9.1904. British Indologist (Hindī Scholar) in India. Son of Robert Platts. Lost early his father and grew in modest circumstances, educated at Bedford School in London. Returned to India as a youth. In 1858-59 taught mathematics at Benares College, 1859-61 Principal of Saugor School, 1861-64 Professor of Mathematics and Head Master of Benares College. In 1964-68 Assistant Inspector of Schools, Second Circle, North-West Provinces, 1868-72 officiating Insp. of Schools, Northern Circle, NW Prov. In 1872 retired because of an illness and returned to England, where he lived in Ealing teaching Urdū and Persian. From 1880 teacher of Persian at Oxford University, in 1881 matriculated from Balliol College as Hon. M.A., 1901 M.A. by degree. He was twice married, 1856-74 with Alice Jane Kenyon (three sons, four daughters) and from 1876 with Mary Elizabeth Hayes (one son).
The grammars and dictionaries of Persian and Urdu compiled by Platts were much advanced to their precedessors and quickly superseded them. Especially the Urdu & Hindi -dictionary remained long in use.
Publications: A Grammar of the Hindustānī Language. 15+399 p. L. 1874.
– A Hindustānī–English Dictionary. 1881.
– A Dictionary of Urdu, Classical Hindī and English. 1259 p. 1884 & many editions.
– Translated. from Urdu: The Baitāl Pachīsī, or Twenty-five Tales of a Sprite. 8+181 p. L. 1871; Iḵẖwānu-ṣ-Ṣafā of Maulavi Ikrām Alī. 12+234 p. L. 1869.
– A Grammar of the Persian Language. Part 1. Accidence. 7+343 p. L. 1894, part 2 and rev. ed. of 1 by G. S. A. Ranking. Oxford 1911.
– Edited: Gulistan of Sa‘dī. L. 1872; transl. the same. L. 1876; ; The Bústán of Sa‘dī, Shaikh Muslihuddīn Shīrāzī. 24+275 p. L. 1891 (facsimile ed. of a manuscript).
Sources: G.S.A.R[anking], D.N.B. 2nd Suppl. 3, 1912, 119f., rev. version in *Oxford D.N.B.; Parvin Loloi, Encyclop. Iranica 2014; briefly Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia.
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