POPE, George Uglow. Bedeque, Prince Edward Island 24.4.1820 — Oxford 11.2.1908. British (born in Canada) Missionary Indologist (Tamil Scholar) in India and the U.K. Son of John Pope, a merchant of Cornish origin, and Catherine Uglow. The family moved soon to Nova Scotia and 1826 to England. Educated in Wesleyan schools in Bury and Hoxton and trained to become a missionary in India, but joined then the Church of England. Arrived at India in 1839. Ordained priest in Madras in 1845. Worked 42 years as a missionary in Tamilnadu, first 1839-49 in Tinnevelly and, after a stay in England, 1852-60 in Tanjore, then 1860-70 Principal of Grammar School in Ootacamund and 1870-80 Warden of Bishop Cotton School in Bangalore. In 1880 he returned to England and was in 1880-83 Diocesan Secretary of Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in Manchester. In 1883 he was made Lecturer in Tamil and Telugu at Oxford. Honorary M.A. 1886. He was married twice and had several children.
Pope was one of the first Western specialists of Tamil philology. His literary remains included several translations (Paṟamori, Cilappatikāram, Manimēkalai) and material for a dictionary. Among his students was M. de Silva Wickremasinghe.
Publications: First Catechism of Tamil Grammar. 1842; Second Catechism… 1844; Third Catechism… 1858 (larger grammar, with text and tr. of Nannūl);; First Tamil Book. 1861
– First lessons in Tamil. 4+308 p. Madras 1856, 2nd ed. as A Handbook of the Tamil language. Madras 1859, 7th ed. 210 p. Oxford 1911.
– A compendious Tamil-English Dictionary 1855 (part 4. of the Handbook), 7th ed. 98 p. 1905.
– A Tamil Prose Reading Book. 1859 (part 5. of the Handbook), 7th ed. 132 p. 1905; Tamil Poetical Anthology. 1859.
– A text-book of Indian history, with geographical notes, genealogical tables, examination questions, and chronological, biographical, geographical, and general indexes. L. 1871, 3rd ed. 574 p. L. 1880.
– The Sacred Kurral of Tiruvalluva Nayanar with introduction, grammar, transl., notes, lexicon and concordance, in which are reprinted Fr. Beschi’s and F. W. Ellis’ versions. 456 p. 1886.
– The Naladiyar or four hundred quatrains in Tamil. With introd., transl., and notes critical, philological and explanatory to which is added a concordance and lexicon with authorities from the oldest Tamil writers. 48+440 p. Oxford 1893.
– Tiruvacagam or “Sacred Utterances” of the Tamil Poet, Saint and Sage Manikka-vacagar. The Tamil text of the fifty one poems with English tr., introd. and notes, with Tamil lexicon and concordance. 544 p. Oxford 1900.
– “Extracts from the Tamil ‘Purra-poruḷ Venbā-Mālai’, and the ‘Purra-nānnūru”, JRAS 1899, 225-269; “Puṟa-poruḷ, ‘the Objective’. A summarised account of Puṟa-poruḷ Veṇbā Mālai and Selections from Puṟanānūṟu”, The Tamilian Antiquary 6, 1910, 1-77.
Sources: *JRAS 1906, 767-790; Buckland, Dictionary; *R.E. Frykenberg, Oxford D.N.B. 2004; M. de Z. Wickremasinghe in JRAS 1908, 634f.; photo in Intern. Taschenbuch für Orientalisten 1910; Wikipedia with photo of his statue in Chennai.