TAYLOR, Philip Meadows. Liverpool 25.9.1808 — Menton, Southern France 13.5.1876. British Administrator and Author in India. Son of a merchant, the elder Ph.M.T., and Jane Mitford. He came to India in the age of 15 as a clerk to a Bombay merchant, but soon (1824) took the service under the Nizam, first military, but soon in a civil position. After a furlough in England in 1840 the correspondent of The Times, 1840-53. From c. 1850 administered the small principality of Shorapur for the Nizam during the long minority of the raja. After 1857 also accepted by the British government as Deputy Commissioner of Western Ceded Districts. Colonel. Retired in 1860 (now C.S.I.). Married Mary Palmer, children. He was fluent in local languages and much interested in law, geology and antiquities, also in pre-historic archaeology (megaliths).
Publications: Historical novels: Confessions of a Thug. 1-3. London 1839, Ed. with introd. and glossary by C. W. Stewart. Oxford 1916; Tippoo Sultaun: The Tale of the Mysore War. 1849; Tara: A Maratha Tale. 1-3. Edinburgh & L. 1863; Ralph Darnell. 1-3. Edinburgh 1865; Seeta. L. 1872; A Noble Queen: A Romance of Indian History. L. 1878.
– With J. Ferguson, photographs by W. H. Pigou, A. C. B. Neill & Th. Biggs: Architecture in Dharwar and Mysore. 9+12+76 p. 93 pl. L. 1866.
– A Students’ Manual of the History of India. 20+884 p. L. 1870, 2nd ed. 1871, again 1906.
– “Ancient Remains at the Village of Jiwarji near Ferozabad on the Bhima”, JBRAS 3, 1851, 179-196; “Notices of Cromlechs, Cairns and Other Ancient Scytho-Druidical Remains in the Principality of Sorapur”, JBRAS 4, 1853, 380-429; on prehistory also in Transactions of R. Irish Academy; these were reprinted as The Megalithic Tombs and other Ancient Remains in the Deccan. 120 p. Hyderabad 1941.
– The Story of My Life. Edited by his daughter. L. 1877, new ed. 1920.
Sources: JRAS Proc. 1876, vif.; *D. Finkelstein in victorianfictionresearchguides.org; R.G[arnett), D.N.B. 55, 1898, 452f. (*rev. by D. Washbrook in Oxford D.N.B.); Wikipedia with photo.
P. Cadell (ed.), Letters of Philip Meadows Taylor to Henry Reeve. L. 1947.