BALL, Valentine. Dublin 14.7.1843 — Dublin 15.6.1895. Irish Scientist in India. Son of the naturalist Robert B. (1802–57) and Amelia Hellicar. Educated in Chester and Dublin (Rathmines School), studies at Trinity College, Dublin (B.A. 1864, M.A. 1872, LL.D. 1889). In 1860-64 worked as clerk in Dublin. He then served 17 years in the Geological Survey of India, in 1864-81, and was one of the first (from 1865) to study prehistoric remains (stone tools) of India. Also found new coal deposits, etc. Fellow of Calcutta University 1875, Treasurer of the A.S.B. 1881. After returning from India he was Professor of Geology and Mineralogy at Dublin in 1881-83, and from 1883 Director of the National Museum in Dublin. Retired because of illness in 1895, only little before his death. Married 1869 Mary Stewart-Moore, at least five children.
Publications: Wrote papers for the JASB and ProcASB on the geology of the Nicobar Islands and of the vicinity of Port Blair, also on Central India; monographs on geology; papers on ornithology.
– “Jungle products used as articles of food by the Inhabitants of the districts of Manbhum and Hazaribag”, JASB 36:2, 1867, 73-82.
– Contributed a A Kui Vocabulary to E. T. Dalton’s, Descriptive Ethnology of Bengal. Calcutta 1872, 302-304; “On the forms and geographical distribution od ancient stone implements in India”, Proc. of R. Irish Acad. 2:1, 1879, 388-414.
– The Economic Geography of India. 1881; “Notes on Children found living with Wolves in the North Western Provinces and Oudh”, ProcASB 1873, 128-130; “On Nicobarese Ideographs”, JRAnthrInst 10, 1881, 103-108
– Jungle Life in India, or the journeys and journals of an Indian Geologist. 720 p. L. 1879; reprinted as Tribal and peasant life in 19th century India. N.D. 1985.
– “On the Identification of the Animals and Plants of India which were known to Early Greek Authors”, IA 14, 1885, 274-287, 303-311, 334-341, rev. and enl. version in Proc. of the Royal Irish Academy 2:2, 1879-88 (1885), 302-346; “Early Notices of metals and gems in India”, IA 13, 1884, 228-248; short papers on prehistoric finds in Proc. ASB 1865-1881; transl. and edited J. B. Tavernier’s Travels in India, 1676. 1-2. 72+420, 20+493 p. L. 1889.
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; F. Boose, Mod. English Biogr. in Br.Biogr.Archive; *Crooke’s introduction to the 1925 ed. of Tavernier, xxx-xxxii with portrait; P.N. Wyse Jackson, D.I.B. 1, 253f.; Wikipedia with photo.
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