THURSTON, Edgar

THURSTON, Edgar. London 1855 — Penzance 5/12.10.1935 (when 80). British Anthropologist and Naturalist in India. Son of Charles Bosworth Th. Educated at Eton, studies of medicine at King’s College, London. From 1885-1908 Superintendent in Madras Museum, also lectured in anatomy at Madras Medical College. From 1901 Superintendent of Ethnography for Madras Presidency. C.I.E. 1909. Retired.

As anthropologist Thurston followed the unfortunate fashion of his time and used phrenology to support racist ideas and helped police in “identifying” criminals with it. “He believed that intelligence was inversely proportional to the breadth of the nose.” He collected plants and animals, finding and describing some new species.

Publications: Coins. Catalogue No. 1. Mysore. 123 p. 20 pl., No. 2. Roman, Indo-Portuguese, and Ceylon. 75 p., No. 3. Sultáns of Dehlí. 15 p. Madras 1888-90.

Index volume to G. Watt: A Dictionary of the Economic Products of India. 1896.

With K. Rangachari: Ethnographic Notes in Southern India. Madras 1906; Castes and Tribes of Southern India. 1-7. Madras 1909.

Omens and Superstitions of Southern India. 320 p. New York 1912.

The Madras Presidency. With Mysore, Coorg and the Associated States. 293 p. Provincial Geog­raphies of India 3. Cambridge 1914.

Numerous articles in the Bulletin of Madras Government Museum in 1895-1903; also wrote on zoology and various industries (pearl fishery, silk industry, ivory carving).

Sources: Wikipedia with photo.

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