RISLEY, Herbert Hope. Akeley, Buckinghamshire 4.1.1851 — Wimbledon 30.9.1911. Sir. British Civil Servant and Anthropologist in India. Son of a rector. “Educated at Winchester and New College, Oxford, went to Bengal in the Civil Service, 1873. Secretary to the Government of Bengal, 1891, Member of the Bengal Legislative Council, 1892-3 and again. Acting Financial Secretary, Government of India, 1898; Director for Ethnography for India, 1901. Census Commissioner, 1899-1902. Home Secretary to the Government of India, 1902. C.I.E. 1892, C.S.I. 1904.” Retired from India in 1910 he became Permanent Secretary of Judicial Department of India Office, but died soon. K.C.I.E. 1907.
In anthropology his approach of “scientific racism” is of course completely antiquated. He was much engaged in anthorpometry (with the famous nose index) and took caste more or less equal with race. His ideas were accepted by Thurston, criticised by Criike and Ibbetson.
Publications: “Primitive Marriage in Bengal”, Asiatic Quarterly Review 2, 1886, 71-96; Widow and Infant Marriage. Calcutta 1894.
– The Tribes and Castes of Bengal: Ethnographic Glossary. 1-2. 633+545 p. Calcutta 1891.
– Anthropometric India. 1???.
– The People of India. Calcutta & L. 1908.
Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia with photo.
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