ROYLE, John Forbes. Cawnpur (Kanpur) 10.5.1799 — Acton near London 2.1.1858. British (Scottish) Physician, Botanist and Scientist in India. Son of Capt. William Henry Royle of E.I.C. and his wife Isabella, lost early his father. Educated at Edinburgh and Addiscombe, but soon left the military career and became Assistant Surgeon in Bengal, arriving at Calcutta in 1819. M.D. Superintendent of the Botanic Garden at Saharanpur, 1823-31, cultivated useful vegetable products. Retired 1831 and returned to the U.K. In 1837-56 Professor of Materia Medica and Therapeutics at King’s College, London. Also in charge of a museum of Indian vegetable products in India Office. F.R.S. 1837. Dr.med. Munich. Married 1839 Annette Solly, three sons, one daughter.
Hestudied āyurvedic plant medicines and their uses. He advocated the introduction of cinchona into Indiaand developed the cultivation of tea and cotton. Beside plants, studied geology and paleontology. A genus of Lamiaceae growing in Nepal and North India is named Roylea after him..
Publications: Illustrations of the Botany and Other Branches of the Natural History of the Himalayan Mountains, and of the Flora of Cashmere. 1-2. L. 1839.
– An Essay on the antiquity of Hindoo medicine, including an introductory lecture to the course of materia medica and therapeutics, delivered at King’s College. 196 p. L. 1837, German transl. 1839.
– An essay on the productive resources of India. 10+451 p. L. 1840; On the culture and commerce of cotton in India and elsewhere. 16+607 p. L. 1851; The fibrous plants of India fitted for cordage, clothing, and paper. 14+403 p. L. 1855.
Sources: B.B.W[oodward], D.N.B. 49, 1897, 375f., rev. by *M. Harrison, Oxford D.N.B. 2004; JRAS 17, 1860, Proc. for 1858, ii-v; MJLS 20 (N.S. 4), 1858-59, 145-148; Buckland, Dictionary; Wikipedia with two drawings.
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