WADDELL, Lawrence Austine

WADDELL, Lawrence Austine. Cumbernauld, Dumbartonshire 29.5.1854 — 20.9.1938. British (Scots) Physician and Tibetan Scholar in India. Son of Rev. Thomas Clement W., a teacher and author, and Jean Chapman. Studied medicine at Glasgow University, graduated in 1878 and worked two years as surgeon in Gasgow. In 1880 he came to India, worked 6 years as Professor of Chemistry and Pathology at Calcutta Medical College and 10 years as Assistant Sanitary Commissioner. In 1888-95 Medical Officer in Darjeeling District. He participated in several military expeditions: Burma 1886-87, Chitral 1895, Peking 1900 and Mahsud-Waziri 1901-02. In 1904-05 Chief Medical Officer of the Younghusband expedition to Tibet. Retired as Lieutenant-Colonel. Back in the U.K. he had the nominal chair as Professor of Tibetan at University College in London and then settled down in Scotland. Married in 1895, one son (died in WW I) and one daughter. Honorary LL.D. 1895 Glasgow. C.I.E. 1901/02. C.B. 1904/05.

In India LAW became early interested in Buddhism and archaeology. He started excavations in 1892 at Pāṭaliputra. In Darjeeling he studied local ethnography and, in order to acquaint himself with Lamaism, bought a temple. During the Younghusband expedition he achieved a large collection in Lhasa and divided it between Calcutta, London, Oxford and Cambridge. In his later years he engaged himself in a fantastic “Sumero-Aryan” decipherment of the Indus script and far-reaching hypotheses of ancient history, which in the end even included Anglo-Saxons and Britons. For him every civilization represented ancient Aryan development and influence. Scholars ignored him, but right-wing politicians appreciated.

Publications: Are Venomous Snakes Antitoxic? 1889; “Birds of Sikkim”, Gazetteer of Sikkim 1893.

Discovery of the exact site of Asoka’s Classic Capital of Pāṭaliputra. Calcutta 1892; Report on the Excavations at P. Calcutta 1903; Discovery of the Birthplace of Buddha. Calcutta 1896.

articles in JASB: “Place and river names in the Darjeeling District and Tibet”, 1891; “Lamaist rosaries”, 1892; “The Tsam-chhô-dug of the Lamas”, 1892; “The Buddhist pictorial wheel of life”, 1892; “Description of Lhasa cathedral, tr. from Tibetan”, 1895; “A Tibetan Guide-Book to the lost sites of Buddha’s Birth and Death”, 1896; “Upagupta and the High Priest of Asoka”, 1897-99.

articles in JRAS: “The Indian Buddhist cult of Avalokiteśvara”, 1894; “A trilingual list of Nāga Rājas”, 1894; “Indian Buddhist MSS. in Tibet”, 1894; “Lamaist graces before meat”, 1894; “Polycephalic images of Avalokita in India”, 1894; “The Buddhist Goddess Tārā”, 1897; “A historical basis for the Questions of King Menander, from Tibetan”, 1897; “Inscriptions from Lhasa”, 1909, 1910, 1911, etc.

The Buddhism of Tibet or Lamaism. London 1895, 2nd ed. 1934.

Report on collections of Indo-Scythian Buddhist Sculptures from the Swat Valley. 1895-97; On some newly found Indo-Grecian Buddhistic Sculptures from the Swat Valley (Udyāna). 1897.

Among the Himalayas. 468 p. ill. Westminster 1899; Lhasa and its mysteries, with a Record of the Expedition of 1903–1904. L. 1905.

Tribes of the Brahmaputra Valley. 1900; “The Dhāraṇī Cult in Buddhism”, Ostas. Z. 1, 191?; “Buddha’s Diadem or Uṣṇīṣa”, Ostas. Z. 3, 191?.

The Phoenicean Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons. 1924; The Makers of Civilization in Race and History. 1929; The Indo-Sumerian Seals deciphered. 24+146 p. ill. L. 1925; A Sumer-Aryan Dictionary. 1. 46+80 p. L. 1927; Egyptian Civilization, its Sumerian Origin. 1930; The British Edda, reconstructed from Medieval MSS. 1930.

Sources: Buckland, Dictionary; F. W. Thomas, JRAS 1939, 499-504; Wikipedia with two photos.

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