WILKINSON, Lancelot

WILKINSON, Lancelot. Cornhil 1805? — Sehore 13.11.1841. British Scholar of Astronomy in India. Came to India as a writer around 1822 and joined Bombay C.S. From 1824 Assistant to Collector of Southern Concan, from 1826 to Resident in Nagpore. From 1834 Assistant Resident in Nagpore and from 1836 until his death Political Agent in Bhopal. Little before his early death he declined the important position as Political Agent in Lucknow.

LW knew Sanskrit and with his jyotiṣī friends wanted to introduce Indians to science by teaching Siddhānta and publishing its texts (which appeared only posthumously). He was particularly fond of Bhāskara.

Publications: “On the Use of the Siddhantas in the Work of Native Education”, JASB 3, 1834, 504-519; “Discovery of the Rekhaganita, a Translation of the Elements of Euclid into Sanskrit by Samrat Jagannatha, under the Orders of Raja Siwai Jaya Sinha of Jaipur”, JASB 6, 1837, 938-948.

ed. [Aśvaghoṣa], Wujra Soochi, with a Preface by L.W. together with an English tr. by B. H. Hodgson. Bombay 1839.

ed. The gunitadhyaya or a Treatise on Astronomy with a Commentary entitled the Mitakcshara by Bhaskara Acharya. Calcutta 1842; The Goladhyaya with a Commentary entitled Mitackshara by Bhaskara Acharya. Calcutta 1842; Graha­laghava of Ganesa Daivajna, with the Tika by Mallari. Calcutta 1843.

Sūryasiddhānta, or ancient system of Hindu astronomy, followed by Siddhānta śiromaṇi, with extensive notes. Translated by Pundit Bapu Deva Sastri and L. W. 268 p. B.I. 28/32. Calcutta 1860-62.

Epigraphical articles in JASB 5, 1836 & 7, 1838.

Sources: A Brief Notice of the late Lancelot Wilkinson of the Bombay Civil Service. 15 p. 1853 (an uninformative eulogy); S.R. Sarma, “Sanskrit as vehicle for modern science: L.W.’s efforts in the 1830’s”, Studies in history of Medicine and Science 14, 1995-96, 189-199; briefly Windisch 333.

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