SEELY, John Benjamin. 17?? — 18??. British Colonial Officer in India. Captain in Bombay Native Infantry. He gave the first detailed account of Elura caves and temples. He himself tells that he went to India very young (in 1804) to excuse his poor education. He had served in Nagpur, but the Elura trip began when he was stationed in the neighbourhood of Bombay, still a young man not more than 23. Apparently this was more than ten years before the book was published in 1824. He had returned to the U.K. because of health problems. The preface he signed in Wyke, Dorsetshire, where he was living on half-pay after 15 years’ active service, with his wife and four children. Married 1813 Maria Dowdeswell.
Publications: A voice from India, in answer to the Reformers of England. L. 1824.
– The Wonders of Elora; or, the Narrative of a Journey to the Temples and Dwellings Excavated Out of a Mountain of Granite, and Extending Upwards of a Mile and a Quarter at Elora, in the East Indies, by the Route of Poona, Ahmed-Nuggur, and Toka, returning by Dowlutabad and Aurangabad; with Some General Observations on the People and Country. 16+599 p. 9 pl. 1824, rev. 2nd ed. L. 1825.
– The Road Book of India; or East Indian Traveller’s Guide. 12+36+28+27 p. L. 1825.
– The letters appended to the Elura book indicate several other writings in manuscript form.
Sources: Notes collected from the Elura book (a more careful perusal of it would probably give more); wife named in https://www.familytreecircles.com/solving-the-mystery-of-maria-dowdeswell-of-fort-william-bombay-india-29639.html.
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