STAPLETON, Henry Ernest. Boroughbridge, Yorkshire (?) 3.5.1878 — Jersey 12.2.1962. British Civil Servant in India, Historian of Science. Studies at Oxford, M.A. and B.Sc. (in Chemisrty, 1899). In 1900, after one year as research scholar at Cambridge, joined Indian Educational Service and became Professor of Chemistry at Presidency College, Calcutta. After war service in Mesopotamia 1915-16 and two years as Turkish war prisoner back in India in 1919, finally from 1928 Director of Public Instruction in Bengal. Retired in 1933 and from 1935 lived in Jersey rising Jersey cattle. During WW II German war prisoner. Married 1911 Eleanor Neste Evans, two sons and one daughter.
Of the two sources, B/Y is given as his birth-place by Butler, while McKie gives exact date and London as place, while his father was Vicar in B/Y. Unlike Butler, McKie also notes his interest in Indian archaeology.
Publications: With J. Wise: “The origin of the Catholic Christians of Eastern Bengal. Together with an appendix on the History of the Portuguese in Eastern Bengal“, JASB N.S. 18, 1922, 25-60.
– Edited: Memoirs of Gattr and Pandua. 190 p. Calcutta 1931 (by M. ʻĀbid ʻAlī Khān, on Medieval Bengal).
– “A Line of Time for Northern Bengal”, JASB N.S. 28, 1932, 131-145 (300 B.C. – 1200 A.D.); “Notes on Historical and Archaeological results of a Tour in the Districts of Mādan and Dinājpur, December 24th–31st, 1932”, ibid. 151-183, pl. 4-7.
– Much on chemistry and on the history of Islamic science (chemistry and alchemy).
Sources: F.H.C. Butler, British Journal for the History of Science 2, 1964, 64-67 with bibliography (25 items, but much is missing); D. McKie, Ambix 11, 1963, 101-104.
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