BLANFORD, William Thomas

BLANFORD, William Thomas. London 7.10.1832 — London 23.6.1905. British Geologist and Zoologist in India. Son of William Bl., a factory owner, and Elizabeth Simpson, educated at private schools in Brighton and Paris. Joined the family business in carving and gilding and because of ill-health spent two years in Civitavecchia, Italy. Then from 1851 at Royal School of Mines and Mining Academy in Freiburg. Served in the Geological Survey of India 1855-82, first in Orissa, in 1860 in Burma, in 1862-67 in Bombay Presidency. In 1868 geologist of the Ethiopian expedition up to Magdala, in 1872 on the Persian Boundary Commission. In 1872 travelled via Moscow to England, in 1874 back to India. Retired in 1882 and settled in London. President of the A.S.B. 1878-79, of the Geological Soc. 1888-90, Vice-President of the Royal Soc. 1901-03. C.I.E.1904, LL.D. McGill University, Montreal. Married 1883 Gertrude Bellhouse. His younger brother, Henry Francis Blanfors (1834–1893 also served in India and became known as meteorologist and paleontologist

Publications: Wrote on the geology and zoology of Ethiopia and Persia, and a manual of Indian geology; editor of The Fauna of British India series, into which he himself contributed: Mammalia. 660 p. L. 1888-91; Birds. 1-4. 588+432+476+536 p. L. 1889/1895-98 (with E. W. Oates); and Mollusca: Testacellidae and Zonitidae. 356 p. L. 1908 (with H. H. Godwin-Austen, on land and freshwater Molluscs).

Papers on prehistoric archaeology in the Proc.ASB 1866–1877, altogether 74 papers in JASB and Proc. ASB and still more in other publications (e.g. in Records & Memoirs of Geological Survey of India).

Sources: T.H. Holland, JASB N.S. 2, 1906, Proc. i-iii; Buckland, Dictionary; Th.G. Bonney, D.N.B. 2nd Suppl. 1; *T. Moore, Oxford D.N.B.; Who Was Who 1897–1916; Wikipedia (with two photos).

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