Seddon, Felix John Vaughan (DNB00)

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SEDDON, FELIX JOHN VAUGHAN (1798–1865), orientalist, son of William Seddon, attorney, of Pendleton, near Manchester, was born in 1798, and educated at the Manchester grammar school. In 1815 he went to India, where he resided fifteen years, and during his stay acquired an intimate knowledge of several oriental languages. He was in 1820 appointed registrar of Rangpur, Bengal, and at the outbreak of the Burmese war, in 1824, accompanied the army as translator and accountant to the agent of the governor-general. He translated the articles of war and artillery exercise into Munipuri, for use of the native levy, and prepared a grammar and dictionary of the language of Assam. When his health failed in 1830, he was engaged on a comparative dictionary of the Munipuri, Siamese, and Burmese tongues. At a later date he assisted in translating the Bible into some Indian language. On 12 July 1833 he was elected professor of oriental languages at King's College, London, and published in 1835 ‘An Address introductory to a Course of Lectures on the Languages and Literature of the East,’ 8vo. In 1837 he again went out to India, intending to open a college at Lucknow, a project in which William IV took much interest; but when he arrived there he found that the king of Oude was dead, and his successor was opposed to the plan. This and other difficulties obliged him to abandon the undertaking. He was afterwards appointed preceptor to the nawab Nizam, and for his services received a pension. The latter part of his life was spent at Murshidabad, Bengal, where he died, unmarried, on 25 Nov. 1865.

[Manchester School Register (Chetham Soc.), ii. 244.]

C. W. S.