1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Ouseley, Sir William

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14582381911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 20 — Ouseley, Sir William

OUSELEY, SIR WILLIAM (1769–1842), British Orientalist, eldest son of Captain Ralph Ouseley, of an old Irish family, was born in Monmouthshire. After a private education he went to Paris, in 1787, to learn French, and there laid the foundation of his interest in Persian literature. In 1788 he became a cornet in the 8th regiment of dragoons. At the end of 1794 he sold his commission and went to Leiden to study Persian. In 1795 he published Persian Miscellanies; in 1797–1799, Oriental Collections; in 1799, Epitome of the Ancient History of Persia; in 1800, The Oriental Geography of Ebn Haukal; and in 1801, a translation of the Bakhtiyār Nama and Observations on Some Medals and Gems. He received the degree of LL.D. from the university of Dublin in 1797, and in 1800 he was knighted. When his brother. Sir Gore Ouseley, was sent, in 1810, as ambassador to Persia, Sir William accompanied him as secretary. He returned to England in 1813, and in 1819–1823 published, in three volumes. Travels in Various Countries of the East, especially Persia, in 1810, 1811 and 1812. He also published editions of the Travels and Arabian Proverbs of Burckhardt. He contributed a number of important papers to the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature. He died at Boulogne in September 1842.