Dictionary of National Biography, 1901 supplement/Bland, Nathaniel

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BLAND, NATHANIEL (1803–1865), Persian scholar, born 3 Feb. 1803, was the only son of Nathaniel Bland of Randalls Park, Leatherhead. His father's name was originally Crumpe, but after leaving Ireland and purchasing Randalls Park he took, in 1812, the surname of his mother, Dorothea, daughter of Dr. Bland of Derriquin Castle, co. Kerry, an eminent civilian.

Bland entered Eton in 1818, matriculated from Christ Church, Oxford, in October 1821, and graduated B.A. in 1825. He was an elegant Persian scholar, and between 1843 and 1853 contributed several valuable papers to the Royal Asiatic Society's 'Journal.' The first, read June 1843 (vol. vii.), was a notice of the Atash Kada, a collection of lives of poets. This and a supplementary article in vol. ix. of the 'Journal' are still standard authorities on the subject. In 1847 he contributed an elaborate article on Persian chess, which was afterwards published separately. He also described the Pote collection of oriental manuscripts in the Eton College library [see Pote, Joseph] in the Royal Asiatic Society's 'Journal' (orig. series, vol. viii. 104-6). His last contribution to the 'Journal,' in 1853, was on the Muhammadan science of the interpretation of dreams. In 1844 he edited Nizämï's 'Makhzun-al-Asrar' for the Oriental Translation Fund. But unfortunately he did not finish this work. The latter part of his life was calamitous. He took to gambling, had to sell Randalls Park, and eventually committed suicide at Hombourg-les-Bainson 10 Aug.1865. His valuable collection of Persian and other manuscripts was sold through Bernard Quaritch in 1866 and purchased by the Earl of Crawfurd. It now forms part of the Bibliotheca Lindesiana.

[Proceedings of the E.A.S., vol. ii. N.S. p. 3; Annual Report of June 1866.]

H. B-e.