Page:Dictionary of National Biography volume 21.djvu/348

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who were on shore with the admiral, or sick in hospital, escaped, it would seem probable that Gilchrist was Boscawen's flag-lieutenant. When the news of the peace was confirmed, he was sent home in command of the Basilisk bomb, bringing the few survivors. He arrived at Plymouth on 17 April 1750, putting in there on account of the inclemency of the weather, which the men were unable to stand, being, he wrote, entirely naked. On 18 July 1755 he was advanced to post-rank and appointed to the Experiment frigate, which he joined on 8 August. In September he was sent over to the coast of France, where in eleven days he captured no fewer than sixteen, mostly small, vessels. In the beginning of 1756 he was sent into the Mediterranean, where he joined Admiral Byng, and was present at the action off Minorca on 20 May. He was afterwards appointed by Sir Edward Hawke, in rapid succession to the Chesterfield, the Deptford, and the Trident; was then sent home as a witness at the trial of Admiral Byng, and in April 1757 was appointed to the Southampton, a 32-gun frigate, in which, off Portland, on 25 July, he fought a severe action with two French frigates of superior force (Laughton, Studies in Naval history, p. 333), and succeeded in beating them off. With better fortune he met, on 12 Sept, the French frigate Émeraude, which he captured after a sharp action of thirty-five minutes' duration, and brought into Falmouth. During the following year he was still employed in Channel service, in the course of which he captured two large privateers; and on 28 March 1759, being in company with Captain Hotham in the Melampe [see Hotham, William, Lord], on a cruise in the North sea, met and engaged the 40-gun French frigate Danae, which, after a hard-fought action, lasting all through the night, struck her flag in the morning. Gilchrist was shot through the shoulder by a one-pound ball, a wound that for the time endangered his life, and rendered his arm permanently useless. He never served again, but lived in retirement at his family seat of Hunsfield in Lanarkshire, where he died in 1777. One of his daughters married the ninth earl of Dundonald, and was the mother of Thomas Cochrane, tenth earl of Dundonald [q. v.]

[Charnock's Biog. Nav. vi. 122; Official Correspondence in the Public Record Office.]

J. K. L.

GILCHRIST, JOHN BORTHWICK (1759–1841), orientalist, born at Edinburgh in 1759, was educated at George Heriot's Hospital in that city, an institution to which he bequeathed a liberal donation. Having studied for the medical profession and obtained the appointment of assistant-surgeon in the East India Company's service on 3 April 1783, he went out to Calcutta. He was promoted to a surgeoncy on 21 Oct. 1794 (Dodwell and Miles, Medical Officers of Indian Army, pp. 22–3). At that time the company were satisfied if their servants possessed a tolerable knowledge of Persian, the language of the courts and the government; but Gilchrist saw that to hold effective intercourse with the natives Hindustani should be substituted. Clad in native garb he travelled through those provinces where Hindustani was spoken in its greatest purity, and also acquired good knowledge of Sanskrit, Persian, and other Eastern tongues. His success inspired a new spirit in the company's servants, and the study of Hindustani became more popular. To further facilitate its study, Gilchrist published ‘A Dictionary, English and Hindoostanee,’ 2 parts, 4to, Calcutta, 1787–90; ‘A Grammar of the Hindoostanee Language,’ with a supplement, 4to, Calcutta, 1796; and ‘The Oriental Linguist, an … Introduction to the Language of Hindoostan,’ 4to, Calcutta, 1798 (another edition, 4to, Calcutta, 1802). The governor-general, Lord Wellesley, liberally aided his exertions, and upon the foundation of the Fort William College at Calcutta in 1800 appointed him its head. With the object of collecting a body of literature suitable as text-books for the study of the Urdū language by the European officials, he gathered together at Calcutta the best vernacular scholars of the time, and their works, due to his initiative, ‘are still unsurpassed as specimens of elegant and serviceable prose composition, not only in Urdū but also in Hindĭ’ (Encyclop. Britannica, 9th ed., xi. 849). To Gilchrist is thus due the elaboration of the vernacular as an official speech. His own writings at this period include ‘The Anti-jargonist … being partly an abridgment of the Oriental Linguist,’ 8vo, Calcutta, 1800; ‘The Stranger's East Indian Guide to the Hindoostanee, with an Appendix by A. H. Kelso,’ 8vo, Calcutta, 1802 (2nd edition, 8vo, London, 1808, 3rd edition, 1820); ‘The Hindee Story Teller, or entertaining expositor of the Roman, Persian, and Nagree Characters,’ 8vo, Calcutta, 1802; and ‘A Collection of Dialogues, English and Hindoostanee, on the most familiar and useful subjects,’ 8vo, Calcutta, 1804 (2nd edition, 8vo, Edinburgh, 1809; 3rd edition, 8vo, London, 1820). He also edited ‘The Hindee Moral Preceptor, and Persian Scholar's shortest road to the Hindoostanee Language, or vice versa [consisting of Saedi's Pand