The Times/1883/Obituary/Edward Backhouse Eastwick

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Obituary: Edward Backhouse Eastwick, distinguished oriental scholar  (1883) 

Source: The Times, Wednesday, Jul 18, 1883; Issue 30875; pg. 10; col F — Obituary


Mr. Edward Backhouse Eastwick, C.B., the distinguished Oriental scholar, who died at Ventnor on Monday, was born in 1814, and was educated at Charterhouse and at Balliol College, Oxford. In 1836 he went to Bombay as a cadet of infantry. He early devoted himself to the study of Oriental languages, and in a few years passed examinations in Hindustani, Maráthí, Persian, Gujarátí, and Kanarese, obtaining the rewards for high proficiency. He served a short time in the political department in Kattywar, and in Upper Scinde. In 1843 he translated the Persian "Kessahi Sanján," or a History of the Arrival of the Parsees in India," also "The Zertuaht Námad," or "Life of Zoroaster." He published a "Sindhi Vocabulary," and various papers in the "Transactions of the Bombay Asiatic Society. His health failing, he took up his residence in Frankfort, where he acquired thorough knowledge of the German language, and translated Schiller's "Revolt of the Netherlands," and Bopp's Comparative Grammar." In 1845 Mr. Eastwick was appointed professor of Hindustani, at Haileybury. Two years later he published a Hindustani grammar, and in subsequent years a new edition of the "Gulistān," and a translation of the same work in prose and verse, also translations of the "Presa Sagár," of the "Baghuo Bahar," and of the "Anwari Suhaili." In 1851 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1857 and 1858 he edited "The Autobiography of Lútfullah," and wrote various articles in the 8th edition of the "Encyclopædia Britannica" on Oude, Persia and the Punjab, &c. He also edited for the Bible Society the book of Genesis in the Dakhani language. In 1859 he was appointed to the political department of the India Office. In 1860 he was called to the bar at the Middle Temple, and also made Secretary of Legation at the Court of Persia. He returned to England in 1863, in the same year publishing "The Journal of a Diplomate." In 1864 he went to Venezuela as commissioner for settling a loan to that Government. In 1866 Lord Cranborne, the Secretary of State for India, nominated him his private secretary, and he obtained the civil companionship of the Bath. In 1867 he went again on a mission to Venezuela, and on his return, at the request of Charles Dickens, wrote in "All the Year Round" "Sketches of life in a South American Republic." These papers were afterwards re-published in a separate volume. In 1868 he was elected member for Pennrhyn and Falmouth, on the Conservative side, and sat in the House of Commons until 1874. In 1875 he received the degree of M.A., with the franchise from the University of Oxford, "as a slight recognition of distinguished services." At various periods he wrote for Mr. Murray handbooks for Madras, Bombay, Bengal, and the Punjab. In 1878 he published the first volume of the "Kaisarnámah-i-Hind," "the Lay of the Empress," dedicated by permission to the Queen. A letter from General Ponsonby states, "The Queen was very much pleased with this most valuable and important work." At the close of last year he brought out the second volume of the "Kaisarnámah-i-Hind." He married in 1847, Rosina, daughter of James Hunter, of Hafton, Argyllshire, and leaves one son and six daughters.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

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