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Henry John Carter (Founders and Guardians of The Asiatic Society of Mumbai)

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About the Book Henry John Carter, an exceptional physician, a naturalist and a scientist belonged to Budleigh Salterton in Devonshire, the land of scientists and an area rich in geology. This monograph explores the immense contribution of Carter to the field of geology. His intellectual curiosity in comparing species of animals and plants from all over the world is evident from his scholarly work published in reputed journals including Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of Lo...
About the Book

Henry John Carter, an exceptional physician, a naturalist and a scientist belonged to Budleigh Salterton in Devonshire, the land of scientists and an area rich in geology. This monograph explores the immense contribution of Carter to the field of geology. His intellectual curiosity in comparing species of animals and plants from all over the world is evident from his scholarly work published in reputed journals including Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London. His research on Geology of island of Bombay, Fresh water sponges in Bombay, Survey of South East Coast of Arabia and Study of fossils and specimens was presented at different academic societies and published subsequently. Appreciating Carter's research, Charles Darwin commented that he deserved a Royal Medal. It was in 1872 that Carter was awarded a Royal Medal by the Royal Society of London for "his long continued and valuable researches in zoology, and more especially for his enquiries into the natural history of the Spongiade." His work on Geology of Western India along with the sketches and maps is extraordinary and is preserved at the Asiatic Society of Mumbai. His association with academic and research societies in India speaks volumes about his expertise in research and administration. He was the Secretary of the Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society for the long period of fifteen years. He handled the issues of the Society in a level-headed manner and worked towards enriching the Society scholastically. A number of fossils have been named after Carter of which some are listed in the monograph. As stated by an Australian zoologist Arthur Dendy, in about forty-one years from 1847 to 1887 Carter published nearly 125 papers on sponges, unsurpassed by any other, author. The Natural History Museum in London stores the huge collection of Carter. This monograph attempts to review some of Carter's remarkable work.

About the Author

Dr Ravinder Kaur Cheema has been Assistant Professor at the Department of History, Guru Nanak Khalsa College, University of Mumbai for the past twenty-three years. She is a recognized Post graduate teacher and a recognized PhD Guide from G.N. Khalsa College, Mumbai. Her areas of research interests are Modern Indian History, Oral History, Genealogy and Sikhism. The subject of her doctoral research is on 'Contribution of Dr. Bhau Daji Lad to the nineteenth century Bombay and its development: A Historical Study. Her M.Phil dissertation has been published under the title, `Genesis and origin of Guru Nanak Khalsa College, Mumbai, 1937 - 1962: She was an Associate Researcher on the Major Project titled 'The Genealogy of the Sett/Sethna family' at K R Cama Oriental Institute of Research. As a part of the project she has co-authored two books titled The Sett and the Sethna Family of RustomManeck(17thto 2 lstcentury),Volume I and II published by K R Cama Oriental Institute of Research and FHB SettnaLegacy Trust.She has published seventeen research papers and articles at National and International level Journals and in edited books. She has featured on the television channel -Epic as subject expert for episodes of serials Epic ke Dus and Adrishya. She is a recipient of the (Gulestan Billimoria Fellowship' awarded by The Asiatic Society of Mumbai.

Foreword

During his tenure of six years as President of the Asiatic Society, Dr. Aroon Tikekar took several initiatives with a view to resuscitating the culture of research and scholarly studies focused on Mumbai, Maharashtra and Western India. The project for bringing out Monographs of about 100 pages on the Founders and Guardians of the Asiatic Society occupied a pivotal place in his vision. He was a scholar who was deeply interested in the 19th century India. It was his firm conviction that the Asiatic Society had contributed substantially to 'intellectualizing Mumbai' under the leadership and inspiration of a group of scholars who could be truly called the Founders and Guardians of the Society. He had a grand plan for publishing Monographs on 26 such outstanding personalities. He encouraged research scholars associated with the Society to undertake the writing of these Monographs and guided them about the resource material, particularly the material which was available in the Library of the Asiatic Society itself. He had explained that "during two centuries and more of its fruitful existence, its members have made pioneering and lasting contributions to many fields of higher enquiry, philosophical as well as empirical. Much of this contribution has been recognized and lauded by the world of scholarship in India and outside. However, there were some scholars associated with the Society whose significant contribution to various fields such as iconography, numismatics, epigraphy, geology, geography, folk-lore and allied subjects has remained unknown or underestimated. The yields of their intellectual labor deserve to be brought to light".

The five year project envisaging publication of at least 25 such Monographs became a part of the Society's 'Five Year Plan' Though the initial schedule of publication could not be maintained, 13 Monographs have been brought out so far as listed below:

1. Edward Moor by Dr. Mridula Ramanna. 2. John Faithfull Fleet by Dr. Leela B. Jois and Dr. Purnima Srikrishna.

3. Sir George Birdwood by Dr. Vijaya Gupchup.

4. Alexander Kinloch Forbes by Mr. Deepak Mehta.

5. The Jervis Brothers — George Risto Jervis & Thomas Best Jervis, by Prof. J. V. Naik& Dr. Prabha Ravi Shankar.

6. Sir James Mackintosh (1765-1832) Founder of the Literary Society of Bombay (1804) by Ms. Mrinal Kulkarni.

7. William Erskine (1773-1852), Secretary of Bombay Literary Society by Dr. Usha Thakkar.

8. Rev. P. Anderson (1816-1857); the author of The English in Western India by Dr. Louiza Rodrigues.

9. W.E. Frere (1811-1880), President of both the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (BBRAS) as well as the Bombay Geographical Society by Dr. Usha R. Vijailakshmi

10. Dr. George Buehler (1837-1898): Philologist & Epigraphist by Ms. Vaishali Karmarkar.

11. Dr. George Buist (1805-1860) by Dr. Aroon Tikekar

12. William Henry Sykes (1790-1872) by Dr. Sonali Pednekar

13. Peter Peterson (1847-1899) by Dr. Namrata Ganneri

The implementation of the Plan received a sudden set-back when Dr. Aroon Tikekar passed away on 19th January, 2016. This was a cruel blow to the members of the Society and to the large circle of his friends and admirers. It was clear that in the absence of Dr. Tikekar, the stewardship of the project would have to be entrusted to a group rather than an individual. Accordingly, the Society constituted a Committee with Dr. Usha Thakkar as the Chairperson and Dr. Mridula Ramana, Mr. Yogesh Kamdar and Prof. Mangala Sirdeshpande, as the members. The Committee was to complete the unfinished task because that would be the best way of paying homage to the memory of Dr. Tikekar. The Committee has toiled to motivate the scholars who were assigned the work of certain Monographs. By maintaining a constant follow-up the Committee has been successful in getting 5 Monographs to the stage of publication. The Committee deserves thanks for its endeavors and good wishes for its efforts to get more and more Monographs completed so as to fulfill the vision of Dr. Tikekar.

Introduction

The enry John Carter, (1813-1895) a physician and scientist, joined the medical services of the British Army Establishment in Bombay, in 1842 and retired in 1862. He came from the land of geology: Devon in England and hence he became an ardent researcher, developing interest in varied fields of science. The subjects that interested him were zoology, geology, botany and anthropology and he created a niche for himself among the eminent scholars of the times. Being Secretary of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (BBRAS) for fifteen years, was by itself a remarkable achievement. This monograph focuses on the years that Carter spent in India building up his career and associating with the research societies of Bombay.

The monograph has five chapters. Chapter I entitled 'Henry John Carter: Early life and Career' gives a glimpse of his family, education, and medical career in India. The chapter will also briefly highlight important events in the life of Carter and the positions he held. Chapter II is titled, 'Carter: The Dynamic and Composed Secretary of the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society (BBRAS): This chapter will deal with understanding his nature in managing the affairs of the BBRAS in his capacity as Secretary, and outline Carter's research presented at the BBRAS. Chapter III titled 'Carter and Bombay Geographical Society (BGS)'will discuss Carter's expertise that benefitted the government through the BGS. Chapter IV is titled 'Carter: A multifaceted personality' which focuses on the zoologist, geologist, botanist and anthropologist in Carter. The chapter gives an account of his research work on geology of the island of Bombay, fresh water sponges, survey of coast of Arabia and study of fossils and specimens. These are in the form of papers, notes, and reports presented at different academic societies and published, which earned him a Royal Medal from the Royal Society of London. Chapter V is an 'Evaluation' of Carter's contribution and achievements in different fields, and contains reviews of his work. Lastly, are the Appendices, Notes and Bibliography. The spellings of the names of places and generic names in the text are as they are presently in use. However, the titles of research articles and quotations, appear as they were spelt by Carter. (see Appendix I)

While tracing the sources, for this monograph, I found that no biography has been written on Henry John Carter. I began my work by referring to the Minute Books of the Literary Society and the BBRAS, from which I could gather information on the contribution and position held by Carter. This was followed by referring to the Journals of Bombay Branch of Royal Asiatic Society and Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Bombay for his research publications on various topics. Almost two years later I found a reference to a booklet titled 'The Scientist in the Cottage - Henry John Carter FRS' by Michael Dowens. As this booklet was not on sale, I contacted the author who promptly sent it to me.

Many of Carter's articles are published in the renowned journals of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, BBRAS, BGS and Royal Geographical Society. Some articles are published in the Annals and Magazine of Natural History, and the Transactions of the Medical and Physical Society of Bombay, a few of which were in the digitized format and hence were referred to online and in the CD form. The General Department files at the Maharashtra State Archives have also been consulted.

I express my sincere thanks and gratitude to the late Dr. Aroon Tikekar, former President of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for giving me an opportunity to explore the multifaceted personality of Dr Henry John Carter. Dr. Tikekar's constant motivation and inspiration made this monograph happen. I also thank Dr Usha Thakkar, Dr Mridula Ramanna, Prof. Mangala Sirdeshpande and Mr. Yogesh Kamdar for their valuable inputs and guidance in completing this work.

I extend my gratitude to Mr. Sharad Kale, the President of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for his encouragement and support. I am sincerely thankful to the Asiatic Society of Mumbai for providing me access to the Minutes of the Literary Society of Bombay, Bombay Geographical Society and the Bombay Branch of the Royal Asiatic Society. My thanks to the staff of the Society especially Mr. Victor for always being helpful.

My special thanks to Michael Dowens from Fairlynch Museum, Budleigh Salterton, Devon, the author of a brief booklet on Carter for permitting me to quote from the contents and make copies of the photographs if needed. I also thank the Fairlynch Museum.

I wish to thank Dr. Usha R. Vijailakshmi for helping me in reviewing some of Carter's articles and being a constant support. I thank my family for always being a great support in all my endeavors.

Contents

  Foreword vi
  A Note from the General Editor ix
  Introduction xii
I. Henery John Carter: Early Life and Career 1
II. Henery John Carter: The Dynamic and Composed Secretary of the BBRAS 12
III. Carter and the Bombay Geographical Society 27
IV. Carter: A Multifaceted Researcher 32
V. Evaluation 73
  Appendices 78
  Notes 98
  Bibliography 106

Sample Pages







Item Code: NAO685 Author: Ravinder Kaur Cheema Cover: Paperback Edition: 2017 Publisher: Indus Source Books ISBN: 9789385509162 Language: English Size: 9.0 inch X 6.0 inch Pages: 120 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 180 gms
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