Botanists and naturalists
Many botanists and naturalists were also doctors/surgeons.
- Indian Natural history - Colonial India Wikipedia
- "Development of Life Sciences in India in Eighteenth- Nineteenth Century"] by B. L. Jain Indian Journal of History of Science, 17 (1); 1982, pp114—131. Archives at Indian National Science Academy Journals
- "Science in British India" by RK Kochhar Indian Journal of History of Science 34(4) 1999 pp317-346
- “The history of Indian mammalogy and ornithology. Part II. Birds” by Sir Norman Kinnear 1952, pages 1-11 of the pdf, and “Bird Study in India: It’s History and It’s Importance” by Salim Ali 1979, pages 12-18 of the pdf. Reprinted in Buceros Volume IV No.2 1999 Buceros is an ENVIS newsletter published by the ENVIS Centre at the BNHS (Bombay Natural History Society).
- "Ornithology in India: It’s Past, Present and Future" by Salim Ali Proceedings of the Indian National Science Academy Volume 37, B3, 1971, pages 99-113. Archives at Indian National Science Academy Journals
Edward Green Balfour
Edward Green Balfour 1813-1889 (Wikipedia), appointed Assistant Surgeon in the Madras Medical Service and sailed for India 1834. Retired 1876 as Surgeon General of Madras Presidency.
- Pages from History: Edward the green Balfour Madras Musings March 16-31 2010. "Edward Green Balfour (1813–1889) and his contributions to Indian agriculture and forestry" by Anantanarayanan Raman. Current Science, Volume 106, No. 11, 10 June 2014.
- His books include The Agricultural Pests of India, and of Eastern and Southern Asia, Vegetable and Animal, Injurious to Man and his Products by Surgeon General Edward Balfour 1887 Archive.org.
Samuel Browne was listed as a Principal Surgeon in Madras 1688-1697 when he was discharged. Samuel Brown died 21 December 1698 at Madras, according to this cemetery record. After his death the following articles were published in the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society (London):
- "An Account of part of a Collection of Curious Plants and Drugs" gathered by Mr Samuel Brown , a Physician at Fort St George in the East Indies There is a subsequent title "Mr.Sam Brown His First Book Of East India Plants" Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society 1700 vol. 22 no. 260-276 579-594 "Second Book" Phil. Trans. 1700 vol. 22 no. 260-276 699-721 'Third Book' page 859 (page 18 of the pdf) describes some animals sent by Mr Edward Bulkley, Surgeon from Fort St George Phil. Trans. 1700 vol. 22 no. 260-276 843-862 "Fourth Book" Phil. Trans. 1700 vol. 22 no. 260-276 843-862 "Fifth Book" Phil. Trans. 1700 vol. 22 no. 260-276 1007-1029 "Sixth Book" Phil. Trans. 1702 vol. 23 no. 277-288 1055-1068 "Seventh Book" Phil. Trans. 1702 vol. 23 no. 277-288 1251-1566 "Eighth Book" Phil. Trans. 1702 vol. 23 no. 277-288 1450-1460. However, there is no mention of Mr Sam.Brown for the final volume.
In 1693 Dr Samuel Browne was tried and aquitted by a Grand Jury:
- “When Mr. Wheeler, Member of Council, Sea Customer and Chief Justice of Choultry in Chennai, died on August 28, 1693, Dr. Samuel Browne, accepted in writing that due to his fateful mistake, pearl was powdered in a stone mortar wherein arsenic had been beaten before and the mixture was given to Mr. Wheeler as physic who showed the symptom of poison before death. Dr. Samuel Browne and his servant were committed to custody. Dr. Edward Bulkley, the surgeon of the hospital was asked to conduct an autopsy on the body of Mr. Wheeler opined that the suddenness of his death, and the severe symptoms he had laboured under before he died, were greater arguments of poison received, than anything he could trace out by dissection. Dr. Samuel Browne was tried and acquitted by the Grand Jury when the Bill of Ignoramus was brought in. There was dissatisfaction at this result and many thought that a case of criminal negligence had been made out.” From "State Control of Medical Malpractice" by Dr. K. Mathiharan (Published in Law & Medicine, (An Annual Publication of the Institute of Law and Ethics in Medicine, National Law School of India University, Bangalore) Volume 4, 1998 at 88-92)
Dr Edward Bulkley was a Principal Surgeon 1692-1709 when he transferred to the Civil Service as Member of Council. He resigned in 1713 and died August 1714 at Madras according to this cemetery record. He is mentioned in the "Third Book of Samuel Brown" (see above) and also on this page from the Linnean Society of London website, collecting plants in Bengal and Burma 1702-8, (where the spelling Bulkeley is used). He is probably the Mr Buckly, Chief Surgeon at Fort St George who sent a collection of Chinese medical instruments to the Royal Society, mentioned in this article Phil. Trans. 1 January 1698 vol. 20 no. 236-247 390-392. The autopsy mentioned above is the first recorded medico-legal autopsy performed in India.
Francis Buchanan–Hamilton 1762-1829. (Wikipedia) He was in the Bengal Medical Service from 1794 to 1815. He succeeded William Roxburgh to become the Superintendent of the Calcutta Botanical Garden in 1814, but had to return to Britain in 1815 due to ill health.
A journey from Madras through the countries of Mysore, Canara, and Malabar Volume 1 Volume 2 Volume 3 by Francis Buchanan MD 1807 Google Books
An Account of the Kingdom of Nepal by Francis Hamilton (formerly Buchanan) MD 1819 Google Books
Francis Day (Wikipedia) is detailed in this pdf, having joined the Madras Medical Service in 1852. He wrote a 1863 book on Cochin, The land of the Permauls, or, Cochin, its past and its present. He became the most important writer on Indian fish, with his first book on the subject being Fishes of Malabar (archive.org) in 1865. Obituary in the British Medical Journal of 20 July 1889
William Griffith (Wikipedia) was a Civil Surgeon based in Tenasserim (later Malacca, where he died). He is profiled in “William Griffith 1810-1845” by WH Lang from Makers of British botany; a collection of biographies by living botanists (1913). Griffith himself wrote Journals of Travels in Assam, Burma, Bhootan, Afghanistan and the Neighbouring Countries in 1847 (Archive.org), the initial section of which contains biographical details.
Johann Gerhard Koenig
Johann Gerhard Koenig 1728-1785 (Wikipedia) worked as a surgeon at the Danish colony at Tranquebar from 1768, as naturalist to the Nawab of Arcot from 1774 and as naturalist with the East India Company at Madras from 1778, according to this link about Tranquebar.
Patrick Russell 1726-1805 (Wikipedia) came to India in 1781. He had previously worked as a physician for the British Levant Company (Wikipedia) at its chief factory (trading post) at Aleppo (Syria) 1750-1771. In 1785 was appointed as the East India Company's 'Botanist and Naturalist' at Madras, following Koenig's death. He retired in 1789 and returned to England. Russell's viper the venomous snake, whose toxicity is second only to the cobra, is named after him.
- "Memoir of the Life and Writings of Patrick Russell, MD, FRS" The European Magazine, and London Review, Volume 59 for January 1811. Google Books
- “The first snakeman of India” by S. Muthiah January 23, 2006 The Hindu.
- "Plague, Snakes and Fishes" 06 September 2013 British Library Untold lives blog.
- “Russell of Russell's viper fame” by R L Jayakody The Ceylon Medical Journal Volume 46, No 2, 2001 June
- "The Natural History of Indian Serpents: Dr. Patrick Russell, Colonial Medicine and the British Empire" by Rahul Bhaumik History Studies International Journal of History Volume 4 Issue 4, p. 35-63, November 2012 academia.edu
- Green Imperialism: Colonial Expansion, Tropical Island Edens and the Origins of Environmentalism, 1600-1860 by Richard H Grove page 331, including the footnote gives more details including that he was initially an assistant surgeon. Google Books
- Patrick Russell from Dictionary of Indian Biography by Charles Edward Buckland Archive.org.
- An Account of Indian Serpents collected on the Coast of Coromandel by Patrick Russell MD, FRS 1796. With Plates. Linda Hall Library Kansas City, USA, LHL Digital Collections. Note: after the 'Zoom in' icon, click on the next icon 'Full Browser', for ease of reading. The images are stated to be in Tiff format, so if you cannot see the images refer Online books-Digital Library of india for details of Tiff plugins.
- A Continuation of an Account of Indian Serpents by Patrick Russell 1801 Archive.org. With Plates. This volume is Part Ii, and contains Appendices written in 1804 and 1809.
William Roxburgh 1751-1815. (Wikipedia) He joined the Madras Medical Service as an assistant surgeon in 1776 and became a surgeon in 1780. He succeeded Patrick Russell as Naturalist to the Madras Government. He later became Superintendant of the Calcutta Botanical Garden 1793-1814 where he was succeeded by Francis Buchan Hamilton.
Pages from History: The barometer and thermometer – his constant companions Madras Musings November 16-30 2009
Flora indica, or descriptions of Indian plants,Volume 1 by William Roxburgh 1820 Volume 2 1824 Volume 3 1832
Nathaniel Wallich 1786-1854 (Wikipedia) (Also spelt Wallick in the East-India Register) He was a Danish Surgeon at the Danish settlement of Serampore, near Calcutta from 1808. He became an Assistant Surgeon in the Bengal Medical Service from 1814. He followed Francis Buchan-Hamilton as Superintendent of the Calcutta Botanical Garden, a position he held until he retired in 1846.
Robert Wight 1796-1872 (Wikipedia). He joined the Madras Medical Service in 1819 and was appointed Naturalist in 1826.
- “The Hooker Lecture: Robert Wight and the Illustration of Indian Botany" by Henry Noltie, 8 December 2005, The Linnean Society
- Rungiah and Govindoo - South Indian Botanical Drawings 1826-1853 Royal Botanical Garden Edinburgh
Georges Guerrard-Samuel Perrottet
Georges Perrottet took charge as Director of the Jardin Botanique de Pondichéry, JBP) (Botanic Garden of Pondicherry) in 1840 and held this office until he died in 1870. Perrottet enriched the garden by introducing several plants that have been shown to bear either economic importance to humans or had the potential of being useful.
- "Georges Guerrard-Samuel Perrottet, a forgotten Swiss−French plant collector, experimental botanist and biologist in India" by Anantanarayanan Raman Current Science, Vol. 107, No. 9, 10 November 2014, pages 1607-1612
- In 1842 Perrottet wrote a book on indigo growing and manufacture Art de l’indigotier ou Traite des indigoferes tinctoriaux et de la fabrication de l’indigo Archive.org
Johann Peter Rottler
Missionary (1749-1836). "Pages from History: Documenting the flora of the Coromandel" by Dr A Raman Madras Musings July 16-31, 2009. Scroll to the bottom of the page
Historical books online
- Flora Indica; Or, Descriptions of Indian Plants by William Roxburgh 1832 edition Google Books. Volume I, Volume II, Volume III
- Roxburgh's Flora Indica. This web site brings together William Roxburgh's three-volume text-only Flora Indica published posthumously in 1832, with the illustrations he commissioned of most of the plants he described. Kew Gardens