- Also known as
primary name: Thomas, Edward
- individual; official; collector; British; Male
- Life dates
- 31 December 1813-10 February 1886
- Civil servant; collector. East India Company Bengal Service. Indian Civil Service. Born 31 December 1813; died 10 Feb 1886. Son of Horatius Leigh Thomas. Educated at Haileybury. Went to India 1832, was Judge of Sagar. Suffered from ill-health. Refused the post of Foreign Secretary offered to him in 1852. Retired 1872, then devoted himself to literary and scientific pursuits. Wrote papers on Indian and Iranian archaeology, including Bactrian, Sasanian and Indo-Scythic coins, Indian weights and measures, Sasanian gems and inscriptions (in 'Numismatic Chronicle', 'Indian Antiquary'). Edited James Prinsep's (q.v.) 'Essays on Indian Antiquities', and the 'International Numismata Orientalia'. Treasurer of the Royal Numismatic Society (q.v.) for 25 years. Encouraged the study of oriental antiquities in England. FRS, corresponding member of the French Institute and of the Academy of St Petersburg, member of the Asiatic Societies of Bengal, London and Paris. Awarded CIE. His book, 'The chronicles of the Pathan Kings of Delhi, illustrated by coins, inscriptions, and other antiquarian remains' (Truebner & Co, London 1871) includes coins from his "own original collection, comprising the coins figured in plates I-V of this volume, now in the British Museum. A limited but select cabinet of my later acquisitions [remains] in my own possession" (p.x). He sold 1949 coins to the Museum in 1850 (1850,0305.1-1949), but these are only listed according to type in the register and cannot, for the most part, be individually identified. He was also the source of a jade cup later acquired by Charles Seton Guthrie (q.v.) and finally bequeathed to the British Museum by Oscar Charles Raphael (q.v.).
- C E Buckland, 'Dictionary of Indian biography', London 1906.