Horace Hayman Wilson

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Watercolour by James Atkinson, 1821

Horace Hayman Wilson (26 September 1786 – 8 May 1860) was an English orientalist.


  • These lectures were written to help candidates for a prize of Pound Sterling 200- given by John Muir, a well-known old Haileybury man and great Sanskrit scholar, for the best refutation of the Hindu Religious System.
    • On his book on 'The Religious and Philosophical System of the Hindus'. in Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994 [1]
  • The system of learning Bengalee among the natives .... their notion of learning Bengalee was by learning Sanscrit. If you make a man a good Sanscrit scholar he will be able to write Bengalee with perfect accuracy and elegance.... Bengalee is the language most akin to Sanscrit. I have taken pains to ascertain the proportion of Sanscrit in the first 500 words... they amount to 350.... Sanscrit forms the very body of most of the dialects, particularly of Upper India, and though it is not so essentially a part of the languages of Southern India, yet it enters so largely into the composition of even the language of Malabar, that four-fifths of the words are Sanscrit.
    • HH Wilson in in Shourie, Arun (1994). Missionaries in India: Continuities, changes, dilemmas. New Delhi : Rupa & Co, 1994
  • “By annihilating native literature, by sweeping away from all sources of pride and pleasure in their own mental efforts, by rendering a whole people dependent upon a remote and unknown country for all their ideas and the words in which to clothe them, we should degrade their character, depress their energies and render them incapable of aspiring to any intellectual distinction.”
    • Horace Wilson: “Education of the natives of India”, Asiatic Journal (1836), quoted p.26) quoted from Koenraad Elst, On Modi Time : Merits And Flaws of Hindu Activism In Its Day Of Incumbency – 2015 Ch 29
  • The Brahmans who compiled," says H. H. Wilson, "a code Hindu law, by command of Warren Hastings preface their performance by affirming the equal merit of every form of religious worship. Contrarities of belief, and diversities of religion, they say, are in fact part of the scheme of Providence; for as a painter gives beauty to a picture by a variety of colours, or as a gardener embellishes his garden with flowers of every hue, so God appointed to every tribe its own religion."

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