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Henry Yule

Henry Yule

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Sir Henry Yule was a Scottish
Scotland is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. Occupying the northern third of the island of Great Britain, it shares a border with England to the south and is bounded by the North Sea to the east, the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, and the North Channel and Irish Sea to the...

Oriental studies
Oriental studies is the academic field of study that embraces Near Eastern and Far Eastern societies and cultures, languages, peoples, history and archaeology; in recent years the subject has often been turned into the newer terms of Asian studies and Middle Eastern studies...


He was born at Inveresk
Inveresk is a civil parish and was formerly a village that now forms the southern part of Musselburgh. It is situated on slightly elevated ground at the south of Musselburgh in East Lothian, Scotland...

, Scotland, near Edinburgh
Edinburgh is the capital city of Scotland, the second largest city in Scotland, and the eighth most populous in the United Kingdom. The City of Edinburgh Council governs one of Scotland's 32 local government council areas. The council area includes urban Edinburgh and a rural area...

, the son of Major William Yule (1764–1839), translator of the Apothegms of Ali. Henry Yule was educated at Edinburgh, Addiscombe
Addiscombe Military Academy
The East India Company Military Seminary, colloquially known as Addiscombe Seminary, Addiscombe College, or Addiscombe Military Academy was a British military academy at Addiscombe, Surrey, in what is now the London Borough of Croydon. It was established in 1809, and closed in 1861...

, and Chatham, and joined the Bengal Engineers in 1840. He served in both the Sikh wars, was secretary to Colonel (afterwards Sir) Arthur Phayre's mission to Ava
Innwa is a city in the Mandalay Division of Burma , situated just to the south of Amarapura on the Ayeyarwady River. Its formal title is Ratanapura , which means City of Gems in Pali. The name Innwa means mouth of the lake, which comes from in , meaning lake, and wa , which means mouth...

 (1855), and wrote his Narrative of the Mission to the Court of Ava (1858).

He retired in 1862 with the rank of colonel, and devoted his leisure to the medieval history and geography of Central Asia
Central Asia
Central Asia is a core region of the Asian continent from the Caspian Sea in the west, China in the east, Afghanistan in the south, and Russia in the north...

. He published Cathay and the Way Thither (1866), and the Book of Marco Polo
Marco Polo
Marco Polo was a Venetian merchant traveler from the Venetian Republic whose travels are recorded in Il Milione, a book which did much to introduce Europeans to Central Asia and China. He learned about trading whilst his father and uncle, Niccolò and Maffeo, travelled through Asia and apparently...

(1871), for which he received the gold medal of the Royal Geographical Society
Royal Geographical Society
The Royal Geographical Society is a British learned society founded in 1830 for the advancement of geographical sciences...

. He also brought out, in collaboration with Dr Arthur C. Burnell, Hobson-Jobson
Hobson-Jobson is the short title of Hobson-Jobson: A Glossary of Colloquial Anglo-Indian Words and Phrases, and of Kindred Terms, Etymological, Historical, Geographical and Discursive, a historical dictionary of Anglo-Indian words and terms from Indian languages which came into use during the...

 (1886), a dictionary of Anglo-Indian colloquial phrases.

For the Hakluyt Society
Hakluyt Society
Founded in 1846, the Hakluyt Society is a registered charity based in London, England, which seeks to advance knowledge and education by the publication of scholarly editions of primary records of voyages, travels and other geographical material...

, of which he was for some time president, he edited (1863) the Mirabilia Descripta of Jordanus
Jordanus or Jordan Catalani was a French Dominican missionary and explorer in Asia known for his Mirabilia describing the marvels of the East.-Travels:He was perhaps born at Sévérac-le-Château in Aveyron, north-east of Toulouse...

 and The Diary of William Hedges
William Hedges (colonial administrator)
Sir William Hedges was a British merchant and the first governor of the East India Company in Bengal.-Life and career:He was born in Coole in County Cork, Ireland, the eldest son of Robert and Catharine Hedges...

(1887–89). The latter contains a biography of Governor Pitt
Thomas Pitt
Thomas Pitt , born at Blandford Forum, Dorset, to a rector and his wife, was a British merchant involved in trade with India....

, grandfather of William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham
William Pitt, 1st Earl of Chatham PC was a British Whig statesman who led Britain during the Seven Years' War...

. From 1875 to 1889 Yule was a member of the Council of India
Council of India
The Council of India was the name given at different times to two separate bodies associated with British rule in India.The original Council of India was established by the Regulating Act of 1773 as a council of four formal advisors to the Governor-General at Fort William...

, being appointed Knight Commander of the Order of the Star of India
Order of the Star of India
The Most Exalted Order of the Star of India is an order of chivalry founded by Queen Victoria in 1861. The Order includes members of three classes:# Knight Grand Commander # Knight Commander # Companion...

 on his retirement. Yule was a contributor to the creation of the Oxford English Dictionary
Oxford English Dictionary
The Oxford English Dictionary , published by the Oxford University Press, is the self-styled premier dictionary of the English language. Two fully bound print editions of the OED have been published under its current name, in 1928 and 1989. The first edition was published in twelve volumes , and...

, advising in Oriental matters.

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