John Leyden (
September 8, 1775- August 28, 1811) was a British orientalist.
Leyden was born at
Denholmon the River Teviot, not far from Hawick. His father, a shepherd, had contrived to send him to Edinburgh Universityto study for the ministry. Leyden was a diligent but somewhat haphazard student, apparently reading everything except theology, for which he seems to have had no taste. Though he completed his divinity course, and in 1798 was licensed to preach from the presbytery of St Andrews, it soon became clear that the pulpitwas not his vocation.
In 1794, Leyden formed an acquaintance with Dr Robert Anderson, editor of "The British Poets", and of "The Literary Magazine". It was Anderson who introduced him to Dr Alexander Murray, and Murray, probably, who led him to the study of Eastern languages. They became warm friends and generous rivals, though Leyden excelled, perhaps, in the rapid acquisition of new tongues and acquaintance with their literature, while Murray was the more scientific
Through Anderson also he came to know
Richard Heber, by whom he came to the notice of Sir Walter Scott, who was then collecting materials for his "Minstrelsy of the Scottish Border". Leyden was admirably fitted for helping in this kind of work, for he was a borderer himself, and an enthusiastic lover of old ballads and folklore. Scott tells how, on one occasion, Leyden walked 40 miles to get the last two verses of a ballad, and returned at midnight, singing it all the way with his loud, harsh voice, to the wonder and consternation of the poet and his household.
Leyden meanwhile compiled a work on the "Discoveries and Settlements of Europeans in Northern and Western Africa", suggested by Mungo Park's travels, edited "
The Complaint of Scotland", printed a volume of Scottish descriptive poems, and nearly finished his "Scenes of Infancy", a diffuse poem based on border scenes and traditions. He also made some translations from Persian and Arabic poetry.
At last his friends got him an appointment in
Indiaon the medical staff, for which he qualified by a year's hard work. In 1803, he sailed for Madras, and took his place in the general hospital there. He was promoted to be naturalist to the commissioners going to survey Mysore, and in 1807, his knowledge of the languages of Indiaprocured him an appointment as professor of Hindustani at Calcutta; this he soon after resigned for a judgeship, and that again to be a commissioner in the court of requests in 1805, a post which required a familiarity with several Eastern languages.
In 1811, Leyden joined
Lord Mintoin the expedition to Java. Having entered a library which was said to contain many Eastern manuscripts, without having the place aired, he was seized with Batavian fever (possibly malariaor dengue) and died, after three days' illness, on 28 August 1811. He was buried on the island, underneath a small firefly colony, which remains as his tombstone to this day.
* [http://books.google.com/books?id=F30MAAAAYAAJ The Poetical Remains of the Late Dr. John Leyden,: With Memoirs of His Life] at Google Books.
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.
Look at other dictionaries:
Leyden — heißen die Orte Leiden (Stadt), niederländische Stadt Lyon im Altdeutschen in den USA: Leyden (Massachusetts) Leyden (New York) Leyden (Wisconsin) Leyden Township (Cook County, Illinois) Leyden ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Aert Claesz … Deutsch Wikipedia
Leyden, Colorado — is a small unincorporated community lying west of Arvada at the junction of West 82nd Avenue and Quaker Streets. It is a historic company town established by the Leyden Coal Company in 1902, housing the miners of the Leyden Coal Mine nearby to… … Wikipedia
John Robinson (pastor) — John Robinson (1575 1625) was the pastor of the Pilgrim Fathers before they left on the Mayflower . He became one of the early leaders of the English Separatists, minister of the Pilgrims, and is regarded (along with Robert Browne) as one of the… … Wikipedia
John Tilley (Pilgrim) — John Tilley (1571 ndash; 1620 or 1621) was one of the settlers who traveled from England to North America on the Mayflower but died shortly after arrival. OverviewTilley was christened in Henlow, Bedfordshire, England on 19 December 1571. He was… … Wikipedia
John of Ephesus — • Syriac historian, born at Amida (Diarbekir, on the upper Tigris), about 505; d. about 585 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. John of Ephesus John of Ephesus … Catholic encyclopedia
John Leonard Riddell — (February 20, 1807 – October 7, 1865) was a science lecturer, botanist, geologist, medical doctor, chemist, microscopist, numismatician, politician, and science fiction author in the United States. He was born in Leyden, Massachusetts, the son of … Wikipedia
John Edward Fletcher — (January 18, 1940 June 2, 1992) was a British Australian scholar best known for his research and publications on Athanasius Kircher as well as several other Germans who had lived in and/or influenced Australia.OverviewEducationJohn Edward… … Wikipedia
John Leonard Riddell — Nacimiento … Wikipedia Español
John Sims — Nacimiento 13 de octubre 1749 Fallecimiento 26 de febrero 1831 Residencia Inglaterra Nacionalidad inglés … Wikipedia Español
John of Biclaro — • Chronicler, born in Portugal, probably about the middle of the sixth century; died after 621 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. John of Biclaro John of Biclaro … Catholic encyclopedia