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Jones Sir William

Jones, Sir William, was born in London in 1746. He lost his father, an eminent mathematician, in childhood, but his education was carefully Watched by his mother, who sent him to Harrow and thence to University College, Oxford. Even at school. he began to study Oriental as well as classical and'modern languages, and he had acquired at the age of twenty-two such a reputation that he was invited to translate the life of Nadir Shah into French, and this he followed up by a metrical version of Hafiz. Five years were spent as tutor in Earl Spencer's family, and then the young scholar began to read for the bar. He found time, nevertheless, for a reply to Anquetil du Perron, for a Grammar of the Persian Language, and for two volumes of criticism, before devoting himself to his profession. In 1776 he was appointed Commissioner in Bankruptcy, and in 1783 he became Judge of the Supreme Court at Calcutta. He now took up the study of Sanskrit, and produced a translation of the Sakuntala, the Hitopadesa, the Ritusamhara, and part of the Vedas. Moreover, he commenced A Digest of Hindu Laws, completed by Colebrooke, and he founded the Asiatic Society. His last work, a translation of The Institutes of Manu, appeared in 1794, just before his sudden death from liver disease. As a pioneer of Aryan philology he did an important work, though his own contributions to the new science were not very valuable.