HENRY MIERS ELLIOT was one of fifteen children of the late John Elliot, Esq., of Pimlico Lodge, Westminster, and third son of that gentleman. He was born in the year 1808. Winchester was chosen as the place of his education, and he entered the venerable College of William of Wykeham at the age of ten years. He re­mained at Winchester eight years, and, ere he left, was one of the senior præfects. During his residence there he devoted himself assiduously to the studies of the institution, and shared in its dis­tinctions, having gained both the silver medals for speaking. Eight years passed at Winchester prepared him worthily for ad­mission into that further temple of learning, which may be regarded, in fact, as an outlying portion of the Wykhamist establishment, New College, Oxford. It happened that at the very time, when his future destination was to be determined an opportunity presented itself, which was then of rare occurrence. From a deficiency of civil servants, con­sequent upon the consolidation of the British power in India, it became necessary to seek reinforcements, not alone from Haileybury, which was designed merely to supply a fixed contingent, but from new recruiting fields, whence volunteers might be obtained whose varied acquirements might compete with the special training advocated at the East India College: under the pressure of necessity such an excep­tional measure was sanctioned by Parliament. Mr. Elliot, having been nominated as a candidate by Campbell Marjoribanks, was the first of the since celebrated list of Competition Wallahs to pass an examina­tion for a civil appointment direct to India. The exhibition of classical and mathematical knowledge might have been anticipated, but al­though a year had not elapsed since he left Winchester, where he had no opportunity for pursuing such studies, his proficiency in the Oriental languages proved so remarkable, that the examiners at the India House placed him alone in an honorary class. He had thus the good fortune to arrive in Calcutta with a reputation that his future career tended not only to maintain, but to exalt. After emerging from his noviciate as a writer (the term by which the younger civilians were then distinguished), he was appointed assistant to the magistrate, and collector of Bareilly, and succes­sively assistant to the political agent and commissioner at Delhi, assistant to the collector and magistrate of Mooradabad, Secretary to the Sudder Board of Revenue for the North West Provinces, and in 1847 he became Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department. While holding this office he accompanied the Governor-General, Lord Hardinge, to the Punjab, upon the re­sources of which he drew up a most elaborate and exhaustive memoir. Later in point of time, Sir Henry Elliot filled the same important post during the more effective portion of Lord Dalhousie's administration. His distinguished services were freely recognized by the Crown as well as by the Company. He received from the former the honour of a K.C.B.-ship; his reward from the latter was hoped for by the well-wishers of India, in the Lieutenant-Governorship of the North West Provinces, or the higher office of the Government of Madras. Sir Henry died at the early age of forty-five, while seeking to restore his broken health in the equable climate of the Cape of Good Hope.

In 1846 Sir Henry Elliot printed the first volume of his “Sup­plement to the Glossary of Indian Terms.” The Glossary itself was a pretentious work then meditated, and for which great pre­paration had been made by the various local governments, as it was intended to comprise the whole series of Indian terms in official use throughout the country, and if, in Professor Wilson's hands, it fell short of public expectation, this was less the fault of the Editor, than of the imperfection of the materials supplied to him; while Sir H. Elliot's “Glossary,” on the other hand, received too humble a title, aiming, as it did, at far higher and more important branches of research,—the history and ethnic affinities of the hereditary tribes, with whom he, an isolated Englishman, had lived so long, in intimate official association, settling in detail the state demand upon each member of the Patriarchal Village Communities of North-Western India.

In 1849, Sir Henry Elliot published the first volume of his “Bibliographical Index to the Historians of Mohammedan India,” of which the present publication is the more mature extension.