CRAWFURD, JOHN (1783-1868), Scottish orientalist, was born in the island of Islay, Scotland, on the 13th of August 1783. After studying at Edinburgh he became surgeon in the East India Company's service. He afterwards resided for some time at Penang, and during the British occupation of Java from 1811 to 1817 his local knowledge made him invaluable to the government. In 1821 he served as envoy to Siam and Cochin-China, and in 1823 became governor of Singapore. His last political service in the East was a difficult mission to Burma in 1827. In 1861 he was elected president of the Ethnological Society. He died at South Kensington on the 11th of May 1868.
Crawfurd wrote a History of the Indian Archipelago (1820), Descriptive Dictionary of the Indian Islands and Adjacent Countries (1856), Journal of an Embassy to the Court of Ava in 1827 (1829), Journal of an Embassy to the Courts of Siam and Cochin-China, exhibiting a view of the actual State of these Kingdoms (1830), Inquiry into the System of Taxation in India, Letters on the Interior of India, an attack on the newspaper stamp-tax and the duty on paper entitled Taxes on Knowledge (1836), and a valuable Malay grammar and dictionary (1852).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)