Max Arthur Macauliffe

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Max Arthur Macauliffe
Max Arthur Macauliffe Portrait
A prominent Sikh writer of the early 20th century
Born September 10 1841
Newcastle West, Limerick, Ireland
Died March 15 1913
London, Sinclair Gardens, West Kensington, United Kingdom
Known for English translator of the Sikh Scriptures and historian of Sikhism

Michael MacAuliffe, also known as Max Arthur Macauliffe (10 September 1841 − 15 March 1913), was a senior Sikh-British administrator, prolific scholar and author. Macauliffe is renowned for his translation of Sikh scripture and history into English.[1]

MacAuliffe was born at Newcastle West, County Limerick, on 10 September 1841. He was educated at Newcastle School, Limerick, and Springfield College. He attended Queen's College Galway between 1857 and 1863, being awarded junior scholarships in the Literary Division of the Arts Faculty for 1857-8, 1858-9, and 1859-60. He was awarded a B.A. degree with first class honours in Modern Languages in 1860. He obtained a senior scholarship in Ancient Classics for 1860-1, and a senior scholarship in Modern Languages and History for 1861-2. He also served as Secretary of the college's Literary and Debating Society for the 1860-1861 session.

MacAuliffe entered the Indian Civil Service in 1862, and arrived in the Punjab in February 1864. He was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Punjab in 1882, and a Divisional Judge in 1884. He retired from the Indian Civil Service in 1893.

MacAuliffe also wrote a rendition, English translation of the Sacred scriptures of the Sikh religion, the Guru Granth Sahib. He also wrote The Sikh Religion: its Gurus, Sacred Writings and Authors (six volumes, Oxford University Press, 1909). He was assisted in his works by Pratap Singh Giani, a Sikh scholar.

Macauliffe converted to Sikhism in the 1860s[2] and was even derided by his British employers for having "turned a Sikh"[3]

His personal assistant remarked in his memoirs that on his death bed, Macauliffe could be heard reciting the Sikh morning prayer, Japji Sahib, ten minutes before he died.[3]

Macauliffe is held in high esteem amongst Sikh communion, for his attempted translation into English of the Sikh Scriptures, the Guru Granth Sahib. At a lecture at the annual session of the Lahore Singh Sabha Macauliffe proclaimed that the Guru Granth was matchless as a book of holy teachings.[3]

He was awarded the degree of M.A. (honoris causa) by his alma mater in 1882. MacAuliffe died at his home in London on 15 March 1913.

Publications[edit]

  • The Sikh Religion Vol I (1909)
  • The Sikh Religion Vol II (1909)
  • The Sikh Religion Vol III (1909)
  • The Sikh Religion Vol IV (1909)
  • The Sikh Religion Vol V (1909)
  • The Sikh Religion Vol VI (1909)

Lectures[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]