William Griffith (botanist)

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William Griffith in 1843

William Griffith (1810–1845) was a British doctor, naturalist, and botanist. Griffith's botanical publications are from India and Burma. After a brief stay in Madras, he was assigned as a Civil Surgeon to Tenasserim, Burma, where he studied local plants and made collecting trips to the Barak River valley in Assam. He explored various parts of Burma, traveling the rivers, including the Irrawadi as far as Rangoon. He visited the highlands of Sikkim, and the region of the Himalayas around Shimla. Subsequently, Griffith was appointed as Civil Surgeon in Malacca, where he died of a parasitic liver disease.

Griffith's journeys in Asia (from Makers of British Botany):

  • Leaves England May 1832
  • Arrives to Madras, India, September 1832
  • Leaves to Mergui and Tenasserim, Burma, in late 1832
  • Returns to Calcutta 1835
  • Spends the year 1836 in Assam, India
  • Leaves to Burma (Ava, Hookhoom Valley, Rangoon) early 1837
  • Returns to Calcutta June 1837
  • Collects two months at Khasia Hills, Meghalaya, India
  • Joins the expedition to Bhutan (Bootan)
  • Returns to Calcutta June 1838
  • Leaves for Afghanistan and Hindoo Koosh in November 1838
  • When returning, collects Near Shimla and Nerbudda
  • Returns to Calcutta June 1841
  • Leaves to Malacca middle of 1841
  • Returns to Calcutta August 1842
  • Leaves to Malacca in December 1844
  • Dies there on 9 February 1845

Selected publications[edit]

  • Griffith, William (1847) Journals of Travels in Assam Burma Bootan Affghanistan and the Neighbouring Countries Bishop's College Press, Calcutta; reprinted 2001 Munshiram Manoharlal Publishers, New Delhi.



  • Lang, W. H. (1913) "William Griffith, 1810-1845" in Oliver, Francis W. (ed.) (1913) Makers of British Botany: A Collection of Biographies by Living Botanists Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, pp. 178-191, OCLC 5146484
  • Arnold, David (2006) The Tropics and the Traveling Gaze: India, Landscape, and Science, 1800-1856 University of Washington Press, Seattle, pp. 16–17, 63, 65, 67, 144, 157, 159, 167, and 171-176, ISBN 0-295-98581-X

External links[edit]