George Turnour

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Honorable George Turnour, CCS (1799–1843) was a British civil servant, scholar and a historian. He was member of the Ceylon Civil Service. He is known for his translation of the Mahavamsa, the Great Chronicle of Sri Lankan history which was published in 1837.[1] Along with James Prinsep and Captain Edward Smith, he began to decipher the inscriptions on the first discovered Pillar of Ashoka. The Turnour Prize at Royal College Colombo is named after him.


  • The Mahawanso in Roman Characters with the Translation Subjoined, and an Introductory Essay on Pali Buddhistical Literature. Cotto 1837.
  • Eleven Years in Ceylon

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