George Everest

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Sir George Everest
Photograph of Everest
Born 4 July 1790 (1790-07-04)
Crickhowell, Wales, United Kingdom
Died 1 December 1866 (1867-01) (aged 76)
London, England
Citizenship British
Nationality Welsh
Fields Geography
Known for Great Trigonometric Survey of India

Colonel Sir George Everest (/ˈvrst/; 4 July 1790 — 1 December 1866) was a Welsh surveyor and geographer, and the Surveyor General of India from 1830 through 1843.

Everest was largely responsible for completing the section of the Great Trigonometric Survey of India along the meridian arc from southern India extending north to Nepal, a distance of about 2,400 kilometres (1,500 mi). This survey was started by William Lambton in 1806 and it lasted for several decades.

In 1865, Mount Everest was named in his honour in the English language, despite his objections[1], by the Royal Geographical Society. This enormous peak was surveyed by Radhanath Sikdar and named by Everest's successor, Andrew Scott Waugh, in his role as the Surveyor-General of India.[2][3][4]


Everest's grave, St Andrew's, Hove

Everest was born in Gwernvale Manor, just west of Crickhowell in Powys, Wales, in 1790, and he was baptised in Greenwich.

Commissioned into the Royal Artillery, in 1818, Lt. Everest was appointed as assistant to Colonel William Lambton, who had started the Great Trigonometrical Survey of the subcontinent in 1806. On Lambton's death in 1823, Everest succeeded to the post of superintendent of the survey, and in 1830 he was appointed as the Surveyor-General of India.

Everest retired in 1843 and he returned to the UK, where he became a Fellow of the Royal Society. He was dubbed a knight in 1861, and in 1862 he was elected as the vice-president of the Royal Geographical Society. Everest died in London in 1866[5] and is buried in St Andrew's Church, Hove, near Brighton.

Everest's house in Mussoorie, India[edit]

Sir George Everest's House and Laboratory, also known as Park House.

Everest owned a house in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India, for about 11 years. He purchased it, sight unseen, from General Whish. Although now virtually derelict, it still has its roof, and there have been various plans to make it into a museum.

Built in 1832, the house is known today as Sir George Everest's House and Laboratory, or Park House. The house is situated in Park Estate about 6 kilometres (4 mi) west of Gandhi Chowk / Library Bazaar, (the west end of Mall Road in Mussoorie). Its location has panoramic views of the Doon Valley on one side and the Aglar River valley and the Himalayan Range to the north.

Park House as seen through multi-colored, weathered flags from a vantage point at an angle above.

The house is under the jurisdiction of the Tourism Department. These underground water cisterns (or perhaps pits for storing ice, although water is scarce in the area) are quite deep and lie uncovered in the front yard outside the house, filled with litter and posing danger of slipping.

The interior has been stripped but the fireplaces, roof, and the door and window frames still remain. The house is secured by steel grills and cannot be entered. Now that this property is better known and the access road has been improved, the walls are covered with graffiti and then periodically whitewashed clean.

Recent new fencing, tree planting and the construction of a ticket booth (as of late 2015) indicate that at some point it will cost to enter the property. The inside has signs of renovation several years ago, such as ceramic floor tiles in the kitchen and electrical switch boxes. Conservation architects at the Indian National Trust are vying for this project.[citation needed]


Sir George had several siblings, including two younger brothers. George's first younger brother was the Rev. Robert Everest, M.A., chaplain to the East India Company and author of A Journey Through the United States and Part of Canada.[6] His second (his youngest brother) was the Rev. Thomas Roupell Everest, M.A., the father of Mary Everest and a lay homeopath.

Sir George's third daughter, Ethel Everest, was an associate of Emma Cons, and friend of Lilian Baylis.[7] She provided financial support for the founding of Morley College in south London.[8]

One of Sir George's sons, Lancelot Feilding Everest, was educated at Harrow School and Trinity College, Cambridge, and was called to the Bar by Lincoln's Inn. He practised as a barrister in chambers in London and was also the principal author of The Law of Estoppel.[9] Lancelot's eldest son, Cyril Feilding Everest, enlisted in the Canadian Infantry on 17 November 1914 and was killed in action on 9 October 1916 at the Battle of the Somme.[10][11]

Sir George's niece, Mary Everest, married mathematician George Boole in Gloucestershire on 11 September 1855.[citation needed][12] In spite of the absence of formal training, Mary was a fine mathematician in her own right, as was one of her daughters, Alicia Boole Stott. Alicia's son, Leonard Boole Stott, studied medicine and became a pioneer in the treatment and control of tuberculosis, work for which he was later appointed an O.B.E.[13] Mary Boole's daughter Margaret was the mother of Sir Geoffrey Ingram Taylor OM, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, a renowned mathematician and physicist, and a major figure in fluid dynamics and wave theory.[14]

Pronunciation of "Everest"[edit]

Sir George's surname is pronounced /ˈvrst/.[15] (i.e. Eve-rest with "Eve" pronounced as in the woman's name). The mountain named after him – Mount Everest – is disparately pronounced /ˈɛvərst/ or /ˈɛvrst/[16] (i.e. Ever-est with ever as in evermore).


  1. ^ Wallace, Colin. "Mount Everest - The British Story". Retrieved 2 Nov 2015. 
  2. ^ Biswas, Soutik (20 October 2003). "The man who 'discovered' Everest". BBC News. Retrieved 9 August 2016. 
  3. ^ See report in 'The Illustrated London News', 15 August 1857
  4. ^ Ram Copal Sanyal, ed. (1894), Reminiscences and anecdotes of great men of India: both official and non-official for the last one hundred years, p. 25 
  5. ^ gives death age 76, Q4 1866, in the Kensington Registration District
  6. ^ Everest, Robert. A Journey Through the United States and Part of Canada. John Chapman: King William Street, Strand, London, 1855. 
  7. ^ Elizabeth Schafer "Lilian Baylis: A Biography". p. 76
  8. ^ Denis Richards "Offspring of the Vic: A History of Morley College". Routledge, 2013
  9. ^ Everest, Lancelot Feilding. The Law of Estoppel. Stevens and Sons: 119, Chancery Lane, London, 1881. 
  10. ^ "Canadian Great War Project". 
  11. ^ "Every Man Remembered - Soldier Profile Private Cyril Fielding Everest". 
  12. ^ "Gloucestershire, England, Marriages and Banns, 1754-1938". Retrieved 2016-01-28. 
  13. ^ Creese, Mary R. S. Ladies in the Laboratory? American and British Women in Science, 1800-1900: A Survey of their Contributions to Research. The Scarecrow Press, Inc.: Lanham, Md., and London, 1998, at page 199. 
  14. ^ Batchelor, George. The Life and Legacy of G.I. Taylor. Cambridge University Press, 1994. 
  15. ^ Claypole,, Jonty (Director); Kunzru, Hari (Presenter) (2003). Mapping Everest (TV Documentary). London: BBC Television. 
  16. ^ Everest Mount – Definitions from (Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006)

Further reading[edit]

  • John Keay. 2000. The Great Arc. London: Harper Collins. ISBN 0-00-257062-9.
  • J. R. Smith. 1999. Everest: The Man and the Mountain. Caithness: Whittles Publishing. ISBN 1-870325-72-9.

External links[edit]