Page:Dictionary of National Biography, Second Supplement, volume 3.djvu/643

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West
West
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gravedgraved by C. Holl, J. Brown, J. Stodart, and W. Roffe, or reproduced by autotype. As a man of business and a strenuous supporter of the constitutional rights and privileges of the Academy, Wells was a valued member of the council, and in the agitation for reform, initiated in August and September 1886 in ‘The Times’ by Holman Hunt, he was the most vigorous defender of the existing order of affairs. He was nominated by Lord Leighton to act as his deputy on certain occasions during the president's absence abroad through ill-health in 1895. In 1879, at the time of the royal commission, and again in connection with the bill in 1900, he worked hard for the cause of artistic copyright.

Wells contributed, between 1846 and 1903, 287 works to the Royal Academy exhibitions, and, in addition to those already mentioned as being engraved, about forty-five were reproduced in Cassell's ‘Royal Academy Pictures’ (1891–1903). His portraits are usually signed with his monogram and dated.

Wells died at his residence, Thorpe Lodge, Campden Hill, on 16 Jan. 1903, and was buried at Kensal Green cemetery. He was survived by his two daughters, Alice Joanna (Mrs. A. E. Street) and Joanna Margaret (Mrs. W. Hadley). His son Sidney Boyce died in 1869. His portrait, painted by himself in 1897, and a bust by Sir J. E. Boehm (1888), belong to his elder daughter.

[The Times, 19 Jan. 1903, and other press notices; Athenæum, 24 Jan. 1903; Who's Who, 1903; Men of Mark, 1878; Royal Acad. Catalogues; A. Graves, Royal Acad. Exhibitors, 1906; Royal Acad. Pictures, Cassell and Co., 1891–1903; W. M. Rossetti, Pre-Raphaelite Letters and Diaries, 1900; Grillion's Club portraits; information from Wells's daughters and Mr. A. E. Street.]

J. D. M.

WEST, EDWARD WILLIAM (1824–1905), Oriental scholar, born at Pentonville, London, on 2 May 1824, was eldest of twelve children (six sons and six daughters) of William West by his wife Margaret Anderson. His ancestors on the paternal side for three generations had been architects and engineers, or ‘builders and mechanics,’ as they were called in the eighteenth century. Owing to ill-health he was at first educated at home by his mother, but from his eleventh till his fifteenth year he attended a day school at Pentonville, and in Oct. 1839 entered the engineering department of King's College, London, where he won high honours in 1842. A year later, after a severe illness, he spent a twelvemonth in a locomotive shop at Bromsgrove, in Worcestershire.

His parents had lived in India for some years before their marriage, the father at Bombay, the mother in Calcutta. In 1844 West went out to Bombay, where he arrived on 6 June, to superintend a large establishment of cotton presses there. He retained the post for five years. Before leaving England he studied Hindustani for a few weeks under Professor Duncan Forbes of King's College, London, and learned to read the Perso-Arabic characters as well as the Nāgarī script, in which the Sanskrit language of India is commonly written. Otherwise his knowledge of Oriental languages was self-taught. His method was to study direct from grammars, dictionaries, texts, and manuscripts, supplemented by occasional conversations with native Indians. He soon interested himself in Indian religions, especially that of the Paris, the ancient faith of Zoroaster. A visit to the Indian cave-temples at Elephanta, near Bombay, in March 1846, drew his attention to Hindu antiquities; and a vacation tour made in the following year, March 1847, with the Rev. John Wilson and a party, including Arthur West, his brother, to the Island of Salsette, north of Bombay, enabled him to visit the Kanheri caves, and inspired him with a wish to copy the inscriptions carved there in Pālī, the sacred Buddhist language. In January 1850 West, after resigning his office of superintendent of the cotton presses, revisited the Kanheri caves; but he spent the next year in England, and it was not until 1852 that he had opportunities of frequent inspection. In that year he became civil engineer, and later was chief engineer, of the Great Indian Peninsula railway, which ran through Bombay presidency.

Early in 1860 West laid before the Bombay Asiatic Society his copies of the Buddhist cave-records of Kanheri, and the results were published in 1861 in the society's ‘Journal.’ Copies of the inscriptions of the Nasik caves were made in a similar manner, and were published in 1862; these were followed later by transcripts of the Kura cave inscriptions and of other Buddhist sculptured records. As early as 1851 he had begun from the Buddhist scriptural text, the ‘Mahāwānso,’ a glossary of the Pālī language in which all the cave records were written; but he afterwards gave up this lexicographical design and ultimately withdrew from Pāl