Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and Kashmir; in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara
William Moorcroft (1767–1825) was a veterinary surgeon who, after maintaining a veterinary practice for a time in London, was engaged in 1807 by the East India Company to manage its breeding of horses. He arrived in India in 1808 and took charge of the company’s stud operations at Pusa, Bengal. In 1811 and 1812 he undertook journeys to the northwest in search of larger and better stud horses than he was able to find in India. In July 1812 he crossed the Himalayas to become one of the first Europeans to enter Tibet by this route. By this time, his interests had expanded from the procurement of horses to include the opening of trade relations between Central Asia and Great Britain and the projection of British influence beyond the northwest of British India to counter what he saw as a growing Russian presence in the region. In May 1819 Moorcroft received permission from the East India Company to travel to Bukhara (in present-day Uzbekistan). He reached the city in February 1825 after a more than five-year journey that took him to Ladakh, Kashmir, Rawalpindi, Peshawar, into Afghanistan via the Khyber Pass, and through Kabul and Kunduz to his ultimate destination. He began his return journey to India in July 1825, but died of fever in Balkh, Afghanistan, on August 27. Travels in the Himalayan Provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab is Moorcroft’s account of his journey of 1819‒25. It was posthumously edited and published by Horace Wilson, professor of Sanskrit at the University of Oxford and a member of the Royal Asiatic Society, based on Moorcroft’s voluminous notebooks and correspondence. Volume one is devoted entirely to Moorcroft’s journey to and residence in Ladakh. Volume two completes the account of Moorcroft’s time in Ladakh and recounts his journey to Kashmir, Kabul, and Bukhara. The book contains a detailed map of Central Asia compiled and drawn by the London mapmaker John Arrowsmith, based mainly on the field notes of George Trebeck, a young Englishman who accompanied Moorcroft on the journey and who recorded geographical details measured in paces combined with compass bearings.
J. Murray, London
Title in Original Language
Travels in the Himalayan provinces of Hindustan and the Panjab; in Ladakh and kashmir; in Peshawar, Kabul, Kunduz, and Bokhara
Type of Item
2 volumes : maps ; 23 centimeters
- Elizabeth Baigent, “Moorcroft, William (bap. 1767, d. 1825),” in Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (Oxford, U.K.: Oxford University Press, 2004).
Last updated: September 30, 2016