1912 – J.F. Fleet

Scope and Content

There is no archival material in this series. Please see Related Material for details concerning the conferment of the Medal.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Faithfull Fleet was born in London in 1847. He joined the Indian civil service in 1865 and studied Sanskrit at University College, London, before joining the Bombay Presidency in 1867. He held many roles including Assistant Collector and then Magistrate, Educational Inspector, in the Southern Division (1872), Assistant Political Agent in Kolhapur and the Southern Maratha Country (1875), and Collector and Magistrate (1882). He began publishing articles about inscriptions in the mid-1860s. whilst continuing to study Sanskrit and Kannada. Fleet became the first epigraphist of the Government of India in 1883, and was subsequently appointed as the Collector and Magistrate of Sholapur in 1886.

Fleet retired from India in 1897 and settled in Ealing where he continued his epigraphical studies. He was awarded the Gold Medal in 1912.

Related Material

The Council Minutes for 9 January 1912 state that Dr Grierson, Dr Hoernle, and Professor Margoliouth were appointed as the Selection Committee for the Triennial Gold Medal, which was again minuted for the Meeting of 13 February 1912. The report of the meeting of the Committee on 2 March 1912, nominates Mr John Faithfull Fleet who "holds a distinguished record in Indian Epigraphy, History and Chronology." The Minutes for the Council Meeting of the 12 March 1912 state that the Gold Medal was awarded to Mr Fleet on the recommendation of the Committee.

The Journal for the Royal Asiatic Society 1912 (2), p. 545 contains a paragraph to say that the Gold Medal had been awarded to Mr. J.F. Fleet for "his distinguished work in Indian Epigraphy, History and Chronology, in which he is the foremost authority in England...". in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society 1912 (3), pp. 837-839, there is a report of the Presentation of the Medal on 21 May 1912 at which Lord Minto undertook the presentation.