Alexander Burnes

Burnes was born in Montrose, Scotland, to the son of the local provost, who was first cousin to the poet Robert Burns At the age of sixteen, Alexander joined the army of the East India Company and while serving in India, he learned Hindi and Persian,, and obtained an appointment as interpreter at Surat in 1822. Transferred to Kutch in 1826 as assistant to the political agent, he took an interest in the history and geography of north-western India and the adjacent countries, which had not yet been thoroughly explored by the British, then he went to Afghanistan.

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