James Robert Ballantyne was born in Kelso on 13 December 1813 and died in London on 16 February 1864. Educated at Edinburgh's New Academy and College, he was employed as a teacher of Hindi and Sanskrit at the Scottish Naval and Military Academy, also in Edinburgh. Having made his reputation as an expert on Persian, Hindi and Hindustani on the basis of an impressive list of publications including A Grammar of the Hindustani Language (1838), and The Practical Oriental Interpreter (1843), he turned his attention to Sanskrit. On the recommendation of Horace Hayman Wilson, he was sent to India in 1845 and appointed Principal of Banaras Sanskrit College, a post he held until 1862. On his return he was made India Office Librarian.
From The Continuum Encyclopedia of British Philosophy in Oxford Reference.