Sir Ernest A T Wallis Budge (Biographical details)

Sir Ernest A T Wallis Budge (curator; British; Male; 1857 - 1934)

Also known as

Budge, Ernest Alfred Thompson Wallis


Born 27 July 1857 in Bodmin, Cornwall; taught himself Hebrew and Syriac, and copied cuneiform inscriptions at The British Museum, before going to study Semitic languages at Christ's College Cambridge from October 1878, and where he became Tyrwhitt Hebrew scholar. He joined The British Museum as an assistant in 1883 and where he eventually became Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities from 1894-1924. As early as 1886 he visited Egypt under instructions to supply antiquities to the BM. Died 23 November 1934.

He was a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and was knighted in 1920. He married Dora Helen Emerson on 24 March 1883.

Budge energetically acquired a large number of antiquities and manuscripts during the course of his work in Egypt and Mesopotamia. His three trips to these countries in 1887, 1888 and 1890 are described rather colourfully in his book 'By Nile and Tigris' (London, 1920). He gained the Arabic nicknames of "Father of Skulls" and "Father of Antiquities" as a direct result of his collecting activities in Egypt and Sudan. He was a prolific writer on Assyriological and Egyptological matters, and edited Syriac and Ethiopian manuscripts.

Author of: 'The Nile: Notes for Travelllers in Egypt', London: Thomas Cook & Co., 1890; 'The Egyptian Sudan: Its History and Monuments', London: Kegan Paul (two volumes), 1907; 'By Nile and Tigris. A narrative of journeys in Egypt and Mesopotamia on behalf of the British Museum between the years 1886 and 1913', London: John Murray, 1920 (two volumes); 'The Rise and Progress of Assyriology', London: Martin Hopkinson, 1925; '"Mike" the Cat Who Assisted in Keeping the Main Gatye of the British Museum from 1909 to January 1929', London: privately published, 1929.


E.A.W. Budge, 'The Rise and Progress of Assyriology', London: Martin Hopkinson & Co, (1925), pp.169-74, portrait opposite p.168; R. Campbell Thompson, "Ernest Alfred Wallis Budge", 'Journal of Egyptian Archaeology' 21 (1935), 68-70; Toby Wilkinson, 'Budge and his Legacy: Egyptology at Christ's College', Cambridge: Christ's College, 1995; Robert Morrell, '"Budgie ...". The Life of Sir E. A. T. Wallis Budge', Nottingham: privately printed, 2002.