George Everest (1790-1866)

Born on the 4th July 1790, Everest graduated from the Royal Military Academy at Woolwich in 1805.

Everest (pronounced ‘Eve-rest’) joined the Bengal Artillery in India as a Lieutenant in 1806. He began work as a Chief Assistant to the Great Trigonometrical Survey of India in 1818 after a number of years spent surveying and mapping Java. He was appointed as Superintendent of the Great Trigonometrical Survey in 1823 and became Surveyor General of India in 1830. Everest retired from the Survey of India after the completion of the Arc in 1843 and in 1861 was knighted in recognition of his achievements.

Under Everest’s leadership modern geodetic surveying in India took form. The measuring of a meridional arc from Cape Comorin to the Himalayas by triangulation was a remarkable feat, forming the basis for a more detailed surveying of India. The results of the trigonometrical survey begun under William Lambton were also used to provide a more accurate estimate of the figure (size and shape) of the earth.

George Everest is most well known for the mountain named in his honour. Ironically, Everest himself was against the name as it was not pronounceable by the local population. He died at Hyde Park Gardens, London on 1st December 1866.