MOORCROFT, WILLIAM, a 'Veterinary Sur geon of the Bengal army, who travelled in Central Asia, and after some days' illness died at, Andkhui.
He lies interred outside the walls of Balkh. Author of Journey to Lake Manasarovara, in Little Tibet. His first attempt was made by way of Chinese Tartary, and was described in the Asiatic Researches. In this journey he made his way to the great plain between that and the Konen Lun chain, the situation of the sources of the Indus and the Sutlej, and of the two remarkable lakes of Ravan and Manasarovara.
After traversing the mountains, Moorcroft and his party arrived safely at Leh, by a route on which no European had preceded them, and on his way he first determined the direction of the upper parts and the sources of two of the three great rivers of the Panjab,—the Beyah, Vipasa or Hyphasis, and the Chandrabhaga or Chenab, also the Acesines or Ab-i-sin. A very small portion of this tract, or the southern part of the hill states of Kahalur, Sukhet, and Kotoch, were crossed by Forster, but in a condition of personal restraint and danger which left him little leisure for observation. About two centuries earlier (1624), the Jesuit missionary Andrada appears to have made his way from Srinuggur to the north of the Himalaya into either Ladakh, and in the beginning of the 18th century (1715) the mis sionary Desideri entered Kashmir by the Pir Panjal pass, and thence proceeded to Lhassa through Ladakh. The route from Kabul to
Bokhara was, at the time when it was travelled by Moorcroft, new to European. investigation. Goez, who travelled from Kabul to Kashgar, and thence to China, in 1603, passed over a portion of it, but his account is concise and imperfect. Before I quit Turkestan,' Moorcroft writes from Bokhara, I mean to penetrate into that tract which contains probably the best horses in Asia, but with which all intercourse has been suspended during the last five years. The experiment is full of hazard, but le jeu vaut Bien la chandelle.' His life fell, a sacrifice to his zeal. At Andkhui, where he spent some days in effecting purchases, he was taken ill with fever, and died.
Mr. Trebeck, the last of Moorcroft's unfortunate party, expired at Mazar. A Haji attended him on his death-bed, and he is laid in a small burying ground westward of the town, under a mulberry tree.—Travels in the Himalayan Provinces.