List of the RAS Collections of Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson Bart. (1810-1895)

BOX I
Documents primarily relating to the Seymour family.

I/01:    Bill of sale of the Seymour estate at East Knoyle 15-11-1876 with two pictures. One is a watercolour of an elderly gentleman asleep in an armchair, unsigned but dated “Feb. 49”. The other is of “Kelston church” clearly described on the outside as being by “dear little Cecilia Hawkins” probably June 1826.

I/02:    Letters between members of the Seymour and Hopkinson families roughly up to 1840. 80 items.

I/03:    Letters between members of the Seymour family roughly 1840 to 1859.
124 items, subdivided by the author as follows [I have not sorted out the other packets of letters because it did not seem worth the labour involved. RBP.]:

  1. Henry Seymour (Louisa’s father) 21 items.
  2. Henry Danby Seymour (Louisa’s elder brother) 32 items.
  3. Alfred Seymour (Louisa’s younger brother) 31 items.
  4. Jane Seymour Pleydell-Bouverie (Louisa’s elder sister) and her husband Philip 8 items.
  5. Sarah Ellen Seymour Sanford (Louisa’s younger sister) and her husband Ayshford 3 items.
  6. Jane Hopkinson (Louisa’s grandmother) 17 items.
  7. Jane Seymour (Louisa’s mother) 7 items.
  8. Other correspondents 4 items.
  9. Unidentified 1 item.

I/04:    Letters concerning the death of Henry Seymour, Louisa’s father, in 1849.
19 letters plus 5 envelopes.

I/05:    Items concerning members of the Seymour family from before 1850. 6 items as follows:

  1. Two small packets containing locks of hair, inscribed “Sarah Hopkinson, Jany 10th 1803”
  2. A folded sheet containing a eulogy of a lady who has reached the age of 75 but has as yet not felt the afflictions of age. The document is unsigned and undated.
  3. Almanac and diary for 1822 with spasmodic entries to August 25th. The entry for March 8th records the birth of “little Jane”. [The writer is presumably Jane Seymour, Louisa’s mother.]
  4. Notebook containing Louisa Seymour’s journal of a continental tour with her family in the summer of 1842, when she was 13. The flyleaf is dated June 22nd, but the first entry is dated “Zurich 3 Aout 1842”. The first eight and a half pages are in French; the diary then continues in English as far as September 14th when it breaks off as the family were entering France from Belgium.
  5. Notebook containing “Diary of a Cock Robin & two Tomtits by L.C.H.S 1842 & 1843” (the last entry is dated 1844). There are some small paintings.
  6. Notebook containing an anecdote showing Marshal Ney’s inveterate hatred of the British, observed during the Peace of Amiens 1803. Ends with the note “Written from my father’s word of mouth, Oct 24. 1849.”

I/06:    Letters exchanged between Louisa Seymour and her first governess, Miss Heath, after the latter’s retirement. 8 letters dated 1838-1843 plus 6 undated letters and 2 envelopes. One of these establishes Louisa’s birth to have been in 1829.

I/07:    Letters between members of the Seymour family roughly from 1860 onwards. About 150 letters, some 2 incomplete plus 7 empty envelopes.
Includes some comments on current politics plus eyewitness accounts from Louisa’s brother Alfred of scenes following the Italian war of reunification in 1860-1 and the Franco-Prussian War 1870 and some other material which may be of historical interest.

I/08:    Letters concerning HCR’s marriage to Louisa Seymour in 1862, including letters to HCR himself, but excluding letters between the couple, which will be found in Box V. 129 letters. There are clear indications that an attachment between the couple had been recognised for a long time and that some of Louisa’s friends and family felt that HCR was to blame for keeping her in suspense for so long. There are also hints that HCR’s financial situation was at the root of the difficulty.

I/09:    Undated newspaper cuttings relating to members of the Seymour family. 4 items.

  1. Two announcing the arrival, among many others, of Henry D Seymour at Southampton from Le Havre.
  2. One announcing the marriage of Louisa’s elder sister Jane to Philip Pleydell Bouverie.
  3. One describing a lecture given at East Knoyle by Henry D Seymour on the recent archaeological discoveries at Nineveh.

I/10:    Newspaper cuttings relating to Alfred Seymour. 9 items.

  1. Four items concerning Alfred Seymour’s death on March 15th 1888, these also include some account of the history of Knoyle House.
  2. Item concerning the reception given to Mr Seymour and his new wife on their first visit to Mrs Seymour’s property at Norton nr Daventry, Northamptonshire (1866?).
  3. Four items concerning his unsuccessful attempt to secure election as MP for Exeter in 1860.

I/11:    Documents concerning Seymour family history. 5 items.

  1. Rough notes on the back of a bill made out to “Lady Rawlinson” concerning members of the Hopkinson family. In Louisa Rawlinson’s hand?
  2. Scrap of paper headed “Inscription on tablet in Blagdon Church, Somersetshire.” Gives names and dates of members of the Hopkinson family.
  3. Folded sheet written in pencil. Very faint, almost unreadable.
  4. Scrap of paper dated “1865-1868. 1865 Alfred Seymour M.P. for Totnes” Notes on his political activities during this period.
  5. Two double sheets folded together containing notes on various members of the Seymour family. Note at end:“Copied from Sir Rich. Colt Hoare’s Modern Wilts 1847.”

I/12:    Poetic effusions by members of the Seymour family. 6 items.

  1. Two copies of a poem of 80 lines called The Return describing the arrival home in the middle of the night of Henry D Seymour after a prolonged absence abroad. One copy is signed AMS and both are dated Feby 8th
  2. Scrap of paper torn from a letter containing a verse of four lines admonishing Louisa for making excuses about a blot she had made in a previous letter.
  3. Scrap of paper headed “Charade” containing a verse of six lines. Unsigned but dated Nov. 12.
  4. Foolscap double sheet headed “Lady Rawlinson’s Epitaph on her favorite dog Skye, buried at Knoyle” followed by a poem of five stanzas of eight lines each. Unsigned and undated but in HCR’s handwriting.

I/13:    Personal letters from Lord Roberts to H S Rawlinson (HCR’s elder son). 4 letters.

  1. Dated “Muballa, 11 Feby 1890”. Sympathises with HSR’s decision to resign his post as ADC to Roberts in India in order to remain with his father after his mother’s death the previous autumn.
  2. Dated “Snowdon, Simla 30th September 1890”. Congratulates HSR on his forthcoming marriage.
  3. Dated “Headqrs of the Army in India 16th October 1891”. Congratulates HSR on having gained a place at the Staff College.
  4. Dated “Englemere Ascot, Berks. 21st July 1907.” About a portrait of Roberts by [John Singer] Sargent [now in the National Portrait Gallery] which had been commissioned by members of Roberts’s staff during the South African War. As a mark of gratitude, Roberts has had a print made and is sending a copy, signed by the artist, to Rawlinson.

I/14:    Letters and documents from various people. 18 items in all.

  1. Appeal for funds to rebuild Chadlington Parish Church, (the Rawlinson family’s parish church). Dated March 1869. [It may have been passed to HCR by his elder brother Abram who continued to live at Chadlington until his death later that year.]
  2. Letter from “A M Martin, Beechmound, Queenstown, Co Cork Ireland March 4th 1866 My dear Cousin Abram” Excuses the intrusion on the ground of being “your departed Mother’s Old and attached friend” and asks for Abram’s assistance in securing a Naval pension for her husband.
  3. Formal petition for the pension referred to in 2 above, addressed to “His Grace the Duke of Somerset.”
  4. Letter from “Tiddy” to “My lovely Loo” (her sister) dated “Stoke Bishop, February 28th /95” Thanks her for a birthday present. [The writer is the daughter of HCR’s sister Maria Brooke Smith. HCR’s wife was addressed as “Lou” and died in 1889.]
  5. Letter from “Cha. Camron (?)” Dated “BM 20 March 1858. Dear Sir”. Apologises for having failed to carry out some copying work the night before as he had been commissioned to do because he had been too sleepy.
  6. Slip of paper pasted into a folded scrap, with the note: “Lady Noel Byron had desired Mr Craig to say that a Quarter’s Payment would be remitted, in consequence of a Quarter’s Notice not having been given.” In pencil below: “Jany 1835”
  7. Undated note from “Amboulli (?)” to “Monsignore Narducci-Boccaccio”. Thanks him for the part which he and “the Bl. Virgin” played in “preserving the precious days of the Holy Father and all those who were with him in the catastrophe which occurred in St Agnes last Thursday” [This must date from before 1870 as the Popes voluntarily confined themselves to the Vatican after the city of Rome was occupied by Italian forces in that year.]
  8. Note from “M Lander (?)” to J Murray Esq. Dated “Monday May 26th” accepting an invitation to dinner.
  9. Carte de visite showing “Maltese country people”.
  10. Empty envelope addressed to “Revd A W Heyde, Herrnhut, Saxony, Germany” Postmarked “Au 26 1886” The back of the envelope is embossed “Moravian Church Mission Agency 32 Fetter Lane, London E C.”
  11. Letter dated “14 King Street, Boro. SE May 15th 1874” from “Jn Thos. Wilkinson” to “My Lord Duke” Expresses his suspicions of the motives behind a proposed public subscription in aid of the family of the late Dr Livingstone on the grounds that Livingstone had been killed some years previously and eaten(!) and that the body buried in Westminster Abbey was not really him at all
  12. Letter, no date or address but the writer is clearly at school, .from illegible to “Dear Papa”. In a child’s hand, but not that of either of HCR’s sons. Various items of news, but principally asking for money so that he can join a fife and drum band.
  13. Scrap of paper also apparently in a schoolboy’s hand (the same ?) bearing the handwritten text of a short poem “In Memoriam G P C” by R[ichard] C[hevenix] Trench [then Archbishop of Dublin] [The published poem bears at its head the date “27 February 1881”.]
  14. Broadsheet printed by “Disley, Printer, 57 High Street, St. Giles” headed LORD PALMERSTON He is a Clever Man, And they won’t get over him” Verses celebrating the fact that Palmerston has been cited as co-respondent in a divorce case at the age of 80 and that the husband is claiming £30,000 in damages which, the author says, he won’t get. [This divorce case occurred in 1863 and was, according to Wikipedia, an attempt at blackmail.]
  15. Letter dated “Bath, 24th 1840” Letter from “Geo. W Frere? Rest. Engineer G W Railway” “To the Trustees of the Turnpike Roads meeting at Deptford Inn” A testimonial on behalf of Mr Henry Creswicke, who has applied for a post under the trustees, having previously served under the writer as a surveyor to Xmas 1837.
  16. Three double sheets of an incomplete letter dated “May 4th off quitta” From ??? [the end of the letter is missing] to “My dearest mother” Describes a naval engagement in which the writer was involved. The letter includes the names of several vessels as well as mentioning the King of Dahomey and the King of Porto-Novo. [I have not been able to trace any reference to this incident but it may have involved the anti-slavery patrols which the Royal Navy mounted along the west African coast about 1849-1853. The letter would interest anyone making a detailed study of the naval or anti-slavery history of that period. RBP]
  17. Letter dated “British Museum (Natural History) … 11th March ’86” from “J E Harting [e. James Edmund Harting 1841-1928 at this time employed in organizing the library of the newly-established Natural History Museum]” to “Dear Sanford [possibly Ayshford Sandford, husband of HCR’s sister-in-law Ellen]” Enclosing a prospectus for some new scheme, apparently involving an expedition of some kind, and inviting the recipient to a meeting to discuss it.
  18. Note dated “May 16/81” from “M[ichael] E[dward] Hicks Beach [Bart. At this date Conservative MP] to “My dear Susan” inviting himself to dinner the following day.

I/15      Letters relating to the final illness and death in 1879 of Evelyn, first wife of Paul Sanford Methuen, 3rd Baron Methuen. 146 complete letters plus 2 incomplete. [Baron Methuen seems from the name and also from the fact that they both lived at Nynehead, to be a relative of Ayshford Sanford, the husband of HCR’s sister-in-law Ellen, but I haven’t managed to trace the relationship. RBP.]

I/16      Ten carte-de-visite portraits, eight of which appear to be of the same man and carry the names of photographers in Berlin. Found with II/09(01) but clearly, from the dates (1876 & 1877) on the reverse of some of these pictures unconnected with and not referred to in that letter. Collecting photographs of this type was a popular hobby in the later 19th century and there is evidence from letters in Box II that HCR’s wife made such a collection in the 1870’s. One of these pictures is of an adolescent boy wearing an Eton collar and is very likely to be HCR’s eldest son Harry, who would have started at Eton in 1877.

 BOX II
Mainly relating to HCR’s career (items relating to his archaeological and linguistic studies are in Box III, biographical and autobiographical material in Box IV)

II/01      Map of route between Kandahar and Heraat. Unsigned and undated. (Other papers dating from HCR’s service in Afghanistan are in Box IV.)

II/02      Letters from and to HCR dating from before his arrival in Baghdad in 1843. They are not quite in chronological order so as to avoid repeated renumbering. 14 items :

  1. Letter from Treach [or Reach ?] to “Lieut. Rawlinson”. The RH corner of the first page has been torn away including the date and place of writing but it seems from the contents to have been written in Persia. About military and political affairs in that country. The back of the letter is covered in pencilled notes of dates in ancient history, apparently in HCR’s handwriting. [II/02(01)].
  2. Letter from MM Anderson dated Ishapoor [now Ishapore, outside Calcutta, the site of an ordnance factory since 1801] June 14 [at the beginning] and June 13 [at the end] to “My dear Rawlinson”. Probably written in the 1830’s. Retails gossip about various mutual acquaintances and looks forward to their meeting soon.
  3. “Statement of the claims of Major H C Rawlinson … against the Persian Government Teheran July 31st 1838 [?]” [II/02(03)].
  4. Copies of 9 letters by HCR regarding the destruction by fire of his papers relating to the Candahar Political Agency (mostly requesting substitute documentation). [II/02(04) – (09) Some of the letters are written on opposite sides of the same sheet. RBP.]
  5. Scrap of paper with the message “Dear Bell [?] Please sign and return. Yours sincerely H Rawlinson.” [II/02(10)].
  6. Four leaves from an octavo notebook, plus one folio sheet folded in four headed “Major Rawlinson’s accounts for September 1838”. Mostly not in HCR’s handwriting, but signed by him at the end and dated “Dec. 31st.” [II/02(11)].
  7. Dated 24th April 1843. Official demand for repayment of 8 “Company Rupees” which had been paid to a member of HCR’s staff while he had been Political Agent in Kandahar. [II/02(12)].
  8. Dated 10th June 1843. Bill to HCR for the carriage of goods from Agra to Lucknow via Cawnpore. [II/02(13)].
  9. Dated “Sukkur. 18th June 1843. My dear Rawlinson.” Congratulates HCR on having “got through your Accounts so satisfactorily” [Refers to HCR’s difficulty in rendering an account of his expenditure as Political Agent in Kandahar after most of his papers were destroyed in a fire on board a river boat on the river Sutlej.RBP.] Gives details of a sum of 200 – 220 rupees which he has now succeeded in remembering. Also discusses the military situation. [II/02/14)].

II/03      Documents in Arabic script. 7 items. Translations by Alexander Morton 24.2.2010.

  1. On the back in pencil “From Khiva to Bokhara”. On the front a list of Turcoman tribes in the region between Iran and Khiva. [II/03(01)].
  2. Blue. On the back a sum in a European hand. On the front a note (unsigned and undated) mentioning Zamindavar (in Southern Afghanistan) and one Hajji Shir Ahmad. [II/03(02)].
  3. Folded slip bearing a note addressed to “Sahib”. The writer has been left for 18 months and requests financial assistance. [II/03(03)].
  4. Double sheet written on all four sides. A letter in Persian, signed Iqbal on the first page, dated 3rd Evidently an Indian living in what is now Iraq or Syria. Thanks the recipient for kindness in Arabia, Iran and England. Mentions having entrusted his own writings to Edward Eastwick. [II/03(04)].
  5. Letter in Persian with the seal of Nàwwāb Afsar al-Dawla Ghulam Muhammad Άli dated 1256 AH
    [AD 1841] [II/03(05)].
  6. Letter in Turkish, written in fine official calligraphy, the addressee not named. Dated “12(59)?” [This would correspond to 1843]. Concerns the wife of the refugee Persian prince Hulagu Mirza and the stipend allotted to her by Ali Pasha, Governor of Syria. [There may be a reference to this lady and her son in HCR’s correspondence with Edwin Norris, Box III. RBP.] [II/03(06)].
  7. Slip bearing two lines of Kufic script in pencil. An exercise or perhaps a copy. Date? at end 889 [AH] or 1889. [II/03(07)].

II/04      Remains of a notebook. Not possible to say what sort of binding it originally had, if any. Blank except for 8 pages (not consecutive) headed “Notes from Brome’s Report.” Apparently referring to Punjab and Afghanistan. 10 scraps of paper inserted, some bearing rough notes, others blank. There is a slip inserted into the book bearing the legend, perhaps not in HCR’s hand “d. 1839 Odds & Ends” [The handwriting of the pages of the book is comparable to HCR’s handwriting of the early 1840’s, but that of the scraps of paper appears to be somewhat earlier. Some of these scraps record astronomical observations, perhaps related to determining latitude and longitude, at “Golpaegoon” (Golpayegan in Western Iran ?) and are dated, or bear dates compatible with, the year 1836. There is also a note from “Burgess” to “Farrant” inviting him and “Rawlinson” to a “Persian party”.

II/05      Two account books. One unbound “Treasury Waste book of the Pol Agency of Turkish Arabia. Commencing from April 1 – 1848. Baghdad April 1 H Rawlinson.” There is a gap from October 13th 1849 to December 1st 1851 when HCR was absent on leave. His deputy “Capt. Kemball” has countersigned the final balance before HCR’s departure. The account continues to June 1st 1853. The second has board covers and covers the period January 1 1853 to “February 1855” when HCR finally left Baghdad. In this book there appears to be a distinction between private and public expenses, but the arrangement is not clear. The accounts in both books are in “kerans” [presumably the kran a silver coin introduced in 1826 by Fath Ali Shah] but I have not been able to establish the value of this unit of currency at the time of Rawlinson’s service.

II/06      Letters and papers to and by HCR dating from before his return from the East in 1855. 5 pieces:

  1. Draft in HCR’s handwriting, addressed “Baghdad Jany 20th Messrs Stephen Lynch & Co, Baghdad. Gentlemen.” The firm had apparently written to HCR asking for his aid in collecting certain sums which were owing to them. HCR promises to use his best endeavours, although he finds the details which they have given of the debts rather vague. He then proceeds to discuss an accusation which they claim has been made against them of having had undue influence in Baghdad, which he says is none of his business. [II/06(01)].
  2. Note of sums spent on postage on behalf of(?) “Baron de Veimars”. [II/06(02)].
  3. Bill from “Joseph Otter, Sadler and Harness Maker, No. 19, Air Street, Piccadilly.” for “2 Best full suits of horse cloth”. Addressed to Major Rawlinson, May 29 1850.” [HCR was in Britain on leave at that date.] [II/06(03)].
  4. Dated “Damascus 19th December /52 My dear Sir.” First page of a letter from a British diplomat at Damascus discussing, firstly, difficulties which HCR has been having in getting his mails sent to and from Britain, and, secondly, his involvement in an insurrection which was going on in Syria at that time.[II/06(04)].
  5. Letter dated “C. Norton 13 Feby. 1853” from “A L Rawlinson” [HCR’s elder brother Abram] to “My dear Henry.” Political gossip and family news. Interesting as showing the terms the brothers were on: friendly, but not close. [II/06(05)].
  6. Dictated letter from “[Lord] Stratford de R[edcliffe.]” Dated “Therapia [Town on the Bosphorus, near Istanbul, at this date the site of the summer palace of the British Ambassador to Turkey. RBP.] August 9th My dear Sir.” Marked “Private”. [HCR mentions this letter in III/10(16). He had apparently consulted Lord Stratford about whether he could leave his post at Baghdad in the current uncertain state of foreign affairs without having to endure another summer in Baghdad where the heat was beginning seriously to undermine his health. RBP.] The writer discourses urbanely on all aspects of the matter for 9 pages without saying anything very definite, but the upshot seems to be that, while he would prefer HCR to remain at his post until the Crimean war is over, if he chooses to leave the writer will acquiesce in his going. [II/06(06)].
  7. Addressed “Baghdad. Novbr 15th My Lord. [There is no clear indication to whom this letter is addressed but there is a pencil note at the head of the letter (in HCR’s wife’s hand ?) ‘Sent to Lady Strangford June /69.’ RBP.]” Discusses the current state of affairs in the region and the risk of a conflict of interest arising between the British and French at a time when they are supposed to be allies in the Crimean War. Asks for instructions on how to deal with French agents. [II/06(07)].

II/07      Letters connected with Rawlinson’s official duties. 5 items:

  1. Letter dated “Baghdad 5 March 1855” from Felix Jones to Edwin Norris [in his capacity as an official at the Foreign Office] announcing that HCR has finally left Baghdad and that he has taken over, at least for the time being, with other news and gossip. [II/07(01)].
  2. Letter dated “Bagdad. March 19 [1855].” From Felix Jones to Edwin Norris as above. Further details of HCR’s progress homeward with other gossip. [II/07(02)].
  3. Two long letters dated “42 Marine Parade” 14th and 16th January 1857. From “V Farrant [? See II/04 above. There are references in the Times in 1839 to a ‘Major Farrant’ accompanying the British Ambassador to Persia but I cannot identify him with certainty. RBP.]” to “My dear Rawlinson.” Congratulates HCR on being “at last engaged on a work that may do me some good & I hope you will give me a lift if you can.” [Not clear what this can refer to: at this date HCR’s only official position was as Director of the East India Company, which he had held since the February 1856. RBP.] The writer had held a diplomatic post in Persia during the period 21 October 1847 to 21 October 1849 and promises to hand over papers in his possession relating to his service during this period which may be of service to HCR. [The writer is mainly concerned to express his grievances but the letters contain much detailed information about events in Persia during this period, which covered a change of regime.] [II/07(03)].
  4. Letter dated “21 Langham Place, March 30 1858” From HCR to “Dear Lord Ellenborough” [Then President of the India Board]. Declines the offer of appointment to the proposed new Council for India, on the grounds that he will be more usefully employed as an MP. [Rawlinson ceased to be an MP in September 1858 and was then appointed to the Council for India, but resigned when he was appointed Ambassador to Persia in the following year. In his Annuary (see Box IV) HCR says he declined this earlier offer because of the conditions attached to it. RBP.] [II/07(04)].
  5. A long letter dated “[Illegible] March 15. 68” to “[at end] the Right Honble The Lord Stanley MP [i.e. Stanley (2) at this time Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.] from [in pencil] “Ld Strangford”. Asserts that a certain ms in the possession of the Foreign Office purporting to be the record of a survey of Central Asia between the Russian empire and India undertaken in 1801-2 is a forgery, related to two equally spurious documents published by the Russians a few years earlier, which he attributes to the scholar Klaproth from whom it was allegedly purchased for a large sum and asks to be allowed to publicise this fact. [See “Observations on Two Memoirs recently published by M. Veniukof on the Pamir Region and the Bolor Country in Central Asia.” C. Rawlinson. Proceedings of the Royal Geographical Society of London Vol. 10 No. 4 1865-6. (Read March 26th 1866.) which deals with the authenticity of a manuscript in Russia purporting to give information on a similar subject. There is no indication how this letter came to be among the Rawlinson papers, although the writer does refer Lord Stanley to HCR if he requires further information. Strangford, died the following year and Lord Stanley ceased to be Foreign Secretary, which would explain why no further action was taken. The ms is still in the Foreign Office archives and its authenticity does not appear to be currently in question. RBP.] [II/07(05)]

II/08      Official correspondence concerning HCR’s appointment as Ambassador to Teheran 1859. 14 items:

  1. From Lord Stanley [i.e. Stanley (2) at this time Secretary of State for India.] to HCR 10 Jan 1859. Inviting him to serve on a new (secret) Persian committee to deal with “the Persian business”. [II/08(01)].
  2. From Sir George Clarke to Lord Stanley 5 April 1859. On HCR’s behalf, raising three points for consideration before he accepts the offer of the Teheran appointment: a) military rank; b) pension arrangements and compensation for giving up his seat on the India Council; c) a free hand in the selection of subordinates. [II/08(02)].
  3. Lord Stanley to Sir George Clarke 6th April 1859. In reply to 2 above, expressing guarded agreement. Notes the difficulty of compensating him for giving up his seat on the Council for India or of giving any promise of reinstatement to that position on the termination of his term of office in Teheran, but “Persia might even lead to Constantinople.” Clearly expects HCR to remain in Teheran for several years. [II/08(03)].
  4. Lord Stanley to HCR 8th April 1859 asking if HCR definitely accepts the Persian mission. [II/08(04)].
  5. Lord Stanley to HCR 9th April 1859 expressing satisfaction at HCR’s acceptance. [II/08(05)].
  6. Lord Ellenborough to HCR 19th April 1859. Congratulates HCR on his appointment. Suggestions for the staffing of the Mission. A suitable Escort required “with two light guns”. It should be like Sir John Malcolm’s, “except for the expense”. Possible recruitment of learned Persians for a “Mahometan College” at Delhi. [II/08(06)].
  7. Lord Stanley to HCR 2 May 1859. Asking HCR to communicate his formal resignation from the Council of India on his acceptance of the new appointment. [II/08(07)].
  8. Lord Stanley to HCR 9 May 1859. Warning him of a forthcoming audience with the Queen. [II/08(08)].
  9. Lord Stanley to HCR 18 May 1859. Making an appointment at India House. [II/08(09)].
  10. Lord Stanley to HCR 1 June 1859. Enclosing No.11 below, i.e. Lord Malmesbury’s [at this time Foreign Secretary] answers to questions Lord S. had put to him following a conversation with HCR. [II/08(10)].
  11. Copy of letter from Lord Malmesbury to Lord Stanley 27 May 1859. Answering points raised by Lord Stanley. Dissatisfaction among members of the Diplomatic Corps at the transfer of the Teheran Mission to the I.D. (India Department?) References to “Doria” “Mr Stevens” and “Pisani”. [II/08(11)].
  12. [Duke of] Somerset to HCR 2 Nov. 1859. Acknowledging a letter from HCR and his recommendation of Lieutenant Buckle for promotion. [II/08(12)].
  13. [Sir] Charles Wood to HCR. 28th 1859. Acknowledging a letter from HCR written from Tabreez. Shares HCR’s views on Russian intentions although there has been a disquieting report from “Doria” about Russian moves on the SE corner of the Caspian. “I am by no means an alarmist myself.” “Who will answer for Russia being what it is now 50 years hence?” [II/08(13)].
  14. British passport issued to HCR dated 29th August 1859 describing him as “Her Majesty’s Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Court of Persia, and suite, going to Persia.”

II/09      Unofficial letters and documents concerning HCR’s term as Ambassador in Teheran 1859-60. 4 items.

  1. Letter [with envelope] from HCR to “Mrs Seymour” [HCR’s future mother-in-law] dated “Pavilion Hotel, Folkestone Sept 1 1859.” Written as HCR was about to embark for Teheran [The preferred route to the East from Britain at this time was across the Channel, by rail to Marseilles and thence by steamer through the Mediterranean. HCR’s route to Teheran is given at III/15(06)].] The letter makes clear his lack of enthusiasm for the posting, that he is only going out of a sense of duty and that he does not intend to remain more than a year. Sends his best regards to “Miss Seymour”. [II/09(01)].
  2. Letter from “A.H.” to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “crossed out March 12 1860.” “We are all very glad to hear of you though sorry to find that you do not meditate an immediate return” The rest of the letter is political and society gossip. [II/09(02)].
  3. Letter from “A L Rawlinson [HCR’s elder brother] to “My dear Henry” dated “Chipping Norton 2 May 1860” Acknowledges receipt of HCR’s letter dated 4 February and says “You must have very soon decided to send in your resignation after you wrote to me as your successor has been gazetted. How was this? Did not Lord John run kindly? – but I suppose the weather will not let you be off till the end of September.” The rest of the letter consists of political and family news. [II/09(03)].
  4. Letter from HCR’s mother dated “Hillside May 3rd 1860” to “My dearest Henry”. Expresses her pleasure at the news by his letter of April 7th that he has actually sent in his resignation but fears that he may have incurred the Government’s displeasure, also that many people assume that he has been superseded in his post. The rest of the letter consists of personal and family news. [II/09(04)].

II/10      Letters concerning HCR’s unsuccessful application to re-join the Council of India 1863. 4 items.

  1. Letter from HCR to Sir Charles Wood dated December 1 1863, setting out his claim to “the present vacancy on the Council of India” [II/10(01)].
  2. Letter from HCR to Lord Stanley of the same date enclosing a copy of 1 above and soliciting Stanley’s support. [II/10(02)].
  3. Letter from “Stanley” to “Dear Sir Henry” dated “St James’s Square Dec.1 1863” assuring HCR of his support. [II/10(03)].
  4. Letter from “C Wood” to Dear Sir Henry” dated “India Office Dec. 1 1863” acknowledging receipt of 1 above and saying noncommittally that replacing Sir John Lawrence’s expertise on the Council of India will require very careful consideration. [II/10(04)].

II/11      Letters concerning HCR’s unsuccessful application to re-join the Council of India 1866. 5 items.

  1. From Lord Stanley to “My dear Sir Henry” dated “F.O. Sept. 19/66” “I cannot interfere with Lord Cranborne’s choice of a councillor to replace poor Willoughby: but you may rely on my readiness to bear testimony if necessary to your fitness for that post.” [II/11(01)].
  2. From HCR to “My Lord [Cranborne]” dated “Athenaeum Sep. 20 1866 Copy”. Apologizes for approaching Lord Cranborne directly, upon whom he has no personal or political claim, but hopes that the circumstances which had led to his resigning his seat on the Council of India on a previous occasion, and which are set out in an enclosed note [not in the Rawlinson papers] will carry some weight. Also refers Lord Cranborne to Lord Stanley for testimony as to his [HCR’s] suitability for the post. [II/11(02)].
  3. From “E Perry” to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “Eaton Pl. 21st [September 1866] Private”. Says that the writer believes that “Ld C.” will offer the post to “Montgomery” despite the recommendation of the majority of members of the Council. Suggests that HCR write to Lord Stanley in strong terms or go up and see him. [II/11(03)].
  4. From HCR to “My Lord [Stanley]” dated “Brockham Sept. 22 1866”. Urges Stanley to use his influence on HCR’s behalf before a decision on the appointment to the Council of India is finally made. States his claim for special consideration on account of his having given up his seat on the Council in 1859 in order to take up the post in Teheran in the public interest, that his qualifications for the post are superior to those of Sir Robert Montgomery [Lord Cranborne’s preferred candidate] and that, despite his long and arduous service with the Indian Army, including diplomatic posts in Kandahar and Baghdad, he has only his Army pension of £365 per annum as a reward. His sense of grievance is made very clear. [II/11(04)].
  5. From “Stanley” to “Dear Sir Henry” dated “F.O. Sept. 24 1866 Private”. Acknowledges the justice of HCR’s case and says that he has mentioned this to Lord Cranborne, but that the decision now rests with him. Ends by saying that he is “sincerely sorry that so active and energetic a public servant as yourself should have been so long on the shelf.” [II/11(05)].

II/12      Letters concerning HCR’s ultimately successful attempt to re-join the Council of India 1868. 19 items.

  1. Undated scrap of paper in HCR’s handwriting containing a draft letter of application for a seat on the Council of India, in view of the vacancies which are expected to occur shortly. [II/12(01)].
  2. From “[Sir] Stafford H Northcote” to “My dear Sir Henry” dated “House of Commons June 27 1868”. Returns various enclosures and promises “to bear your wish in mind” when the time comes for electing new members. Anticipates that three elective and one nominated seat will become vacant. Acknowledges that HCR’s claims are very strong, but will say no more than that. [II/12(02)].
  3. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “India Office July 3rd” Has shown HCR’s letter to “several of our leading men” and encloses one reply which is a “fair representation of most of those I have conferred with.” [II/12(03)].
  4. From “R D Mangles” to “My dear Perry” dated “India Office 2nd July/68”. [This is apparently the enclosure referred to in 3 above.] Mainly refers to Rawlinson’s previous service on the Council 1858-9. Apparently there was strong hostility against him [which the writer says he does not share, although he did not vote for HCR in the ensuing election] because of his support for reform of the system of governing India. Also agrees that “we need men of social and political influence”. [II/12(04)].
  5. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “India Office July 3rd 1868”. Has had a very satisfactory talk with Northcote and invites HCR to “call here at 3 on Monday”. [II/12(05)].
  6. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “India Office July 25th”. Has had another talk with Northcote. Is sure that HCR would be certain to be elected if there were vacancies to be filled now, but that there is no prospect of a vacancy before October 1st. [II/12(06)].
  7. From E Perry to “Dear Lady Rawlinson” [HCR was in Germany at this time for a course of spa treatment.] Dated “The Pickeridge, Slough”. Wishes her to let her husband know that the anticipated resignations from the Council of India have been postponed and that matters are in abeyance. [II/12(07)].
  8. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “India Office Aug. 24”. One member of the Council has resigned with effect from “2 Sept.” [II/12(08)].
  9. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “The Pickeridge Aug 25”. Has written to Northcote suggesting the best way of managing things so as to secure HCR’s election. [II/12(09)].
  10. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “The Pickeridge Sep 27th”. HCR’s name has been withdrawn from the forthcoming election. Discusses HCR’s chances at the next election. [II/12(10)].
  11. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “India Office 29th” Gives the results of the voting for the vacant seat on the Council. HCR lost on the casting vote of the Vice President. “But I hope and trust that Northcote will nominate you to the vacancy that falls in tomorrow.” [II/12(11)].
  12. From “George Clark” to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “5 Marine Parade, Bognor 29th/68” Has been extolling HCR’s qualifications to advise on Persian affairs to Sir Stafford Northcote. [II/12(12)].
  13. From “Stafford H Northcote” to “My dear Sir H Rawlinson” dated “India Office Sept 29 1868 Private” Inviting HCR to serve on the Council of India as a nominated member, the two elected seats having gone to other people. [II/12(13)].
  14. From “L Prinsep” to “My dear Sir Henry” dated “India Office, Tuesday 5pm [presumably 29th September 1868]” Expresses his vexation at the outcome of the voting, and assures HCR that he had voted for him. Wishes him better success at the next election. [II/12(14)].
  15. From “Thomson Hankey” to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “45 Portland Place, “ 30 Sept. 1868” Congratulations on HCR’s appointment to the Council of India. [II/12(15)].
  16. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “The Pickeridge Sep 30”. Further discussion of the voting on September 29th and of HCR’s chances when another elected seat falls vacant. Is unaware that HCR has been offered a seat as a nominated member, although he thinks he should be. [II/12(16)].
  17. From “SHN [Stafford H Northcote] to “My dear Perry” dated “India Office, Oct. 1 1868”. Advises Perry of HCR’s appointment to the Council of India as a nominated member, and discusses certain possible objections, which he does not think are serious. Also that he has asked HCR to be reticent about sensitive issues before non-Council members. [II/12(17)].
  18. From E Perry to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “The Pickeridge, Slough Oct 3rd”. Congratulates HCR on his appointment to the Council. [II/12(18)].
  19. From George Clark to “My dear Rawlinson” dated “Bognor [Oct 4th]” Expresses satisfaction at HCR’s appointment, and adds further not very flattering comments on the debate and voting at the previous election. [II/12(18)].

II/13      29 sheets of foolscap, some single and some double. None signed or dated, but where dates can be assigned they all relate to the period after HCR’s return from Baghdad in 1855. Some appear to relate to speeches in Parliament. The most extensive body of material relates to contemporary events in Persia and Afghanistan, but there are also drafts of an article about the geography of that country.

II/14-26  Letters addressed to HCR and his wife, mainly social but some arising from HCR’s political and scholarly connections. Those considered worth noting are numbered accordingly, the remainder follow on, not separately numbered. Grouped by date as follows:

II/14      Letters not completely dated (some of these could probably be dated from internal evidence). 18 letters, 4 other documents, 4 empty envelopes. This packet includes notes from (1) [Baron] Hochshild [then Swedish Minister to London]; (2) [Count] Munster [German Ambassador to London]; (3) [Earl] Northbrook; (4) A P Storey [Dean of Westminster]; (5) “the Managers of the Royal Institution” [inviting HCR to lecture]; (6) “Val Prinsep [artist]” on behalf of his father Henry Thoby Prinsep, a fellow member with HCR of the Council of India, regretting that his father’s eyesight will probably not permit him to “decipher” a letter in Persian which HCR has sent; (7) John Tyndall [physicist] declining an invitation to dinner on account of being “entangled in one of the most complicated investigations I ever undertook”.

II/15      Letters dating from before 1870. 6 letters and 1 newspaper cutting. Including: (1) newspaper cutting describing HCR’s unsuccessful attempt to secure the Liberal nomination for Reigate in 1858; (2) note from A Panizzi [Director of the British Museum] 1864; (3) note to Lady Rawlinson from Edwin Norris 1865 declining an invitation to dinner because he has not recovered from an unspecified attack but hoping to call on Sir Henry “some fine morning for a talk on our old subjects”; (4) note from [illegible] dated 14 June 1866 about a Parliamentary question which HCR had put down on Bokhara.

II/16      Letters dated 1871. 4 letters. Includes notes from: (1) [Lord] Derby accepting an invitation to dinner at the Royal Geographical Society, of which HCR was then President; (2) T Douglas Forsyth [Indian Civil Servant].

II/17      Letters dated 1872. 3 letters, 1 in envelope.

II/18      Letters dated 1873. 5 letters, 1 in envelope, plus 1 empty envelope. Includes: (1) note dated July 4 1873 from [Earl] Granville [then Foreign Secretary and Secretary of State for the Colonies] on a discussion he has had with Gladstone [then Prime Minister], (2) apparently about accepting some presents; note dated Nov. 10 from the same responding to a query about some treaty rights; (3) note dated 23rd June from Sir Howard Elphinstone [at this time governor to Prince Arthur, Queen Victoria’s third son] to Lady Rawlinson, enquiring on behalf of the Queen about HCR’s health; (4) note dated May 8 from [Viscount] Halifax [at this time Lord Privy Seal] apologising on behalf of himself and his wife for not having replied to an invitation.

II/19      Letters dated 1873. 1 letter. From Admiral Sherard Osborn, declining an invitation to dinner on account of a severe cold.

II/20      Letters dated 1875. 8 letters. Includes: (1) Letter dated “Gloucester House, Park Lane W, March 4th /75” to “My dear Rawlinson” from “George [William Frederick Charles‚ Duke of Cambridge (1819-1904)‚ the only son of George III’s seventh son‚ Adolphus Frederick]” thanking him for the loan of his book England and Russia in the East remarking that he thinks their views on this subject are much the same. [The signature is very similar to an example of the Duke of Cambridge’s which I have found on the web and he was living at this address in the 1870’s. RBP]; (2) three letters, all dated 2 November 1875, concerning HCR’s reaction to a paragraph in the Pall Mall Gazette which he considered to be an attack on his integrity – (i) from HCR to Lord Salisbury [then Secretary of State for India] asking permission to send a letter of refutation to the Editor of the Pall Mall Gazette, (ii) a copy of the letter which HCR was proposing to send, (iii) a letter from [Sir] Louis Mallet [then Permanent Under-Secretary of State for India] to “Dear Sir Henry” saying that in his view the paragraph in question is not a criticism of HCR and does not require an answer [It is not clear whether this letter is a response to (i) or not.]

II/21      Letters dated 1876. 5 letters, including one in its envelope and one in French. Includes: (1) letter dated 17 March 1876 from [Sir] Samuel Baker [army officer, explorer, etc] to “My dear Rawlinson” discussing a letter which he has just received from “Colonel [Charles George] Gordon” [at that time in the service of the Khedive of Egypt, Ismail Pasha the Magnificent]; (2) letter dated “18 May 1876” to “My dear Rawlinson” from “Carnarvon [Henry Howard Molyneux Herbert, 4th Earl of Carnarvon, then Secretary of State for the Colonies] doubting whether he will “be able to be at the meeting [of the Royal Geographical Society of which HCR was then President] on Monday” but that if not “I will send you [James] Lowther [then Under-Secretary of State for the Colonies] to receive the gold medal [of the RGS, this is what actually happened.]” [The medal was received on behalf of the Australian explorer John Forrest for making the first journey overland between Western Australia and the other colonies.]; (3) letter dated “11 Downing Street May 18 1876” to “Dear Sir H Rawlinson” from “[Sir] Stafford H Northcote [then Chancellor of the Exchequer] saying that a decision on the “Cameron  papers” would have to be postponed because of the illness of the Prime Minister [Disraeli] but that he did not doubt that the PM would agree to “the sum I mentioned to you” [This may refer to Lieutenant Cameron RN who was in London at the time receiving various honours in recognition of his explorations in West Africa, but I cannot trace any mention of his receiving anything from the Government RBP.]

II/22      Letters dated 1877. 2 letters. Including (1) one dated “Metropolitan Museum of Art October 17 1877” to “Sir Henry Rawlinson KCB etc etc” from L[uigi] P[alma] , di Cesnola [soldier, US diplomat and amateur archaeologist] offering HCR a copy of his new book [Cyprus, its ancient Cities, Tombs and Temples] and saying he would value HCR’s opinion on it.

II/23      Letters dated 1878. 8 letters all about articles and possible articles by HCR. Includes: (1) 3 letters to HCR from William Smith [then editor of the Quarterly Review] and 4 from John Murray [publisher of the same] mostly about a proposed article by HCR on the crisis in Afghanistan and (3) 1 from HCR to Lord Cranbrook about an article on the same subject for a rival periodical.

II/24      Letters dated 1879. 8 letters. Includes: (1) Letter, with envelope, dated “Hotel d’Europe, St Petersburg 23rd February [old style]/8 March 1879 [new style]” to “My dear Rawlinson” from “Dufferin [presumably Frederick Temple Hamilton-Temple-Blackwood, 1st Marquess of Dufferin and Ava, at this date British ambassador at St Petersburg]” expressing regret at having to leave London without saying goodbye; (2) two letters from “A P Stanley [Dean of Westminster] dated “Deanery, Westminster Feb.3(?) and Jul 4(?) 79” addressed to “Dear Lady Rawlinson” the writing is very difficult to read, but the letters appear to refer to social engagements; (3) letter dated “German Embassy, Feb 28 (?) 79” from “Munster [Count Münster, the German ambassador] to “Dear Sir Henry Rawlinson” apologising for being unable to keep an appointment to dine with the Rawlinsons because he will be required to attend on “Their Imperial Highnesses, [the Crown Prince and Princess of Germany, the latter being Princess Vicky, Queen Victoria’s eldest daughter]; (4) letter dated “19 Pall Mall, March 1st 1879” from “[Field Marshal Robert Cornelis Napier 1st Baron] Napier of Magdala” [at this date Governor-General of Gibraltar and member of a Royal Commission on the organisation of the Army] regretting that he will not be able to discuss “so important a question with you and Lord Salisbury [then Foreign Secretary]” because of a prior engagement; (5) note dated “4 Hamilton Place, Piccadilly March 11/79” from “[Thomas George Baring, 1st Earl of] Northbrook” to “My dear Lady Rawlinson” regretting that he will be obliged to break a dinner engagement because his mother-in-law is terminally ill; (6) letter dated “Argyll Lodge, Kensington Ap: 20/79” from “[George John Douglas Campbell, 1st & 8th Duke of] Argyll [among other things, an amateur scientist]” discussing the question of whether birds hibernate; (7) letter dated “Gibraltar, Nov 12th 1879” from “Napier of Magdala [as above]” to “My dear Sir Henry” Promises “to pay any attention in my power to your friends Mr & Mrs Lowther” and regrets that they were not already here, as they have missed “a Ball this evening where they would have seen our two young Princes and all Gibraltar [this refers to the visit of Princes Albert Victor and George – the sons of the then Prince of Wales – who were taking a cruise on board HMS Bacchante]” the letter concludes with some remarks on political and military affairs in the East.

II/25      Letters dated 1880. 6 items, including: (1) letter dated “Stratton, Micheldever Station, Easter Day [i.e. 28th March] 1880” from “Northbrook [as in II/24 above]” to “My dear Rawlinson” inviting HCR to visit him to meet “Pr. [Baron (Nils) Adolf Erik] Nordenskiold” [1832 – 1901, a geologist, mineralogist and Arctic explorer]; (2) letter dated “Budapest University, April 27 80” from “A[rmin] Vámbéry” to “Dear Sir Henry” thanking him for his kindness on a recent visit, and saying that he will continue to strive to defend British interests but without any hope of material reward; (3) 2 letters dated “Admiralty, May 4th and Aug. 6th 1880” from Northbrook [as above], the first to “My dear Rawlinson” regretting that he cannot continue to serve as President of the Royal Geographical Society and discussing the question of a successor, the second to “My dear Lady Rawlinson” enclosing an order to his housekeeper for Lady R to view the pictures at his house at Stratton;(4) letter dated “Edgehill, Sydenham, 10th Dec. 1880” from “Fred[erick Sleigh] Roberts” regretting that he will not be able to attend “your meeting … in Burlington Gardens [presumably of the Royal Geographical Society]”;(5) envelope, empty, unstamped and unfranked, on the flap “Government Buildings, Calcutta” with a wax seal bearing the imprint “Private Secretary to the Viceroy”, on the front “Private, General Sir Henry Rawlinson, India Office, Lytton [Lord Lytton was Viceroy and Governor General of India from 12 April 1876 to 8 June 1880. RBP.]

II/26      Letters dated 1881 and later. 11 letters, and one envelope. Includes: (1) letter dated “United Service Club, 18th January 1881” from “Fred Roberts [as in II/25 above]” to “My dear Lady Rawlinson” apologising for being unable to come to dinner as arranged because of being “regularly stormbound” and being unable to get a cab; (2) note dated “19 Warwick Crescent, W Jan 20th 81” from “Mr Browning” apologising to Lady Rawlinson for being unable to attend her dinner “last Tuesday evening” because of the weather [this refers to the same dinner party]; (3) note dated “1 South Villas, Campden Hill Rd. Kensington, Febry 7th 1881” from “Mr R Lehmann” to “Lady Rawlinson” with the address of “the man who can convert an ordinary grate into one of Dr Siemen’s invention” [this refers to a grate using a gas burner to ignite a fire of anthracite or coke]; (4) 2 letters dated “30 St James Place March 6th and 26th 1881” from “Stafford H Northcote seeking information about the history of Kandahar; (5) letter dated “Edgehill, Sydenham, 17th May 1881” from “Fred Roberts [as above] to “Dear Lady Rawlinson” arranging a visit to meet “Mr Hall”; (6) 2 letters dated “4 Camden Square, N.W. Dec. 1 & 2 1881” from “Frank Holl [RA 1845 – 1888, painter] to “My dear Lady Rawlinson” the first inviting her to come and see his portrait of Lord Overstone, and the other concerning an engraving of HCR; (7) letter in its envelope dated “Knebworth Park, Stevenage 13th Jany 1881” from “[Edward Robert Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Earl of] Lytton [statesman and poet, 1831 – 1891]” seeking to authenticate certain quotations about Afghanistan; (8) letter dated “Legation of the United States, London 12th Decr 1881” from “J[ames] R[ussell] Lowell [US Ambassador to London]” regretting that he will be unable to attend a meeting of the Royal Geographical Society owing to “a matter of urgent business”; (9) letter dated “The Three Gables, Fitzjohn’s Avenue NW April 23 1887” from “Frank Holl [as above]” to “My dear Lady Rawlinson” apparently mainly about the availability of a wheelchair at the Royal Academy.

II/27    (1) Letter dated “Oxford, Feb. 1 80” from “[Professor] F Max Muller” to “My dear Sir Henry” containing news and gossip concerning the state of Oriental scholarship at Oxford and elsewhere, (2) transcript of a note which was found with it among the Rawlinson papers

BOX III
Documents relating to HCR’s intellectual interests, particularly his cuneiform studies. Additional passing references will be found in the biographical and autobiographical material in Box IV.

III/01: [See III/20 below for the history of the correspondence as recollected by Norris in 1865. RBP.] “Letters from Major Rawlinson”. Lists the first 5 letters from HCR to the Royal Asiatic Society dated “A. Tehran 1 January 1838”; “B. Tehran 30th July 1838”; “C. Tabriz October 7 1838”; “D. Baghdad July 25th 1839”; E. 25th August 1839”. The list includes a précis of their contents, together with comments and criticisms. Marginal notes giving the names of the addressees of the letters appear to be in the handwriting of Edwin Norris and may have been added later.

III/02: The letters listed in III/01 above, as follows:

  1. Addressed to “Capt. H Harkness, Secretary to the Royal Asiatic Society, Tehran Janry 1st 1838”. Explains the origin of his interest in the history, language and literature of ancient Persia and how he has advanced beyond previous interpretations of the cuneiform script. Encloses a transliteration and translation of the opening paragraph of the Behistun inscription in Old Persian. Letter [A in III/01 above, which comments: “The transcript is good, but there are several errors in the translation….”]
  2. Addressed to “Genl. Briggs – Secretary to the Royal Asiatic Society, Teheran July 30th” Encloses a letter addressed to Professor Burnouf, together with a copy of the latest version of his Persian alphabet which he asks the Society to forward to Burnouf, while retaining a copy. [Copies of the letter to Burnouf and of the alphabet are with the letter. B in III.01 above, which comments: “His letter to Burnouf shews how vastly he has improved since then.”]
  3. Addressed to “Genl. Briggs [as above], Tabriz, October 7th 1838”. The disturbed state of the country and the continual moving around which this entails has made it “quite impossible to fulfil my promise of forwarding you a copy of the great Bisitoon Inscription” but he hopes to do this soon. The linguistic and grammatical problems are not so straightforward as he had at first thought. Hopes to make copies of other cuneiform inscriptions on his journeys. [C in III/01 above. It is interesting to note that he uses the word “cuneiform” in this letter, whereas in his first letter and in the note written on it at the RAS, the term “arrow-head inscription” is used.]
  4. Addressed to “Major General Briggs [as above] Baghdad, July 25th 1839”. Excuses the long delay in writing by having been constantly travelling throughout the autumn and winter, by awaiting receipt of Wilson’s Sanskrit Dictionary [presumably the revised edition of Horace Hayman Wilson’s Sanskrit-English Dictionary] and by being engaged on writing a paper on the location of the ancient city of Ecbatana [published Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Vol. 10, (1840), pp. 65-158]. He has made many changes to his alphabet, which are confirmed by Professor Lassen’s letter of August 1838 [RAS office copy attached] so that he thinks his cuneiform alphabet cannot now claim to be original, but his translations of the Bisitun inscriptions are new and “of extraordinary interest”. Is sending a precis of the inscription, [enclosed; D in III/01 comments on the précis: “the sense is on the whole pretty correct though the details are very frequently wrong”.] Hopes to forward a copy and translation of the complete [Persian] translation by the next post.
  5. Addressed to “Major-General Briggs [as above] Baghdad August 21st 1839” Has not managed to complete his work on the copy and translation of the Bisitun inscription and so cannot send it by this month’s post as promised. However, it is in very nearly finished and he hopes to send it next month. [E in III/01. I have not been able to establish exactly when HCR was withdrawn from Persia and sent back to India, subsequently to be sent to Afghanistan, but it was before the end of 1839. The papers in the Rawlinson collection at the Royal Geographical Society may shed light on this. Work on the cuneiform inscriptions was suspended during this period. RBP]

III/03: Three double foolscap sheets folded together [in Edwin Norris’s hand] with one single foolscap sheet [in a different hand] making a notebook of 14 pages. Untitled but lists 34 letters to the RAS from HCR. Identified by letters (omitting J and U) continuing the sequence in III/01 above from F Nov 27 1845 to 2P 17th September 1849. The letter listed as “E” in III/01 is noted at the beginning, indicating that there are no missing letters in between. However, it is not clear whether the list was compiled as the letters were received or retrospectively, but probably the latter. There is a marginal note opposite the first letter, “sent to Lady Rawlinson 5th August 1865” and there are marginal notes in her handwriting in pencil throughout.

III/04: The letters listed in III/03 above, with 19 of the wrappers, as follows:

  1. Addressed to “Professor J H Wilson, Director of the Royal Asiatic Society, Baghdad, Nov 27th My dear Sir” Has dispatched the 3rd chapter on the alphabet to the RAS. These first three chapters could be published by themselves, but he is beginning to doubt whether they can be successfully printed without his personal supervision. He will however, leave that to Wilson’s judgement. He has been forced to discard a long-held belief that the inscription confirms the existence of Perseus as an historical figure, and lists alterations required in the translation of the text, if that is to be published at present. He is hopeful of being able to visit England the following year, when he will make these corrections in his own hand. He still believes, however, that Perseus is the Greek name for the founder of the Achaemenian dynasty. Mentions that Mr Layard has commenced excavations at Nineveh at the expense of Sir Stratford Canning and that “above 100 long inscriptions have been disinterred”. Anticipates that in a few years “the histories of the early Assyrians and Babylonians” will be “more thoroughly explored or at any rate explorable” that that of early Egypt or Rome. [Letter F in III/03]
  2. Addressed to “Professor Wilson [as above] Baghdad, March 27th My dear Sir” Has been unable to complete Chapter 5 because of severe rheumatism. Asks for alterations to the translation of “daruga” which he considers to be very important. Has become suspicious as to aspirated letters [Norris comments: “this led to the discovery of secondary forms etc.”] He “fully expects to leave Baghdad in Septr and to be in England by the end of the year” and would prefer to keep the items not already sent until he can bring it all home together. Is making good progress with Babylonian writing “with the aid of the names contained in the geographical inscription from Nablish-i-Rustum which I have lately received from Teheran.” [Letter G in III/03]
  3. Addressed to “Professor Wilson [as above] June 27th My dear sir” Unaware that his papers had been detained at Constantinople, he had “struck work” believing that they “had been consigned to the Balaam box of the Society” but has now resumed. However, progress will be slower than formerly owing to his having lost his amanuensis and also to constant interruptions. During the time his work on Persian cuneiform was suspended, he had switched his attention to Babylonian Median. He considers that he can now read, but not understand them unless there is a Persian translation. He considers that Westergaard’s Median alphabet is exceedingly faulty – his readings differ so much from Westergaard’s that you would hardly recognise them to refer to the same language. He still considers Median to be related to Scythic and that it was the vernacular language of Persia before the Aryan invasion. He finds support for this in legend. Babylonian he considers to be Semitic in grammar, although the roots are very obscure and the phonetic system extraordinarily complex. In a PS he lists people to whom copies of the memoir [on Persian] are to be sent. [Letter H in III.03]
  4. Addressed to “Professor Wilson [as above] Baghdad July 27th My dear sir” Acknowledges receipt of something from E Norris [apparently giving Norris’s interpretations of Babylonian texts] but cannot send anything on the Babylonian script for publication, partly because he has been too busy on other matters but also because there are some important points on which he is not satisfied. Disagrees with Norris on many points but cannot at present show his reasons because that “would be to give up my Behistun key and for this at present I am hardly prepared.”But he seems to think that Norris’s approach is fundamentally unsound. He cautions him against relying on Westergaard’s readings because “I can prove fully half his alphabet to be wrong”. His application for leave of absence has been refused because the regulations prevent it, but he is content to entrust the publication of his Memoir on Persian cuneiform to Norris. He intends to remain in the East until he has mastered the intricacies of Babylonian cuneiform because, although he finds it difficult to conduct this research in Baghdad, it would be still more difficult in England. He hopes he will not encounter opposition from “a certain party in England” because his research “may throw discredit on Scripture chronology”. “I shall not be deterred from proceeding … [even though] the authenticity of Daniel itself should be endangered by the enquiry.” Wishes to receive the Journal of the RAS as it is published and is prepared to pay an extra subscription for this. [Letter I in III/03]
  5. Addressed to “E Norris, [presumably at the Royal Asiatic Society] Baghdad Aug. 27th 1846 My dear sir” Annotated “Rawlinson’s first letter to me personally Edwin Norris”. Thanks Norris for the trouble which he is taking in preparing HCR’s ms [on the Persian inscription at Behistun] for the press. Encloses a supplementary note on the alphabet which, if it arrives too late to be used to amend the article itself, should be published as an appendix to Chapter 5. Describes the difficulties which he has been having with the vocabulary. He also describes the progress he has made with Babylonian and the difficulties which remain and asks to be kept informed how Norris is getting on. [Letter K in III/03]
  6. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad Octbr My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of the lithographs of the Behistun inscription. Is satisfied with the quality of execution but has not yet had time to examine it thoroughly for accuracy. Is generally satisfied with the corrections which Norris has made, with one exception. Comments on certain inaccuracies in the Latin translation. He then notes some further errata [Norris has written some comments on these in pencil in between the lines of HCR’s letter.] He is concerned to point out that the improved orthography given in the supplementary note sent with his previous letter was conceived before he received a hint on this subject from Dr Hincks. His work has been disrupted for fortnight by a severe outbreak of cholera but the crisis is now over. He has expanded the vocabulary with etymological, grammatical, historical and geographical analyses so that the proposed Chapters 7 & 9 can be dispensed with and he proposes to defer Chapter 8 until he has gained a better knowledge of the contents of the inscriptions in the other languages. Consequently, he proposes to take up the Median & Babylonian inscriptions in earnest. He does not propose to publish the transcripts of the Median and Babylonian inscriptions at the same time as the Persian because he does not wish to allow his competitors to steal a march on him. Thinks that Dr Hincks is on the right track, but is proceeding a little too fast. Is aware that he has a new competitor in Germany, a Mr Holtzmann [This possibly refers to Adolf Holtzmann 1810-1870, described as a German philologist, but I cannot discover which work of  his is referred to. RBP]. [Letter L in III/03]
  7. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Novr 27th My dear sir” Sends one quire of the vocabulary and hopes to send two more (amounting to two thirds of the whole, as far as the letter d) early in December and “I am determined to finish the Chapter by the end of the year”. [Norris adds a note in the entry in III/03: “not come yet Nov. 1848”]. Has found it impossible to carry on serious work on Babylonian and Persian simultaneously. The inscriptions from Van appear to be easier than those from elsewhere but appear not to be in the same language. The excavations at Nineveh are proceeding rapidly and a number of interesting inscriptions have been found., including a list of 50 Assyrian historical names. He expects great historical results. [Letter M in III/03]
  8. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad, Decr 7th 1846 My dear Sir” Is sending “the second portion of the vocabulary”. Acknowledges that the notes include “a mass of desultory disquisition, Geographical, Historical, ..” etc which do not strictly belong in a vocabulary as such, so that “I can only entreat you … to use your Editorial privilege of shearing without compunction” where you feel it to be necessary. Will endeavour “to retrench all exuberances in the concluding portion of the vocabulary” which he hopes to have ready by the next post. He thinks that will amount to 200 printed pages, which will be as much as can be included in the next issue of the Journal. Is not making as much progress with Babylonian and Assyrian as expected. Is satisfied that he understands the alphabets but finds the languages puzzling. Perhaps a comparison with old Egyptian and Ethiopic might be helpful. Hopes to visit Behistun in the spring, will get long ladders and “copy every Babylonian scrap.” Has received a list of 40 Assyrian names from Layard, which has fairly puzzled him. [Letter N in III/03].
  9. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad Decr 27th 1846 My dear Sir” Has received Norris’s transcription of the Babylonian legend on the trilingual cylinder in the British Museum, which was new to him. [Norris remarks in III/03: “corrects my false reading of ‘king’”] Readings and speculation concerning various Babylonian kings, some of which Norris comments are “clearly wrong”. Sends the 3rd portion of the [Persian] vocabulary. The 4th should not occupy him more than a month. Encloses also a list of synonyms for “Nebuchadnezzar” & “Great” {Letter O in III/04].
  10. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad 27th Jany 1847 My dear Sir” Marked “Confidential” The recent extraordinary discoveries by Layard at Nimrud have caused him to set aside his work on the Persian vocabulary and set about Assyrian in earnest. Description of a black marble obelisk, but asks Norris not to publish this for fear of upsetting Layard and the Trustees of the British Museum. Gives some of the results of his Assyrian researches including the identification of a genealogical series of the four primeval kings of Assyria but concludes that he was wrong in his last letter in stating that there were two king Nebuchadnezzars [Norris adds the note “see letter R”.] Comments on the “extraordinary laxity of the Assyrian character”. He can read much of the script phonetically, but can get no further because the materials for comparison are too scanty. He is not prepared to publish his key yet unless “Dr Hincks or the Savans of France & Germany are prepared to come forward” as “I should like to penetrate a little deeper into the primitive Assyrian records before I give up the keys of the enquiry.” He will also need to consult Layard and the Commissioners of the British Museum before publishing any results derived from a study of the inscriptions on the items which are their property. Encloses a letter to the Commissioners for that purpose. [Letter P in III/04]
  11. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad Feby 25th 1847 My dear Sir” Has received a copy of Dr Hincks’ pamphlet [on Babylonian] and also of the Babylonian alphabet which he has adopted. Thinks Hincks’ alphabet over-simplified and gives reasons why it cannot apply in general. “I despair of being ever able to represent the compound Babylonian vowels between the nasal and dental, the nasal & guttural and perhaps the nasal and labial – our alphabet is quite incompetent to deal with a phonetic organization such as appears to me to have prevailed on the Tigris – but for your private examination I will compare my approximate values of the most common Babylonian characters, with those adopted by Dr Hincks and also add a few letters which he has not noticed.” Although his work is not yet in a satisfactory state, he feels that he must publish something soon, since Hincks is in print and the French and Germans will build on his foundations. He will, therefore, immediately complete a Babylonian chapter for publication. He is making very slow progress on Assyrian. Layard’s discoveries connect the Tigris with the Nile and he is inclined to look for African analogies. Comments on the names in certain inscriptions and asks for a copy/rubbing of the Paris Inscription. Will send the Babylonian chapter by the next post. [Letter Q in III/03].
  12. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] 27th April 1847 My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of the rubbings which Norris has sent him. Has been ill all through the spring and unable to go on with the vocabulary. “As a more amusing study” has been “probing at all points the Median, Babylonian and Assyrian”. Describes the difficulties which he has encountered in attempting to construct a Median alphabet although he thinks the language is of the Scythic rather than the Indo-Germanic family. He will suspend work on Median and Babylonian until he has made a further visit to Behistun in June or July. Applauds Dr Hincks discovery of “the numerals” and is certain he is right. Some inscriptions contain very high numbers and he thinks these represent astronomical calculations. Gives a synopsis of the contents of the inscriptions on the black obelisk from Nimrud. Propounds a new theory that the Assyrians originated in Egypt and invented the cuneiform script in Phoenicia. He discusses various points on which he agrees or disagrees with various scholars, including Norris. [Letter R in III/03]
  13. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] May 28 1847 My dear Sir” Requests Norris to write at the beginning of the month and to use the Foreign Office mail. Has received the copies of Chapter 3 and finds the typography “more correct than I had allowed myself to believe possible” for which he thanks Norris. Answers certain queries from Norris about the [Persian] vocabulary and authorises him to rearrange and alter the headings as he sees fit “and wherever you find any of the old barbarisms … pray correct them, for they are inadvertencies. Fears that his vocabulary “will be nearly superfluous” if “Dr [Theodor] Benfey has actually published a dictionary” [In fact he did not.] but he has gone so far with it that “I must I suppose finish it, though it is heavy work and I am seldom now equal to the drudgery”. He hopes to send “some 50 pages more” in another fortnight “but I think I shall then be obliged to break off till the Autumn, as the approaching heats warn me to betake myself to the mountains and if I fulfil my purpose of not only recovering every Median and Babylonian letter left at Behistun, but of also going to Pasargada and Persepolis and laying out a few hundred pounds in excavations in the mere hope of finding inscriptions, I shall have little time for scribbling during the summer”. Wishes the article on cuneiforms in the last issue of the Quarterly had been written by someone who knew more about it. Thanks Norris for speaking to “Mr Forshall” [actually the Rev. Josiah Forshall, then Secretary to the British Museum] about HCR’s using the Nimrud Inscriptions. Forshall has written to Layard on the subject and the latter is very anxious that HCR should “at once lay before your Society a brief abstract of results up to the present time”. HCR has been unable to do this because he cannot reconcile the material with “received notions of Assyrian history, chronology and ethnography … There is not one name found on the Assyrian slabs which is mentioned in history except Ninus.” Is inclined to accept Herodotus’ statement that the Assyrian Empire lasted only 520 years against the word of all other historians. Remarks on Assyrian and Babylonian grammar and etymology and the confusion surrounding the “phonetic powers” [this expression appears simply to mean the sounds which different characters represent]. The same character does not appear to represent the same sound in different languages. He thinks that he may have to leave it to “the bolder genius of Dr Edward Hincks” to make further progress. Further comments on what he hopes to achieve during the summer and what Layard is doing at Nineveh. [Letter S in III/03]
  14. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] June 28th 1847 My dear Sir” About to start for Behistun. Wishes to have any works on African philology. Is also arranging to procure works on Egyptian hieroglyphics etc. Will not be able to go to Persepolis as he intended as the country in the north of Persia is much too disturbed. Intends instead to go from Behistun to the Kurdish mountains where he has had certain information of a whole series of Medo-Assyrian inscriptions, and then perhaps to Van. Has been puzzled by Dr Loewe’s [I cannot identify this reference. RBP] rubbing, which he supposes to be of “[Andre] Michaux’s famous stone [a boundary marker with an inscription in Babylonian cuneiform now in the Louvre]”. Had expected to “make it out easy enough – but the names puzzle me … I think the names at the commencement are those of 5 Babylonian cities to whom the edict is addressed – but I have not made out the historical part at all as yet. [The Michaux stone, if that is what it is, is now known to record the transfer of a plot of land from one individual to another. RBP.] Has some 50 pages of the [Persian] vocabulary here to be copied out and sent to Norris. [Letter T in III/03]
  15. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Bisitun [also written Behistun] July 20th 1847 My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of Dr Benfey’s pamphlet and Dr Hinck’s article as well as Norris’s copy of the Kapurdigeerhi ? [presumably Kapur-di-giri] Inscriptions. Does not feel that Hincks’s references to HCR’s work are fair and “will let him flounder on with his Median and Babylonian and keep back the Bisitun materials till I can perfect my own systems.” Has been able to examine nearly every part of the great sculpture but has been very poorly repaid for my trouble and expense. Probably not more than half a dozen letters in the whole of Tablets 6,7,8 and 9 of the published plate can be made out, and all those are Median. The Babylonian tablets 10 and 11 are very difficult to reach. May be able to copy a bit of the RH corner of 10 but no more. Has been busy correcting the transcript of the Persian inscription and filling in lacunae. “I shall have to furnish you with a pretty copious list of Errata” (He gives examples) Has made out the [Persian?] names of all the conspirators with their Greek equivalents. Has made paper casts of all the tablets for the RAS museum. Has made some notable discoveries with the Median script. He gives an example “There is no occasion, however, to mention this to Dr Hincks as he would probably claim it before the savans of Dublin as his own discovery.” He also disagrees with Hincks on the systematic, if elaborate, nature of the Babylonian writing system “they wrote with the greatest possible laxity and carelessness like their ancestors the Egyptians.” Discovered a cuneiform inscription of 63 lines in the cylinder character at Holwan [an ancient area of the northeast of Mesopotamia. It is usually associated with the Assyrian Halman] on the way here and will copy it on his return. Gives some errata of typography. Has not received the Coptic vocabulary, although it is doubtless “on the road”. “I must now go to my perch on the rock”. [Letter V in III/03]
  16. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Hamadan Aug. 17 1847 My dear Sir” Has to write hurriedly to catch the monthly messenger for Damascus. Hincks cannot be right in reading a certain word as “Babylon” HCR is sure it means “great” although a synonym which is found on some bricks might have that meaning. Has not seen the notice of his Assyrian discoveries in the Literary Gazette although he has seen Dr Hincks’s letter in refutation. Disagrees with Hincks’s supposition that the dynasties in inscriptions from Van and Nimrud are identical. However, has found it impossible to construct a genealogical series for Van, as the order of the names differs on every tablet. Also disagrees with Hincks on the distribution of Medo-Assyrian, which is found widely distributed. Has come to Hamadan to recover from a fever caught at Behistun, but will return to the rock in September. Also sets out various speculations on Assyrian names. [Letter W in III/03].
  1. [Letter X in III/03 This letter is very fragile and has been enclosed in a Melinex sleeve. I have made a transcript as follows:

Edwin Norris Esq

Assistnt Sectry to the Royal Asiat. Socy

Royal Asiatic Society’s Rooms

No 14 Grafton Stet Bond Street

London

Bisitun Septr 20th 1847

[Written on the outside by the recipients] 4 Novr.

 

My dear Sir

I am delighted to be able to inform you that on my return to this place about ten days back with renovated health and spirits, I discovered a considerable portion of the Babylonian translation of the great inscription to be legible.

I immediately set to work on it, taking in the first place two careful and independent copies with the aid of a powerful telescope from a perch on the opposite precipice and I have finished by also obtaining a decent paper impression. The result is that I have now a list of about 60 Babylonian names and a very tolerable vocabulary. I have not yet set to work methodizing and comparing, but the new lights I have obtained while I have been merely tracing the writing have been considerable and I see no reason now to despair of fully mastering this difficult subject.

Unfortunately, I have no where an entire paragraph, hardly a sentence; for it is merely the right hand portion of the tablet on which the characters have been preserved. On the left half the writing has been entirely destroyed and thus almost every phrase is broken – however, I believe I shall be able without any great trouble to identify every word I have recovered and I think there are now very few words in my Persian vocabulary of which I have not the Babylonian equivalent. The language seems after all to be very similar to the Assyrian – at least I have met with numerous words of which the meaning has long puzzled me on the Slabs of Nimrud – and although it will still be a matter of considerable labor to construct a full comparative table of the two alphabets, I now feel for the first time that I can say with safety “land is in sight”. My former alphabet was tolerably correct, but of course now it will have to be modified and greatly extended. You will be anxious, I know, for results, but I must beg you to wait another month or two until I can return to Baghdad and rewrite my Babylonian chapter. It is extremely remarkable that the Babylonians use their own names for a great number of countries, which names are altogether different from those known to the Greeks, Persians and Scythians. The name of Babylon itself I have never yet seen in this character – another title is used which you have in Westergaard and which I can read, though not yet explain. There are independent titles also for Susiana, Assyria, Egypt and Armenia and strange to say they give to the Gandari the name of their neighbours the Paropaniscans (?). They have proper titles also for the months, which are very curious. I always suspected a great similarity between the construction of the Babylonian and Scythic (i.e. Median) alphabets but I was hardly prepared to find them almost identical. You would almost always be safe when at a loss for the phonetic power of a Babylonian character, if you took the Median letter which it most nearly resembles.

I was before a good deal alarmed at Dr Hincks’s progress – in fact, I thought he was going to appropriate the field, but now I am quite easy. On these points I have as little jealousy as most people, but I certainly do not admire the Cavalier way in which he disposes of my pretensions to Assyrian discovery and I have therefore thought it as well to write a brief note to the Editor of the Literary Gazette answering Dr Hincks’s letter of June 21 and maintaining my right to be considered the discoverer of the genealogical royal series of Assyria. This note I enclose and perhaps you will kindly forward it to it’s [sic] address.

It would save me a good deal of trouble if you would kindly obtain and send out for me through the Foreign Office, Fisher’s printed and numbered catalogue of the characters on the India House Slab. The inscription itself I have, but it is a tedious business making a list of the characters. I only received your note of July 3rd the other day at Humadun just before leaving on my return, as it came through Constantinople. Pray be kind enough in future to address as follows – “Maj. Rawlinson, Pol. Agent, Baghdad, via Beyrout & Damascus & bear in mind that the Foreign Office packet for Syria is generally made up on the 5th or 6th of the month, at least I usually hear from Mr Bidwell (?) on those dates.

I have said nothing of the difficulty of taking this Babylonian copy, for of course the results obtained are the chief point of interest, but I assure you it was no joke. I could not take the paper impression myself, although a tolerable climber and with good nerve, nor could any of my people – but at last I obtained two Kurds, who went up the precipice like cats and executed the task under my immediate direction from a swinging scaffold pretty successfully. I find however I can read the characters better through my big telescope from the rock during a couple of hours of the day when the sun strikes obliquely on the rock than from the paper and I thus place my great dependence on my own copies – the paper cast however is valuable for reference. I have also taken casts of every portion of the Median writing and settled all doubtful points regarding the Persian. My local work therefore being over and period of leave nearly expired I am just starting on my return to Baghdad from where I hope to write to you next month. Yours faithfully H C Rawlinson.

P.S On second thoughts I have torn up my note to the Editor of the Literary Gazette, for it is absurd at Baghdad to enter into controversy with a gentleman in Ireland – besides with regard to the real point at issue I suppose Dr Hincks will recall [?] his claim to a priority of Assyrian discovery, when he finds the dynasty of Van [??] and Nimrud to be entirely distinct – he cannot yet have even seen the latter unless Mr Layard has furnished him with materials. The dynasties are as follows: [there follows a table of cuneiform characters]. I am still in doubt as to which dynasty is the oldest. As all the inscriptions of Syria & Asia Minor (Beyrout, Antioch, Cyprus, Smyrna, Argeneh,  Paloo &c.) belong to the Van  family I should have thought them the original Assyrians – but as the earliest inscription of Van is in the Assyrian of Nimrud, while all the others are in Scythic, it would seem on the contrary as if the first kings were an offshoot from family in the plains [?] and that when their descendants gained almost universal empire they adopted the vernacular Scythic. If I could only find something to connect the [cuneiform] of Nimrud with the [cuneiform] of Van this point would be decided – at present, I am in doubt. Justin is, I suspect, the best authority we have, after all. Yours H C R.

  1. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Baghdad Octbr 28th 1847 My dear Sir” Has been too busy catching up with the arrears of his official duties to devote much time to cuneiform studies. However, he now agrees with Hincks that a [cuneiform] is “Babylon” although he disagrees with Hincks’s pronunciation. The name came into use during the second [Khorsabad] Assyrian dynasty – a different name was in use during the first [Nimrud] dynasty. Not sure whether two other cuneiforms are the same, although they appear to be used indifferently on all Babylonian monuments – possibly one represents the country and the other the inhabitants. Disagrees with Dr Hincks’ identification of the builder of Khorsabad with the Chynaladanus of Ptolemy. “The name of the Khorsabad king is written in many different ways – but Nadan [this is now read as Sargon] may be considered the type.” Comments on “Lord Aberdeen’s black stone” [a black basalt monument from Babylon presented to the British Museum by the 4th Earl of Aberdeen in 1860, now recognised as recording the restoration of the city by the Assyrian king Esarhaddon in 670 BC] and on the [East] India House Inscription [now also in the British Museum]. Disagrees with Dr Hincks’s reading of Tas Lada says it should be Has also “cursorily gone over” the “long obelisk inscription from Nimrud” but can make little of it because it is in a form of Babylonian remote from that of the Bisitun Inscription. Considers Dr Hincks to be completely astray in his readings of Babylonian. Comments also on the “Bilingual Inscription” in the “Hujiabad cave” [apparently the Sheikh Ali Cave, Haji Abad, Kazeroon, Iran] and seeks Norris’s assistance in obtaining copies of “Botta’s Inscriptions” without having to pay for the complete work. His elder brother A L Rawlinson will pay any sums due from HCR. [Letter Y in III/03].
  2. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Baghdad Novr 27th 1847 My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of “the 3rd Part of the Journal containing Chapters 4 & 5 of the Memoir”. This seems to be “wonderfully correct” although he has not yet been able to go over it in detail. Points out one general error. Has been unable to make any further progress on the Memoir because his time has been “entirely occupied with public business”. This threatens to continue for some time to come “so that I am half in despair with the prospect before me.” Is disturbed by his inability to identify Babylonian roots in the inscriptions on the Assyrian tablets using the Bisitun key. This must be due to a greater difference in the languages than he had hoped to find, although “I beg you also to remember that the Bisitun key is far from complete or satisfactory. … and in many cases the variant translations I have for the identical Persian phrase form a complete puzzle.” Further disagreement with Dr Hincks. Mr Layard has now left Constantinople for England taking with him a mass of inscriptions which will have to be analyzed and digested. Believes that light will eventually come out of darkness but his own lack of success is very disheartening. “In fact it will still I think have to be the study of a life before the Assyrian records will be as intelligible as those of Persia.” Agrees with Norris’s conclusion that Vajezatha and Vahyazdata are the same, but then goes on to discuss various other things which are puzzling him. [Letter Z in III/03].
  3. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Baghdad Jany 28 1848 My dear Sir” Excuses his failure to write in December by his being detained at Bussorah on business. Will look “with great anxiety” for Dr Hincks’s paper by next month’s post. His contention that the Van inscriptions belong to “the Indian or Arian family” runs entirely counter to HCR’s ideas although he is not qualified at present to give a positive denial to it.” He would be surprised if it proves to be true because of the “great number of words” which the Van inscriptions share with the Assyrian and Babylonian texts and which he believes to be titles. “It would be strange if they should prove to be Arian terms adopted by the Semites.” Criticizes Hincks’s apparent lack of knowledge of the Van alphabet, but will wait to read his paper before venturing a definite opinion. “The announcement too that Burnouf has made out the Assyrian Inscriptions is very strange for he has no Semitic knowledge and surely the language must be of that family.” Has almost finished a fair copy of the Bisitun Babylonian inscriptions with a reading in Roman characters and a translation and is writing out the paper to accompany it. Is doubtful of several characters in his Achemenian Babylonian Alphabet let alone comparative tables with other alphabets. In several cases he is almost certain that the same character represents different sounds in the different alphabets. Mentions several instances of differences in the use of letters in different languages. “These are but a few of the many difficulties surrounding this knotty subject, difficulties which have more than once made me close my books in despair and half resolve to have no more to say to so ungrateful an enquiry.” Responds to some remarks of Norris’s on the meanings of certain words. Refers to the use of certain signs as determinatives, although he does not use this word. Has lately obtained “travellers’ casts” of the “large Bull at Khorsabad” which he considers “the most valuable document I have ever seen of the 2nd Assyrian dynasty”. [This was excavated in 1843 by Paul Emile Botta [1802-1870] and is now in the Louvre. The name of the king in the inscription is now read as Sargon II]. HCR recognises that it lists the conquests of the builder of Khorsabad “though I am altogether unable to identify any of them.” Is looking forward to receiving Botta’s Inscriptions and his papers in the Journal Asiatique. Is enclosing a note to Botta for Norris to forward, as HCR does not have Botta’s Paris address. Is hopeful that Botta will present him with a copy of the complete Inscriptions. Has just received the copy of the East India House Inscription [see 18 above] together with “Fisher’s catalogue of signs [I have not been able to identify this. RBP.] – his assortment is so arbitrary it will be of no use whatever as the cadre of an alphabet – but it will be valuable for reference, particularly in explaining Dr Hincks’ figures of which I have been unable to make anything hitherto.” Is not progressing with the language as rapidly as he hoped. The “Bisitun key” is little help with Babylonian and almost useless with Assyrian. He hopes to complete his preliminary paper in time for next month’s post “and then you will see all that I have done and all that I have left undone.” Records his disagreement with a reading of Dr Hincks and mentions some difficulties with certain letters seeming to represent different sounds. Congratulates Norris on his new appointment at the Foreign Office and is glad that he will be allowed to combine it with his post at the RAS. “I should think indeed now the Society could hardly exist without you …” Also promises to assist Norris’s son in India in any way that he can. [Letter 2A in III/03]
  4. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Baghdad Feby 25th 1848 My dear Sir” Has been ill for a fortnight and is still under Doctor’s orders to “keep myself as quiet as possible” so does not propose to enter into any arguments. Thanks Norris for sending him Dr Hincks’ latest paper [apparently On the Inscriptions at Van JRAS 9 1848 pp 387-449. This was read before the Society on 4th December 1847. It is possible that Norris sent HCR a pre-publication copy.] which he denounces as “downright humbug” which he is sorry should appear in the JRAS. [This paper sets out Hincks’s theory that the language of the Van inscriptions is Sanskrit. HCR refers to this theory in 20 above. Here he denounces it in scathing terms.] His work [on the Babylonian inscription from Behistun] is still interrupted by illness, but he has nearly finished making a fair copy after examining the paper cast in different lights, and has in the process made progress in understanding it. Not only is the Babylonian alphabet “extremely lax and difficult” but “the construction everywhere is on the same loose and diversified footing.” There is also “independent matter” in the Babylonian translation “over which I have perused and pondered until I am quite tired but without being able to come to any definite conclusion.” He notes in particular that after every account of a battle, there occurs in the Babylonian translation a double group of numerals which he thinks may represent either the strengths of the armies or else the numbers of casualties, but is puzzled as to why this information should be absent from the Persian and Median texts, which he takes to be earlier. He gives various examples, [under one of which Norris has written in pencil “no battle here”] He then notes certain detailed points on which he is confused and then remembers that he must not risk a relapse into fever. He notes two words which he thinks he has identified with Hebrew etc names. Has been over the East India House Inscription carefully and gives his latest ideas about it. “The orthography however is even more loose than at Bisitun, the same word being rarely written twice in the same manner.” Considers “Mr Birch’s Egyptian paper” very interesting [I have not been able to identify the paper referred to. RBP.] and “I believe I recognize all the names he mentions in the inscriptions of Van and Nimrud.” [Letter 2B in III/03.]
  5. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] March 28th 1848 My dear Sir” The last messenger was robbed of his packets, which may have included a letter from Norris. He mentions this so that Norris can send a duplicate of anything which he considers it necessary that HCR should have. Has just returned from a trip into the desert which he was obliged to take in order to shake off the fever which he mentioned in his last letter. He is in consequence overwhelmed with arrears of work and can write only a few hurried lines. During his trip into the desert he visited “Niffer [Nippur] … in my opinion … the finest Chaldean ruin extant”. Failed to find an obelisk which he had heard described, but “I was more fortunate however with regard to bricks, obtaining complete specimens of the two standard types of the place” one religious and the other historical. Speculates on the name of a king and his subject kingdoms found on the latter. “just look over the variants for the orthography of this name which I enclose and then judge if it will be ever possible to circumscribe Babylonian & Assyrian orthography within our ideal limits of an alphabetical system.” Has failed to find any bricks “in Babylonia proper” bearing the name of any king other than Nebuchadnezzar. Will need to search further south, but this is too far for HCR to travel. “Mr Layard tells me that Dr Hincks has recanted many of the errors to which he had given publicity … of course by dint of guessing he may ultimately arrive at something like truth, but who then will believe him? Will continue with the Babylonian paper as soon as he has cleared the arrears of public correspondence. [Letter 2C in III/03.]
  6. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] April 28 1848 My dear Sir” Has heard nothing from Norris for two months and finds himself “quite abroad in consequence”. Has been making slow progress in constructing a Babylonian grammar “from the Bisitun materials”. “Everything is extremely complicated and doubtful and I never know whether to lean to Chaldee or Egyptian analogies.” Discusses some difficulties. The roots he has extracted are all bilateral and monosyllabic and “may usually be compared with the Chaldee & Hebrew if we remember the allowable permutation of the letters and discard the supplementary syllable to which we are accustomed. I believe indeed the Babylonian will prove the artificial form in which we now have the Hebrew and Arabic roots – and furnish rules by which we may ascertain almost to a certainty the true & original elements of these vocables. I find also many Babylonian words in the Rabbinical Chaldee of which the Biblical Chaldee preserves but imperfect traces. Can now also read parts of the East India House inscription, making out articles, pronouns, particles and verbs, “but the nouns are in general so obscure to me that I cannot venture on anything like a connected translation.” However, he is sure that it describes the buildings erected by Nebuchadnezzar and his father in the cities of Babylonia and Assyria, although a small part of it is a historical record of wars but “it is a very labourious work however to go through the whole inscription with anything like analytical detail.” Can still make nothing of “the Assyrian besides reading the names and these even merely approximately.” Babylonian and Assyrian, although of the same family are different languages. “My Babylonian paper, when completed will be after all but a mere brick in the edifice.” The inscriptions from Van, although they contain many words in common with both Babylonian and Assyrian are in a distinct language. This may, after all, prove to be Indo-Germanic, although he does not consider Dr Hincks has made out a case for this and still does not think his paper ought to be published in the JRAS. Despite the pressure of public business, he hopes to write again next week and give details of the real progress he is making. [Letter 2D in III/03].
  7. Addressed to “E Norris Assnt Secty to the Royal Asiatic Socty Foreign Office, Downing Street, London 15 July 1848 My dear Sir” Has been unable to do more than attend to current business for two months because of the overpowering heat, which renders any work impossible. Acknowledges receipt of “Birch’s Karnac paper [presumably refers to Samuel Birch as above, but I have not been able to identify the paper in question.] “Hincks’s Essay on the Van Inscription [see above]” and “the sheets of my Vocabulary up to Page 80.” Announces that he had made good progress with deciphering the Assyrian inscription on the Nimrud obelisk so that “all the preliminary difficulties of the enquiry are over” He is satisfied that he will be able to send Norris a translation of the historical part of the inscription by the autumn, so that he will be able to publish a digest of the paper in the Athenaeum or Literary Gazette to secure HCR’s priority if there is any risk of Mr Birch or Dr Hincks arriving at the same results. However, the mythology still puzzles him. Believes now that the language of the Van inscriptions is intrinsically “the same as that of Assyria and Babylonia though it is a good deal overlaid with Scythicisms”. However, the variations in spelling are so complicated that he doubts if the pronunciation will ever be made out properly. Feels the need of “Botta’s Inscriptions”. Can write no more because of the heat.
    [Letter 2E in III/03]
  8. Addressed to “E Norris, Oriental Translator, Foreign Office, Downing Strt, London Baghdad Aug 18 1848 My dear Sir” Has been laid up for the past month because of the heat and has hardly been able to look at Cuneiforms since he last wrote. The weather is now beginning to break. Must go away somewhere for a change of air, and may come to London next spring, although he is afraid that if he does so he will be unable to return to Baghdad to resume his work on cuneiforms, “the Indian regulations … requiring that a visit to England should involve the unconditional resignation of the appointment held by the Officer at the time.” Acknowledges receipt of “Dr Wall’s [or Wale’s] pamphlet” [I have been unable to identify either the man or the pamphlet referred to], “Dr Hinck’s complete paper” and “the Nimrud Inscription” but has had no time to do more than glance at “Dr Hincks’s lucubrations in which I find sensible improvement, but which are still far from being as immaculate as the Dr supposes.” Complains that Botta has committed “a gross breach of trust” in publishing “piratically” one of HCR’s translations which he had communicated “in strict confidence.” Has no time to write more. [Letter 2Fin III/03].
  9. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad Novr 14th 1848 My dear Sir” Acknowledges long silence on both sides, but hopes to correspond monthly in future. Has received three trilingual inscriptions “through Mr Tasker from Persepolis” which have enabled him to establish the values of some Median and Babylonian letters. Tasker also made a copy of the inscription at Nabhsh-i -Rustum much superior to that relied on by Westergaard from which he has been able to correct several errors. Unfortunately Mr Tasker contracted a fever from his exertions there from which he has died. Has just received from Botta an engraved copy of the complete set of all the Khorsabad Inscriptions, the execution is much superior to the copy of the Nimrud inscriptions. Comments on the frequency of errors in almost all Assyrian inscriptions, no matter how well carved. This “will require very great trouble indeed to overcome.” The death of the Shah of Persia, just as the weather was cooling down, has interrupted his work on cuneiform, but he hopes that he will be able to “take to my books again in earnest.” “My Alphabet paper only requires to be written out.” Explains what it will contain. Notes that the same character often represents different sounds in different alphabets and sometimes more than one sound in the same alphabet. Asks for a “popular Chaldee [I think HCR here means Biblical Aramaic] and Syriac grammar” as “Assyrian certainly inclines to … the Semitic family, as Babylonian inclines to the African branches – the groundwork, however, being the same or nearly the same in both.” Belated thanks for “Dr Wall’s paper [presumably the Rev Charles William Wall’s paper on Persian cuneiform in the Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy Vol. 21 1846] and the No. of the Journal with Dr Hinck’s Essay, not unworthy of Bryant and Wilford [I am not sure which paper of Hincks’s is referred to here. If the Journal is the JRAS, then the paper must be that on the Van inscriptions referred to above. Bryant presumably refers to Jacob Bryant (1715 – 1804) and Wilford to Francis Wilford d. 1822. It would appear that HCR did not intend the comparison to be complimentary.] Has heard that “a certain Dr Opperts in Germany has put the finishing stroke to the system of Persian Cuneiform” but has not seen any of his work. Closes with a promise to write monthly hereafter. [Letter 2G in III/03].
  10. [This letter is enclosed in a Melinex sleeve bearing the label “missing a page” but it appears now to be complete.] Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad Janry 15th 1849 My dear Sir” Has been going through “all Botta’s voluminous papers” and finds that “many of the results [in Babylonian and Assyrian] which I thought best established have been shivered to atoms” so that he has “no heart to bear up against such repeated disappointments” and has been “a hundred times tempted to throw the whole of my papers into the fire.” Apart from the complexity of the problem, he also feels defeated by the sheer volume of material to be dealt with, but he is fully convinced that Nimrud is quite as ancient as anything found in Egypt, whose civilization, language and writing may be derived from Assyria. Is as far off a determinate alphabet as ever because of the constant interchange of one character with another, and until that has been attained he considers it useless to attempt any analysis of the language. Is still hopeful of being granted leave to come to England this year, where he is confident of being able, “with the assistance of Mr Birch and yourself” of being able to publish “the approximate meaning of all the historical writing at Nimrud (?) and Khorsabad” having already “already drawn up for my own guidance a rough translation of the obelisk inscription and the detailed standard triumphal tablet of the Khorsabad king … but as for reading the Inscriptions word for word as they do in Egyptian and expressing the terms in Roman characters I find the thing quite impossible. Has recently discovered that one of the titles of the second dynasty Kings of Assyria was King of Armenia .Discusses the readings of three words which are used interchangeably and which he reads Shassa, Kurdi and Ararat. Is also puzzled by the identity of one of the Babylonian peoples whose name is written in five different ways. The only name he can find in Egyptian which will fit the orthography is Tahennu or Discusses some further identifications he has made. Would “like to see Grotefend(?)’s new Inscription of Nebuchadnezzar” which may help him to identify a name on the East India House slab which puzzles him. Proposes to take a trip into the desert next month to collect bricks and “to look for the site of Atel [or Atet, I have not been able to identify this].”[Letter 2H in III/03.]
  11. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad March 16 1849 My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of Norris’s note of Jan 26 “with Birch’s paper on the Nimrud Cartouches [I have not been able to identify this.] but fears that the Chaldee and Syriac grammars may have been lost in the desert. Norris’s account for all the books purchased for HCR to be sent to his brother Abram Rawlinson at Chipping Norton for payment. Has made good progress with Assyrian and Babylonian so that he has hopes “now of reading the Inscriptions almost as satisfactorily as I read the Persian text at Bisitun. In fact, there now but a very few characters in any of the alphabets regarding which I am in doubt.” Moreover, “by extensive collation of passages from all quarters the sense of a word generally comes out even when all Semitic etymologies fail in giving a clue.” Considers that Birch is wasting his talents on a “mere scrap” like the Nimrud Cartouches. Has assembled “a huge Pantheon now both for Assyria and Babylonia” overshadowing that in Egyptian mythology and rivalling “the Sabaean Catalogue given in Norburg’s Onomasticon [Presumably Onomasticon codicis nasaraei Matthias Norberg 1816.]” Has been able to identify all the rivers in the Assyrian records and consequently the locality of all the countries subject to that Empire “for the geographical distribution in all the standard inscriptions both of Nimrud and Khorsabad follows the course of the rivers.” Gives further details for Norris’s “private edification” “The principle which must be adopted in classing the Alphabet and accordingly in reading the Inscriptions is to remember that the signs represent phonetic powers gliding from one sound into another – for instance one set represents t, h, k being used for anyone of these indifferently, another set t (or d) l, r – another set t, ts, s, k – another n, l, r . As a general principle we may say that t & k and also s & k & g & z are indistinguishable.” However, he still cannot account for “the lapse of i, s, n and in the grammar there are a thousand difficulties … The pronouns and verbs are thoroughly Chaldee and easy enough to make out, although I think I have about 30 different forms for the demonstrative pronoun that which I mention to show you the labor of making out a vocabulary…. It is a tedious business dealing with such a hydra headed Pantheon”. Asks Norris to obtain copies of Layard’s inscriptions via Birch. [Letter 2I in III/03].
  12. Addressed to “E Norris [as above] Baghdad April 16th 1849 My dear Sir” Has but a moment to write. Getting on tolerably well with Assyrian and Babylonian but has nothing ready for publication. Has been surprised to find that “many of Dr Hincks’s guesses in his paper on the Van inscriptions are correct as to meaning although he does not read a single word rightly and is certainly in error in supposing the language to be Arian (?).” Mentions some of Hincks’s other identifications with which he agrees, although he considers the readings to be completely wrong. Is confident that he can now give the approximate meaning of any inscription although there are still many difficulties as to particular characters. Repeats his claim that the “big India House slab of which Bellino’s Cylinder is but a merely an epitome” is “mostly taken up with a description of the different cities founded by Nebuchadnezzar and his father …” [Both these objects are now in the British Museum, but it is not clear how far current scholarship supports HCR’s readings.] Considers it “careless” at present to make guesses as to the historical contents of these inscriptions “with only a few isolated names and no chronological data”. “Assyria and Babylonia must be fairly turned inside out to enable us to get complete lists of the kings and calculate at about what age they reigned. Egyptian synchronicities are but fallacious guides after all. Has almost made up his mind to resign his post in Baghdad in the autumn and to return to England “with all his treasures”. In the meantime, he is “arranging and digesting” so that there will be little to do on his arrival there except “to determine the order of publication.” Has heard of the new grant of £3000 [by Parliament] for the continuation of the excavations [at Nineveh] and hopes that Layard will be persuaded to superintend the work in person. Thanks Norris for the Chaldee and Syriac grammars “Champollion, however, & Bunsen & Birch are my chief authorities.” [Letter 2K in III/03 ].
  13. Addressed to “”E Norris [as above] Baghdad May 16th 1849 My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of Norris’s letter of March 26th. Has decided to suspend work on Persian and Median in favour of his Babylonian and Assyrian studies, which he considers to be more important and in which he is making good progress. Has established “to my satisfaction that many signs are used to represent indifferently two phonetic powers”. Discusses examples. He used to think that the sounds might have been indistinguishable in pronunciation, but now thinks that this was not the case. “The only portion of the enquiry that I have as yet succeeded in analyzing in much detail is the mythology. I did hope to have sent you by this post a complete list of the Gods and Goddesses worshipped on the Tigris and Euphrates from the time of the building of Nimrud to the age of Nebuchadnezzar, but there are still a few points requiring verification.” He hopes, however, to make “as complete a catalogue of the Semitic Pantheon … as Bunsen has made of the Egyptian Pantheon in the 6th (?) section of his 1st (?) book”. [Presumably Aegyptens Stelle in der Weltgeshichte (Egypt’s place in world history) the first parts of which appeared in 1845.] Is puzzled by the fact that the local gods of Babylon, Merodach, Neshah, etc are never named on the cylinders, although they frequently occur in larger documents. “In these legends [i.e. the cylinders ?] we have almost always the divinities of the 1st order, which were common objects of worship to all the Semitic nations.” Has also noticed that the names of gods commonly, although not invariably, occur in triads. “I should probably derive some valuable hints on this subject from Mr Layard’s great work on the worship of Venus – but I cannot wait for it. [I think this refers to Felix Layard rather than A H Layard. RBP.]” Is drawing up a table on the basis of the information which he has to hand. Informs Norris of the location of certain dates “in the Obelisk Inscription [referred to above]” which Norris had said he could not locate. Would send Norris his rough translation of this inscription, but he wishes to compare it “with the more detailed duplicate on one of the Nimrud Bulls.” Reminds Norris to ask Birch to let him have copies of such of the inscription as have been printed “as the sheets come out of the printer’s hands”. Is glad that Layard will be returning to continue the excavations and that these will be more extensive than previously. Fears that “the Court of Directors [of the East India Company]” will not agree to grant HCR a year’s special leave to return to England to publish his work and then return to Baghdad “& I fear then that nothing will be left to me but a formal resignation.” [Letter 2L in III/03]
  14. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Baghdad June 16th 1849 My dear Sir” Has received a favourable reply from India to his application for leave and proposes to leave Baghdad as soon as the weather permits. This will probably not be before October, but still hopes to be in London by the end of November or early in December. Discusses arrangements for bringing all his materials to London. Is nervous that Dr Hincks may pre-empt his publication of his results for “I have learnt much more from a continued study and analysis of the inscriptions of Khorsabad and Nimrud than I have from the Bisitun translations and the former … is open to any studious enquirer”. Proposes to remain in England for 9 months and to make his headquarters in London “so that I hope to be able to clear off all arrears in Persian, Median and Babylonian.” In the meantime, is arranging his material “in some manageable shape for publication” so that he will “be able to go to press immediately on my arrival.” Points out that there are defects in the cuneiform types available in London. Although he was very puzzled when he first came to study Layard’s comparative copy, but “there now remain very few phonetic difficulties, although the languages appear inexhaustible and will never, I fear be properly understood.” Has been going through the Khorsabad inscriptions in the last month, but has found very little new material. Will continue to write until he is actually en route. [Letter 2M in III/03.]
  15. Addressed to “E. Norris [as above] Baghdad July 16 1849. My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of Norris’s letter of May 26th and also Layard’s printed inscriptions, many of which were new to him and some very interesting. The Standard Inscription of Nimrud is the most difficult legend from that site and must be set aside for the present. The historical records, “which are singularly clear and simple” are to be tackled first, followed by “the geographical detail” and then “the Pantheon”. “In all these three branches I am pretty well at home but I do not pretend that I can take up any inscription that you please and render it word for word. … It appears to me that it can never be possible to identify those objects which had particular names in Assyrian, now altogether lost.” Scores of such objects occur in the lists of offerings or tribute. Discusses some uncertain points in the historical inscriptions. Has been kept very busy dealing with sickness and death among his staff and has not been able to make as much progress as he had hoped in preparing materials for publication but he will “certainly be able to give you a preliminary paper for publication very shortly after my arrival in town.” [Letter 2N in III/03].
  16. Addressed to Norris as above “Baghdad Aug 16th My dear Sir” Acknowledges receipt of Norris’s letters of 27th and 28th June, containing formal confirmation, as anticipated, that his application for leave of absence had been formally approved. Continues to prepare for his departure. Has already despatched his various materials and hopes to follow early in October. Proposes to spend a few days among the Assyrian ruins verifying various points by personal examination, but hopes to catch the November boat from Constantinople and arrive in London at the beginning of December. Has now fixed the date of Nimrud to BC 1400 or 1380 and Khorsabad about 150 years later. All the monuments belong to a single dynasty, the Chaldean line of [Lucius Cornelius Alexander] Polyhistor or the Assyrian Empire of Herodotus, lasting from about 1400 to about 850. Doubts if we have a single relic of the kings mentioned in Scripture, whom he thinks were merely satraps under the control of Media, although they may have at times achieved temporary independence. To this blank period in Assyrian history he assigns the rise of the Van kingdom. He believes he has found repeated mentions of the Children of Israel, called “the 12 tribes of the upper & lower country, subject to the Hittites and in alliance with the king of Hamath.” May have discovered the name of Jerusalem but “there are ample notices of all the other great cities of Palestine & Syria.” Is surprised the discoveries in Syrian geography have not been pushed much further. Believes that the inscriptions give “a complete tableau of Western & Central Persia in the time of the Judges of Israel.” Concedes that much of this is conjectural “for I confess that I understand very little of the Assyrian language” but is confident that it will be confirmed on being tested. Is sceptical of Dr Hincks’s claim to have identified the name of Tiglath-Pileser at Khorsabad. Layard does not accept HCR’s claim that the Nimrud and Khorsabad dynasties are identical. HCR defends his assertion. “De Saulcy, although a good Phoenician scholar appears as wild in Cuneiforms as Hincks himself.” Asks Norris not to mention any of HCR’s discoveries as he wants to read his first paper to the Society himself. [Letter 2O in III/03 but the resume there appears not to be in Norris’s hand or possibly he was trying to write more legibly.]
  17. Addressed to Norris as above “Baghdad Septbr 17th My dear Sir” The last posting for England before he leaves Baghdad, so forces himself to write to acknowledge Norris’s last. Has been too ill with dyspepsia to do any work on cuneiforms but hopes that the exercise of travelling, the interest of seeing the ruins of Nimrud etc and the mountain air of Asia Minor will restore his health and zest for work. Is to meet Layard at Nimrud on October 15th and spend 3 or 4 days with him looking over the ruins in the vicinity of Mosul and discussing where best to excavate next. Discusses some of the texts which he particularly hopes will be found. Also discusses the difficulties caused by the fact that the alphabetic signs in Assyrian are also used as “monograms” [I think he means what are now called ideograms] and as such will have a completely different pronunciation. All his readings are, as a result, to some extent conjectural, although not as wild, he believes as those of De Saulcy or Hincks. Will consult Norris when he sees him as to what to do next. Discusses the bi-lingual Pahlavi inscription from Hajiabad [Haji Abad] which he had studied carefully at one time, but of which he could make nothing. A man has written to him from Constantinople saying that he has proved that the language used at least in the latter half of the Sassanian dynasty was very similar to modern Persian, and claiming this as a great discovery, which HCR does not accept. Expects to be in Constantinople from November 10th to 19th and asks Norris to send anything new and important relating to cuneiform to him there. Will have a great deal of reading up to do before he is up to date with all the developments on cuneiform studies in Europe. [Letter 2P in III/03. The writing of the resume there is intermediate between that for 33 above and the earlier ones.]

III/05: Two double foolscap sheets folded over, with five single foolscap sheets some smaller sheets inserted into it to make a kind of notebook. The recto pages are numbered 1 to 6 [I have supplemented this numbering in pencil.] On the outside “Letters, from 1851.”. Headed on page 1 “Rawlinson’s Letters 1851 &c.” Comprises a listing in Norris’s handwriting of letters  received from October 10th  1851 to January 24th 1853. These letters are in packets III/06 and III/07 but unlike the earlier letters were not individually labelled by Norris [I have added labels in pencil.] There are actually two lists: one with detailed summaries on the inside pages and a summary list at the back.

III/06: Contains 5 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris from 10th October  to 17th December 1851 plus two other documents: a note from Abram L Rawlinson to Edwin Norris promising to pay any expenses incurred by his brother in Baghdad [III//06(04)] and a receipted invoice dated “December 31st 1851” from “Brown & Standfast” to “Lieut. Col. Rawlinson” for the supply of periodicals [III/06(05)]. The letters listed by Norris are as follows:

  1. Addressed “Paris. Octr 10 1851 My dear Norris.” Has spent two days copying out the account of Sennacherib’s proceedings during his third year, from which he will at least obtain a list of all the Syrian and Phoenician princes of that time, information which is not to be found anywhere else. Complains of inaccuracies in the latest sections of his Memoir to be published by the RAS. Considers it likely that it will not be possible to complete the Memoir without HCR’s personal supervision unless Norris masters the Babylonian language himself. Otherwise the RAS and the Trustees of the British Museum will have to petition the Government for HCR to be released during 1853. Expresses misgivings about reported French encroachment on the British sites in Assyria. [III/03(01)]
  2. Addressed “Paris. Octr 17 1851 My dear Norris” Has had a series of adventures since he last wrote “so queer” that he encloses a letter to send to the Times about them for publication, charging the postage to HCR’s account if necessary. [I cannot trace any such letter having been published. RBP] Leaves for Marseilles the following day. Is sure he has identified the Phoenician cities listed on the Sennacherib Cylinder correctly, but cannot understand how Tyre comes to be called Husuva. Asks Norris to insert a note in the Memoir correcting his reading of ana tarşi “before” to ana khaşşi “to fight”. Has heard all about the French Commission referred to in III/06(1) above and all the places they have been instructed to take possession of and excavate. “I shall have their throats cut by the Arabs, however, if they really have the assurance thus to come poaching on my preserve.” “Regards to Stanley” [Probably Henry Stanley Baron of Alderley.]. Asks for the [proof] sheets [of the Memoir] to be sent to him at Constantinople as they are printed. [III/06(02)]
  3. Addressed “British Embassy, Constantinople Novr 5 1851 My dear Norris.” Has nothing to send by this post because of being so unwell on the voyage from Marseilles that he could not work. Will send “the second half of the Analysis and continuation of the Alphabet” as soon as he has returned to Baghdad and has been able to settle down to a few weeks’ work. Would like, if possible, to publish “Historical and Geographical Resumés” in the Journal along with “the separate Babylonian volume”. If the RAS is to publish “Layard’s new Inscriptions” he asks to be sent the proofs as they are printed, as they will be more convenient for reference than the paper casts he proposes to take when at Mosul. Wants to look into the Median history contemporary with Shalmaneser and Sennacherib in the hopes of finding the names of [Herodotus’s] Dejoces and Phraortes. Feels “pretty sure” that the Babylonian king named on the Warka clay tablets as reigning between “Nebuchodrossor” and “Nabonedus” is “the Naboandelus of Josephus” whose name must be read “Nabu-im-śal. [In his note on this letter, Norris comments “I doubt.”] HCR expands on this theory and concludes “The Canon of Ptolemy is undoubtedly a complete humbug.” [Norris comments “No”.] Asks to be kept informed of anything new appearing on cuneiforms, expects attacks on his work from Hincks and must finish and publish his work before the Germans forestall him. Gives the latest news on the French Commission referred to above. Greetings to various friends, “Mr Clarke, Prinsep, Sykes, … not forgetting Henry Stanley.” [III/06(03)].
  4. Addressed “Baghdad Decr 16 1851 My dear Norris.” Arrived at Baghdad just the mail was leaving and so writes in a great hurry. Discusses certain additions and corrections to his [Babylonian ?] alphabet which is now being printed and re-iterates that it is to be regarded as highly provisional, there being, he estimates “at least 50 signs not given”. [He gives details of new discoveries concerning the phonetic and ideographic values of some other signs, but it is not possible to give details of these without cuneiform symbols.] As a result of these discoveries, he has correctly read several Assyrian names, including Sardanapalus and Esarhaddon. “I shall draw up a résumé of Assyrian history from the monuments immediately and send it home to you to be printed in the Journal independently of the analysis &c for the results are too important to be kept back.” Repeats his request for proofs of Layard’s new inscriptions to be sent if the Society is to print them. [III/07(06)].
  5. Addressed at end “Baghdad Decr 17 1851 My dear Norris” Brief note enclosing the texts of two footnotes for inclusion in the forthcoming Memoir, to “lines 12 and 22”. “If they can be inserted, well and good, if not it can’t be helped.” [I cannot trace them in the article published as JRAS 14 1851].
    [NB There is also a note in HCR’s hand headed Translation [into Latin] of Artaxerxes legend. This is unsigned and undated; generally, Norris has added to such pages a note of the date of the letter with which they were enclosed; nor does he mention it in his note on this letter. It is therefore not clear where in the correspondence this note should be placed. I have left it at this place since this where I found it. RBP]

III/07   26 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris, dating from January 16 1852 to January 24 1853, being the remainder of those listed in III/05, as follows:

  1. Addressed at end “Baghdad Jany 16 1852 My dear Norris.” Has only now partially recovered from a bilious attack which he attributes to the abrupt transition to a sedentary existence after being on horseback for days on end, so he has nothing ready to send. However, thanks to the new materials from Koyunjik [Kuyunjik] and Nineveh, he has greatly improved his understanding of “the language” [presumably Assyrian] “and I shall soon have it as pat at my finger’s ends as I once had the Persian”. Now that he has recognised the importance of n as a preformative as in Syrian, he understands the meaning of many words which had been previously obscure. Is now satisfied that the black obelisk dates from about 860BC. The tribute “deputed in the second compartment” comes from Israel and is that paid by Jehu, known to the Assyrians as “son of Omri” the founder of the kingdom of Samaria, the kingdom of Israel being always called “the country of Beth Omri.” Has also identified on the obelisk the names of two other contemporaries of Jehu known to Scripture. These identifications are reinforced by the fact that the other nations named as tributaries on the obelisk are all from the same geographical region. The gifts from Egypt and Israel were in the nature of peace-offerings since there had not been an Assyrian campaign against either country. Authorises Norris to communicate these findings to Fergusson. He may also announce them at a meeting of the Society if he thinks fit, so as to secure HCR’s prior claim to the discovery, although he does intend to send a letter to the Athenaeum during the next week. Has also established from the inscriptions on the Bull from Nineveh and the Paris cylinder that Sennacherib went to Jerusalem as a friend of Hezekiah, who had given refuge to the Assyrian satrap when he was turned out of Samaria. Sennacherib quelled the revolt of some tribes around Jerusalem against Hezekiah and presented to him the cities of Ekron and Gazah which he had recovered from the Philistines. HCR is now trying to complete a restored transcript of these events together with a literal translation for publication in the Discusses how far he has got with the names of later kings of the Assyrian dynasty. Has not had time to annotate the proof sheet of the Alphabet, but in any case, fears it would come too late. However, he realises he has made a mistake with one word which he hopes Norris has spotted and corrected. Encloses a box of gutta percha casts of coins for “Vaux”. Comments briefly on progress in excavations. First mention of [W K] Loftus, with whom HCR later had an acrimonious dispute. [III/07(01)].
  2. Addressed “Baghdad Jany 28th 1852 My dear Norris”. Announces his success in reading the Assyrian words for the god of fire as Adar and for “Æthiopia” “Greek Meroe” as Mirukha and discusses at some length his reasons for the first of these decipherments, which he considers to be of great importance. [This passage is possibly of interest as illustrating the way in which HCR approached the decipherment of Assyrian words.] He also discusses progress with reading other names, both personal and geographical, and the light which is being shed on Assyrian history and geography. “The labor I have had in working all this out from the miserable fragments alone available has interfered somewhat with the completion of the Behistun analysis, but I shall send you a batch of letterpress certainly by our monthly Damascus post. . . . Loftus has started for Susa and will commence work immediately. Depend upon it in the course of the next 10 years we shall have complete Assyrian and Babylonian annals from the time of David to that of Cyrus.” [III/07/02].
  3. Addressed at end “Baghdad Feby 2nd 1852 My dear Norris.” Has nothing much to write in view of his last long letter, but is enclosing letters for onward transmission. Is “still marvelling at the strange mixture of fact and fiction to be found in the Historical Books of Scripture.” “By the bye touching the 3rd Column of the Median [presumably the Median section of the Inscription at Behistun] I believe that the left hand bit of the upper portion of the Tablet is entirely gone and was never papered” as he has a transcript of the remainder of it in his papers, but not that part. Announces the discovery of a Royal cemetery at Koyunjik (Nineveh) “but I think the relics are only of the early Sassanian period, as I have written to the Trustees.” Is anxious to hear that Loftus has reached Susa and started excavating. [III/07(03).]
  4. Addressed “Baghdad Feby 16th My dear Norris.” Is concerned that Hincks has made some of HCR’s discoveries independently and has been able to publish first and that he may take credit for some others. Gives his reasons for believing that Sargon, the builder of Khorsabad, should be identified with Shalmaneser rather than Tiglath Pileser as Hincks maintains, and asks Norris to communicate these to the RAS. He believes that all Assyrian kings had a double appellation – which he calls the name and the epithet – and the Pul of the inscriptions is identical with Tiglath Pileser, as Sargon is with Shalmaneser. “If this identity … could be established, all difficulties would disappear.” Hopes in the spring to excavate at the central palace of Nimrud to obtain more fragments of the annals of Pul in the hopes of putting the matter beyond doubt. Discusses also the problem of which year of Sargon’s reign saw the conquest and deportation of the inhabitants of Samaria. Discusses also the identity of the god Tartak, said in the Old Testament to be worshipped by “the men of Ava” asserting the name to be a corruption of the name of the goddess Tarkat (Atargates) and thence deduces the location of Ava. Also explains his reasons for identifying the Assyrian Husuva with Tyre. Considers that Norris would do better to devote his energies to Assyrian rather than Median which “is of the least possible consequence”. Gives the phonetic values of several letters not included in the published alphabet which he asks Norris to mark in his copy of the published alphabet. “Loftus is hard at work at Susa. I cannot visit that site as our steamer won’t move and the Bombay people are still putting off the despatch of her relief. So I shall return to Mosul early in March and commence digging on a pretty extensive scale both at Koyunjik and Nineveh. The French have recommenced work at Khorsabad but I have not yet heard of any result.” Will send by the next post copies of Phoenician legends and Assyrian cylinders to the Royal Society of Literature. Is also trying to track down another Assyrian king named Deleboras or Delebois in Macrobius Thinks the name must mean “beloved of the Devas” Thinks the same element occurs in the name Dido. Is arranging for future copies of the Athenæum to be sent directly to him by mail rather than through the Foreign Office, so that they will arrive sooner. Gives his views on possible forthcoming developments in foreign affairs. [III/07(04)].
  5. Addressed “Baghdad Feby 29th 1852 My dear Norris.” Cannot continue with “the Behistun analysis” satisfactorily for the time being because his notebooks have not yet arrived from England, so he is continuing work on the materials which are to hand i.e. Assyrian. Lists some of his recent discoveries of the multiple phonetic values which almost every character has been found to possess “all of which must be identified before the fundamental task of constructing an alphabet can be considered to be satisfactorily accomplished.” Thinks he has identified the name of Deleboras on the obelisk. [Some of what he wrote about him in the previous letter is repeated here.] On several grounds he dates his reign to about 850BC. Returns to his disagreement with Hincks as to the identity of “Sargon”. Has modified his position to the extent that, while he still maintains that there was no king between Sargina and Sanakhiriba, he allows that the former name may refer to both “the Shalmaneser of Scripture” and [his apparent predecessor] Tiglath Pileser as well [i.e. that the names Shalmaneser and Tiglath Pileser refer to the same king]. Has in consequence abandoned the identification of Tiglath Pileser with Pul. He now considers that Pul reigned until 748BC [Norris comments “sic Brandis”]when his line was destroyed by a revolt of the Babylonians and Lydians, who thus became independent. He thus identifies him with “the Sardanapalus of Ctesias”. His reign would  have been followed by interregnum until the accession of “Sargon” in, say 745, who would have conquered Syria very early in his reign by 738, subsequently attacking King Hosea in 730 and conquering Samaria in 721. He would have been succeeded by Sennacherib in 716, who attacked Hezekiah in 713. Discusses some “very important arguments” in favour of this hypothesis and also “a great difficulty”. Concludes that a final decision must be deferred until all his materials are to hand. Further speculations about the names of Assyrian deities, but “the more I dive into the Greeks and try to apply their names to the Inscriptions, the more puzzled I become.” Has heard from Loftus at Susa, but he had not yet started work. He has deferred his departure for Mosul to pursue excavations at Koyunjik and Nimrud until he has got hold of “a complete copy of the annals of Pul and of Sennacherib. “We shall then have a very fair idea of Assyrian history from about 950BC to 600.” Although the histories of earlier periods, particularly those of David and Solomon, would be valuable “I have no great hopes of finding documents.” Has learned “by the papers” that “Henry Stanley has been appointed to Constantinople” and hopes that he will visit Mosul. Asks Norris to tell Vaux about some new coins which have been found. “My Sennacherib and Hezekiah extract is now complete – restored, translated & analyzed – but it is hardly worth while publishing alone. The French however have now taken a cast of the Inscription and I must not delay therefore very long or they will be in the field before me with this grand Scriptural illustration.” [III/07(05)].
  6. Addressed “Nineveh March 14 1852. My dear Norris”. Has been encamped “for the last week at the foot of the great mound at Koyunjik, revelling in inscriptions almost ‘ad nauseam’”. Has been studying the original inscription on the bull recounting Sennacherib’s Palestinian campaign and “by dint of fingers as well as eyes, recovered, I believe every word (almost every letter)”. The paper cast from which he had been working at Baghdad had proved very faulty. Will send a copy of the restored inscription with a translation for publication in the Journal so as to forestall the French. Oppert “is a young laborious German and will be great Orientalist.” They are now “as thick as thieves.” [Mentions some new linguistic ideas, but it is not clear to which language he is referring.] No new historical discoveries but has at last been able to start excavation of the mound at “Nebi Yunis” [Nabi Yunus about 1km south of Koyunjik] and is awaiting the results eagerly. Will be travelling to Nimrud the following week and hopes while there to clarify the identity of Pul. Is encouraging “Fresnel and Oppert” to go and dig at Ecbatana [in Persia] if only to keep them away from Babylonia. “Place too is hard at work at Khorsabad but is only gleaning Botta’s leavings.” Comments on “Layard’s Plates” but considers that the reading of “Lachish” in the captions to some of the plates will prove to be incorrect. Offers an alternative explanation. “Harry of Exeter [i.e. Henry Philpotts, 1777-1869 Bishop of Exeter] deserves his castigation [I have been unable to establish what incident is referred to here. RBP.]. Will send a sketch of the progress in cuneiform research for inclusion in the President’s Anniversary address as he promised to do the year before. Is not satisfied with his current reading of Shalmaneser but cannot think of another. [III/07(06)].
  7. Addressed “Camp Nimrud March 30th My dear Norris.” Has been too busy with various fieldwork tasks to write the promised “Sennacherib paper” for publication but he hopes to finish it before returning to Baghdad. Has made many discoveries, but none of “very great importance”. Says that the earliest inscription which has been found is “BM series 17 &18” which he dates to 1000BC [Norris comments “now Tiglath Pileser 770BC”.] Gives his latest view of the line of Assyrian kings. A number of previously recorded inscriptions are not now to be found having been “carried off … by Layard or other riflers”. Gives his current historical interpretations of various fragments he has found. Will not be able to remain at Nimrud more than another week or ten days and will discontinue the excavations during the summer “unless I can get Loftus to superintend them personally as soon as he has finished Susa”. Thinks that only a lucky find will enable him to establish with the certainty the list of kings of Assyria. Cannot write more “being over head and ears in work of all sorts.” “I hear a rumor that Layard has been appointed to succeed Ld Stanley at the For. Office, [presumably Stanley (2), who was parliamentary under-secretary at the Foreign Office February-December 1852] but can hardly credit it, if true it is indeed preferment with a vengeance.” [III/07(07)].
  8. Addressed “Baghdad April 21. My dear Norris.” Gives the text of a footnote about the Syrian campaign of Tiglath Pileser to be inserted in some article concerning the Khorsabad inscriptions “if there is time” so as to prevent “higgling on the part of Hincks or others.” [I have not been able to identify this article with certainty. RBP.] Can now read the Khorsabad annals pretty fluently thanks to the progress he has made at Nimrud and Nineveh and he thinks he will write out a brief literal translation at once. Mentions briefly some further discoveries which he will write about more fully in his next letter. [III/07(08)].
  9. Addressed “Baghdad May 1st My dear Norris.” Thanks Norris for his letters and for “what you have done to set me right with Hincks.” The only outstanding point is that, after criticising HCR’s identification of a certain name with the biblical “Omri” in August 1851, he has adopted it without acknowledgement in December. Encloses some footnotes to be appended to his “Nineveh notes” if Norris considers them worth publishing. [This note is with the letter. At the end of the note, HCR adds “Please remember that it would only be throwing money away if the Society were to publish Layard’s fragmentary inscriptions, as I have the same inscriptions complete and continuous and if the Society took up the matter it would thus certainly be best to publish text and translation together.”] Mentions some new readings of which he is now convinced. “Ever since my return from Nineveh, I have been hard at work putting together and copying out the great Inscription of Sardanapalus … difficulties are now vanishing at every step as I become acquainted with the secondary values of the characters, and the Pantheon is the only branch which preserves its dusty outline. Mentions some new phonetic values which he has determined. Complains of the “flippant, offensive [and]… untrue” paper written by Offert [see above] in Journal Asiatique and has abandoned the good opinion he had of him. Considers that he is animated by anti-English feeling. “He and Fresnel are vegetating here in inglorious idleness quite unable to work owing to the state of the country and afraid that the Govt will accordingly stop the supplies.” No news from [Loftus at] Susa but is sending a copy of the Artaxerxes legend with translation from the Persian and Babylonian to assist Norris in his Median work. His books are still held up in an Arab blockade “and really without them it is impossible to go on with the [Persian ?] analysis or the alphabet.” But he hopes they will be released soon. Expects to be able to publish his “general Assyrian history” next year but suggests writing an abstract of the annals of the different Assyrian kings for publication in the JRAS first. [Norris comments “Yes”]. [III/07(09)].
  10. Addressed “Baghdad, May 22nd My dear Norris.” The scheme of Assyrian chronology which he had sent to Norris from Nineveh [see III/07(07) above] is not satisfactory and must be modified, if it is not yet in print. Gives details of the changes he believes are necessary [it all seems rather speculative.] Asks that his article should not be published in its present form but the proofs should either be returned to him for correction and expansion or else destroyed. Is becoming convinced that the oldest city in Mesopotamia is Susa and that “all civilization came from thence”. Further “that the Jewish traditions contained in Genesis are substantially the same as prevailed in Assyria and Babylonia in the time of Sardanapalus.” Gives reasons for this. Further states that “I really believe Susa to be Paradise” or rather that “the old tradition preserved in the second chapter of Genesis refers to the primitive settlement of men in Susiana.” Goes into this in great detail. Is working at the inscriptions for five or six hours a day and “increasing both my syllabarium and vocabulary past all belief” but the boat containing most of his cuneiform books is still blockaded so that “as far as the Behistun paper is concerned, my hands are completely tied.” PS deals with problems with the post. “What is this Nineveh affair of Bonomi’s?” [presumably refers to Nineveh and Its Palaces by Joseph Bonomi, London 1852. The work apparently seeks to apply Layard’s and Botta’s archaeological discoveries to elucidate Scripture.] Is beginning to feel unwell with the onset of the hot weather. [III/07(10)].
  11. Addressed “Baghdad June 1 1852. My dear Norris.” Apologizes to Norris for the embarrassment he feels at not being able to complete HCR’s memoir on the Behistun inscription, but he cannot make progress without his books to refer to and these have still not arrived and it is now quite likely that they will not arrive at all, owing to the disturbed state of the country. He faces the prospect of losing all his work to date and “nearly 3000£ of property.” In addition, there are the problems of the climate, “war at our very gates, cholera abroad in the province &c. &c. … moreover … I have no longer the energy of youth nor the stimulus of having to earn a reputation.” He is, however, “working hard at the Sardanapalus Inscription and by dint of analysis and comparison with the Sennacherib annals and such scraps as I have of the Khorsabad plates” is making progress. Encloses a few corrections and additions to “my own indiscriminate table” but “the list is not nearly complete” and will need to be completely re-arranged. Discusses the similes which are a prominent feature of the Sardanapalus inscription. Thinks he may have found the name of Noah and a reference to the Tower of Babel and considers that he may find “the Mosaical traditions current in the time of Sardanapalus”. Kings frequently refer to their deified ancestors. Asks Norris to ask “Vaux” to check references which he has found to works which he does not have to hand but which he assumes will be available in the British Museum. Former uncertainties concerning the readings of the names of Sargon, Tiglath-pileser and Shalmaneser have recurred. Can write no more owing to pressure of [official] business. PS asks Norris to forward a letter which is waiting for HCR in London and confirms reports which have appeared of precious items being found in the Koyunjik  [III/07(11)].
  12. Addressed “Baghdad June 22nd My dear Norris.” His books have arrived at last and he has been immersed in Layard’s Inscriptions for the past week. This has led to many discoveries thanks to the progress he has made in his understanding of the Assyrian alphabet and language since he last saw them. Is now positive that he has identified the name of Tiglath Pileser and has got “almost a complete set of his annals”. He gives an etymology of the name. The complete series in BM series 17 & 18 belong to this king and contain a summary of his early conquests before he went to Syria. He thinks he will be able “to reconstruct a complete set of his annals” by collating “those anonymous fragments from the SW and Centre Palaces at Nimrud” which he has identified as belonging to the same king. This confirms his suspicion that “Pul” and Tiglath Pileser are the same person. Discusses some consequences of this discovery as well as some difficulties which remain. Has also identified the biblical name Esarhaddon and also his annals. He alludes to a tablet in the collection of Claudius James Rich already deposited at the British Museum. Discussing some remaining queries and uncertainties connected with this. Has had further thoughts about the identity of Sargon and Shalmaneser, but has no time to go into it in full now. Gives some further phonetic and semantic values of letters which he has discovered. His original resume must not be published now as it stands, he will either have to rewrite it or Norris must return the proofs to him for correction, in time to appear in the autumn number of the JRAS. There are only two Elymaean inscriptions known, “they appear in Layard’s series 31,32 and 36,37. If you can make anything of them, however you must be a perfect Odipus (sic) [apparently referring to Oedipus’s success in solving the riddle of the Sphinx in Greek mythology]”.Gossip about what Loftus and other of his contemporaries are or may be doing. Thinks his discovery of the name of Tiglath Pileser ought to be announced in the JRAS before Hincks anticipates him, “If he should however have again anticipated me he will I have no doubt swallow all his former positive assertions about Tiglath Pileser being the same as Sargon &c &c with as much complacency as if he had never made them.” PS “The Koyunjik diggins (sic) continue to yield tablets in profusion but the sculptures seem to be exhausted.” Is continuing to work on the Analysis but is in difficulties with the Alphabet as some of the corrected proof sheets seem to have gone astray and he has no copies. Asks Norris to send him the uncorrected “slips” [i.e. galleys ?] and he will continue the alphabet “in a much less rambling form”.[I think this refers to the Persian inscription from Behistun.] [III/07(12)].
  13. Addressed “Baghdad July 2nd My dear Norris.” Has been bilious for ten days and unable to work, but is better now and work has resumed. Continues to maintain his identification of Tiglath Pileser, although the orthography puzzles him. Hopes that Norris has published an announcement of the discovery, so as to forestall Hincks. Is still uncertain about the question of a change of dynasty at Nineveh. Has had no success in reading the other names. Is pretty sure that the Sun was worshipped under two names: as Haman (the source of light) and as Adar (the source of heat or fire). Finds corroboration for this in a statement in the Old Testament that the Sepharvaites [Sepharvites] burnt their children with fire to Adrammelech and Annamalech [2 Kings 17.31] which he takes to embody these two names of the Sun god. Gives further corroboration from other sources. Various speculations concerning Susa: its legendary founder, Memnon – possibly connected with Adonis – and the source of the Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations. “My great puzzle is the connexion between Babylonia and Armenia.” He is also puzzled by the use of the names Akkadiya, Chaldaea, etc. He feels he is being forced to conclude that various names all refer to same people, although it will oblige him to abandon some of  his cherished readings. “if we only had Babylonian annals to one tenth the extent of the Assyrian, the whole thing would be plain, but with mere broken bricks and hieratic dedications it becomes very difficult to work out the later history.” Expands a good deal on this. “By the bye, Layard tells me I am to be anatomized by De Saulcy in the Revue des deux mondes and shown to be a mere pirate, having never yet made a discovery or broached an original idea.” Has not had time to compile a list of new powers [phonetic values] from his note books but notes two. Is waiting to receive new paper casts which Loftus has made of the Elymaean inscriptions at “Kal Faráun (?)” which he hopes will be more useful than Layard’s unreadable ones. He has not, however, succeeded in finding any more inscriptions of this kind. “At Mosul, the workmen have at length lighted on a new Palace and a new Temple, but I have not yet got the Inscriptions, every scrap of new historical matter, however, is now of consequence….” Has been working on “the annals of the son of Esarhaddon (Asser-adan-pal ?) but I doubt if I shall be able to make a connected narrative out of the fragments.” Henry Stanley [see III/07(05) above] has sent him “a very interesting philological letter from Percy Smythe [possibly Percy Ellen Algernon Frederick William Sydney Smythe, 8th Viscount Strangford (1826–1869)] who seems to have ranged himself under your wing and to be drinking inspiration at the feet of Gamaliel [apparently used in the sense of a respected teacher, Gamaliel was the teacher of St Paul.]” Is looking forward to hearing the results of Norris’s Median researches, speculates that the language will be found to have analogies “with the Finno-Lappish group”. Will be interested to have Norris’s comments on his resume [of his researches on Assyrian ?] but it must not be published in its present form. Asks after various friends, in particular how Vaux is getting on with his copies of the [Assyrian ?] tablets. “It could take me many years to copy out the 6 large chests full which I now have in the room where I am writing.” Is puzzled by one tablet with Assyrian cuneiform on one side and a seal with Estranghelo [the classical form of the Syriac alphabet] characters on the other as they are “undoubtedly of the same age.” Is annoyed with Layard for keeping back some of his inscriptions, which would be invaluable to HCR. [III/07(13)].
  14. Addressed “Baghdad July 13th My dear Norris.” Is continuing to work despite the heat. Is puzzled by an inscription on “Page 19, line 5” of “Layard’s book of Inscriptions” where Esarhaddon is described as “King of Egypt” and “subduer of Aethiopia”. Concludes that Esarhaddon must have invaded Egypt “about B.C. 680” and wonders why “for so interesting a fact we are exclusively indebted to this casual notice.” Discusses the relationship of this with the accounts of the Dodecarchy in Herodotus and the Old Testament. It also accounts for the fact that the palace of Esarhaddon, where this inscription is found, is decorated with Egyptian sphinxes. Mentions various obscure points in Jewish history. Finds he can now read the whole of the inscription on Lord Aberdeen’s black stone [see letter 13 in III/03 above] although “at home I could make nothing of it.” Has had further thoughts about the reading of the name of the god commemorated at the “Memnonium” at Susa “and I must now make further researches into the true reading of the name of this God.” Has returned to his original ideas about the reading of the names of the gods associated with the “sun” and “fire”. Discusses the consequences of this. Fresnel and Oppert have rushed off to Babylon because of reports that “the great golden image of Nebuchadnezzar had been discovered” which proved to be untrue. Is glad to hear that “Botta has been appointed my colleague” though “I believe he is now quite fuddled with opium.” “I am now chiefly taken up with Chronology and Geography for my brother’s Herodotus [i.e. The history of Herodotus : a new English version, edited with copious notes and appendices … / by George Rawlinson ; assisted by Sir Henry Rawlinson. London : John Murray, 1858-1860.] but still work a little at the papers for the journal.” Norris is to ask Birch’s opinion of HCR’s discoveries concerning Esarhaddon, Egypt and Ethiopia. Some further speculation concerning conditions in Egypt immediately before the time of Psammetichus [Psamtik I] [III/07(14)].
  15. Addressed “Baghdad July 22 1852. My dear Norris.” Has been alarmed by Norris’s proposal to publish HCR’s notes “as a supplement to the Report” [presumably the Report of the Council to the Anniversary General Meeting] despite HCR’s repeated warnings that they will not be suitable for publication without extensive alteration and correction. Is still less pleased at the idea of some comments of Layard’s being “tacked on without my knowledge or consent” having “a very mean opinion of his learning and a still meaner opinion of his fair dealing.” Repeats and expands the discoveries which he announced in his previous letter, in anticipation that this one will arrive sooner. Sets out more clearly his ideas concerning the succession of Assyrian kings. Has come round to the view that Ptolemy is “wonderfully correct” although “very difficult to be understood”. Has “lately got several fragments of the son of EsarHaddon and .. find his name written indifferently … Assar adan pal and Assar ki e. Sardanapalus and Saracus. Repeats his interpretation of Lord Aberdeen’s Black Stone. Has established “beyond doubt” that “the Nimrud NW Palace King” is Assar akh pal and not Assar adan pal. Has re-examined the Cyprus Inscription and finds that the name Yatnan [Norris writes Yetnan] must apply to that island. Gives reasons. “Having pretty well finished with Assar akh pal, Deleboras, Sennacherib & Esarhaddon” has been trying to write out the annals of Tiglath Pileser and Sargon but find that the Inscription 17, 18 of Layard’s series is missing a slice off the side of the slab so that several words are missing in every line. However he believes it will be possible to recover the sense with the aid of other fragments which belong to two distinct series of the annals. The Sargon annals are much easier, but he is puzzled as to when the city of Samaria was captured, unless it during the king’s first year. But in that case, there is an unexplained interval of at least 18 years between the capture of Samaria and Sennacherib’s expedition against king Hezekiah, unless the Scriptural dates are all wrong. However, he has heard that “Monsr Place [see III/07(06) above]” has found at Khorsabad a large terra cotta cylinder with the inscription quite perfect throughout. If this contains, as he believes it must, a complete set of Sargon’s annals and if he can only get sight of it, he will see at once in what year Samaria was taken. Fresnel and Oppert [see previous letter] are at Hillah have been unable to commence excavation owing to the disturbed state of the country and the heat. Repeats the story of how they were lured there. They are in danger of being “stripped by the Arabs, who are just now complete masters of the open country.” Doubts if he will be able to go to Babylon in the autumn as he had intended. A new palace has come to light at Koyunjik but he has not received copies of any inscriptions so can say nothing about it. Is apprehensive about the reaction of “the Egyptologers” to his discovery of the Assyrian conquest. Is looking forward to seeing Norris’s “Median paper” and hopes he will lose no opportunity of “giving Oppert a slap when he deserves it” as he is insufferably vain and anti-English. Regrets his mistake in calling “the Susa king” Artaxerxes Ochas rather than Memnon the father. What he had sent Norris was merely Loftus’s rough copy, is expecting to receive the paper casts any day. Is continuing to make good progress despite the insufferable heat and “a rebellious liver.” [III/07(15).]
  16. Addressed “Baghdad July 28th My dear Norris.” Ptolemy’s Canon is “rigidly exact throughout” and can be reconciled with the Scriptural chronology. Demonstrates this. Is so satisfied with this that he intends to write a letter to the Athenaeum about it. “I cannot however as yet fill up the interval between Esarhaddon and the capture of Nineveh.” [III/07(16).]
  17. Addressed “Baghdad Aug. 2nd My dear Norris.” Has received the published version of his Outlines [HCR’s Outlines of Assyrian History with the comments by Layard was attached to the Anniversary Report for 1852. This was not published in the JRAS but a copy exists in the RAS library as part of a volume Prospectus, Proceedings Royal Asiatic Society 1823-1867.] which he had not wanted to be published in its present state. Expects a good deal of “badgering” on account of its imperfections. “My only chance now is to write a fresh paper recanting errors, and entering on the discussion of particular points in considerably greater detail.” Is puzzled by Layard’s claim to have found inscriptions by Esarhaddon’s great grandson; he has found nothing of the kind. Will be “very glad indeed” if Norris can prove Median to be of the Ugrian (Sarmatian?) family, although he cannot identify any Median words in Klaproth’s Asia Polyglotta. Has not yet seen the Sargon Cylinder referred to in 15 above, although they have promised to send him paper casts from Mosul. “I am making desperate efforts to work out the Babylonian and Chaldaean Geography but it is excessively difficult with our present materials. The French have found nothing at all at Babylon.” Hopes to be feeling better by the time the next post leaves. [III/07(17)].
  18. Addressed “Baghdad Aug. 22nd My dear Norris.” Is anxious to know whether “my Tiglath Pileser correction” has been published, either appended to the Outlines or subsequently “it was of much importance.” Has begun to rewrite the Outlines on a more extended scale in three divisions, Mythology, History and Geography with copious extracts from the Inscriptions. “A very rebellious liver however and a most detestable climate are such drawbacks and I cannot therefore promise you a very early transmission.” “It ought to take up almost a number of the Journal.” Has identified the goddess Salam (i.e. Salambo, the equivalent of Venus/Aphrodite) and a title of Sargon can consequently be read as Salamanu Assur (Shalmaneser) and a district of Babylon as the Salma of Ptolemy. Discusses further consequences of this reading and asks Norris’s opinion. Suspects the name Semiramis to have been unknown in Assyria and Babylonia, although cannot account for the Armenian name Shemiramagerd for their capital Van. Reasserts his previous readings for the names of the sun and water gods. Presumes that “Hincks will come out strong at the British Association meeting at Belfast … where I may expect to be pounded.” Complains that Layard is unfairly supporting Hinck’s claim to priority in identifying the name of the Israelitish king Menahem which priority HCR disputes. Has “been going through Raoul Rochette’s Nineveh papers in the Journal des Savans”. This has made him anxious to read “Felix Layard’s Researches on the worship of Venus and Mithra” There are excellent dedicatory inscriptions in the Temples at Nineveh which are of great use for the epithets of the Gods. Is still awaiting the casts of the Sargon Cylinders which he is still sure will confirm his view on the date of Sargon’s expedition against Samaria and increases his respect for Ptolemy’s Canon, which he is sure gives the name of Merodach Baladan’s father correctly, which he now reads in cuneiform Yagina. Has received Loftus’s casts of the inscriptions at Kal-Faraun and Shikaft-i-Salman and has been able to correct Layard’s published copies. The characters are Babylonian with only slight modification but the language is almost certainly not Semitic. Recognizes several Median words but cannot make out a single connected sentence. There was a Scythic [Median] population all over Persia between the Semites and the Arians, the latter he suspects to have been very recent immigrants. Will send Norris a facsimile of the Median legend of Artaxerxes as soon as the casts from Susa arrive. Discusses the Median name Afarti for Susiana and some related words. Points out that there is in the British Museum a royal cylinder of one of the Niffer kings, a good engraving of which appears in “Porter’s Travels and also Kitto’s Bible Cyclopedia. [Presumably A Cyclopaedia of Biblical Literature. Edited by J. K. Illustrated by numerous engravings. John KITTO Edinburgh, 1845.]” Will go into possible connections between Niffer and Afara and other such matters in the geography paper he is now writing, having collected “a multitude of notices” from various sources to illustrate the old Babylonian names. The French Commission [see above] have discovered nothing at Babylon nor so far at Nineveh, “but Loftus is coming down there early in the autumn to superintend the work and I shall make a great effort during the winter. Wants to persuade “Henry Stanley” to visit him in the autumn, as he would get a much better idea of Turkey “than he would by stopping in Stambool”. [III/07(18).]
  19. Addressed “Baghdad Septr 4th My dear Norris.” Complains that the mail service is to become even more irregular in future, owing to changes in the steamer schedules. Disapproves of Norris’s locating the Mardi [Amardians?] in the Urals and gives his own views on where they lived and that they were almost certainly “Arian”. Sees no connection between the Medians and the Afarti [see III/07(18)]. The names found at Susiana are all Semitic and the character is “ultra Assyrian”. The Elymaeans, on the other hand, seem to be closely related to the Medians. Gives his current views on the relation between the various peoples inhabiting that region. Is puzzled by the Babylonian name for Susiana. “I would rather account for the Ugrian analogies by supposing a Pan-Sarmatian family of nations all round the Caspian. … At the same time I shall be very glad to see your introduction and the etymological affinities cannot fail to be of interest.” Discusses his difficulties with the Assyrian pantheon and investigating parallels with Syrian and Armenian mythologies. [He mentions “Vaux’s mem.” This is presumably the WSW Vaux mentioned above, but it is not clear which work of his is referred to. He also mentions the early Christian authors “Ephraim Syrus” and “Moses of Chorene” but I cannot establish which works are being referred to. RBP] He adds “glimmerings of light are pouring at all points.” His most important historical discovery has been establishing synchronisms between the Van kings and those of Assyria, thus also confirming the correctness of HCR’s Assyrian list. “It is further curious to remark that the art of writing was introduced at the same period into Assyria and Armenia.” Consequent on this verification of the Assyrian lists “and with the fear of Exeter Hall before my eyes [This is somewhat obscure, but apparently an allusion to Exeter Hall in the Strand, which was the venue for religious meetings and provided a home for the offices of religious societies. RBP.]” he has abandoned the identification of Pul with Tiglath Pileser. However, this does involves further complications. “The only demand which I shall have, I think, to make of the Bishops is to cut 20 years off Manasseh’s reign and for this I can produce chapter and verse. I also want the 24th instead of the 14th of Hezekiah for the Sennacherib campaign.” Is finding new “powers [i.e. phonetic values]” daily, but determining which power applies in any case can only be done from the context “but I am now so familiar with all the words in common use that I rarely find myself at fault.” As far as history goes “I have pretty well exhausted all my materials, but the geography is a sad puzzle & the mythology still worse, for the gods represented by the same monograms appear to have had different names in Syria, Armenia, Nineveh & Babylon and no doubt also in Susiana and Elymais. Has lost interest for the present in “the Paradise theory. It will keep.” From their description, the Khorsabad Cylinders appear to be merely religious. It will be impossible to dig at Niffer, or Warka or even at Babylon and he does not feel well enough to undertake another 300 mile ride to Mosul. “(How indeed is it possible to be … [well] in such a climate?) and desultory work is all I can manage.” PS The “Susa case of casts has come in” and he can send Norris another copy of the Artaxerxes Inscription. Describes some peculiarities of the inscription. Suggests it would be worth publishing a note in the Journal about the complete Artaxerxes inscription and related matters. [A single sheet (damaged) was enclosed with this letter bearing a cuneiform text headed in HCR’s hand: “Scythic Inscription from Susa.” The first part is headed, also in HCR’s hand: “round the base of a column.” and the second: “Inscribed pedestal.” There are some interlineal notes in Norris’s hand. In his summary of this letter in III/05 Norris identifies this as “the Artaxerxes Inscription from Susa. RBP] [III/07(20).]
  20. Addressed “Baghdad Septr 25th My dear Norris.” Has been able to do almost nothing for a fortnight because of the continued heat, but the weather is now getting cooler and he is feeling better. The only thing he has accomplished is to establish that the name of the king of Damascus who preceded Hazad corresponds with the scriptural Ben Hadad . This depends on the identification of the god Aben. Further reflections have led him to return to the conclusion that Pul and Tiglath Pileser are the same. Further discussion of this. “I wish I could put all this in writing, but really what with the worry of an office, indifferent health and an abominable climate I am half in despair.” Mentions problems with the Susa Inscriptions: neither the Persian nor the Babylonian versions are complete and both lack the final part of the Median version. Has been studying one of the Khorsabad cylinders for the past week and finds that it contains a list of the titles and conquests of Sargon and the building of Khorsabad. It nearly follows the Bull Inscriptions but with some important variations. Thinks that the names of tribes which the king talks of carrying off ought to be found among the 10 tribes of Israel. The capture of Tyre is also mentioned, which he has never seen in any other document of Sargon’s. It confirms, however, that the capture of Samaria took place in the first year of Sargon’s reign, i.e. in 721BC. He hopes to have the whole inscription when he sees the second cylinder, which is said to be more legible. Has given up all hope of returning to Babylon, “for, in the first place the Arabs are at present more outrageous than ever and in the second place the artist of the French Commission has just shot the Arab Chief who now lords it over the ruined palaces of Nebuchadnezzar” and he fears that the man will die. Has noticed all sorts of topographical detail in Nebuchadnezzar’s inscriptions. Thinks that the original name of Babylonia proper was Sumir from which he derives the name Semiramis. The two great territorial divisions between Baghdad and the sea are Sumir and Akkad or the Sumiram and Akkadim “and these Akkadim are positively the same race as the Kurds of Ararat.” There was a mixture of Scythian and Semitic populations in the Tigris and Euphrates valleys from the earliest times. [The non-Semitic population of Mesopotamia is now known as Sumerian but this name was not proposed until 1869. RBP.] Agrees with “Stuart Poole” that the Hittites were Scythians [I cannot trace the source referred to here. RBP].” Speculates on the name and location of the Hittite capital. Has also identified the god Sin, or Khun  with the Egyptian god Chons [Khonsu, Khensu] “and I have brought all the notices, Egyptian, Hebrew, Syrian, Sabaean, Armenian, Arabic, Greek, & Cuneiform into exact conformity.” “Please tell Birch if you see him that I have found his Bakleten(?) to whom the ear [or car] of Chons was sent in Northern Syria. I want, however, to see his paper on that subject.” [III/07(20)]
  21. Addressed “Camp at Ctesiphon Octbr 15th My dear Norris.” Has been forced to leave Baghdad by an attack of “my inveterate enemy Dyspepsia”. Has been forbidden by the doctors to undertake any mental exertion, although physical exercise is encouraged. Norris must hope that HCR’s health will be restored and that he will be able to work “double tides” during the winter. His article on the [Behistun?] inscriptions is proving to be so long that he is considering publishing it as a book rather than as an article in the JRAS. Has now got “all the sheets and slips of the alphabet” and go on with that paper, although he sees that he must curtail the scale on which he began it, particularly by giving only a few illustrations for the “normal powers” of the letters, which are certain, reserving most of the space for the abnormal & ideographic values. Some bricks of Nabonit have been found at Babylon which give the name of his father. However, he cannot at present make anything of this. The Arab Sheikh whose shooting he reported in the previous letter is recovering after all, but “Fresnel and Oppert are fighting like cat & dog and the excavations make little progress in consequence.” Has begun excavations at Seleucia and intends to try his hand at Opis also before returning to Baghdad. Has had some further thoughts on the ethnology of the ancient peoples. Thinks he can trace the development by the Assyrians of primitive Babylonian pictograms into alphabetic signs. Hopes that that [Lieutenant-Colonel Sir Justin] Sheil, [1803 – 1871]’s retirement will not result in his being sent to Persia “otherwise farewell cuneiforms”. Is very anxious to see Norris’s “Median paper”. [III/07(21)].
  22. Addressed “Baghdad Novr 5th My dear Norris.” Comments on Norris’s “Median introduction” [Presumably refers to the preliminary version of E Norris Memoir on Scythic Version of the Behistun Inscription JRAS 15 pp. 1-213 (1855) which was read before the Society July 3rd 1852.] Is still struggling to work out the ethnology of the peoples of this region, but hopes to solve it with the aid of “the real Susian Inscriptions of which I have now a fine collection…” The Semites, he now thinks, were gradually driven up the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates by the pressure of the Scythians, “the colonization of Phoenicia and the emigration of Abraham were from this cause”. The Assyrians were pushed out afterwards. Now makes “… a very important ethnological announcement: all the ante-Nebuchadnezzar Inscriptions from Niffer to Elymais are in bona fide Scythic dialects….” Then briefly expounds his view of the relative chronology of the Babylonians, Assyrians etc and the age of Babylonian writing. [It is not clear how far these theories accord with modern ideas. RBP.] Is still puzzled by various names e.g. Numi, and the duplication of the names Cush, Aethiopia. Often not clear which territory is being referred to in any particular case. Notes that “Hincks at the British Association has appropriated much of my Chronology…” [ See III/07(15) and (16) above.] Hincks, however, “takes the Assur-nadin of Sennacherib’s annals and the Assur-akh-adan who succeeded him to be different persons, but I can prove their identity.” Asks Norris to assert HCR’s prior claim to these discoveries at the next meeting of the RAS, using the dates of HCR’s earlier letters to prove this. “I am hunting everywhere for Saosduchinus and Chynaladinus [mentioned by Ptolemy] but I have not yet found the names, nor even that of Evil-merodach.[mentioned in the Bible].” Speculates that Sargon’s family did not come from Babylonia but from Northern Mesopotamia. “The connection, however, of Pul, Tiglath Pileser and Sargon is still very obscure.” Has found on the “Khorsabad Cylinder” sent to him by “Monsr Place” a version of Sargon’s second title which he relates to an otherwise baffling name in the book of Ezra. Repeats his previous reading of Sargon’s first title [See III/07(18) above.]. “You may understand the difficulty one has in dissecting the Pantheon … when you remember that 1700 years ago Lucian, a Syrian by birth and a good scholar was unable … [to identify the Goddess worshipped] at the temple of Hieropolis … [with any of several Graeco-Roman goddesses.]” Gives his current idea of the etymology of the Syrian name for Karkemis (Biblical Carchemish) Mabog. Is not installed at Baghdad for the winter. The “diggins” at Seleucia and Opis were “altogether unsuccessful … nothing but sepulchral urns, fragments of pottery and a few jimcracks”. Since his return, however, he has been rewarded “by the discovery of a fine and very old Egyptian Lion close [see III/07(01)] to my own door. God only knows how such a relic could have found its way here.” It bears a royal cartouche – has sent a copy to Birch to read the name. Cannot send Norris a correct copy of the Median inscription at “Nabhsh-i-Rustum” [Naqsh-i-Rustam] as “Tasker never copied it.” Has had to rely on the copy made by Westergaard, which he has amended by reference to “the Bisitun materials.” Asks why Norris did not publish the Babylonian inscription from “N.R.” “with my first memoir. I certainly left a copy with you ready for press.”  Hopes to finish “the alphabet” and “the analysis” during the winter. Loftus  is currently in Baghdad “but starts for England tomorrow and will give you all the information you can wish for about Susa, Elymais, Chaldaea, Armenia & Persia. He is no Orientalist and not deep in any branch of antiquities, but an intelligent and observant traveller, a good geologist and naturalist and altogether a very nice gentlemanly fellow. It is a matter of much regret to me that Hormuzd Rassam has superseded him at Nineveh and that the state of the country and paucity of funds prevent my employing him among the Southern Ruins.” Supposes that “Layard’s new book” is now out” and will either attack HCR or “puff Hincks, De Saulcy etc at my expense.” But, if so, HCR will retaliate “it requires a little private pique now to stir my half stagnant blood into exertion.” Expects to return to England next autumn and settle down quietly to “work at Antiquities.” Would have no objection to taking over “the Hony Sectyship of the Socty when Clarke retires. [i.e. Richard Clarke, who retired in 1857.]” [III/07(22)].
  23. Addressed “Baghdad Novbr 25th My dear Norris.” Has received “the 4th fascicle of “Yakut’s Epitome and Chodzko’s Grammar” [The first of these  probably refers to the Marāid al-iţţilā’ ‘alā asmā’ al-amkinah wa al‑biqā an abridgement, composed about AD 1300 of a geographical dictionary by Yaqut ibn-‘Abdullah al-Rumi al-Hamawi. An edition of this by T. G. J. Juynboll et J. J. B. Gaal was published in Leiden 1852-1864. HCR cited this work in two articles published in 1840, where he appears to have been consulting an Arabic MS. The second must refer to Alexandre Chodzko 1804-1891 Grammaire persane, ou, Principes de l’Iranien modern Paris 1852. RBP] Expands on his previous remarks about the wide spread of Scythian peoples in Western Asia [in his summary of this letter, Norris comments “his theory”]. Is drafting a note on the subject for publication in the JRAS. He now wants to apply the name to almost all the early non-Semitic peoples of Western Asia. The first wave of Scythian expansion westwards brought in the Egyptians and “Cushites”. There was a second great wave “in the time of Abraham” which brought in the Elamites and the “Hyc-sos” into Egypt. He gives various speculations on the etymology of the names Numi, Susa and Afar. These Elamites “continued to form the great mass of the population of Syria until gradually annihilated” by various Semitic peoples. “Stuart Poole’s guesses about the … Hittites being Scyths exactly agree with my own system.” [at this point, Norris has pencilled above the line “Amorites = Afarti”. “It will perhaps never be possible to probe this question to the quick” because by the beginning of written history “the Scyths and Semites were so mixed up in Syria that one cannot distinguish between them.” However, the point that “the Scyths were the first settlers and … the Semites followed them after a long interval … clears up most of the difficulties in the Patriarchal (?) genealogies and accounts for much of the confusion of Greek tradition.” One remaining difficulty is the Semitic origin ascribed to the Elamites in Genesis. However, he suspects that when the Toldeth Beni Noah [Genesis 10, which enumerates the descendants of Noah and the countries in which they settled] was written the country of Elam may have been temporarily occupied by Semites, and this led to the confusion. The original inhabitants of Babylonia, the Nimrud were also “certainly” Scyths. They were later pushed up into the mountains by Semitic invaders. He discusses etymological indications of this. Discusses what he means by the term “Scythic” and also the possibility that “in the earliest times Celts and Slavonians of the Arian family” may have been mixed up with them. Invites Norris’s opinion on the theory that “the basic element of Egyptian and all the African dialects is Scythic and that Semitic analogies are secondary.” Notes that “Layard has been fraternizing with Hincks at Killyleagh” and remarks that “the Irishman is no doubt competent to give him a general translation of all his Inscriptions”. Is disappointed by the lack of new historical inscriptions coming from the excavations at Nineveh. Still hesitating over the connections between Pul, Tiglath Pileser, and Sargon. His most important recent discovery is to identify the Biblical Sepharvaim with Borsippa (Birs Nimrud) [This identification is not generally accepted nowadays. RBP.] [III/07(23)]
  24. Addressed “Baghdad Decbr 15 1852. My dear Norris.” Has noted a difference between Norris’s reading of the first letter of the name of the Saca at a certain point in [presumably the Median portion of] the Behistun Inscriptions and what he has in his notes at other points, although it would suit his Scythic theories if Norris’s reading is correct. “It is a point, in fact, which I should almost be tempted to make another trip to Behistun to verify.” [HCR here alludes to the use of the “pentagraph” (pantograph) apparently for the purpose of magnifying the outlines of characters in paper casts of cuneiform inscriptions. This is the first mention which I have found of this practice. RBP] The hypothesis that the Semites originated in Africa [Norris appears to have mentioned this in his previous letter] is quite new to HCR and he asks what is the basis for it. HCR believes that the original inhabitants of Africa were Scythic and that the old Egyptians were the first Semitic peoples to appear there [this appears to contradict what he said in his previous letter. RBP.] He is satisfied that he has identified in the inscriptions the name of the Casluhim (Gr. Khasmuneim) the Biblical ancestors of the Philistines, who are described as subjects of the Egyptians joining with the people of Gaza in a revolt against Sargon. He reads their name as Khasdanu or Khasmunu. Norris has never commented on HCR’s discovery of Esarhaddon’s conquest of Egypt and Æthiopia [See III/07(14) above]. Has been reminded of this by “the bronze figure of a lion, which the Turks ? have just dug up at Nebi Yunus which is altogether Egyptian in its character” and bears the epithet usually associated with Esarhaddon “King (or conqueror) of … Egypt and Æthiopia” … [I have not been able to find out anything more about this bronze lion. There is a pencilled note by Norris at the beginning of the letter “Took out lion and gave to Rawlinson 20 July 1857.” RBP.] “This Nebi Yunus lion is an almost exact representation of the figure in Black marble which was found here a short time back and which has the [royal cartouche] Sheshonk apparently on its breast. Repeats some of what he had said earlier on this point. Also refers again to Layard’s visit to Hincks, which he is convinced will be for the purpose of conspiring against him, and to his confusion over the names of the Assyrian gods [i.e their pronunciation.] Suggests he should forestall Layard by writing a letter for publication in the JRAS setting out his present understanding of the Pantheon, so as to establish his prior claims. “I am quite frightened however … [by] the multitude of [unfinished?] papers now lying about my Study. His most recent task has been to make a literal translation of the great Inscription of Assur-akh-pal … which is only valuable for its geographical information. Proposes to construct a map from it “showing the lines of route and laying down the approximate position of all the countries, mountains, rivers tribes and cities. Is satisfied that a word which has for long puzzled him is the original name of Babylonia, corresponding to the Biblical Shinar or the Greek Cephenia, but he has as yet no idea how to pronounce it. Repeats his identification of the ancient Sippara/Sepharvaim with Borsippa [see III/07(23) above] and “having been lately groping in the Talmud I have found abundant confirmation of the Scythic empire of Nimrud and ascertained that the primæval cities were as I always suspected to the South, Erech being certainly Warka, Acad, Akar the capital of Cascar (near Wasit) and Calmen, Nipper where the tower was built. Gives further, more speculative, identifications. Gives arguments in favour of identifying an Assyrian god, whose name he thinks was probably pronounced Barsum with Hercules. Notes further uncertainties about the names of other deities. “I quite appreciate all that you say about the necessity of gaining ground step by step, but when one has a positive, unscrupulous and really shrewd antagonist like Hincks, it is difficult to know what to do.” Repeats that he hopes “to be among you” next year. [III/07(24)].
  25. Addressed “Baghdad Jany 4 1853. My dear Norris.” Has now finished translating the annals of Assur-akh-pal but without “copious annotation” it would hardly be worth publishing “a mere detail of wars, expeditions, barbarous punishments …. dull reading enough.” The most valuable result has been the identification of some hundred new words “all good Hebrew or Chaldee vocables.” “The tortures … [are] something horrible.” “The mythological portions of the annals are still however often very obscure. There are references to feasts and prayers and sacrifices of which I can make little or nothing and I await with some anxiety Hincks’s éclaircissements which will I suppose form the valuable morceau (sic) in Layard’s new book.” [See III/07(06) above.] Has written to Birch enclosing “another Cartouche?” which has been found at Nimrud. Gives his interpretation of it. Gives his latest reading of the name of the Water God as Aben or Abnil in Assyrian and Evil or Hivil in Babylonian. Is sceptical of Layard’s claim to have found a phonetic list of all the names [of the Assyrian gods] since he has never found anything like it and believes that the Assyrians would have regarded it as sacrilege to write the names of their Gods in that way. Further discussion of the identities of Sargon and Shalmaneser. Hincks considers them to be distinct kings, whereas HCR has held them to be different names for the same king. There are difficulties in the way of either hypothesis. In the postscript writes that he has offered to send “the Crystal Palace people” some “real slabs instead of casts if they will pay the expense of freight, about 1000£.” Has just seen in the Athenaeum that he is to be given the Prussian Order of Merit. Supposes that it is a compliment “but in real truth, I know little and care less about these matters.” Intends to start for Babylon towards the end of the month and to spend March and April at Mosul, where many new inscriptions have turned up. “You may reckon on seeing me by the end of the year.” [III/07(25)].
  26. Addressed “Baghdad Jany 24 1853. My dear Norris.” Is pleased to note that Norris has been reading some of HCR’s letters to the RAS as it will prevent “Hincks and Layard from claiming everything as their own.” Discusses briefly various obscure points in the Median [inscription from Behistun?]. Has written out a fair portion of his “Scythic ethnography paper” and discusses various further ideas he has had. “I only hope I shall not be run away with in pushing affiliation too far”. Asks Norris to look into the structure of the Belooch [Baloch] language as HCR considers them to be the purest descendants of the “primitive Scythic Cush” Expands on this idea considerably, finding Scyths as far afield as Spain, north Africa and India. This will give Norris an idea of what to expect in HCR’s Scythic paper. Asks what has become of his Outlines of Assyrian History [see III/07(17) above.] Is anxious to see Hincks’s phonetic readings of the Gods’ names “for the more I plunge into the Labyrinth, the more am I bewildered.” Is pretty sure that a geographical name which had long puzzled his is the Biblical Shinar [he wrote about this in III/07(24) above.] “I believe I am at last going to Babylon and shall try and break ground at Birs (Borsippa or Sippara) but I cannot wait to superintend the excavations in person and have no competent assistant. In the Spring too I shall revisit Mosul and let you have the cream of all the recent discoveries.” Unless he is posted to Persia to replace Sheil [see III/07(21) above] he is determined to return to England at the end of the year and to spend at least 3 years arranging and publishing the “enormous mass of Cuneiform materials I now have on hand”. Encloses some “meagre notes of a Mr Lynch on the Babylonian marshes” and will add an explanatory note of his own if they are considered worth publishing. Has identified the names of the Egyptian cities of Sin and Zoan in the annals of Pul & Sargon as well as “something which looks very like the Queen of Sheba in an earlier inscription.” [III/07(26).]

III/08   Double sheet of foolscap enclosing two double sheets and one single sheet. On the outside: “From Rawlinson’s letters.” Contains summaries of 8 letters in written by HCR to Norris during 1853. All but one of these letters is included in III/09. Various marginal notes. The whole appears to be in Norris’s handwriting.

III/09   18 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris, dated between Feb. 15th and Dec. 16th 1853, some with the original wrappers and envelopes, as follows:

  1. Addressed “Baghdad Feby 15 1853. My dear Norris.” Has not received any letters from Norris dated after November, but is relieved as he is unwell and has much official work on hand. Is making progress with the “Scythic paper” but fears it may prove to be too discursive and full of speculation for the JRAS. Has to announce a “curious” discovery, that the “Northern Arabs” i.e. those living around the head of the Red Sea were governed by Queens and Solomon’s Queen of Sheba was one of these. Gives evidence for this statement and discusses various implications. Gives a list of 18 tributaries of Pul which he has reconstructed from the fragments found by Layard. No fresh inscriptions have come in from Nimroud, only repetitions of texts found earlier, but he hopes they will find something at “Kilu Shergat”[presumably he means the ancient city of Assur, near modern Qalat Sharqat. RBP.] The French have been luckier at Khorsabad. HCR expects to see all their finds when he visits Mosul and will let Norris know if there is anything fresh. Gossip about Layard and other mutual acquaintances. [III/09(01)].
  2. Addressed “Baghdad Feby 23rd My dear Norris.” Begins to fear that his December packet of letters has either gone astray or been detained in France or Alexandria, although he has received magazines etc up to January 20th. Encloses a “map of the canals about Babylon drawn up by Mr Lynch” which he is sending to the Royal Geographical Society although it is “hardly worth the expense of forwarding and certainly not worth publishing.” Has suspended work on “the Scythian paper” in order “to get up my annual historical Budget for you” [presumably he means an account of his work during the year for the RAS Anniversary General Meeting. RBP.] Is making good progress with this, but has mislaid his only copy of his Outlines [see III/07(17) above] and is having to rely on his memory. The major historical problem is the period immediately preceding the reign of Sargon, for which the only documents are the fragmentary and “jumbled” inscriptions from the S.E palace at Nimrud. These belong to at least 2 and maybe 3 different kings. Discusses some of the difficulties. Is still not absolutely sure of the Assyrian names of Pul, Tiglath Pileser and Shalmaneser, although he believes he has correctly identified the first two and Shalmaneser is completely missing. Has at last obtained a complete Assyrian calendar. Gives a list of the cuneiform signs, but adds that he still has no idea how they were pronounced. Is expecting the cast of a pavement inscription which is said to be quite new from Nimrud and an almost perfect historical cylinder from “Kileh Shergat” which he anticipates will be a duplicate of the annals of Deleboras. Will be unable to go to Nineveh, as he has to protect the “little Persian prince whom I have under my wing.” The French have repaid his generosity in allowing “Mons Place to carry off a set of marbles from Nimrud for the Louvre” [see III/07(06) above] by trying to raise the Arabs against us, but we are too strong for that.” [III/09(02)]
  3. Addressed “Baghdad March 4 1853. My dear Norris.” Has still not received any personal letters since those posted in November, although other items of mail have arrived. “I wrote you last week … giving you a complete series of the Babylonian [sic] months … [see III/09(02) above, although he says there that they are the Assyrian RBP]” but not much has been gained since there is no reason for thinking that the names correspond to the Hebrew ones. Has spent the last week going through “the Pantheon” and can identify the characters for the principal gods “there is nothing certain but Assur, Bel, Merodach, Nebo, Sin and Yastara.” Believes the Gods had different names in the different countries. Owing to characters having multiple phonetic values, as well as “compound ideograms” it will require a great deal of work to reduce it to order and there will not be many collaborateurs. The Pavement Inscription from Nimrud [see previous letter] has turned out to be a duplicate of part of the annals of Sardanapalus, valuable only for its variant readings. Asks after “Layard’s book and Hincks’s Pantheon” [see III/07(06) and III/07(26) respectively]. “how is it that Grotefend continues to emit such puerilities as I see Renouard has been taking the trouble to translate and communicate to the Syro Egyptian? [George Cecil Renouard (1780–1867) was a distinguished linguist and oriental scholar. The Syro-Egyptian Society of London was founded in 1844 and survived until 1872 when it was merged into the Society of Biblical Archaeology. I have not been able to identify the “puerilities” which HCR complains of. Grotefend died a few months after the date of this letter. RBP.] An exploratory party which he sent to Southern Babylonia has found, at a site called Abu Shudhr, burial urns containing “small rolls of sheet lead inscribed with Chaldæan legends” Encloses a “specimen roughly copied”. “You will see that the alphabet is half way between the Chaldæan of the Patera? [HCR appears to be referring to a recognised class of objects with inscriptions on them, but I have not been able to clarify this. RBP.] and the Old Syriac but with numerous Sabæan & Pehlevi analogies.” It appears from a quick inspection of some of the other rolls that there is a gradual transition from “the Syriac forms” to the “cursive Sabæan.” Is inclined to assign a date of “the 2nd or 3rd Century. [presumably AD. RBP.]” Has a patera in his possession “on which the writing is as near the square Hebrew (cursive) as possible – and yet it must be old, for I read on it ‘the palace of the great king of Babylon”. Is puzzled by “Stuart Poole’s last letter in the Literary Gazette” making “the Shepherds Assyrians [presumably the Hyksos or ‘Shepherd Kings’ of Egypt. RBP.]” on the basis of what he had read in the “Turin Papyrus [presumably the Turin King List. RBP.] Repeats part of his Scythic theories. Feels that the only hope of “getting at the names of the Gods” is from “the famous [Kitab al-] Fihrist [Index List of (Arabic) works, of Mohammed bin Is’hák al-Nadím, 987 AD. RBP.]” Comments about sources of information on “Sabæan mythology”. Gives reasons for thinking that the story of the Book of Job is set in “Southern Chaldæa” Discusses some further difficulties he is having with names, but that he thinks he can read the name of country of which Warka and Nipper were the capitals as Ak’k’adima. [III/09(03)].
  4. Addressed “Baghdad March 8 1853. My dear Norris.” His letters for December and January have arrived at last. Has been more put out by Hincks than he should have been. Objects to Hincks’s appropriating “so much of my lawful spoil” while at the same time accusing HCR of “wholesale robbery”. Intends to reply with “a sketch of the alphabet after his fashion, comparing his manifold contradictions and showing in how far I really am indebted to him.” Looks to Norris to endorse his claims. Thinks that Hincks’s main error is oversimplification, but he is prepared to accept some of his readings, but rejects many more, discusses some of these. Is still working at the summary of his work for the RAS Anniversary Meeting and proposes to include ethnographical as well as historical results in it. Is looking forward to obtaining valuable information from a new obelisk which has come to light at Nimrud as well as the cylinder from Kila Shergat. Further complaints about Hincks. “PS Please send the accomp.g answer to Bunsen – it is all about Chronology[?], just what I wrote to you in the summer and what Hincks has now published.” [III/09(04).]
  5. Addressed “Baghdad. April 15 1853. My dear Norris.” The last mail was plundered by “an outlying band of Anezeh [an Arab people of the Syrian desert. RBP.] and the Foreign[?] correspondence distributed among the tribesman, who now I understand, wear the strange characters as amulets.” A long letter to Norris was among this. Is so busy writing replacements for the other letters lost at the same time that he can write to Norris only briefly and in haste. He had intended his previous letter to be read to the RAS, but he leaves it to Norris’s judgement as to how much of the present letter can be communicated. Has managed to reconstruct the Kileh Shirgat Cylinder, barring “not more than about a dozen lines” and finds it to bear “about 800 lines of beautiful writing” and to be “at least 100 years older than the oldest monument before discovered, the subject being the bulletins of Tiglath Pileser I”. He is mentioned by Assur-akh-pal as a remote ancestor. Since there is no mention on the cylinder of Calah or Nineveh, HCR thinks he must predate the builders of those cities, the capital being Kileh Shirgat itself, which is named Assur on the cylinder, as in other inscriptions in the BM. His principal campaigns were “in Armenia, Cappadocia, Pontus and on the shores of the Euxine.” In addition, he crossed the Kurdish mountains to the East and the Euphrates to the West, taking Carchemish of the Hittites and overrunning northern Syria and Cilicia. This is text has clarified the location of the country referred to as Masr, mentioned as a source of horses, elephants, two-humped camels, monkeys etc. This country is not Egypt, which is always referred to as Muśuri but far to the north, probably Pontus [north-eastern Anatolia] or possibly Colchis [modern Georgia]. The name is always coupled with Kumánia which HCR idenfities with “the Turkish Cemani[?]”. Considers that the similarity of the names explains the connection which Herodotus makes between Colchis and Egypt. “It will be a relief to the Egyptologers to find that the Obelisk horses did not come from the Nile, but what are we to think of tropical animals, Elephants, monkeys etc being found on the Euxine.” Tiglath Pileser gives the names of 50 countries which he overran in Asia Minor, but very few of these names survived even to the time of Assur-akh-pal so cannot be identified in Classical Geography. “These glimpses of the political and ethnical state of Western Asia very little after the time of Solomon are however full of interest and as we have at length broken ground in the times anterior to the Assyrian Augustan Age, that I mean of the glories of Nineveh and Calah I do not despair of ascending up to the institution of the monarchy.” Gives a detailed analysis of the name Tiglath Pileser. Alludes to his previous criticisms of Hincks’s alphabet. Has noticed that “in the Tiglath Pileser inscription … the writing is better, the language more polished, and the grammatical distinctions more nicely marked that (sic) in the later inscriptions”. This “annihilates all my theories about comparative modernity of the Assyrian civilization. I shall now be prepared for any antiquity Layard and Ferguson, may be pleased to assign to the nation.” Is convinced that he has now definitely located the cities of Nineveh, Calah and Resen mentioned in Genesis at Nebi Yunus, Nimrud and Kileh Shirgat respectively. A “slab of Sennacherib’s” found by the Turks[? Or Tucks. RBP.] at Nebbi Yunus gives an account of two campaigns “later apparently than those chronicled in the Annals … there are interesting Geographical Notices.” Is awaiting the arrival of a new obelisk from Nimrud which he hopes will contain the annals of Divanuras[? I cannot trace this name. RBP.], the builder of Calah. Has been stimulated by Hincks’s published syllabarium to go through his tablets and has found a wealth of materials: “fragments of alphabets, syllabaria and explanations of ideographic signs – in one place a table of notation, giving the phonetic readings of all the signs, and showing that the Assyrians counted by sixties as well as by hundreds in exact agreement with the soss, sar and ner of Berossus. The numbers are completely Semitic and of great interest.” Has also found detailed explanations of the Pantheon, information about countries, cities, rivers and mountains, weights and measures, divisions of time, points of the compass &c. &c. Has also discovered that all the annals are numbered in accordance with a 12-year cycle. “Again, we have lists of stones, metals & trees … elementary treat[ise?]s on geology, metallurgy and botany – also astronomical & astrological formulae without end. I suspect, likewise, there are veritable grammars and dictionaries; the whole collection is in fragments, but it gives us a most curious insight into the state of Assyrian science … “What I regard as most important is the series of dynasties or rather of the kings and their households or Cabinets.” The fragments which he has at his disposal are from the lower stratum of the Royal Library. Layard’s collection forms the upper layer and is in a much better state of preservation. Has found ideographs for “Warka or Erech, Accad or Kaskar, Calach or Nipper &c. and I have thus at length got a secure footing in the slippery field of Babylonian Geography. The most difficult portion of the subject is still the Pantheon, the explanations being usually as obscure as the text.” Is now optimistic of finding even a list of the phonetic readings of the names of the Gods. Has also identified the determinatives for ideographic and phonetic signs “a whole host of difficulties being thus at once cleared up. Altogether I am delighted with the splendid field now opening out – the labor of carrying through a complete analysis will be immense, but the results will be splendid.” A “splendid ruin” has been discovered at [Tell] Aboo Shahrein [now known to be the ancient Sumerian city of Edridu. RBP.] “full of marbles and sculptures” which he hopes to visit in the autumn. Asks Norris to mention his discovery of Tiglath Pileser I at the Anniversary General meeting of the RAS and to take care to make clear the distinction between Tiglath Pileser I and II. [Much of this letter is quoted verbatim in the proceedings of the Anniversary General Meeting for 1853. See III/07(17) above. RBP.] [III/09(05)]
  6. Addressed “Baghdad. April 20th My dear Norris.” Has found a genealogy at the end of the Tiglath Pileser [I] cylinder and numerous allusions to his ancestors. On the basis of this he has compiled a tentative list of the [Assyrian] royal line [enclosed] with an approximate chronology based on an assumed average 30 years per reign. Has shown that the city [i.e. Shirgat] was dedicated to the god Anu and he thus applies to it the names Assur, Ellasar, Tel Assur, Tel Ani and Resen, indifferently. “Hincks’s establishment at the Museum is a serious business for me personally, but no doubt for the benefit of science, so I cannot complain. My own tablets will give me more occupation than I shall require for the rest of my life. Can make nothing of the “lion weight inscription” which Vaux has sent him. “The Bab. Greek MSS are certainly very curious … [but] do not take Hincks’s dictum for gospel – he pooh-poohs everything not his own.” Speculates on Layard’s motives in coming out to Constantinople “to settle the Eastern question.” “The determinate identification of the Namri (or Nimrud) with Sana(?) is satisfactory.” Will try to finish his “Scythic memoir”. Some comment about “Baron de Bode” and “Hivil Zivo” [which I cannot make sense of. RBP.]. Norris is not to publish the list of [Assyrian] Royal names “for I have no faith in many of the readings” only the number of kings and the approximate chronology. Is bewildered by the new geographical names in the Tiglath Pileser inscription. “Out of 100 names belonging to …[the north of Asia Minor] there are not more than a dozen which I can trace in later geography.” Discusses implications for his pan-Scythic theories. Norris is to hand HCR’s Order of Merit “to my brother when you see him.” [III/09(06)]
  7. Addressed “Baghdad May 5th My dear Norris.” Had hoped to send a serious letter, but cannot write anything more than “gossip” owing to a severe attack of lumbago. Had entertained for some time the hypothesis that Tiglath Pileser I had conquered Egypt, but has had to give up that idea, as his conquests did not extend so far. Discusses various linguistic discoveries which he has made from the analysis of the Tiglath Pileser I cylinder. Has gained the impression from what various correspondents have told him about “Layard’s book that Hincks has been designedly puffed at my expense. I have accordingly written to Layard declaring war against him and his protégé and in good time shall make some damaging disclosures.” Disagrees with Hincks’s reading of a royal name which he claims to have found in Sennacherib’s “Bavian Inscription [This inscription is carved on the rock face of a gorge alongside the irrigation canal which Sennacherib dug to serve Nineveh RBP.]” but cannot put forward a reading of his own until he has seen the original inscription. Comments on some points in the Median readings in Norris’s last letter. There follows an extended discussion of the vagaries of the mail. Thinks his Assyrian vocabulary now contains “5 or 6000 words, how can it ever be printed.” [III/09(07)]
  8. Addressed “Baghdad May 24 1853. My dear Norris.” Has been disgusted by the bias and unfairness of “Layard’s book”. “Layard, however, may now look out for squalls for I will most assuredly retaliate.” Comments on Norris’s “Scythic [i.e. Median] paper” [This presumably refers to Memoir on the Scythic Version of the Behistun Inscription which was read to the RAS on 3rd July 1852 and appeared in JRAS 15 (1855) pp1-214.]. “Your Scythic paper is very clear and unpretending but I have really now forgotten so much of the subject that I find it difficult to follow you without reference.” Gives corrections to the list of Assyrian kings which he sent previously [See III/09(06) above. Note that here, as elsewhere, HCR confuses the words “Assyrian” and “Babylonian”. In his summary of this letter in III/08 Norris objects to one of these amendments. RBP.] Has also clarified the use of various words for “daughter”, “son” “grandson” and remoter degrees of descent. This has reconfirmed him in his belief that the names Sargon and Shalmaneser refer to the same individual. Hopes this is right as both Hincks and Layard have “twitted” him for it. Discusses in detail the reasoning behind his identification of the cuneiform equivalent of the Biblical god Nargal. Has discovered a clay tablet of Nabunit (or Nabonidus) on which his father is named Nabu dibu which he identified with the Naboandelos of Josephus. However, Nabu dibu appears not to be king, but rather a rab-mag as in Jeremiah. Mentions some errors which he has detected in the list of royal names in Layard’s book. Is inclined to accept Hincks’s dating of the Bavian Inscription even though it means that his tentative chronology for the Assyrian kings is too short. Discusses the implications of his identification of an “Arban” king listed in Layard’s book with one whose signet ring HCR had found at Sherif Khem, who was the grandson of Divamukha “king of Sidikan on the Khabur ” although he has no idea how the name should be read. Norris is to inform Bunsen [See Letter 2L in III/03] of HCR’s discoveries of the names of Neriglissar and Naboandelos and “as there is such a race now for priority, if you can make anything intelligible out of all this farrago for the Athenæum I shall be much obliged.” [III/09(08)].
  9. Addressed “Baghdad June 1st My dear Norris.” Is convinced that he has “found Noah and his whole history in the inscriptions.” Consequently he has read the name of the god of the sea etc, the equivalent of the Greek Poseidon as Nuha or also Sisirsu which he compares to the Greek Σισιθρος or Kisuthros in Berossus. [This seems to be connected with the epic of Gilgamesh. RBP.] This god Nuha is second of three in the Assyrian pantheon “independently of Assur” and the third “ should be Pluto”. He reads the name of the third god as Anu “but I cannot determine his attributes sufficiently to identify him with the god of the lower world.” However, he has discovered some hints in that direction. Now strongly suspects that the phonetic reading of the name of another god which has puzzled him for a long time should be Nimrud as in the Bible, although he has no space to go into the arguments, but his attributes, as catalogued at Nimrud “exactly coincide.” There were temples dedicated to this god at Calah and Birs, and both places bear the name Nimrud to this day. Asks Norris to substitute nimrud for barsum wherever it occurs in the list of phonetic readings of royal names enclosed with III/09(06). [The amendments to this list requested by HCR will be seen on the document itself in Norris’s hand. RBP.] Is making progress with the Assyrian Pantheon and hopes to provide Norris with a paper on the subject during the summer. Speculates on the existence of a connection in Assyrian between the seven planets and seven metals such as obtained in “Chaldee” and on the root meaning of various signs. “You will see from all this the symbolical structure of a large portion of the Cuneiform system.” Has become interested in execration formulae which are widespread, invoking the wrath of the Gods on, among others, anyone who destroys the inscription. On “Michaux’s stone [See Letter T in III/03 above. RBP.]” each of the gods is invoked in turn, and the symbols of the gods are shown as well. Thinks that the name of the God Nergal is given phonetically on this stone, viz. nir-ig-e-lu. Has concluded that the sign which he has been reading nu can also be pronounced as ela which leads to improved readings of some other words. Reads some words which occur very frequently in the titles of kings as “[king of the] four great cities” and that this refers to the “Babylonian Tetrapolis” [i.e. Babel, and Erech, and Accad, and Calneh as in Genesis 10:10. RBP.] Is convinced that both Greek mythology and “the Mosaic cosmogony” can be amply illustrated from the inscriptions, although “the subject will require careful handling.” Is “getting more reconciled to Layard’s book” despite its continual attempts “to snub me and puff Hincks” and its “many gross errors and absurdities”. [III/09(09)].
  10. [This letter is represented only by the envelope and by Norris’s summary in III/08. At the head of the summary Norris has written in pencil “Given to Rawlinson 28 Jan. 1856.” RBP.] Dated “June 14 1853.” [Norris’s style in these summaries is rather disjointed and it is not always clear when he is summarising HCR and when commenting on what he says. RBP.] Since Sargon penetrated only to the frontiers of Egypt and yet received tribute from Sheba, it cannot be Ethiopia. Does not see how the name of Esarhaddon’s concubine, who was made Queen of the Arabs can be read as Thinks he has found a notice of the building of Tarsus and the capture of Sidon, from which he concludes that Esarhaddon was the man who founded Anchiah [sic I cannot identify this name. RBP.] and Tarsus “in a day.” [Norris comments: “first letter doubtful, but if T the name is Tsarsu. Berossus & Abydenus refer the city to Sen[n]acherib.” “Argument about Sardanapalus [I cannot follow Norris’s summary here, but he comments “very ingenious”. RBP.]” The next part of Norris’s summary is obscure, but HCR seems to be having second thoughts about various previous readings including Nimrud, Barsum etc. New Babylonian names are being found daily. One is called Naram-sin “king of the four countries, sar kêprat arbat like the Assyrian kings of a later period.” “New obelisk found. Style and language that of Tiglath Pileser I whose capital was at Alassar, or Kileh Shergat”.[ Norris adds “BC 1130”.] [III/09(10)].
  11. Addressed “Baghdad. July 5th 1853” Has seen a report of the RAS Anniversary General Meeting [I cannot follow the next part of the letter, but I think HCR is satisfied with the account of his work given in that report. RBP.] Has also had the “Median Inscriptions” but not “Loftus’s Inscriptions or the Blackwood, which you say were put up in the same packet.” Considers it “now pretty well established that the Assyrian empire was instituted about 1250BC” having previously been subject to Babylon. Has found three new royal names on “bricks from Kileh Shergat” which must be inserted between Tiglath Pileser I [7 on the old list, see III/09(06) above] and “the founder of Caleh” [8 on the old list, where his name is given as “Divanuras”]. Gives a revised list. [This contains the cuneiform signs only. In comparing it with the previous list it is necessary to bear in mind that the first two names on the old list are omitted from this one, that 25 from the old list has been placed between 11 and 12, and that HCR does not repeat nos. 23 and 24 because they correspond exactly with the last two entries on the new list. 13, 19 and 21 do not correspond exactly with their counterparts in the new list: 15, 21 and 22. On the old Norris has written conjectural phonetic readings under two of the three royal names added as 6,7 and 8 of the new list: bu-di-an for 6 and di-ma-bar-palam for 8.] “According to Abydenus Sennacherib was the 25th king of Assyria, whereas in this list he appears at no. 23 [22 in III/09(06).] implying that there must be two more names. Is not satisfied with the genealogy given in “BM Plate 70” but without more materials, preferably “a complete tablet of dynasties the obscurity cannot be cleared up.” The fragmentary materials which he has had to work with “are the most provoking things imaginable. … it will however take me several months more to examine all the materials & in the mean time I live in hope.” Has now established beyond doubt that before the establishment of the Assyrian empire, the country was ruled by “satraps from Babylon” by the discovery of bricks from Kileh Shergat “from the ante-Assyrian period” which are “completely Babylonian in style and in the power of the characters”. On these, the rulers style themselves “patis (governor?) of Assur”. Has the names of at least six such rulers from Shirgat. He also has “a host of royal names also of the same period from Babylonia proper and Chaldæa” and patis occurs frequently among the titles. He is now obtaining “bricks from the ruins of the original empire” from a site within a few miles of Baghdad. He now regards Assyria as comparatively modern “and for real antiquity one must go back to the ante Assyrian empire.” Believes that these may be the ruins of “the Sippara of Berosus” and intends to devote the autumn and winter to a “systematic search for these early relics and I expect great results.” Norris is not to say anything about the site “as I am afraid of the French getting wind of … [it] and forestalling me.” Is currently devoting his energies to compiling lists of “monograms [HCR uses the terms monogram and ideogram interchangeably] from the fragments of “syllabaria” which he has found among his collection of tablets. The term syllabarium is misleading, for they generally contain lists of ideograms with what he believes to be translations in two other languages, which he takes to be “Assyrian” and “old Arabic”. “It will be in vain to attempt to express the inscriptions phonetically until all these ideographs have been tabulated and explained.” HCR has accordingly “laid aside for the present History, Geography, Astronomy and the sciences to devote myself to the elementary part. … The work is terribly hard owing to the mere fragments one has to consult, the smallness of the writing, its half obliterated condition &c &c but I gain information daily.” Cannot say when he will be able to complete this work because of all the interruptions. Some further comments about the [Assyrian?/Babylonian?] calendar based on a twelve-year calendar which he has discovered. The months were of 30 days with an intercalation of 5 days plus further “adjustments which I do not understand”. Gives a table showing a table of the twelve months in cuneiform followed by mathematical calculations which he suggests should be referred to the Board of Longitude “for they quite surpass my limited mathematical knowledge.” Then gives a table of “the phonetic reading of the numbers which you will find quite satisfactory” although some difficulties remain. Norris is to ask “Vaux or Birch” what Hincks is up to at the Museum “and whether he is to have the editing and translating of all the Museum treasures?” HCR has no wish to molest Hincks, if he would only let HCR alone, as “there is plenty of work for both us without clashing.” Has confirmed two readings, for Salam and Elama which he had previously suspected. Has found a tablet giving the names of “a score of gods carried off from Susa by the son of Esar Haddon … On another tablet I have a regular catalogue of all the Gods of Assyria & Babylonia & of the temples & cities in which they were worshipped. The list embraces nearly 500 names and it is but a fragment after all.” [III/09(11)].
  12. Addressed “Baghdad July 25th My dear Norris.” Sends “a sheet of syllabarium for your quiet examination during the recess. … I have only put down those ideographs which have either one or the other of the phonetic readings – my note book contains at least 100 more of which the phon. powers are wanting or in fragments.” Suspects from “Hincks’s description” that most of the fragments on which HCR’s syllabary is based are from the same tablet, the other half of which is now in the British Museum. Hopes that when all the fragments are re-united it will be possible to recover “some 50 more phonetic powers.” The same applies to the “explanatory vocabularies”. Has spent a whole month in trying to fit pieces together but without completing a single tablet, the remaining fragments being, HCR believes, at the British Museum. As an example of the difficulties posed by the material with which he is now working, he cites the cardinal points, for which he thought he had established the phonetic readings, but now thinks he was completely wrong. Cites a similar uncertainty in the names of the three subdivisions of the quarters of the heavens. [HCR makes it clear that there is a confusion between divisions horizontally from zenith to horizon and vertically. RBP.] Is inclined to the theory that the same divisions were applied to buildings such as palaces, obelisks, cylinders, coins etc also advanced by Raoul Rochette and Layard but cannot yet prove it. “There is so much nonsense indeed mixed up with science that one is always afraid of being led away by a will of the wisp.” Instances tablets which looked important at first sight which turned out to be lists of unclean animals, monthly fasts, sacrifices etc. Now thinks there is very little “real science” in the tablets and that chiefly astronomical, but the “incidental notices and classification of metals, stones, trees, plants, animals, birds &c are to say the least of it curious.” Mentions two signs appearing at the head of a list of luxury items which he is sure represent “ebony” and “mother of pearl” although he has no idea how they were pronounced. “I have indeed now nearly 2000 of these names [of arms, musical instruments, articles of clothing &c. &c.] with phonetic readings or explanations copied out of the vocabularies – and I have not got more than half [way] through the fragments.” Has found the name of the son of Esar Haddon written out more fully than usual in a form which can be read as Assur bani pal. Has found that the title patis [see previous letter] was in common use in Babylonia down to the days of Nebuchadnezzar, although never adopted by the Assyrians. Speculates that the Hebrew word which is translated “hammer” at Jeremiah 50, 23 is a mistake for this title “patis of the whole world the exact title of the king of Babylon, whereas ‘hammer’ seems very far fetched.” Goes on to discuss other cases where the inscriptions suggest new interpretations of Biblical passages. PS dated “26 July 1853. Has just received news of the discovery of another obelisk at Nineveh which seems to have a historically very interesting inscription. “We have now then 3 new obelisks – and I fear they will soon become a drug in the market.” At the head of this letter HCR has added “I send in my resignation by this post to the Indian Govnt and ask to be relieved at latest in Feby 1854.” [III/09(12)].
  13. Addressed “Baghdad Aug. 16th My dear Norris.” Has been “all but floored” by the intense heat of the last week. Believes that Hincks has found the missing fragment of “my Tiglath Pileser Cylinder” [see III/09(05) above]. Despite the intense heat, has “made out a long list of animals and trees, all the names being as near Hebrew as possible, and I have also ascertained most of the architectural objects…. The last Obelisk Inscription is of immense value in this respect and has explained a host of difficulties.” [HCR may be commenting on some article published by Hincks. Possibly List of four discoveries by E Hincks on a visit to the British Museum including a list of “Assyrian Months” in cuneiform “monograms” and recognition of “four cardinal points”. Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy 5 (1853) pp.402-405. See Cathcart and Donlon No 69. Note on Letter L in III/03 above. But see also the letters from Hincks to Edwin Norris in III/24 below. RBP.] He accepts one of Hincks’s readings but disagrees with several others. Then begins to speculate that only the Persian ruling class, the Pasagadae, were Arian, the rest being “Scythians” “Are not these [which? RBP.] then the Nimri of the Inscriptions? … and are not Pars & Nimri the same name (Tigers or Leopards) one Scythic and the other Semitic? Nimrud “the Tiger destroyer” was the first Semitic chieftain who drove out the Nimri or Scythians from Babylonia and was subsequently deified as Orion and confounded by the Greeks as Hercules etc. etc. [The speculations go much further linking Syrian and Hebrew names and I’m not sure what. RBP.] Mentions some important new discoveries in the powers of letters. “The compound ideographs however of which the vocabularies are mainly composed, require an enormous amount of study. I see my way here and there, but am far oftener bewildered. Nothing satisfactory can be done until all the fragments are brought together and some of the tablets at any rate restored.” Is glad “that Hincks is becoming tamer” but HCR will never work with him or Layard “but [I] shall be too glad to work with any other fair and honest enquirer.” Fears that “if this war really comes to a head” he will be forced to remain in Baghdad until it is over. There is no longer any doubt about the reading of Tiglath Pileser Tugulti pal tsira. Pal tsira ≡ Nimrud/Orion. The French have “recently got a brick of Neriglissar’s with a funny Cursive legend” which HCR reads from right to left Negalsa, abbreviation for Nergalsharassar and from left to right Rabat great. “If you can make anything better out of it pray let me know.” Having read some more bricks of Nabonidas, begins to doubt that his father’s name  was Neboandelus. “The best copy I have gives the name so, but I am fairly bothered about the reading.” [III/09(13)].
  14. Addressed “Baghdad. Septr 5th My dear Norris.” Apologises for any shortcomings in this letter “you must lay it on the weather which has this year given me such a grilling as I never before experienced, and which I would not encounter again for any object in life.” Has decided not to dispute Hincks’s claim to have discovered the date 641 on “the Museum Cylinder” although he does not believe it, essentially, because the inscription which Hincks has seen is complete whereas the HCR’s has a lacuna at the corresponding point. Is inclined to believe that the true reading should be 101, which “would agree with all the other evidence obtained from the bricks, from Greek Historians &c in fixing the commencement of the Empire at about B.C. 1250.” Hopes that either Norris or Vaux will look at the text [in the Museum] and verify what it really says. Gives further reasons for preferring his reading to the one announced by Hincks. Gives reasons for reading the name of a god [I think this the one which had previously read as Nimrud or Barsum] as Sanda. Is also doubtful of the reading Shamsi Yao which Hincks says is certain although he does not know what it should be. Gives some results of his examination of the “explanatory legends” attached to tablets, including the discovery of the word Akkad as one of the languages with which equivalents with Assyrian are given, and also the word duppa for “tablet”. Has also found definite evidence that Sennacherib reigned for 23 years rather than 18. Has been re-examining the calendar tablets and “I see there is a great deal of real good astronomy in them if I could only make it out. I find nothing however positive about the Epagomenae [i.e. intercalated days. RBP.]” Gives the latest version of his table comparing the Assyrian? months with the signs of the zodiac, the Persian and Hebrew months and those of the modern calendar. Gives justifications for these readings. Points out certain errors in “your Scythic text [see III/07(22)]” and asks for corrections. Cannot write more because he is unwell and “over busy as usual”. Intends to visit Mosul next month “if the Russian business is settled.” Could not refuse the post of “Envoy & Minister” to Persia if offered it, but would prefer to “remain quietly at home and reduce to writing the enormous mass of materials I have now in hand.” “You may count on seeing me I think in April & if I go back at all ’twill be at the end of the year.” [The wrapper for this letter survives with it and bears various scribbled notes in Norris’s hand.] [III/09(14)].
  15. Addressed “Baghdad. Septbr 26th 1853 My dear Norris.” Cannot write much because, among other things, he has had a fall from his horse. Has established that the Scriptural Gozan is either the same as Nisibis or very near to it and the same as the Greek Mygdonius. Has also found Reziph listed as lying between Gozan and Harran in accordance with two passages in the OT. Is satisfied that Sepharvaim, Ivah and Hena are not Babylonian cities but are in Northern Syria. Hence there is no point in looking for Nibhaz and Tartah or Adramelech and Anamelech among the gods of Babylonia. Is continuing to work at the [Assyrian?] Pantheon and occasionally gains a new insight. Thinks that the goddess whose name is almost joined with Bel and is written Zerbanit is almost certainly the Pehlevi Zervan and possibly the Succoth Benith of Scripture although he does not know why “Succoth” should have been substituted for Zir. Thinks the real meaning of the name is “founder of fecundity” i.e. the vital principle of nature. Another deity sometimes joined with Asshur whose name is Sherukha he associates with the Biblical Serug or Σεροχ. Is also pretty sure that the name Arphaxad [a grandson of Noah] and those of his brothers are ethnological or geographical and may refer to the Tetrapolis of Babylonia, or kiprat arbat of “the Inscriptions from the earliest Ante Assyrian period almost to the time of Nebuchadnezzar.” Has a list of 36 Babylonian cities arranged from north to south “but they do not threw much light on this very difficult subject as the names are still expressed by monograms [ideograms] and belong to the Assyrian instead of the earlier period.” Has established that “the epigomenae [sic presumably epagomenae as in previous letter. RBP.] were called Shega which he connects with the Chaldæan “wanting” and the Σακεια of Berosus and Ctesias, which commenced on the 15th of the Macedonian month of Lous. Notes that Hincks gives a reading which differs in the final letter. HCR has never seen this latter form and believes that Hincks may have misread it. Has had no success in reconciling the Greek and Macedonian months with the Babylonian. Is perplexed by a letter in the Transactions of the Royal Society of Literature 3 1 p.153 from “old Mr Hamilton” which purports to give a copy of “a Greek calendar found at Nineveh by a Dr Wilson. [of whom HCR has never heard.]” If genuine, this purports to show that the Assyrian year began in Janry instead of at the equinox and “all my former comparisons will be deranged”. Wants to know what Ptolemy says in his “Syntax. Magn.” [generally known in English as the Almagest. RBP.] about the system of intercalation in Babylonian year before Calippus [presumably the Greek astronomer and mathematician 370 BC – ca. 300 BC. RBP] but he can find nothing about it in his library. “This ought to be self-evident from the dates used by Ptolemy to record the Chaldæan observations in his Canon of Nabonassar, but I have never seen anything satisfactory on the subject.” Is apprehensive of the advent of the Assyrian [Excavation] Society as an independent competitor of the Museum as “the Porte will not give too separate firmans so one party or the other will be obliged to strike.” Has sent “Mr Taylor” to excavate at “ Abu Shahrein” [Tell Abu Shahrain, ancient Eridu. RBP.] “Nawaweis” [I have not been able to locate this site. RBP.] and “Um-gheir” [Tell el-Muqayyar, now identified as the site of ancient Ur. RBP.] “the two former I suspect of being among the earliest Chaldæan sites”. [W K] Loftus I should like to set to work at Nipper [i.e. Nippur], Warka and Senkereh. The ruins near Baghdad which I take to be that of the Sippara of Berosus I have just examined personally and shall open trenches in them forthwith.” Cannot leave Baghdad at present, as he had planned, to supervise excavations at Kileh Shirgat, [see III/09(05) above] because of the international situation, including the threat of a Persian invasion. These excavations will therefore be entrusted to Hormuzd Rassam. Repeats his statement made in the previous letter that he could not refuse the post of Ambassador to Persia if it is offered but that he would “much rather come home and pass three years in London at steady Cuneiform work. My idea is to take a small house somewhere in the suburbs, fill it with books and keep as much as possible out of society and public life.” [Felix] Jones has told HCR that Norris recommends “Muller’s fragments [presumably Fragmenta Historicorum Graecorum (Fragments of the Greek Historians),) by Carolus Müller 1840–]” which HCR knows well. One authority which HCR does not have and which might be useful is “the famous Fihrist [see III/09(03) above] that work which they have complete at Paris, contains an elaborate essay on the old Chaldæan religion … and … a list and description of the Gods then worshipped at Harran [HCR seems to be referring to an Arabic MS rather than a printed book. RBP.] Would also like to consult “Ibn Wabshee’s Nabathæan agriculture” [Filahât al-Nabâtiyyah by Ibn Wahshiyya (9th/10th c. AD)] which from “Quatremere’s occasional hints must be full of curious notices.” Is writing out interlineary translations in Latin to the “two great Inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser I (Shergat Cylinder) and Assurakhpal (Nimrud Monolith).” Ctesias is to be discarded as an authority. “Berosus, Abydemus and Herodotus are the only authorities worthy of notice.” [III/09(15)].
  16. Addressed “Camp Ctesiphon. Octbr 15th My dear Norris.” Awaits Norris’s comments on “the syllabarium”. Is now satisfied that various phonetic readings in the right and left hand columns [of some tablets] do belong to the central character. [On other tablets] they give different powers for the same letter, or different names for the same object. Is completing the interlineary reading and translation of the inscriptions referred to in the previous letter as these are the only papers he has brought with him to camp. Has now decided that Muşri on the Tiglath Pileser inscription must refer to Southern Syria and Philistia, which were under Egyptian rule at that time, rather than the valley of the Nile. The “warlike tribes inhabiting this country” whose name he used to read as Comani he now takes to be the Casluchim or Casmonim of Scripture, although he is not sure how the name should be read. Has also wondered whether the name Ascalon in the Sennacherib annals is merely a corruption of Chasluna. However, if Tiglath Pileser’s campaign was really carried out in Southern Syria and Philistia then the date cannot be that given by Hincks from the inscription at Bavian. [See III/09(07) above.]. Also none of the Phœnician ports, nor the cities of the Philistines known from other sources is mentioned in the Tiglath Pileser inscription. Is inclined to think this means that this Tiglath Pileser is not the king mentioned in the Bavian inscription and that he reigned before the founding of Tyre and Sidon and the entry of the Jews into Palestine. Hopes that next month’s excavations at Kileh Shergat [under Hormuzd Rassam] will lead to some new discoveries which will settle “this fundamental question of date.” The threat of a Persian invasion has been lifted by an outbreak of cholera at the Shah’s camp but “there is still abundant cause for uneasiness at Constple”. Is now “overwhelmed with German diplomas”. Is returning various documents in connection with these which Bunsen is to forward to Germany. [III/09(16)]
  17. Addressed “Baghdad. Novr 5th My dear Norris.” His work on cuneiform has been impeded more than ever by the disturbed international situation, can “give only a brief epitome of recent lights”. A new inscription has come to light of the son of Tiglath Pileser I on a mutilated statue at Koyunjik which had been transported there from Kileh Shirgat or Elassar by Sennacherib. Thinks that the name of this king should be read as Assur-bani-pal but cannot prove it. The name of the earliest king mentioned on “the broken obelisk” includes a character which he has not seen before, although it may be only an archaic form of a better known one. Expounds a new theory about Semiramis [which I cannot really understand. RBP.] leading into a discussion of some points about the names of the gods which still puzzle him. Has received from [Julius] Oppert some bricks giving the name of the father of Nabonit which he wants to read as Nabu dilva to correspond with the Naboandelus of Josephus. He then discusses a title borne by this man as well as many Babylonian kings which he wants to read as Ruba imga rejecting the interpretation “chief of the Magi”. Discusses an ideographic ending which is applied to signs for bodily parts which occur in pairs such as “two eyes” “two hands” etc [this is apparently the vestigial dual number. RBP.] Will send with his next letter a list of about 20 animals which he has positively identified. Repeats his hope of returning to England early the following year and of his plans to settle on the outskirts of London and to “forswear politics and society and settle down into a retired hard working Savant”. However, he notes that “war has actually broken out” [The Ottoman Empire formally declared war on Russia on October 23rd 1853, starting the Crimean War, although Britain and France did not join in until March 28th 1854. RBP.] and that this may put paid to his plans to come home, especially if Persia is drawn into the conflict “but if duty calls I must forswear Cuneiforms until the storm is over.” Wonders why Norris has sent him a copy of the “Accra Gospels” when he takes “the least possible interest in the subject or the language” [The British Library catalogue has The gospels of St. Matthew and St. John in the Accra language / translated from the original Greek by the Rev A. W. Hanson.[S.l.] : British and foreign bible society, 1843, while The catalogue of the library of Parliament [of Canada] (1857) has “[Accra Gospels] The Four Gospels in the Ga language. London n.d. “Accra, or as it is more properly designated, Ghah, is spoken in a small district of Africa on the Equator.” These may or may not be distinct works. RBP.]. [III/09(17)]
  18. Addressed “Baghdad Decbr 16 1853. My dear Norris.” Has received Norris’s letter containing “the back copy of the Syllabarium tablet”. Has a fragment in Baghdad which can be matched with the Museum fragment on one surface, but he cannot match the other without a photograph of the tablet or an exact outline. However, he may have left Baghdad by the time Norris’s reply reaches there as he is determined to leave as soon as he hears from India that his successor has been appointed “and provided the pacific turn which affairs have lately taken in Persia is maintained.” Has been too busy with official duties to have much time for cuneiform studies. Another copy of the Tiglath Pileser Cylinder [See III/09(05) above.] has been discovered at Kileh Shergat but it is in a mutilated state. In particular, the paragraph containing “Hincks’s date [see III/09(14) above]” is missing and the clay is so brittle that he is wary of trying to restore it from the fragments. Asks Norris to search among the fragments at the BM to see if he can find a perfect copy of the relevant paragraph. It should be possible to establish a perfect reading from the 3 cylinders, but three independent records would be better. Hormuzd Rassam has found one new Royal name at Kileh Shergat that is perfect. Originally read it as Shallammunissar Puhil (Shalmaneser son of Pul?) but now thinks this will not do. Several new inscriptions of Tiglath Pileser II have been found “in the centre of the Nimrud mound” but all mutilated. The only valuable item to date is a list of the Syrian kings and princes subdued by Tiglath Pileser in his 8th year, which he will copy out for Norris. [Included with this letter. RBP.] Is surprised that the name of Ahab is not among them. Cannot find the notes which he made “in the Spring” on Vaux’s copies of “the Phœnician & Cuneiform legends on the weights” [This may refer to III/09(06) above.] but sends some comments based on what he can remember of them. Considers that the language of these inscriptions is just as likely to be Babylonian as Hebrew or Chaldee. Repeats his previous claim that the name of the Babylonian king “on the duck” should be read as Evil Merodach and that the resulting chronology agrees exactly with Scripture. Also that the name of Esarhaddon’s son should be read as Asshur-bani-pal, but can make nothing of the name of his grandson. Is using photography to make “capital copies now of all the brick inscriptions” and intends to try photographing paper casts and tablets also. Asks Norris to forward a photographic manual which he has ordered. Loftus [who was employed by the Assyrian Excavation Society (see III/09(15) above) and not strictly under HCR’s authority RBP] is anxious to leave for the South. HCR thinks he has arranged matters for him with “the Pasha” without the immediate need to apply for another Firman [license from the Sultan to conduct archaeological excavations RBP] “although the Committee [of the Excavation Society] should certainly have thought of that matter before he left England.” Thinks Loftus will find “only bricks and tablets and perhaps fragments of vases and statues” which will be sufficient for “real science” but which may not satisfy “your gluttonous subscribers”. [The dealings between HCR representing the BM Trustees and WK Loftus representing the Assyrian Excavation Society, which led to an acrimonious dispute, are documented in III/11 below. RBP.] Closes with hope that he will be able “to shake hands with you about the 5th of May”. [III/09(18)].

III/10   22 letters with inclusions and some envelopes and wrappers from HCR to Edwin Norris dated 6th January – 23rd December 1854, as follows:

  1. Addressed “Baghdad Jany 6 1854. My dear Norris.” Is sending an amended royal list [i.e. “List of Royal names found in the Assyrian Inscriptions” included with the letter. For the list “Names of primitive Babylonian kings from Bricks, Cylinders &c &c.” which is marked on the back of this list as “by next mail” see III/10(07) below. RBP.] derived from studying finds from Shergat [see III/09(01) above]. Has managed to recover the chronological paragraph from the Tiglath Pileser Cylinder [see III/09(14) above] and gives a translation. [Not clear whether he now agrees with Hincks’s reading of this text or not. RBP.] Has established the reading of the name of an early Assyrian king as Phal lukh “this really explains a multitude of Classical notices.” [He seems to be saying that this Phal lukh is the same as Sardanapalus, but perhaps I have misunderstood him. RBP.] However, he considers it proven that Phal lukh was the last king of the “Ninus” dynasty and was overthrown by Tiglath Pileser in BC 747. He considers that the first four kings in his list are earlier than the date of the Tiglath Pileser Cylinder because of the “curious melange of Assyrian and Babylonian writing used in their legends.” Before the time of these four kings the writing is pure Babylonian and from the time of Cylinder it is pure Assyrian. Norris is free to publish any of this in the “Athenæum” or the “Assyr. Fund Socy” if he sees fit. “Mr Stirling [I have not been able to identify this name. RBP.] writes me that he has read Hinck’s article on the Nimrud Obelisk in the Dublin University Mag.” in which he repeats the identification of Musr as Kurdistan which HCR had made “last year” but which he now rejects, being satisfied that it is “the country of the Pharaohs, including in early times Philistia and Southern Syria.” Gives reasons for this, including readings of words for elephant, ape and crow. Expects to remain at Baghdad until the autumn, “certainly if the war continues and Persia vacillates and besides I like getting the first pick of the new discoveries”. A new palace has been discovered at Koyunjik, although HCR does not know anything about it, also a “fine circular clay tablet” which he hopes may prove to be a zodiac. Asks Norris to send the proofs of “your Quarterly article” without waiting for publication [I have not been able to trace this article. RBP.] [III/10(01)]
  2. Addressed “Baghdad Jany 26 1854. My dear Norris.” Had written a letter for the Athenæum [announcing the discovery of the name and parentage of Belshazzar with an “epitome of the chronology” the identification of “Ismidahen(?)” as king of Chaldæa as well as Assyria, the assimilation of Phal-lukha and Φαλωχ and the discovery of the new palace at Nineveh] but it is now too long to be published there as it stands and he is unwilling to shorten it. Is sending it to Norris in the hopes that he will make an abstract of the letter for the Athenæum and publish the complete text in the next number of the JRAS. Is aware that the evidence which he has discovered concerning Belshazzar is not compatible with Scripture, in that it gives his father as Nabonit rather than Nebuchadnezzar. If anything is to be published in the Athenæum, Norris is to correct the proofs, “or they will make a botch of the names”. If, on the other hand, Norris decides to read the letter at a meeting of the RAS, he should invite Bunsen “and any others who are interested about Chronology”. Has only got “two of Taylor’s Cylinders as yet [see III/09(15) above] he has 3 more”. Is also expecting great discoveries from Loftus at Warka. Goes at length into his plans to leave for England, so as to arrive there before the end of April, or “at any rate in time for your Anniversary Meeting in May”. Would have liked to include in his paper “a note about the Birs-i-Nimrud [see II/07(26) above] full of the most curious and important Geographical identifications” but it would have made it too long, but he will send the note to Norris “to be tacked on to the paper” if it is to be published in the JRAS. PS “The accounts just received of the new Palace at Koyunjik are better than ever but the Inscriptions of no great interest.” [III/10(02)]
  3. Addressed “Baghdad Feby 16 1854. My dear Norris.” Fergusson will give you some account of the new Palace now being uncovered at Nineveh [It is not clear which palace is being referred to. RBP.] … a most superb edifice … [which] quite throws all Layard’s discoveries into the shade.” However, having reserved 60 slabs for the BM, he proposes to leave the remainder of the site to be exploited by Loftus on behalf of the Assyrian Excavation Society “having neither time, money nor an artist to draw the Slabs”. Asks Norris to deliver a letter containing this proposal to the Secretaries. [This led to an acrimonious dispute between HCR and Loftus which is documented below. RBP.] Has discovered new evidence that the ruler whom Asshur-bani-pal appointed over Babylon was actually his brother, son of Esar-haddon and that his name should be read as Shammugina [Now read as Shamash-shum-ukin. RBP] (Saosduchinus). He rebelled against “the king of Nineveh” and was defeated. One of the halls in the new Palace has reliefs giving the story of the war. Gives his (still tentative) reasons for reading the name of a certain god as Sham as an example of the difficulties of reading Assyrian compound ideograms. Much historical material from the reign of Asshur-bani-pal has come to light and when it can be read, it “ought to clear up much of the confusion about the later kings of Nineveh and Babylon.” One striking point is the contrast between the magnificence of the palace of Asshur-bani-pal and the primitive structure built by his son Asshur-ebad-ili. [Now read as Ashur‑etil‑ilani. After his father’s death he was involved in a power struggle with several rivals during which the kingdom of Assyria was fatally weakened. RBP.] Mentions some minor discoveries. “Why don’t you publish your Assyrian article in ‘the Edinburgh’?”. “Persia is now perfectly quiet” and he still hopes to get away next month. [III/10(03)]
  4. Addressed “Baghdad Febry 22nd My dear Norris.” Encloses a letter for publication in which he announces the identification of the name of Queen Semiramis, which Norris is to treat as a supplement to the previous one. If that has appeared in the Athenæum, this should be published there also, but if that is to appear in the JRAS then this should be added on at the end. This identification agrees with the date given by Herodotus and also confirms his previous reading of Phal-lukha. Defends “the Armenian connexion”. Hopes to find annals of Phal-lukha in his palace at the S.E. corner of the Nimrud precinct which is now being excavated. Loftus has send more casts of bricks from Warka on which he finds more royal names. However, some of what he had taken to be royal names prove to be the titles of gods, so that his list of Chaldæan royal names “must be a good deal reduced.” Suspects that “this primitive Chaldæan” cannot be the same language as Assyrian or Babylonian. [This language was named Sumerian by Jules Oppert in 1869. RBP.] Speculates on possible affiliations, but thinks that progress may be made when it is possible to study his “fragments of Assyro-Akkadi vocabularies” after his return to England, preparations for which continue. Is sending “a cast of Loftus’s so called Heiroglyphic tablet for Birch’s edification.” Thinks he should visit as many sites as possible, collecting “specimens of different types of brick” and “as many tablets as possible” rather than wasting “his time & money in digging through mountains of brick.” “I still hope he will fix himself at Nineveh for the summer.” [III/10(04)].
  5. Addressed “Baghdad. March 5 1854. My dear Norris.” Has decided after all that the first part of the name which he has been reading as Phal-lukha should be read as Phul rather than Phal and hopes that this letter will arrive in time for Norris to amend his previous note on Queen Semiramis before publication. Gives reasons for the change. Encloses two further “marginal notes” which Norris is to insert if this letter arrives in time and he can find the proper places. Has packed up all his “Bricks, Cylinders & Tablets” for transport to England so that the only cuneiform materials he has to work with are the copies in his notebooks. Has been reading Rerum assyriarum tempora emendata. Commentatio by [Johannes] Brandis which Norris has sent him and notes that he identifies Sammughes and Saosduchinus [see III/10(03) above] from chronological considerations alone [but HCR now seems less positive about the reading of the name than he was previously. RBP.] Has received no mail from England later than early January owing, he supposes, to the severe winter all over Europe and Asia, which is annoying when he is “on tenter hooks of expectation to know if I am to get away or not and who is to be my successor.” Has given away 1000 volumes from his library at Baghdad, to be replaced in England, and packed up another thousand to transport home. “I have finished also with Assyrian antiquities as far as I can finish them and am now off for Bussorah to overhaul the Chaldæan excavations and results.” By the 21st of March he will “only want the signal to be off home”. Describes some further practical arrangements. Asks if Norris has read “[Joseph Arthur Comte de] Gobineau’s [1816 – 1882] new work Sur l’ inégalité des races humaines. [Paris 1853-1855.] … it is full of interest and well worth reading.” [III/10(05)].
  6. Addressed “Baghdad March 8 1854. My dear Norris.” A covering note for some letters for Norris to forward. Has received Norris’s letters to February 3 but has not had time to read them. [III/10(06)]
  7. Addressed “Baghdad March 25 1854. My dear Norris.” Has been very excited by the contents of some crates which arrived by raft from Mosul during the night. Will have Hormuzd Rassam’s accompanying letter copied to send to Norris. One case contains a paper cast marked “from the Nimrud obelisk” with “a very perfect Inscription of at least 500 lines in the Hieratic Assyrian (like the writing on Lord Aberdeen’s black stone [see Letter Y in III/03] )” Cannot read it fluently “but I see that the Inscription belongs to Shalmanurish (the founder of Calah, as per Nimrud Standard [see III/09(05) above] who was son of Asshur-dan-pal; undoubtedly the Greek Sardanapalus.” [This appears to refer to Ashur-nasir-pal II, although he was not the son of Ashur-dan II but the grandson. RBP.] The inscription appears to record 27 of his battles and to date from the period of Babylonian supremacy. It will take him a month to copy, analyze and decipher this Inscription and he will have to make a new Alphabet for the Hieratic Assyrian first as he has hitherto neglected this form of writing because of its rare occurrence. Hopes to be able fully to restore the “Nebonit barrel cylinder” as “it names all the old kings [of Chaldæa in succession, who erected buildings [in Ur]” but it will have to wait until he returns to England. Has visited Bassorah “to inspect Taylor’s Chaldee collection and ship off the Museum and Crystal Palace [specimens?] for England.” “Taylor, by laying bare the walls of Umgheir [see III/09(15) above] has satisfactorily proved the architectural plan of the Babylonian and Chaldæan temples. They were built stage upon stage with a single chamber as the adytum upon the summit” in agreement with the description of Herodotus. Loftus at Warka has reached a different conclusion but, HCR thinks, the building which he has been excavating belongs to the much later Sassanian period. Norris is to make this clear to the [Assyrian Excavation Fund Society] Committee at its next meeting. However, Loftus has provided evidence that, as HCR had conjectured, Senkereh is the “Laracha of Berosus” . Gives reasons for this. Is very doubtful if the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society can continue to operate on the present basis because of Layard’s interference. Is resigned to the probability that he will not be able to leave Baghdad at least until the autumn because of the increasing likelihood of war. He will have plenty to occupy him during the summer with the new materials which are coming in, but would much prefer to be in London. Has sent home all the Museum tablets & Cylinders, as well as the syllabaries, vocabularies, &c &c but is apprehensive that Hincks will get hold of them and publish them before HCR can reach England. Has seen complaints in the press from Hincks [apparently of discouragement from the Government and opposition from HCR] but does not understand them. Has also received from Warka a Himyaric Inscription and is sending a copy with a translation into Arabic. [Included with the letter.] Is inclined to think that it proves the modern date of the Warka tombs, although he has seen a Babylonian cylinder with a Himyaric inscription on it as well. P.S. Norris’s letter of Feb. 18th has just arrived. The leaden rolls [see III/09(03) above] are now at the British Museum. Is pleased that [Felix] Jones has been named as his successor at Baghdad although he does not know when that will be. [III/10(07)].

[Enclosed with III/10(07) office copies of two letters from Hormuzd Rassam at Nimrud to HCR: (a) dated “Kouyunjik Feb. 11. 1854. My dear Colonel.” Announces the discovery of a mass of carved ivory fragments, apparently stripped from furniture and other objects in the process of recovering gold and/or jewels. Some of the pieces appear to be Egyptian, while others display Assyrian decorative motifs such as the bull and lion, but Rassam discerns “a strong Egyptian feeling throughout.” The ivory has been blackened but generally not burnt apparently through lying on hot ashes. The only inscriptions he has found are Phœnician. Asks for instructions as to what to do with the unornamented fragments. The items which he has managed to piece together are being boiled in gelatine (!) which “Mrs Rassam has kindly done … for me.” Then proceeds to discuss arrangements for transporting sculptures to England. [The copy is incomplete.] (b) [Dated “Kouynjik March 16th 1854.” Describes the finding of some inscribed cylinders and a “column or obelisk” from which he has taken the paper cast referred to by HCR in the letter itself. [The list “Names of primitive Babylonian kings from Bricks, Cylinders &c &c.” was included with this letter. RBP.]

  1. Addressed “Baghdad. April 5th My dear Norris.” Has now copied out and read the entire inscription whose paper cast he had just received when he wrote the previous letter. In the process he has had to revise many of his first impressions. He now reads the name of the author of the inscription as Shamas-Phal the son of Shalambar and grandson of Asshur-akh-pal. The inscription records a revolt by “Asshur-dan-pal [sic although later in the letter HCR admits that this is a provisional reading only, he appears to favour the reading Ashur-dan-in-pal in accordance with the modern reading, but cannot justify it. RBP.] against his father Shalambar” [HCR says that this sentence is very doubtful. In fact, it appears that Shamas-Phul had succeeded his father and that the revolt was led by his younger brother. RBP.] and gives the names of 27 cities which joined him. Comments on the names which are included in this list and those which are not. Then summarizes the account of his conquests, which HCR says, include place names which are entirely new and all “Scythic-Arian” rather than Semitic. “The new annals … fill up another blank in history and are of much interest to me from the light they throw on numerous passages in the other annals which have hitherto defied explanation.” The tablets which Loftus had found at Warka have just arrived and prove to belong to the reigns of Seleucus and Antiochus the Great, the latter he reads as Anti’akuts or Anti’yakuts. The images on the seals are mostly Greek. The texts record benefactions to temples at Warka and details of offerings, prayers and sacrifices to different gods. HCR is pleased at this confirmation that the use of cuneiform continued much later than had previously been assumed. Is hopeful that in due course Babylonian accounts of all the events of Asian Hellenistic history will be found. Asks Norris to announce the “Greek Babylonian tablets” and to correct the date of the obelisk if he has already publicised HCR’s earlier erroneous dating. [III/10(08)]
  2. Addressed “Baghdad April 15th My dear Norris.” Has not much to report on his own account, because he has been unable to work owing to illness, but is enclosing a copy of a letter from Loftus which he hopes will compensate for this. The new obelisk has arrived from Nimrud and proves to be quite clumsily shaped, but the inscription is beautifully engraved on the purest and hardest white limestone. He will be able to clarify from it a few words which were not clear on the paper cast. Will be curious to see [Loftus’s] “Tel Sifr tablets as the dates are sure to be of interest.” “Some of Loftus’s new bricks from the R corner of the base of the red mound at Senkereh are of Khammurabi who also built a palace close to Baghdad, which we dug out some years back, obtaining copper weights with Khammurabi’s name, one or two of which I placed in the British Museum.” However, the most puzzling are those from the great mound of Senkereh. They bear two royal names. He reads the name of the son as Nabo-kudur-ussur but cannot believe that the father’s name can be Nabo-pul-ussur although he cannot think of another reading. The inscriptions could be of the time of the Biblical Nebuchadnezzar, and his father Nabopolassar but there is another name which he cannot read. Clarification must await the discovery of further materials. Is discovering many new Babylonian royal names, but is not sure which ones he has already communicated to Norris because he has not kept a copy of the last list he sent. Is sending Mr Taylor’s report to the Trustees on the excavations at “Mugheir or Ur of the Chaldees” [Norris adds the comment in pencil “Not in my packet.”]. It cannot be published without illustrations of the inscriptions but portions of it can be read at a meeting of the RAS, particularly showing “the architectural type and character of the Babylonian temples which has hitherto been a mere matter of conjecture. “Here is a section of the Birs-i-Nimrud, as the temple really was [HCR here gives a sketch of a ziggurat which he says corrects Layard’s conjecture, but I do not understand the point he is trying to make. RBP.]” and describing the early graves, where the bodies were buried with “food, water &c &c &c quite after the Egyptian fashion.” Some comments about the unreliability of the mails, and repeats things he has told Norris before but comments “Jones is to succeed me in the Residency, so that as far as antiquities are concerned the change will make no difference”. P.S. Further speculations about the royal names which still puzzle him. Appeals to Norris for suggestions. Has read “Loftus’s new barrel cylinder” and finds it to be “Nebonit’s account of repairing the temple of Pharra dedicated to the sun at Larrak.Enclosure: Copy of Loftus’s letter to HCR addressed “Jidr Mounds 40 miles N. of Warka April 7 1854. My dear Colonel.” Disputes HCR’s identification of the building which Loftus has been excavating [see III/10(07) above] as belonging to the late Sassanian period, and insists that it is much older. Has found many tablets bearing the same cuneiform inscription 13 lines long, apparently applied with a stamp, but no copy is distinct enough to be legible. Some further comments about inscriptions which he has found and about the buildings. Expresses his resentment at the treatment he has received from the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society [see III/10(07) above] and says that he will object strongly if it continues. Describes some of his recent finds but is being impeded by rising water levels, which will soon make it impossible to remain in this area. Expresses doubt about whether the British Museum and the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society can continue to operate over the same territory. [III/10(09)].
  3. Addressed “Baghdad. May 13th My dear Norris.” Has completed the first part of the notes which he promised to write on “Primitive Babylonian history” covering “the Ante Semitic Period” and is sending what he has written to Norris so as to avoid its being made “not only unreadable but unpublishable” with footnotes. He is also sending the footnotes which he has written, although they were written in a great hurry, “amid a thousand interruptions and in a barely supportable temperature.” Will trust to Norris to check the proper spelling of the names in various languages, to verify references etc before it is published. [This is possibly Notes on the Early History of Babylonia JRAS 15 (1855) pp 215-259.] Devotes considerable space to speculating on the likely reception of the paper and on what he will put in the sequel. Loftus has brought “his Senkereh tablets” to Baghdad which prove to be of the reigns of Khammurabu and his son Samsu-iluna and very valuable. At present the war does not affect the situation at Baghdad, but HCR is worried about the future, particularly if Austria and Prussia come into the war on the side of Russia. [III/10(10)].
  4. Addressed “Baghdad, June 3rd My dear Norris.” Complains that he has heard nothing from Norris for the last 3 mails, nor has he received the magazines that Norris has been sending him. Thinks this may be because Norris has supposed him to be on his way home. Infers from the fact that items which he had sent to Norris for publication have appeared in print that his own letters are arriving in England as usual. Is continuing work on his paper on “the Semitic period of Babylonian history” as fast as the heat of the Baghdad summer will allow and “must positively get …[it] off my hands during the summer.” He envisages that there will be 3 more parts: historical to “the Assyrian period” then “to the time of Cyrus with translations of all the important parts of the Inscriptions of Nebuchadnezzar and Nebonit” and geographical. Would also like to add a chapter on Mythology, but his current knowledge is too incomplete. Has discovered that kibir simply means “river” hence kiprat arbat [see III/09(15) above] means “the country of the 4 rivers” i.e. the two arms of the ancient Tigris and the two arms of the ancient Euphrates. HCR again refers this to the traditional four rivers of Paradise. Is puzzled that he has not been able to find anything corresponding to the Hebrew Shinar. Reads the name of the earliest “Chaldæan king as Kudura-pula “king of Martu” which HCR takes to mean “sea coast”. Speculates that he may be the Chedor-laomer of Genesis, but is unwilling to assert this positively without further evidence. Is constantly discovering new phonetic readings of ideograms and phonetic values of signs. Is beginning to think that he may be compelled to remain in Baghdad for years, particularly if the war spreads and an army is sent from India [Whether he means to support the Ottomans or to invade Persia is not clear. RBP.]. In that case, he will send Norris his vocabulary books because the tablets from which they have been copied are now in the British Museum and he is afraid that other people will publish his discoveries before he is able to. Has been going over “Loftus’s Warka tablets” [see III/10(08) above] in the hopes of finding references to Greek administration but in vain, they refer only to benefactions to and sacrifices at the temples. “The Greek dates are their only point of interest in regard to history.” Has also been trying to read “Loftus’s Tel Sifr tablets” [see III/10(09) above] but without much success, apart from the names of Khammurabu and Samsu-iluna. “The higher we go up the more frequent is the use of ideographs, the more fantastic are the letters, just taming down indeed from pictures into signs.” Ends by wishing he could have “an hour’s gossip with you but know not when that will be” and asking Norris to write to him every month. [III/10(11)].
  5. Addressed “Baghdad. June 23rd My dear Norris.” Has still not heard from Norris, but expects to by the next mail. Work on his “Babylonian paper” has been brought to a standstill both by “the terrible climate of Baghdad at this season” but also by the realisation that “I was proceeding on a wrong basis” and would have to start again. His speculations that Kuduru-pula was the Biblical Chadorlaomer have received a check from the fact that the king’s title apda Martu does not mean “despoiler of Palestine” [This is not the meaning he assigns to this title in the previous letter. RBP.] but refers to the province at the mouth of the Euphrates, so that Apda Martu simply means “king of Chaldæa”. Thinks, however, that the title shows “the locale of the primitive Phœnician settlements”. Gives reasons for thinking that the name of “the earliest Chaldæan king in the list” could be read as Amraphel [In the previous letter, he seemed to be saying that the earliest king was Kuduru-pula. RBP.] but is unwilling to publish this without more evidence. Then discusses his current uncertainties concerning the Chaldæan calendar, which will not be cleared up until he understands the system of intercalation. This could be determined from the relevant materials now at the British Museum, but HCR has not copied out a sufficient number to enable him to do so at Baghdad. Wonders how the Jewish calendar is regulated. Has written a “critique on Dr Hincks’s notes published in the Literary Gazette [April 22 1854 included with the letter” which is not primarily for publication but to document HCR’s claim to prior discovery of certain points, although Norris may publish certain parts of it in the Athenæum if he thinks fit. Notes that the Museum has allocated him another “1500£” for another year’s excavations and “ordered me to carry on as before.” Foresees that this will lead to disputes with Loftus and the Assyrian Fund Society “which I hate.” Cannot say anything about coming home and may he “kept out in the East” for another 3 years. [III/10(12)].
  6. Addressed “Baghdad July 13th My dear Norris.” Encloses copies of correspondence concerning the dispute between HCR, representing the British Museum, and W K Loftus, representing the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society [see III/11 below]. Privately, HCR expresses considerable sympathy with Loftus’s position, and considers that he may have contributed to the difficulty through taking it for granted that he would be leaving Baghdad at the beginning of 1854. However, he is not prepared to compromise if it means surrendering complete control of all archaeological excavations in the area. Norris may show the correspondence to Phillips [see III/11 below] for his private information but it must not be published, nor copied or circulated to the members of the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society Committee. Has read the abstract in the Athenæum of “the Anniversary Report” [Presumably the Report of Council to the 31st Anniversary General Meeting of the RAS held 20th May 1854. This was not published in the JRAS but a copy exists in the RAS library as part of the volume Prospectus, Proceedings Royal Asiatic Society 1823-1867 referred to above. It includes a resume by Norris of the work undertaken by HCR and Loftus during the previous year. RBP.] He then comments “I should just as soon have expected to hear of people questioning whether we know the Greek alphabet and can read Homer as impugning the general accuracy of our Babylonian and Assyrian interpretations.” [It is not clear whether HCR is alluding to a passage in the Report itself, where Norris appeals to the convergence of the readings of several scholars working independently as a guarantee of the general reliability of the results, or to something appearing elsewhere. RBP.] Questions “Bosanquet’s” assertion that there was an annular [solar] eclipse in 719 BC. Is determined to finish “this Babylonian paper” despite its great difficulty. Speculates on the “great God of Chaldæa” being the moon (later read as Isiu) and receiving offerings from the Greeks of Cyprus which resulted in some way in the memorial tablet of Sargon being found in Cyprus. [see III/07(15) above.] Interpretation of the inscription on this stone is made more difficult because a “big slice must have been sawn off its back” truncating all the lines of the inscription, but HCR rehearses various arguments in favour of his reading. Digresses to discuss possible readings of the ancient name of Mugheir [see III/10(09)] which he equates with “Herculis Aræ” mentioned in Ptolemy. Before the quarrel, HCR received from Loftus a cast of a fragment of a tablet found at Koyunjik which shows the step-by-step evolution of a Babylonian cuneiform sign from the original picture. “You may now therefore take it as established that in the vocabularies one column represents the original name of the object, of which the sign explained is the picture litteralized, while the other column represents the ordinary phonetic power, either used syllabically or denoting some definite idea [a rebus? RBP] the connexion moreover not being arbitrary, but depending on a series of tropes sometimes very obscure, which refer to the qualities or attributes of the primary design. Your knowledge of Chinese degradation will enable you to realize this explanation more easily perhaps than I can describe or even understand it.” If the remaining parts of this tablet are found it will be of great use as a key, but the present is merely a curiosity. Repeats his explanation of what has happened to the leaden scrolls [referred to in III/09(03) above] and cannot understand what Norris finds contradictory in it. Will have someone sent back to the site (Abu Shadhar or Shudhr) to collect further specimens. If the RAS is to publish “my preliminary paper” [see III/10(10) above] asks Norris to send the proofs to his brother George at Oxford “as he is determined to bring out the Herodotus at once [see III/07(14) above] and wants to have a general idea of my views as to early Median and Persian history.” His brother also wants to use HCR’s notes on primitive Babylonian and Assyrian history, but HCR is reluctant to allow this when there are so many uncertainties. Ends by reasserting his reading Nabopolassar against Hincks’s Nebu-bin-yuchur. [III/10(13)]
  7. Addressed “Baghdad. Aug 3rd My dear Norris.” Is badly affected by the heat and can only respond to points in other people’s letters etc. Notes that Hincks appears to be more amicably disposed than previously, but it is too late for them to be friends. Is unwilling to see Hincks’s version of the Nimrud Annals until he has finished his own, so that he cannot be accused of borrowing Hincks’s ideas. [It is not clear from the letter which text is being referred to here. RBP.] De Saulcy’s “amended reading of the Bihistun Inscription” is full of errors and “does not contain a single correction of value.” Is convinced that he is a charlatan. Wonders how he will get on with [Jules] Oppert whom he considers to be a genuine scholar. Is pleased with Norris’s reception of “the Ante Semitic paper” [see III/10(10) above]. Promises to complete the next stage by the end of September despite the difficulty of the material and the debilitating effects of the heat, which tempts him to throw up his job in October and leave for England. He will do this if his health does not improve, but otherwise he would like to remain to see the results of next winter’s campaign of excavations “among the Chaldæan ruins” particularly as he feels he needs to visit the sites for himself to understand the topography. The impasse between himself and Loftus continues. Is afraid that so many sculptures have been removed from the sites at Nineveh for various collections that not enough will be left to enable the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society to fulfil its obligations to its sponsors, particularly the King of Prussia, and that it was rash of the Society to have accepted the offer before consulting with the people on the ground “as to the prospect of obtaining a sufficient number of marbles for the Berlin Museum”. Intended to have added some “Cuneiform gossip” but has no time. [III/10(14)].
  8. Addressed “Baghdad. Aug. 24th My dear Norris.” Has had nothing from Norris since he last wrote, although his elder brother [A L Rawlinson] reports that Norris had told him that the first part of HCR’s Babylonian history paper [see III/10(10)] will be difficult to get through the press. Has not made much progress with the second part since he last wrote because of the continuing heat, which is affecting him worse than ever this year. Does not think he could stand another summer. His workmen at Nineveh have unearthed another gateway of the city with inscriptions of Sennacherib which are different from any he has seen before “but they are of no particular interest. Loftus, I believe, is finding almost nothing and is satisfied that the Assyrian Mounds were after all not worth squabbling about.” “[William] Boutcher’s Portfolio however of drawings from the Northern Palace will be a great acquisition to the Society, as I told them it would in the first instance.” Loftus is thinking of “migrating to Ichaboor [sic I have not been able to identify this place. RBP.]” in the autumn. He has not consulted HCR, who would have dissuaded him. HCR has begun work at Birs-i-Nimrud [see III/07(23) above] in earnest. Is tempted to blow the ruin up with gunpowder to speed things up, but will “go cautiously to work” instead. His only recent acquisitions of value are the “black stone” from Niffer [sic presumably Nippur.  I have not been able to identify this stone. RBP.] which he originally heard of 10 years previously and which bears an inscription by a previously unknown king, “whom I place at the head of my Chaldæan list” and a royal cylinder seal from the same place. Has discovered a new phonetic value for a particular letter gal and discusses the importance of this. Asks Norris to send the proofs of “my Babylonian paper” so that he can revise it “since there can be no hurry” in publishing it. Discusses some changes which he would like to make. Has also done further work on the [Babylonian?] Pantheon but gives no details, as well as the topographical description of “Nebuchadnezzar’s Babylon” on the East India House Tablet [see Letter Y in III/03 above] and believes he now understands all the works described there. In the autumn he will try to identify all the sites referred to. The inscription agrees at many points with the writings of Berosus. Gives some further identifications [which I don’t fully understand. RBP]. [III/10(15)].
  9. Addressed “Baghdad. Septr 13 1854. My dear Norris.” Has very little to tell Norris because the heat has only begun to moderate in the past few days, permitting him to begin work again. Will finish “the Babylonian paper” despite its being “terribly dry, dreary and difficult and I am getting dead sick of it.” Then he will consider whether to “draw up for publication a revised and extended syllabary and vocabulary” or to prepare for publication “the 3 sets of Annals I now have by me” of Tiglath Pileser I, Asshur-akh-pal and Shamas-phul. However, the RAS would require financial support in order to print these. Agrees with Hincks’s general chronology “from Sargon downwards” essentially because they are both following Ptolemy’s “Canon” but disagrees with Hincks on details, such the date of Sargon’s conquest of Samaria. “Bosanquet seems to make no account whatever [of this].” [HCR seems to be referring to Chronology of the Times of Daniel, Ezra and Nehemiah considered with the view of correcting an error of 33 years in the received chronology, between the capture of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the birth of Christ, 1. pp. xv. 285. Longmans & Co.: London, 1848. (Details from the British Library online catalogue.) RBP.] Considers that Bosanquet should first verify by calculation the dates of all the eclipses listed by Ptolemy to see whether his calculations are valid. Has had a large body of “navvies” at work at Birs-i-Nimrud but is disappointed with the results, as no texts have come to light. The dispute between the excavations teams at Koyunjik working for the British Museum and the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society has flared up more fiercely than ever [For details, see III/11 below.] Has obtained the agreed of “Lord Stratford” to his quitting his post at Baghdad the following spring [see II/06(06)] and “all my arrangements will accordingly be now directed to a final ‘flitting’ by April 1st.” Is worried that “the two cases of Syllabaries, Vocabularies, Geographical & Historical lists, Almanacks, Calendars &c which I sent home by Mr Hodder and … which I have been occupied for years in cleaning, arranging & copying” [Hodder is the name of an artist who came out to Mesopotomia with HCR in 1851 and remained until early in 1854, when he fell ill and returned to Britain.] will be “handed over to the tender mercies of Hincks”. Intends to visit Babylon immediately after the departure of the next post. [III/10(16)].
  10. Addressed “Baghdad Octbr 3rd My dear Norris.” Comments on a letter from Hincks published in the Literary Gazette on the Assyrian calendar. He has never seen any evidence of the method of intercalation which Hincks proposes and gives the system which he prefers. However, he is unwilling to pronounce definitely, as all the tablets which he has seen dealing with the subject are more or less fragmentary, and he would need to see those on which Hincks is relying. Comments on some further points on which he disagrees with Hincks, and considers his errors are so serious that he has written a refutation for publication. [This appeared as On the Orthography of some of the later Royal names of Assyrian and Babylonian history read before the RAS on 18th November 1854 and published as JRAS 15 (1855). RBP.] This must be published in JRAS because cuneiform characters will be indispensible, but he would like some essential points also reported in the Athenæum. Has finished the second chapter of “my Babylonian paper (Semitic period)” but “it will cost me at least a fortnight’s hard work however to write in the notes” but he presumes there is no hurry to publish it. He is concerned about the quantity of cuneiform type which it will require as there are 35 inscriptions “from the bricks” to be included. The 3rd Chapter will consist of two parts, dealing with Mythology and Geography, “the latter being the only branch of the subject on which I feel myself perfectly at home”. Is resigned to the fact that the first chapter is to be published without HCR having the opportunity to revise it “which will be a bore, as I am conscious of many inaccuracies”. Comments on the latest developments on the dispute between the British Museum and the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society [dealt with in III/11 below]. Intends to visit Babylon with [Felix] Jones. Jones is to make a Survey, while HCR compares what is now visible with descriptions in the annals of Nebuchadnezzar. The excavations at Birs-i-Nimrud have exposed the architecture and the plan of the temple but the results have not equalled HCR’s expectations and “are certainly not worth what they cost”. Is surprised at what Norris has said about the names of the days of the week and explains why he had expected them to be Semitic [I do not follow his argument here. RBP.] He gives a further reason for believing the system to be Semitic in origin in that the nycthemeron [a period of time equal to one day. It is sometimes used, especially in technical literature. RBP.] is divided into 24 “hours” rather than 30, as in India. Cites also the statement of Dio Cassius that the Romans took the names of the weeks from the Chaldæans. [III/10(17)].
  11. Addressed “Baghdad. Octbr 4th My dear Norris.” Gives the text of an addition to his article On the Orthography of some of the later Royal names of Assyrian and Babylonian history referred to in III/10(17) above. [III/10(17)].
  12. Addressed “Ruins of Babylon. Octbr 22 1854. My dear Norris.” The weather has been too hot to do much. However, he is satisfied that he has managed to trace “the course of the old river through the ruins.” He has also managed to identify most of the old buildings by means “of bricks and slabs found ‘in situ’.” He also believes he has discovered part of the old city wall, which confirms the ancient Greek calculation of its circumference. [Felix] Jones would have finished surveying the ruins in another week, but for an attack of gout. Has been “amusing myself with making a literal translation of the E[ast] I[ndia] H[ouse] Ins[cription]” [see Letter Y in III/03 above] from which he believes Berosus derived his description of Babylon quoted by Josephus, since the order of repairing the buildings is exactly the same. Refers to a corrupt passage in Josephus which he claims has misled [Fulgence] Fresnel and cites the correct passage in [? Jean Baptiste] Aucher’s Latin translation from the Armenian of Eusebius Ecclesiastical History which I think was published in Venice in 1818, but I cannot trace a copy.” [I cannot identify the work of Fresnel’s referred to. RBP.] Gives various other points of correspondence between the Inscription and the account of Berosus, including the “hanging gardens, planted with cedars and planes and built of stones like mountains.” “The Chaldee historian has I confess risen 100 per cent in my estimation since I discovered the identity of the two accounts”. Suggests writing an account of Babylon for the JRAS based on this inscription, or else tacking it on to the geographical section of his memoir, on which he is now ready to start work. Has obtained a “relic like Michaux’s stone” [see Letter T in III/03 above]. No textual materials have been discovered at Birs-i-Nimrud [see III/10(15) above] while, although the palace at Koyunjik continues to yield fine sculptures, no interesting texts have come to light. [III/10(19)]
  13. Addressed “Baghdad. Novr 14 1854. My dear Norris.” Has been writing up an account of the excavations at Birs-i-Nimrud, to be sent, initially, to Sir Henry Ellis to be shown to the Trustees, but with a request to forward it to Norris for publication in JRAS [This eventually appeared as On the Birs Nimrud, or the Great Temple of Borsippa JRAS 18 (1861) pp 1‑34.] Has also discovered inscribed cylinders bearing Nebuchadnezzar’s account “of the whole affair.” Is “delighted to have got off going to Persia” [NB This is at variance with the account given in HCR’s Annuary in Box IV where he says that his disappointment at not being appointed ambassador at Teheran was his main motive for resigning his post at Baghdad. His letters to his sister Maria written during his stay in England in 1850 [IV/08] show that at that time he was paying court to Palmerston in the hopes of getting this or an equally prestigious appointment. RBP.] and “shall now certainly be with you in May.” Will endeavour to finish “all the various matters I have on hand” during the winter. Loftus is making good discoveries and has sent me many new hunting inscriptions of Asshur-bani-pal and he has found a new store house of inscriptions at the S E Palace at Nimrud. [Second letter] also addressed “Novr 14 1854. My dear Norris.” Is sending part of the small theodolite belonging to Jones to be repaired. If he thinks fit, Norris may make an abstract of the “Birs paper” for publication in the Athenæum. Although the paper is too long, he has not been able to include any “account of the works in the adjoining mound of Ibrahim-el-khelil” where he excavated “a part of one of Nebuchadnezzarr’s palaces”. Taylor has returned to Chaldæa “and I hope to get another good harvest of primitive records during this winter”. [III/10(20)].
  14. Addressed “Baghdad. Decr 4 1854. My dear Norris.” Has received [proofs?] of “the Notes” and points out some necessary corrections. [I have not been able to trace any publication of this article in this form. RBP.] Has finished the Geographical section [It appears from the following letter that this refers to his paper on Birs-i-Nimrud (ancient Borsippa ) RBP.] which turns out to be longer than the preceding 4 sections put together “but the notes are not added yet”. Is worried about publishing “the Memoir” because of a discrepancy between his measurements of the height of the ruin and those reported by “Rich” [i.e. Claudius James Rich 1787-1821, although I am not sure which of his publications HCR is referring to. The need to make these amendments may account for the paper not being published until 1861. (See III.10(20) above.) RBP.] Then discusses further corrections. Thinks he has found in “Nebuchadnezzar’s great Inscription” an allusion to the king’s temporary insanity and the consequent suspension of all his building works. A problem has arisen concerning HCR’s retirement. He had planned to resign his post on the completion of 28 years’ service on October 26th 1855, when he would qualify for a pension of £365 per year. If, however, he leaves in April, as he has planned, his pension will be reduced to £292. To avoid this, he would have to return to India to serve the last 6 months [or spend another summer at Baghdad, which he has said that his health would not stand]. He has applied to the Secret Committee [of Directors of the East India Company] to be allowed to return to England at once and spend the remainder of his service working on the cuneiform materials, he has asked the Trustees of the British Museum to support this application. Is enclosing a draft letter which he hopes the Council of the RAS will endorse and send to India House in support of the proposal as well. Is surprised to hear of Loftus’s resignation from his post with the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society, since he had assured HCR that he intended to remain, and in the past few months they had been working together reasonably well. [III/10(21)].
  15. Addressed “Baghdad. Decr 23 1854. My dear Norris.” Has made no progress with writing the notes for the “Geographical paper on Borsippa” because of ill health, but he is determined to recover his health after Christmas and to finish the paper by the time of the next post. Notes from Vaux’s resumé of “Hincks’s memoir submitted to the Trustees in the Spring” that “there is now very little difference indeed between Hincks’s readings and my own. We are agreed I think as to all the ordinary powers of the characters, but I have I suspect a much larger ideographic vocabulary.” Is expecting “another case of tablets & cylinders from Mosul which are sure to contain abundance of curious matter.” Is also expecting “important news” from Chaldæa. Is still awaiting a reply to his application to be allowed to spend the last 6 months of his service in London. [III/10(22)].

III/11   17 letters documenting an at times acrimonious dispute between HCR, primarily as the guardian of the interests of the British Museum and W K Loftus at Mosul and Samuel Phillips in London of the Assyrian Excavation Fund in 1854. Additional information is provided by references in the letters from Rawlinson to Edwin Norris in III/10 as noted.

  1. W[illiam] K[enneth] Loftus to Samuel Phillips Esq, Sydenham: “Constantinople, October 25 1853. My dear Sir” Does not propose to go into details of their journey, since “Captain [Felix] Jones” has already assured him that it was “very agreeable”. Regrets, however, that some items of equipment, as well as plans, have been lost on the journey and asks Phillips to send replacement plans. Also urges the Committee to send him letters of introduction to Lord Stratford and Colonel Rawlinson, as he is doubtful of his reception without them. Then follows discussion of practical details concerning their onward journey. Closes with regards from “Mr Boutcher”. [III/11(01)].
  2. HCR to Viscount Mandeville, Hony Secty to Assyrian Excavation Fund Society, No 5 New Burlington Strt, London. “Baghdad Novbr 5th My Lord” Acknowledges receipt of letter of June 6th introducing the Excavation Fund’s team headed by W K Loftus and says that he will be “most happy to afford every assistance in my power to Mr Loftus … in so far as Mr Loftus’s proceedings may not clash with the operations which I am already conducting in these countries on behalf of the British nation and under the immediate auspices of the Trustees of the British Museum.” He goes on to propose that they should divide “Assyria and Babylonia” between them and that “while I retain under my own superintendence the works now in progress at Nineveh, Calah and Elassar to the North and among the newly discovered Chaldean ruins beyond the Euphrates to the South, I shall place at his disposal the whole area of Mesopotamia from Sipparis at one extremity to Orchoe at the other.” He further recommends that Loftus should start work without delay as the countryside is quiet at present, but that, in view of the international situation [the Crimean War had broken out the month before] the situation might become dangerous for Europeans. [III/11(02)].
  3. HCR to Viscount Mandeville, as above. “Baghdad Feby 16 1854. My Lord” Announces the recent discovery of “most beautiful palace at Nineveh [Koyunjik], belonging to the son of Esarhaddon”. The palace being “of great extent” and the sculptures “infinitely superior” in every way “to anything which has been before found”. He has “selected 60 slabs for the British Museum” but that “neither does my time, nor the public funds at my disposal” permit him to do anything further. Because “the British Museum excavations at Nineveh will be brought to a close at the end of March” he suggests that Loftus and the Assyrian Excavation Fund team should take over the work at Nineveh to prevent the site falling into the hands of “French & American explorers”. He intends to recommend to the Trustees of the BM that an application should be made to Parliament for a special grant to enable Mr Loftus to pack up the slabs which HCR has already earmarked for the BM and send them to London. [III/11(03)].

[In III/10] Copy of Letter from Loftus to HCR dated “Jidr Mounds, 40 miles N. of Warka, April 7 1854.” enclosed with HCR’s letter to Norris dated 15 April 1854 [III/10(09)] provides testimony to the relations between the men before the dispute arose. Loftus expresses himself in cordial terms but is clearly nettled at HCR’s questioning his interpretation of his finds.

  1. HCR to [an unnamed officer of the Assyrian Excavation Fund] “Baghdad June 3rd My dear Sir.” Advises “that Mr Loftus left Baghdad for Nineveh on the 25th Ultmo and that, although HCR still has had no “advice from the Trustees of the British Museum concerning their final abandonment of excavations in Assyria … I have not hesitated on my own responsibility to place Mr Loftus and Mr Boutcher in temporary possession of the ground both at Koyunjik and Nimrud and to authorize their carrying on operations upon those sites, during the summer at the expense of the Assyrian Fund Socty.” However, should the British Museum gain additional resources, “they will be entitled, of course, to resume the occupation of the ground, which I have temporarily abandoned and Mr Loftus and his companions will have again to migrate to the Southward”. He recommends “that Mr Loftus should under any circumstances” be directed to concentrate his efforts during the autumn in Southern Chaldea where the Society has already made important discoveries. [III/11(04)].

[III/10(12)].HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad, June 23rd 1854” “The Museum have just given me a further sum of 1500£ for another year’s excavations and ordered me to carry on as before – this will upset all Loftus’s plans and all things considered is rather a bore, as it may bring me into collision with the Assyr. Fund Socy. and lead to all sorts of tracasseries [quarrels, annoyances] which I hate.” … I can say nothing about coming home – if the war continues and there is to be any cooperation from India, I may be kept out here for another 3 years.”

  1. Copy of extract of a letter from Loftus to HCR “dated Nimroud June 21st 1854”. [Sent to Norris with III/10(13).] “You ask me to state unreservedly my views and feelings on learning that the Trustees of the British Museum propose resuming excavations at Nineveh after having abandoned the ruins for two months and a half.” Goes on to express outrage at such conduct, and to assert the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society’s exclusive right to continue the excavations at Nineveh. Agrees, nevertheless, to co-operate with HCR’s wishes for the time being. [III/11(05)].
  2. HCR to [an unnamed officer of the Assyrian Excavation Fund] “Baghdad June 23rd My dear Sir.” Advises that, as the Treasury has made a further grant of £1500 to the BM “for continued excavations in Assyria during the current year” and the Trustees have entrusted HCR with the “superintendence and control” of the expenditure of this sum, “I shall be obliged according to the stipulation to S Phillips Esqr … to resume occupation of the ground at Nimrud and Koyunjik at an early date.” He has advised Mr Loftus to this effect but he does not at present know when he will be prepared to surrender the sites nor where he proposes to go next. However, “I can see no objection … to Mr Boutcher remaining at Koyunjik for the summer employed in sketching the bas-reliefs … which were discovered … in the early spring.” He will write again “after having come to an understanding with Mr Loftus, as to his future proceeding.” [III/11(06)].
  3. [Copy sent to Norris with III/10(13).] HCR to Loftus “Baghdad, 27th June 1854 “My dear Loftus I think that your indignation for once has run away with your judgement.” Re-iterates that the invitation in his letter of February 16th to Loftus to take over the excavations at Nimrud on behalf of the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society was subject to the proviso that if the British Museum acquired funds for further excavations, then it was entitled to resume excavations there at once, especially since HCR’s expected departure had not taken place. He further asserts that the transfer of responsibility had not been finalised since the Museum Trustees had not agreed to it and that the Society has not received formal permission to excavate from the Turkish government and can do so merely on behalf of the Museum. Suggests a working arrangement pro tem whereby the Museum’s workforce and the Society’s should divide the ground between them.
  4. Loftus to HCR. “reply to Col Rawlinson’s letter of June 27th. Nimrud July 4 1854. My dear Colonel.” Says that he feels obliged to reply out of courtesy despite “A severe attack of rheumatism in the head [sic]” Re-iterates his contention that HCR’s letter [see III/11(03) above] proves that the BM finally closed its excavations at Nineveh in March and handed over the site to the Assyrian Excavation Fund. The application to Parliament for an additional grant was solely for purpose of transporting the slabs already discovered back to the BM. Refutes HCR’s allegations that the Society had failed to assume the responsibilities thus offered without unreasonable delay. Also remarks that the Museum had offered some rights at Nineveh to the French which they were now seeking to deny to “a Society of Englishmen”. Also says that the Society has nothing to fear from a prospective Parliamentary enquiry. Remarks that it is probably useless for HCR and Loftus to seek to negotiate any further as their respective principals in London are likely to undo any arrangements which they may make, and suggests provisional arrangements for their teams to work together pending the receipt of further instructions from London. Ends by expressing a distaste for such “jangling” and hopes that the “otherwise good understanding which has for several years been established between us” will not be disturbed by “such a peppery discussion.” [III/11(08) apparently a copy made by Loftus for his employers in London.]

III/11(08a) Copy by HCR’s staff of extracts from III/11(08) sent to Norris with III/10(13).

  1. HCR to Loftus at Mosul[?] [Apparently a copy made by Loftus for his employers in London.] “July 10 1854. My dear Loftus. As you have not thought fit to adopt either of the alternatives I proposed to you, I have no resource but to withdraw all further connexion with the Assyrian Fund Society, except in my official capacity as H M’s representative in these parts. Your quotations from my former letters are quite irrelevant. Those letters referred to my departure from the country & were cancelled by my compulsory detention. Under no circumstances moreover could my proposals have been binding until they were sanctioned by the Trustees. There is no chance of any arrangement between the Society & the Museum in London, the Trustees having given me carte blanche to do anything & employ anyone I like, and having declined to discuss the matter with other parties. …. I shall now consider carefully what I ought to do & Rassam will let you know the result.” He goes on to say that the Museum never intended to make over any of its property or its rights in Assyria to the Society, nor did it say that its funds were exhausted or that it was abandoning its excavations. All these things were assumed by HCR in anticipation of his departure from the country and were cancelled by his remaining. He further adds that Loftus went to Mosul at the end of May because there was nowhere else he could work and that “I consented thereto out of consideration for you & not to lose time. … I hereby wash my hands of the Assyrian Fund Society & all that concerns them & shall merely consider how I can best carry out the wishes of the Trustees.” HCR adds a postscript saying that, although he does not withdraw anything he has said, he has decided to allow Loftus to continue with the arrangement he has proposed for the time being, effectively allowing the Society and the Museum teams to work alongside each other at Nineveh. [III/11(09)]

III/11(09a)  Copy by HCR’s staff of III/11(09). Sent to Edwin Norris with III/10(13).

  1. [Captain James] Felix Jones to Loftus. “Wednesday, July 11 [the content of the letter implies the year 1854, although July 11 was not a Wednesday in that year. Letters in III/10 indicate that Jones was engaged in surveying sites in Southern Mesopotamia for HCR at this time.] Expresses sympathy with Loftus’s rheumatism, and also with his sense of grievance at the way in which he has been treated, but urges discretion on the grounds that if news of the dispute between the Excavation Fund and the Museum should become public, it will tend to discourage subscribers. “Rawlinson on the other hand scarcely cares a curse for anyone concerned in the diggings beyond their use in their vocations …It is incomprehensible to me how parties can quarrel on a subject which all should support, on the principle of ‘the more the merrier.’”

         [Photocopy of III/10(13)] HCR to Norris. “Baghdad July 13th 1854 My dear Norris”  Briefly sets out his version of the dispute which has arisen between himself and Loftus. Acknowledges that “No doubt I have got myself into a mess by reposing with such confidence on leaving Baghdad and proposing arrangements which would have turned out admirably had I quitted the country but which are impracticable while I remain.” Says that he has been too long accustomed to having absolute and unquestioned authority in the country to be willing to share it now. Adds “I daresay you will think this tempest in a slop basin very undignified and I am half ashamed of it myself.” But he is not prepared to back down. Encloses copies of relevant documents (see III/11(05), III/11(07), III/11(08a), and III/(09a) above.) which Norris is to show to S W Phillips of the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society so that he may be thoroughly acquainted with the details of the dispute, but they must not be shown to anybody else nor is the Society to have copies of them.

  1. HCR to [an unnamed officer of the Assyrian Excavation Fund] “Baghdad July 13th 1854 My dear Sir I am sorry to have to report that I have had rather a warm discussion with Mr Loftus lately in regard to the right of the Museum to reoccupy the ground at Mosul. Mr Loftus seems to have supposed that by allowing him to proceed to Mosul, I formally abandoned the ground on behalf of the Trustees; in fact as he says “made a present of the mounds to the Society” whereas if you will refer to my letter of June 3rd you will see that his being permitted to proceed to Mosul before the instructions of the Museum reached me was for his own convenience and in order to prevent a loss of time, and further that I expressly reserved the right of the Trustees to resume occupation of the ground if they pleased at a subsequent period. In my recent correspondence with Mr Loftus I have had no wish whatever to interfere with Mr Boutcher’s work in sketching the Sculptures nor did I impose any very severe conditions on Mr Loftus himself, conceiving that excavations either at Koyunjik or Nimrud were sufficient to occupy one person’s attention I gave him a choice of the two sites, proposing merely to take charge of that which he rejected.” [III/11(11)]
  2. Loftus, Mosul, to Samuel Phillips Esq, Sydenham, July 17 1854. Encloses his reply to HCR’s latest letter “which you should have had by the last post” [see III/11(09)] and expects to receive another letter from the Colonel shortly. Complains that HCR is animated by jealousy of “certain parties at home” and that he suspects that the Assyrian Excavation Society “was got up for party purposes”. Accuses him of obstructing Loftus’s work by underhand means and criticizes the character of individuals whom HCR is proposing to employ. Also hints that there are dealings between the Committee [of the Assyrian Excavation Society] and the Trustees [of the British Museum] of which he, Loftus, has been kept in the dark, also that his letters are being tampered with. Argues that the Excavation Society should obtain a separate authorization from the Turkish government or the Shah and move its operations away from the sites being excavated by HCR and the British Museum. In the course of the letter, he mentions that HCR’s latest letter has arrived [Not included among these letters RBP.] [III/11(12)].
  3. Loftus to HCR July 20 1854. [Apparently a copy made by Loftus for his employers in London.] Acknowledges receipt of “your Official Letter of the 12th defining the right of property [presumably the British Museum’s], & warning me that I am working, so far as the Turkish Government is concerned, merely upon sufference [sic]”.  Denies any intention of removing the Museum’s property and informs HCR that he has received a Firman “for excavation at Nineveh, Nimrud etc.” Presumes that “all further discussion between us on this subject may drop, & we have only to work together pro bono publico.” [III/11(13)].
  4. Loftus, Mosul to Samuel Phillips, Sydenham July 31 1854. Expresses satisfaction and gratitude for the Firmans which Lord Stratford has obtained for him and is impatient to know how HCR will react. Submits his statement of the Quarter’s Expenses but has not been able “of course” to have his books inspected by “your two Committeemen in Baghdad” but hopes that the Committee will approve them. The sculptures in the N. palace at Koyunijik are not suitable for photography owing to their damaged state, so Mr Boutcher has had to sketch them all, but there have been problems in getting them done to a suitable scale. Asks for Mr Phillips’s good offices in ensuring that Mr Boutcher’s expenses are reimbursed by Messrs Also complains about the attitude of Rassam, employed by the British Museum, alongside whom he is having to work. [III/11(14)].

III/10(14) HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad, Aug 3rd 1854” … “Melting under this terrible heat and bereft of all energy, of all power of concentrating thought I threaten constantly that I will make a bolt of it in October, and if my health still continues doubtful I certainly shall do so … Between Loftus and me there is what is called diplomatically ‘a suspension of relations’. I am sorry for it, but I had really no alternative but to show my teeth, when I found he insisted on putting me out of the way, merely because I had made a premature will in his favour and he was impatient to enjoy the legacy. The Trustees now tell me that I may give him any duplicate marbles, not required for the Museum, to enable the [Assyrian Excavation Fund] Society to carry out it’s [sic] agreement with the King of Prussia. The Socy however is I fear too late in the field to obtain anything worth having …”

III/10(15) HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad Aug. 24th 1854” “Loftus I believe is finding almost nothing and is satisfied that the Assyrian Mounds were after all not worth squabbling about … I now hear indirectly that Loftus thinks of migrating in the Autumn to the Ichaboor and the Upper Euphrates, but has not consulted me on the subject, or I should certainly have dissuaded him …”

  1. Loftus, Mosul to Samuel Phillips, Sydenham Sept. 11 1854. Reports the results of the previous fortnight’s digging, which has uncovered an extension to the N. Palace previously discovered by Layard and Rassam, containing fine sculptures. Complains again about the conduct of Rassam in trying to encroach on Loftus’s trenches and says that if this continues he will be anxious to return home. He also comments on a letter from the Society to Sir Henry Ellis a copy of which has just reached him, and objects to the proposal contained therein that he should work under the direction of HCR acting for the Trustees. He considers any such proposal a degradation and an implied criticism of his management of the expedition and that if it is not withdrawn he will submit his resignation. He ends by reporting that they have just found a statue at Nimrud and that he will send Boutcher’s drawing of it by the next post. [III/11(15)].

III/10(16) HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad Sept 13th 1854” … “At Mosul, I am sorry to say, the war between the Museum and the Assyr. Socty has broken out more fiercely than ever. You will remember that I retained possession of the Northern Palace at Koyunijik with the consent of Loftus, in order to be able to clear out the interior of the chambers and remove all the marbles still remaining for the Museum. My men have been working there ever since, but now find their territory invaded by the Society’s gangs. It seems Loftus lately lighted on some sculptures, belonging no doubt to the Northern Palace, but beyond the precincts of Hormuzd Rassam’s excavations and also at a lower level. In following these sculptures he comes to the line of our trenches and now wants to tunnel under the place where the Museum gangs are working, but this I cannot permit. It seems most likely now that the chambers excavated by Hormuzd Rassam were merely the first floor of the Palace, and that there is a basement story underneath still untouched, which is most indubitably the property of the Museum. As far as Science is concerned of course it makes little difference by whom the slabs may be uncovered but there is another question involved in this controversy, which is that of property possessing a money value and such being the case I am constrained to look after the Museum’s interests …. [This is presumably HCR’s version of the dispute referred to by Loftus in III/11(15) and III/11(16)] … I must also tell you that I have at length come to an understanding with Ld Stratford about my retirement. I am to remain at Baghdad for the winter but he has promised to withdraw all opposition to my departure in the Spring. All my arrangements will accordingly be directed to a final “flitting” by April 1 1855.”

  1. Loftus, Mosul to Samuel Phillips, Sydenham 25 Sept. 1854. Is still waiting to receive a “communication” which had been promised in Phillips’s letter of July 31, but “the Tartar” [the name of a courier service operating in Iraq at this time] is so late he fears it may have been plundered. Describes the progress of the excavations and promises to send “a series of beautiful photographs” despite difficulties which they have been having with photography in the heat. Further complaints about interference from Hormuzd Rassam and says that HCR will be of no help in dealing with him. Also reports that “Col. Rawlinson has commenced the removal of the slabs from the N. Palace. He appears to be taking the whole away bodily, tho’ for what purpose I can’t understand.” [III/11(16)]

III/10(16) HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad Oct 3rd 1854” … “I am expecting the post from Mosul in the course of the day and shall then be able to let you know before the mail closes, whether Loftus consents or no to carry on the excavations now that the Assyrian Fund Socty has merged into a sort of branch establishment in aid of the Antiquity department of the British Museum. As he (Loftus) abominates the Trustees, is quite independent as to his means and extremely jealous of any interference I doubt if he will continue to work under the new arrangement (of which by the bye you do not seem to have been aware on Aug. 19th, though it was definitely settled in London on Aug. 12). I have done all I can to make matters easy for him, and am ready to give him a monopoly of the κυδος of the discoveries (which is I fancy what he principally affects) but I must have a general control to acquit myself of the money responsibility – and on that head I anticipate difficulty. …”

  1. HCR, Baghdad, to [an unnamed officer of the Assyrian Excavation Fund] Octr 3rd “I merely write a line to thank you for your letter of July 31st, with enclosure, and to say that by this day’s post from Mosul I have received Mr Loftus’s adhesion to the new arrangement for the future conduct of the excavations.” Reports that, since Mr Boutcher has resigned from his employment with Messrs Dickinson and also with the Assyrian Excavation Fund Society, HCR, acting on behalf of the BM, has engaged him to continue his work in drawing the finds, but that the drawings will now become the property of the Trustees instead of Messrs Dickinson. The ownership of the drawings which have already been produced and sent back to England he leaves to be settled between the Society and Messrs Dickinson, although he thinks they should not be published without the Trustees consent. Confesses that he does not fully understand the details of the new arrangement, which he says involves the Society transferring its funds to the BM account, although they are still to be responsible for paying half of Loftus’s salary. Intends to report regularly to the Trustees on the progress of excavations “in Assyria, Babylonia and Chaldæa” but has no doubt that they will allow such reports to be read at your meetings “if the Assyr. Fund Socty remains embodied.”

III/10(20) HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad Novr 14 1854” … “Loftus is making good discoveries … he says too that he has lighted on a new storehouse of inscriptions at the S E Palace at Nimrud.”

III/10(21)HCR to Norris dated “Baghdad Decr 4th 1854” “… I was exceedingly surprised at what you and Fergusson write about Loftus’s resignation – as he has always told me positively that he intends to remain and since the amalgamation we have been working together, if not as cordially as of yore, at any rate in a proper, business like way …”

Both Loftus and HCR returned to Britain in 1855 and neither undertook any active work in archaeology afterwards. Loftus went to India with the Geological Survey of India, but his health deteriorated and he died in 1858. RBP.

III/12   8 letters from HCR to Norris 8 Jan – 16 Dec 1855, as follows:

  1. Addressed “Baghdad, Jany 8 1855. My dear Norris” Has still not finished adding the marginal notes to “the long promised Geographical supplement” owing to the laboriousness of the task, to the pressure of his official duties, added to by the preparations for his impending departure from Baghdad, and to general ill health. “What you say about the early Syrian dates is entirely new to me and must be looked into” on his return to Britain, where, however, he is daunted by the amount of material to be worked through. Suggests a division of labour between the different British scholars in the field: Hincks to concentrate on grammar and philology, “while I should be content with History, Geography and Mythology; you might then have the Chronology and Astronomy; Vaux the natural history, Geology, Metallurgy &c.” as preferable to each trying to do everything. Has concluded that his interpretation of a passage as referring to the insanity of Nebuchadnezzar [see III/10(21) above] is incorrect, but cannot say what it means. Has still had no reply from India to his letter of resignation from April 1st, and does not know whether he will be allowed to come straight home, or will be required to stay in India until October. [see III/10(21) above]. [III/12(01)].
  2. [Dictated to a clerk.] Addressed “Baghdad January 22nd My dear Mr Norris.” HCR has had a fall from his horse and has broken his collar-bone. He has consequently been unable to do any work at all. [III/12(02)].
  3. Addressed “Baghdad. Feby 5 1855 . My dear Norris.” Is still heavily bandaged and has only one hand free, which is frustrating when there is so much to do. “Hincks’s letter is all [Referring to a name which is written in two distinct ways in cuneiform. RBP.] I am glad the Irishman is so positive, as it will make his recantation all the more telling when it does come.” Is planning to leave “early in April” [in fact, HCR had left Baghdad by March 5th, see papers in Box II. RBP.] preferably via Bombay, “if a steamer offers” but has made no plans for transporting his notebooks etc. His general health is so poor, apart from the fracture that he when he does get home “I must take a run at grass for some months”. Norris is to stop sending various periodicals from the time he receives this letter. Complains of the amount of work involved in administering the excavations for the British Museum. [III/12(03)].
  4. Addressed “Ajdaha [a steamer belonging to the East India Company. RBP.] off Bombay April 1 1855. My dear Norris.” Has arrived ten days later than he anticipated, and must attend to business at Bombay, so he cannot expect to leave before the next steamer on the 17th. However, he may still arrive in London in time for the Anniversary General Meeting of the RAS on May 19th. Has been writing notes “to the Borsippa paper” on the voyage and is now about half way through. It has now expanded into “a very minute and elaborate essay on the comparative Geography of Northern Babylonia from the earliest times to the present day.” Although “it fills up a gap in science” he doubts whether anybody in England will take the trouble to read it or that the RAS will accept it for the Journal. Some discussion of a disagreement with “Fergusson” regarding the interpretation of the ruins at Birs-i-Nimrud [which I can’t follow. RBP.] Is bringing “the Birs and Mugheir Cylinders and Esarhaddon’s dogs with me” to exhibit at the Anniversary General Meeting if he arrives in time, but “Please avoid all trumpeting however – for I am dead sick of humbug and would rather take service with Barnum or Wombwell than exhibit any more for the edification of the would-be-savans of London.” [III/12(04)].
  5. Addressed “Alexandria. May 5 1855. My dear Norris.” Has been further delayed and is very doubtful of reaching England by May 19th. However, his health has been restored, and he is now feeling as well as he did when he left England in 1851. [III/12(05)].
  6. Addressed “Monday May ??/morning flourish [The mention of the London Institution lecture indicates that the year must be 1855 and that the letter was written in late May or early June. If it was written in May, the date must be either 19th or 26th, the latter being more likely. RBP.]. “The Trustees have sent in the application for 1500£ for the first year’s expenditure, and we shall therefore soon have to commence work. Proposes a meeting with Norris and Bowler to settle all the details and perhaps commence operations without waiting for the Government’s reply. Is prepared to join “Mr [Richard] Clark as joint Hon. Sec. of the RAS if it seemed otherwise desirable. Cannot find the “[paper?] casts of the Persian column of the Hamadun Inscriptions which will be required for “my lecture on Wednesday next at the London Institution.” [HCR lectured to the London Institution – now the Royal Institution – On the Results of the Excavations in Assyria and Babylonia. On Friday June 15th The Prince Consort was in the chair, and it is possible that the meeting was rescheduled to allow him to do so.][III/12(06)]
  7. Addressed “Temple Newsam, Leeds Octr 23rd My dear Norris.” Gossip about his plans, but intends to return to London at the beginning of November and “settle down to steady work and hope to get through no end of matter during the winter.” “I think I shall hold on at 21 Savile Row [HCR does not mention this address in his Annuary. RBP.] until it is positively settled whether I do or do not return to the East.” Asks Norris to procure him a passport “if such things are required nowadays”. [III/12(07)].
  8. Addressed “Woburn Abbey, Decr 16th My dear Norris.” A covering note to a letter for Baghdad which HCR wants Norris to post for him. “Woburn is half full of Cabinet Ministers at present and altogether we are a very agreeable party.” [III/12(08)].

III/13   3 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris, 7 May – 30 November ? 1856, as follows:

  1. Addressed “May 7 1856. My dear Norris.” Is too busy to “review the progress of Cuneiform discovery for the Anniversary Report” but gives an outline for Norris to fill up. [A report following this outline appeared in the Report of the Anniversary General Meeting 17th May 1858.] Asks Norris to “bring it over to me by 11 tomorrow morning and I will make any alterations or additions that may seem requisite.” “Now I am off to the city to take my seat in Court. [Presumably this refers to the Court of Directors of the East India Company, to which HCR was appointed soon after his return from Baghdad. RBP.]” [III/13(01)]
  2. Addressed “21 Langham Place, Septr 17 [“1856” added in pencil. Lady Rawlinson’s hand? RBP.] Is in London for a few hours only [Norris was away at this time. RBP.] but hopes that they will be able to meet up in a fortnight’s time [at the Museum] to “consult about our future proceedings.” Asks how Norris is “succeeding with the Sennacherib transliteration.” [III/13(02)].
  3. Addressed “Hillside – Henbury – [The home of his sister Maria. RBP.] Sunday. [The same hand as letter 2 above has written “Dec 1856” in pencil.] “My dear Norris.” Has been too busy to write anything for the Athenæum but promises to let Norris have “a sheet or two tomorrow.” However, he also says “Tomorrow I leave this and migrate to Lord Broughton’s” [The letter is accompanied by an envelope bearing the postmark “Bristol. Dec 2 1856.” This identifies Henbury as being the village in Gloucestershire which has subsequently become a suburb of Bristol. Since December 2nd 1856 was a Tuesday, the letter appears to have been written on November 30th. HCR’s departure on December 1st may account for its not being posted until December 2nd. RBP.] [III/13(03)]

NOTE ON DATING. After his return to England, HCR rarely dates his letters in full. Some of the letters bear dates added subsequently in the handwriting of Norris, or HCR’s wife and these have generally been accepted. Where HCR gives the date, month and day of the week, the year can be narrowed down to a few candidates, from which it usually possibly to select one (although this assumes that the date as given is correct and there are cases where it clearly is not). Further dating clues are:

Address. All the letters which HCR wrote to Norris from home are addressed from “21 Langham Place”, “1 Hill St.” or “2 Hill Street”. According to the Annuary [Box IV] HCR lived at 21 Langham Place from 1856 until his departure for Teheran in 1859. On his return from Teheran in the spring of 1860, he moved into “Mr Berkeley’s house No. 1 (then 39) Hill Street”. In the spring of 1862 he bought “No. 2 (then No. 1) Hill Street”. [He mentions “my new house No.1 Hill Street” in a letter to Norris dated April 15th 1862, but his proposal to Louisa Seymour is dated July 22nd 1862 (see Box V) so that he did not buy it in anticipation of his marriage. RBP.] This house appears to have been renumbered as No. 2 in 1868. In 1869 he sold it and moved to 21 Charles Street, but no letters to Norris are dated from that address. Accordingly, I have dated all letters addressed “21 Langham Place” to the period 1856-1859, all those addressed “No. 1 Hill Street” to 1862-1868, “2 Hill Street” to 1868.

Employments. According to his Annuary HCR was appointed a Crown Director of the East India Company “2 months after…” his resignation from the East India Company’s service on February 29th 1856. It is not clear whether this was a paid appointment and, if so, whether he could have held it while a Member of Parliament. In any case, the East India Company was abolished in 1858. Accordingly, letters referring to attendance at “the Court” or “Leadenhall Street” can be dated to the period April/May 1856 to August 1858 at the latest. HCR was twice an MP: for Reigate from February to August 1858; and for Frome in Somerset 11-24 July 1865 to October 1868. References to attendance at “the House” etc can be dated to one of these two periods. HCR was also twice a member of the Council for India: from September 1858 to September 1859, when he was appointed Ambassador to Teheran, and from October 1868 until his death. HCR’s appointment as Ambassador to Teheran lasted from September 1859 to March? 1860. [Correspondence concerning this will be found in II/08 and II/09.]

Publications. In 1855, the Government agreed to subsidise the publication by the British Museum of what became Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia under the editorship of HCR, the lithographed facsimiles of the inscriptions to be accompanied by HCR’s translations. R E Bowler began work on lithographing the plates in 1855 and Edwin Norris was employed to assist in the editorial and translation work but presumably withdrew in 1866 to concentrate on his Assyrian Dictionary, his place being taken by George Smith. Volumes of the compilation appeared in 1861, 1866, 1870, 1875 and 1884 but there are no references to HCR’s personal involvement after 1868.

Clues to dating have also been obtained from:

  1. The Correspondence of William Henry Fox Talbot an online database of transcriptions of letters from and to William Henry Fox Talbot which includes letters from HCR, Edwin Norris and others. These are often more carefully dated than those in this collection and can be found at http://foxtalbot.dmu.ac.uk/.
  2. The bibliography of Dr Hincks’s publications referred to in the Biographical Notes.
  3. The Tentative Bibliography of HCR’s publications by W M Arnholt, Johns Hopkins University Circulars No. 12 April 1889. This only came to hand rather late in the work.

Other clues to dating are noted in individual cases.

III/14 18 Letters from HCR to E Norris datable from the beginning of 1857 to the eve of HCR’s departure for Teheran in September 1859.

  1. Addressed “May 13th (at the end) 21 Langham Place. [i.e. 1856 to 1859, probably 1857, since their working arrangements had not been established by this date in 1856, HCR wrote to Norris on May 14th 1858 but does not mention having written the day before and by this date in 1859 he had accepted the appointment as ambassador in Teheran. RBP.]” Encloses “for Bowler the cursive transcript of the Inscription on Lord Aberdeen’s Stone [see letter Y in III/03.] The printed text cannot be interfered with, as “the whole impression has been struck off – but there are I fear departures from the original in every line.” Discusses a cuneiform character which he cannot identify. [III/14(01).]
  2. Addressed “21 Langham Place, Thursday, My dear Norris.” [Datable from the address to the period 1856 to 1859. Norris has scribbled on the back “21 May?? Ann. M.” The RAS Anniversary General Meeting was held on Saturday 23rd May 1857, so I have tentatively dated this letter 21st May 1857. RBP.] Bowler is to meet HCR at the Museum tomorrow bringing “as many sheets as he has prepared.” HCR has “a good many new Chaldæan Inscriptions (among others of a son of Kudur Mabuk’s) which must form a supplementary sheet. [III/14(02)].
  3. Addressed “21 Langham Place, Tuesday. [In HCR’s wife’s hand] 1857 My dear Norris.” From the references to the Manchester Exhibition, and “Wednesday 23rd” datable to September 1857, probably 15th. Norris is not to return to London on HCR’s account as he has “no particular call for you just now.” Hopes to return to work at the Museum “with some steadiness” in October and “at any rate write out the Roman text and translations of the Inscriptions & get the first volume out” for which Norris’s assistance will be invaluable. Bowler has plenty of work to go on with and HCR has corrected almost everything which he has done to date. [III/14(03)].
  4. Addressed “Ampthill Park, Ampthill. Tuesday Nov 17 [Probably 1857, ‘Tuesday November 17’ could refer to 1863 or 1868 but there is no reference to HCR’s wife travelling with him, nor are there any letters to her addressed from Paris in either year. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Norris is to procure a passport for HCR’s intended departure for Paris on the following evening. HCR will collect it from him at the Foreign Office about 5pm. Bowler is to take any work which he has ready for correction to the Foreign Office for HCR to collect at the same time. HCR will post the corrected copy back to him from Paris. [III/14(04)].
  5. Addressed “Paris Novr 20th My dear Norris”. [The references “to attending the Court” and meeting Layard “on his way to Constantinople” imply 1857, (Layard went to India in 1857 to investigate the causes of the Indian Mutiny; he was eventually appointed Ambassador to Constantinople but not until 1877, after Norris’s death) but the date of this letter is not compatible with that of the preceding one, since HCR says he “has been away a week”. RBP.] Gossip about the delights of Paris and mutual acquaintances. Hopes to find “the Sardanapalus Inscription pretty well finished” when he visits the Museum the following Thursday. [III/14(05)].
  6. Notepaper embossed with what could be the East India Company seal. Addressed “Wednesday Feb 10th [1858] My dear Norris.” Is returning the latest progress report to the British Museum for Norris to fill in the dates and deliver to Panizzi and to “give him any verbal explanations he may require.” [III/14(06)].
  7. Addressed “Hotel Bristol [Paris] Monday March 8 [1858] My dear Norris.” Comments on Norris’s treatment of certain [Scythic?] words thrada, hamayáyá Palkivas but it is not clear in what context. The “Assyrian Gallery” is still under repair, but he hopes to gain admission to the adytum Comments on the general hostility to Britain for harbouring “the refugees” and speculates that the [Anglo-French] alliance will be in danger “if [Simon] Bernard should escape punishment and Lord Derby should give up on the Conspiracy Bill”. [This refers to participants in the Orsini plot to assassinate Napoleon III on 14 January 1858 using a bomb of Orsini’s own design. The French resentment was partly because the bombs had been made and tested in England with the assistance of Bernard, who was living here and had been arrested and put on trial. The Conspiracy Bill, which was originally brought in by the Palmerston government in February 1858 to placate our allies, would have facilitated the extradition of conspirators from other countries. It was very unpopular and was defeated, bringing down the Government, which was succeeded by a Conservative administration under the Earl of Derby, who unsuccessfully attempted to reintroduce the measure. RBP.] Hopes to be in the Museum on Saturday. [III/14(07)].
  8. Addressed “Friday May 14 [1858] My dear Norris.” “Will give up the Drawing Room tomorrow in order to attend the Anniversary meeting of the Asiatic Society [which took place on Saturday May 15th 1858 RBP]” and will take the chair if necessary [It wasn’t.] Norris is to send Bowler’s account for HCR to sign “if you have verified the dates and added an explanatory note.” Bowler is to assemble as many lithographs of the Inscriptions as possible to be exhibited at the Meeting because “some M.Ps told me they were going to attend the meeting and propose applying to Govt for a pecuniary grant to enable the Socy to publish my translations. [HCR was MP for Reigate at this time.] [III/14(08)].
  9. Addressed “21 Langham Place Jul. 1 [1858 from the references to “Lord Stanley” and “Parliament”] My dear Norris.” Returns “Lord Stanley’s Certificate duly signed” [Presumably Lord Stanley (2) in the Biographical Notes. He was at this time President of the Board of Control of the British East India Company.] Norris is to write out his receipt again and sign it, so that HCR can countersign it in the approved manner. “As soon as Parliament is up, I intend to work tooth and nail for a month or six weeks to bring this volume out.” Has mislaid “this infernal Birs Nimrud sheet” and cannot correct it unless he finds it or Norris sends him another copy. Returns the “two sheets of the Big Inscription, but must see the whole again before it goes to ‘Press’”. [III/14(09)].
  10. Dated (at the end) “Saturday” [from the references to the “Receipt countersigned” and “the Birs paper” it appears to follow the previous one. July 1 1858 was a Thursday, so this letter may be dated July 3rd RBP.] Returns the countersigned receipt. Even more papers missing. Complains about the long hours spent in Parliament, after which he can only manage to “open & skim over my letters & when I come down to breakfast, find everything cleared away never to be recovered. I have lost hundreds of papers this way and am thoroughly disgusted.” [III/14(10)].
  11. Dated “Thursday morning. My dear Norris.” [I have assigned it to this point in the sequence of letters because: the way in which the reference to the Trustees’ ultimatum is worded implies that it is the first Volume which is being demanded. There are no references to a preface or table of contents in any of the previous letters, although they are referred to regularly hereafter. RBP.] Returns a sheet which he has corrected by scoring out incorrect Assyrian characters. Assumes that there will be many more such errors as Bowler is more used to Assyrian than Babylonian forms. Has been re-reading Bowler’s copy of the inscription on Michaux’s stone [See Letter T in III/03 the interpretation which HCR gives of it here appears to accord with the present understanding. RBP.] “Bye the bye the Trustees have decided that you were to receive Salary up to the end of the year and no later – and they also required the sheets now ready to be made up into a volume and published immediately. I am therefore making my final corrections and must forthwith prepare a short Preface & table of contents.” [III/14(11)].
  12. Dated “Friday morning My dear Norris.” [This letter appears, from the reference to “the red copy” to have been written shortly before the following one, which can be dated to the period before 28th June 1859 and probably the autumn of 1858. RBP.] Queries the mechanics of a new procedure for correcting proofs which Norris has proposed. Further comments about corrections to unidentifiable sheets. Asks Norris to send “what there is done of the red copy of the Sardanapalus Inscription, together with the two pages on the stone to insert variants and correct.” [III/14(12)].
  13. Dated “Thursday 21 Langham Place My dear Norris.” [The reference to “the light red writing” implies a date just after the preceding one. The reference to “Vernon Smith MP” implies a date before 28th June 1859, when Smith was created 1st Baron Lyveden. It is probable that HCR had been invited to a shooting party, making the autumn of 1858 most likely. RBP.] Has been obliged to give up trying to correct the “light red writing” by candlelight. Is returning the proofs and gives Norris directions how to make the corrections himself. Is proposing to go to the country “for a week” [although he later says “I shall be back on Tuesday, I hope.”]. Letters to be directed to “Right Honble Vernon Smith M.P. Fanning Woods, Thrapston, Northamptonshire.” [III/14(13)].
  14. Dated “Fanning Woods – Sunday My dear Norris.” [HCR made at least two visits to Fanning Woods, the first, referred to in the previous letter probably in the autumn of 1858 and the second in October 1861 (see III/16 below). The earlier date would be compatible with the reference to “the Trustees not having had time to look at the Book” assuming this to be the first volume of Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia but not with the reference to his helping to revise his brother George’s translation of the Histories of Herodotus since the publication of the first edition was not completed until 1860. The later date would fit in well with the revision of the Herodotus – a second edition eventually appeared in 1862 – but seems rather late for the Trustees’ consideration of the first volume of Cuneiform Inscriptions which was published in 1861. Neither date fits very well with HCR’s proposed movements as set out in the various letters. RBP.] Is not sorry that the Trustees “had no time to look at the Book, as it will now be possible to include a Preface. Asks Norris to “draft one according to your idea of what it should be.” “Your translations are enterprising as usual, but not satisfactory in any instance for reasons which I will explain to you viva voce.” Confirms that “a Second Edition” of “the Herodotus”[see above] is to be published and “I have engaged to correct, improve and enlarge it . . .My brother indeed and Wilkinson are both to a certain extent penny a liners and rather popular than deep.” Will have “something about the Egyptian Campaigns of Esar-Haddon & his son ready for the Saturday meeting.” [III/14(14)].
  15. Dated “21 Langham Place, Thursday. 10 A.M. My dear Norris” [The reference to having to go to “the India House” implies a date between September 1858 and the end of April 1859 when HCR was a member of the Council for India.] Returned to Town yesterday and will be in the Museum between 11 and 1 “to see what has been doing in my absence”. Asks Norris to meet him there, but, if not, on the following day and to “get Bowler to send the corrected Tiglath Pileser proofs.” [III/14(15)].
  16. Dated “Monday, My dear Norris”. [Datable to the reference to the “Himyaric Inscriptions” to the early part of 1859.] Has just returned from the country and must go immediately to “the India House” so cannot write anything at the moment. Is sending “Oppert’s 3 Livraisons (roughly ‘instalments’) by the bearer. They contain almost as much of error as of truth – and all announced in the same tone of uncompromising audacity.” [I am not sure what HCR is referring to here: in a letter to Fox Talbot dated 27th August 1858, HCR refers to “Oppert’s 1st Livraison” and sends a copy on loan to Fox Talbot, which he appears to have received on loan from Oppert himself. On 10th September 1858 he writes that “A second Livraison is out, but I have not yet had time to run through it.” Oppert’s Expédition scientifique en Mésopotamie. . . appeared in three parts, but Tome 1 did not appear until 1863. Apparently the first to be published, in 1857, was the Atlas, which would hardly be expected to elicit such an acid response. Tome 2 Déchiffrement des inscriptions cuneiforms appeared in 1859. It is possible that what HCR refers to as the first part is actually Chronologie des Assyriens et des Babyloniens (Paris, 1857). RBP.] Is sending “8 more Himyaric Inscriptions to be lithographed [This must refer to the collection of inscribed copper plates acquired by Colonel Coghlan in present day Yemen in 1858. At the AGM of the RAS on May 5th 1859 it was reported that HCR had received photographs of all the plates “and they are now in the hands of the lithographer”. RBP.] & have written the whole set out in Arabic and Roman characters.” [III/14(16)].
  17. Dated “Saturday, My dear Norris” [The reference to HCR considering giving up “the Persian Mission on the score of ill health” and advising Norris not to be “in a hurry to give up your position at the Museum” implies a date in the first half of 1859 sometime after Saturday April 9th when he had accepted it but certainly not long after (see II/08). There is no indication in the correspondence in II/08 of any uncertainty about HCR’s health. RBP.] Comments on his health etc as above. “I shall make up my mind about this [i.e. whether to go to Teheran] on Monday and will let you know at once in the mean time “patience”. “I should like to run my eye over Osiander’s paper though I could gather little from it.” [See list of names. RBP.] [III/14(17).]
  18. Dated “Wednesday. My dear Norris.” [Datable from the reference to “Himyaric Inscriptions” to the early part of 1859 although not necessarily at this point in the sequence. The reference to these inscriptions in III/15(02) below, as well a letter from Norris to Fox Talbot dated 10 September 1859 in the online archive referred to above imply that they had all been lithographed by the time of HCR’s departure for Teheran. Might be datable more precisely from the reference to the “corrected sheets of the Report”. RBP.] Is sending “another set of Himyaric inscriptions for Bowler to trace”. Has failed to read some of them “although I have no doubt every letter might be recovered from the [copper] plates themselves [HCR was working from photographs; the plates themselves were deposited at the British Museum in November 1862 and published by the British Museum in 1863 in Inscriptions in the Himyaritic Character discovered chiefly in Southern Arabia, and now in the British Museum. [By S. Birch.] with the assistance of a donation from Colonel Coghlan. (See BM Collections Database.) HCR’s work was apparently not published. RBP.]” Gives instructions as to the order in which they should appear when published. Concludes, apparently in reply to a query from Norris, with a comment about two words in cuneiform, apparently with the same meaning, saying that one (published by Oppert) is Assyrian and the other (HCR’s) is Babylonian. [III/14(18).]

III/15   6 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris from August 26th 1859, on the eve of his departure for Teheran to June 30th 1860. Further correspondence concerning HCR’s appointment and service as Ambassador to Teheran will be found at II/08 and II/09.

  1. Addressed “Folkestone – [Friday] Aug. 26. [in Norris’s hand 1859.] My dear Norris.” Apologises for having missed Norris on Wednesday but was extremely rushed. Intends to go up to London “tomorrow” and will leave this note for Norris at the RAS, together with the Catalogue of HCR’s MSS, [The wording here is obscure, but I think this is what he means. RBP.] which will be useful if anyone wants to consult them. Has not been able to do anything with the Table of Contents owing to pressure of other business, but hopes to send a few sheets before leaving. Suggests that for the time being Norris should confine himself to getting the “syllabaries, vocabularies, and the bilingual phrase books” lithographed – explains where they are to be found in the Museum and says that many of them were assembled by Vaux and Oppert – so that he can send the proofs out to HCR “to be looked over before the final imprimatur is given”. Hopes to be able to depart for Boulogne on Monday [August 29th. In fact he was detained until September 7th.] and “I shall shake off the dust of my shoes against this sinful land, and wend my way to sunnier, but I fear not more innocent climes. Good bye, I hope to find you still flourishing in a green old age when I return …” [It is not clear whether this is meant as a joke or not: in II/09 there is a letter to Mrs Seymour in which HCR insists that he does not intend remaining in Teheran for more than a year, and the arrangements which he proposes for Norris to continue the work could not be more than a stop-gap. RBP.] [III/15(01)].
  2. Addressed “Folkestone Sept 7 [1859] My dear Norris.” Leaves for Boulogne in an hour. Has been so occupied with official business that “the Table of Contents still hangs fire”. However, he hopes to be able to “send the 8 sheets of short inscriptions” from Paris and gives instructions on how Norris is to complete it. Hopes to complete “the Himyaric inscriptions” in time for the Council meeting in November or soon after. Expects “to have much more time and inclination for work” in Persia and to write constantly. Gives the reading nigubu for a particular word which, he says, means “the West.” Recommends Norris to “work at the vocabularies, they of more importance than all the other documents put together. I hope to find you flourishing on my return. You may expect to see me back in the course of next year.” Asks Norris to “send me anything that comes out in the cuneiform line, as of old.” [III/15(02)].
  3. Addressed “Teheran, Febry 4 1860. [In Norris’s hand: Recd. 9 Apr.] My dear Norris.” “You seem to have cut me altogether” but hopes this is not due to ill health but “only from extra work at the For. Office, preparing for the Congress” [Presumably the Congress of Baden Baden, a meeting of [principally German] crowned heads, intended to secure peace in Europe after the Italian wars of reunification. It appears from Norris’s letters in the online Fox Talbot archive referred to above that he was waiting to hear from HCR, in a letter to Fox Talbot dated 19th March 1860 he complains that he has heard nothing from HCR, although he has heard that he is about to return home. RBP.] Asks if Norris has done “anything with the Syllabaria or Vocabularies.” Has left behind two notebooks without which “I find myself quite crippled.” Asks Norris to find them if he can. In the meantime is writing out “the transliterations and translations of the lithographed series of Plates” but has so little spare time that this will take him a year. Would be glad to get some gossip on “Cuneiforms or kindred matters.” Asks Norris to obtain a list of historical and geographical works in Arabic which have been published over the past 20 or 30 years in England, France, Russia etc. Believes that “many of the princes here, who are decent Arabic scholars and very anxious to learn, would place large orders for such works” also HCR is anxious to oblige them and secure their assistance in other matters. “Chwolson, [see Names list] I see pretends to have got some wonderful “trouvaille” in this Babylonian work of Kudama’s” but HCR is sceptical – gives reasons. “These infernal Russians in fact leave me no time for anything, except counteracting their intrigues.” Ends by asking Norris to write when he can. “I don’t admire by the bye coming under the F.O.” [III/15(03)].
  4. Addressed “Teheran. April 7 [crossed out] 13 1860. [In Norris’s hand 21 May.] Has just received Norris’s letter of 7th of March “with accompaniments” “just as the French Courier is leaving Teheran, so that I can do [no possibly omitted here.] more than acknowledge its contents.” Will return all the sheets duly corrected by the next mail on March 28th. Sympathises with Norris’s disappointment at HCR’s not sending anything new, but excuses himself by the great pressure of official business. If he remains for the summer, he may be able to finish transliterating and translating the “whole Museum series [Presumably he means the 70 lithographed sheets to be included in the first volume. RBP.] whilst out in Camp.” However, he sent in his formal resignation in February, giving as his reason the transfer of the Mission to the Foreign Office, and has just heard “that Lord John [Russell, then Foreign Secretary.] was prepared to lay it before the Queen.” If he has to leave his post soon, there will be no chance of any “further Cuneiform progress” until he arrives back in England. Wonders “what can Hincks’ discovery be about Nabupolessar [sic]” as HCR has never seem him mentioned except as the father of Nebuchadnezzar. [I have not been able to trace what HCR is referring to here. RBP.] Goes on to discuss a name which he had found [at some earlier date] on the fragments of the Nabonidus Cylinder which he identifies with the Greek Χινξιζος [This is what HCR has written, although the generally-accepted Greek form seems to be Chinzeros. RBP.] and reads the cuneiform as Khamzivra or Khamzina and says was “3rd from Nabonassar” [This name is now read as Nabû-mukin-zeri. RBP.] and says that his discovery gives “an approximate confirmation of the Chaldæan Chronology.” Also discusses the names Zábú and Shaga-saltiyas which says he found in the same source, the latter of which he says he has not found anywhere else. Laments the lack of new Assyrian and Babylonian materials and would be prepared to subsidize excavations out of his own pocket, if anyone could be found to superintend them. Asks if [Edward] Thomas has spoken to Norris about the word Apza [?] “on the Sassanian coins” which, he says, is “wonderfully like” a certain cuneiform word. Promises to write more fully by the next mail. [III/15(04)].
  5. Addressed “Teheran. April 28 1860. My dear Norris.” Was “very glad to see the old crabbed handwriting again” but can “make but an inadequate return at present” as he is harder worked here, especially about post-time than “I was, even in London.” Has corrected “all the Syllabaries, and added [transcriptions of ?] four other fragments for incorporation, which I found in my book and of which you should have the originals in the Tablet cupboard.” Has decided that the term “syllabaries” is misleading and suggests instead “bilingual explanations of Cuneiform signs” as a heading. This is in accordance with an explanation of the nature of these tablets which he announced “in my lecture in Oxford in 1855 or 1856” and which Vaux repeated shortly afterwards in an article in the Monthly Review. Hincks and Oppert also agree with it, although Hincks initially rejected it and Oppert has never given HCR credit for it. Has not succeeded in sorting out the confused fragments of the Bavian Inscription to his satisfaction and “accordingly I do not send it.” Asks if Norris has done anything more with the Asshur-bani-pal Annals, portions of which were quite intelligible enough for publication “and the matter was full of interest.” Gives his latest views on “the Bible ethnological scheme”. Goes on to propound a theory [which I don’t really follow RBP] that St John the Baptist, Christ, “all the Christian saints and Musselman Peers are mere Buddhs [sic]. Tell this to Henry Stanley as my last article of faith.” Is still waiting to see “Chwolson’s book” although he remains sceptical about his basic hypothesis. Can make no definite plans until after he has next heard from the Foreign Office, but expects to be on his way home again soon. In the meantime, Norris is to continue preparing for lithography “all the bilingual tablets, vocabularies, parallel phrases &c. &c.” [III/15(05)].
  6. Addressed “Wojun ? [I have not been able identify this place. In his Annuary HCR says that he travelled to Teheran by sea from Malta, via Athens, and Constantinople to Poti on the Black Sea coast of Georgia, thence by rail to Tiflis, now Tbilisi, driving from there to the Persian frontier and that he returned by the same route. His estimates of his rate of progress and the distance from Teheran to Tabriz seem to be inconsistent: on the basis of his own estimates at his best rate of progress he could barely have reached the latter place when he wrote this letter. He probably overestimated the distance travelled (the distance from Teheran to Tabriz is actually 329 miles as the crow flies) and perhaps underestimated the rate of progress. RBP.] June 3rd My dear Norris.” Left Teheran on the 18th May but can cover only 20 to 25 miles a day because of the “‘impedimenta’ of a Minister, tents, led horses, &c. &c. &c.” Has “not yet got over the long pull of 400 miles to Tabriz”. However, once on the Russian frontier “where I hope to meet [Charles] Alison about the 11th or 12th of June I shall make better way, and may thus be in London by the middle of July but not before.” “They are very savage with me at the F. O. for having thrown up, but the Govt has only itself to thank for. I am not a mere hack to be driven about as [Edmund] Hammond pleases. I came out with great reluctance and under conditions, and as those conditions have not been kept, am perfectly justified in leaving them, the Govt. in the lurch.” Has washed his hands of “thankless Govt. service” and will concentrate on cuneiforms etc. Expresses renewed scepticism about Chwolson’s hypothesis concerning Kutami [Presumably the same as “Kudama” above, I cannot identify the individual referred to on the basis of the information given. RBP.) but will reserve judgement until he sees the Arabic text. Seems only to have seen extracts in “Quatremere’s extracts [?]” which do not suggest great antiquity but the work may contain “antique passages.” “As for Mr Clerk, I should doubt his critical capacities in such a path.” Thanks Norris for the catalogues of books which HCR had requested in his letter of February 4th. Will forward them to Teheran, although he is aware of many omissions. Thinks Norris’s conception of the Table of Contents [for Volume 1 of Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia.] is unnecessarily elaborate “A mere reprint of the heading of the Sheets would have done”. Intends to “shut myself up in the country somewhere for at least 3 or 4 months” in the Autumn in order to “finish my translations and transliterations [The volumes of Cuneiform Inscriptions were eventually published without translations. Although in the Preface to Volume I the Trustees announced that an expanded edition containing HCR’s translations would appear subsequently, they were, apparently not published. RBP.] … when I have got entirely free of my Persian entanglements”. “The Bavian Inscription certainly must not be printed off in its present shape – It requires corrections in every line and some very important.” Asks Norris to make a copy of the Sennacherib Annals “from the Slabs in the Museum cellars”. Together with the copies which HCR and Layard made from the slabs in situ “we ought to accomplish something – however, the historical part is all contained in more detail on the Cylinder (except the expedition at the mouth of the Euphrates) and the architectural (sic) is repeated ‘ad nauseam’”. “The vocabularies and bilingual phrase books are what we must now work at.”.Has heard of a “new and most promising ruin 35 miles S.E of the Birs” from which he has obtained some small finds. Hopes that the excavations there will be pursued “for the country is not a tenth part exhausted or even examined yet.” “I am very sorry for Wilson [presumably Horace Hayman Wilson (see list of names) who had died the previous month. RBP.] and the sooner you shelve Sykes the better.” [III/15(06)].

III/16   13 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris from August 18 1860 to August 16 1862 i.e. from his return from Teheran to the eve of his marriage.

  1. Addressed “Folkestone. Aug. 8 [Added (in his wife’s hand) ‘1860’ There is also an associated envelope postmarked “Aug 8 60”] My dear Norris.” Has been studying “the Ashur-bani-pal fragments” which he finds very interesting. Has begun by studying the Egyptian Campaign and hopes “by comparing some dozen fragments together to get a connected account of the war.” Reads the names of the two leaders of the resistance to the Assyrians as Necho, King of Memphis and Sais Niku sarru ir Mimpi va Tsai and Tirhakeh King of Æthiopia Taragu sarru mat Kutsi. This may be important historically as he thinks the inscription cannot be before about 660BC and he does not think “the Egyptologers” would recognise such names as late as that. References “populous No” and a chief Vardamani “which name has an Anesic [??] aspect” also to 20 kings and their cities “all bona fide Egyptian names, which ought to delight Birch.” Cannot identify the names at once as “I have no books here [It appears from his letter dated September 30th that he is waiting for his books to return from Teheran. RBP.]” but he will communicate them to the Athenæum “as soon as I have made them out … as the subject is really of interest.” Has found a mention of a Pharaoh (gives only the name in cuneiform) “on the Sargon fragments” “different and more detailed than the passage at Khorsabad.” Has been studying Chwolson’s book and doubts if any of the Chaldæan authors named in it are earlier than the Christian era. “The geographical names are quite modern and not a single Royal name can I recognize – nor indeed have they a genuine Babylonian aspect.” Promises to write further “about Egypt” when he has finished his work. [III/16(01)]
  2. Addressed “Osborne House, Hesketh Crescent, Torquay Aug. 22 [Added (in his wife’s hand?) ‘1860’] My dear Norris.” Is returning “by book post, all the syllabary proofs to look through before they go to Bowler for final correction. [From this point, Bowler must have been working on sheets for Volume II because all the sheets for Volume I had been printed before HCR went to Teheran. RBP.]” Complains that many of his “original corrections and suggestions for reference” appear not to have been incorporated. Asks Norris to go through the whole series again “before we give the final imprimatur” and, if necessary, “we just put off setting the stones till we get back to Town”. [At this point, Norris has written in pencil “<first two words illegible> The Tiglath translation”] Proposes to remain at Torquay for a month and will report progress to Norris. “The Tauchnitz [Tauchnitz is the name of a publishing firm in Leipzig. RBP.] came all right and is very useful.” [III/16(02)].
  3. Addressed “Osborne House, Hesketh Crescent, Torquay Aug 27th My dear Norris.” Has been reading “Fox Talbot’s papers in the Journal [i.e. Translation of some Assyrian Inscriptions: No. I The Birs Nimrud Inscription, No. II The Inscription of Michaux, No .III The Inscription of Bellino JRAS 18 (1861) pp 35-107. HCR presumably received preprints. RBP.] “I see he has made good use of the Museum Sheets” Is prepared to accept some of his corrections to the Birs inscription but HCR is still unconvinced by the reading of a particular word (Col. 2 line 13) as kitarri on Norris’s suggestion. Gives his own reading kiséri. However, in other places considers that Fox Talbot is almost as bold as Oppert and “almost as often wrong”. Comments on Oppert’s alleged resentment of HCR’s claim to priority in publishing and translating the Birs Inscription [asserted in a note appended to his paper On the Birs Nimrud or the Great Temple of Borsippa which appeared in the same volume of the JRAS immediately preceding Fox Talbot’s papers. RBP.] but now that he has read Oppert’s translation [quoted by Fox Talbot] he finds it so bad that “I need not have much minded a comparison – his egotism however is unsufferable and a little snubbing will do him good.” Advises Norris to tell Lord Wodehouse “point blank that I could not and would not work during my holidays.” Expects to remain at Torquay for another week or ten days “as I like the place and really want rest – the weather too seems to be clearing at last.” Asks Norris to send “the syllabary sheets again to Bowler after you have gone through them” and HCR will make a final comparison with the originals “before the final imprimatur is given.” [III/16(03)].
  4. Addressed “Temple Newsam, nr Leeds, Sunday Septr [1860] My dear Norris.” [September 30th was a Sunday in 1855, 1860 and 1866. However, HCR wrote to Norris from Temple Newsam on October 23rd 1855 and does not mention having been there the month before, moreover, there are letters in the Fox Talbot archive (see Note on Dating before III/14 above) from Norris to Fox Talbot dated September 20th, October 4th and October 12th 1860 in which he refers to a proposal from Fox Talbot for some form of collaboration on the Cuneiform Inscriptions project. However, Fox Talbot’s original letter is not in that archive. RBP.] Does not understand exactly what Fox Talbot is proposing in the way of collaboration. Is quite happy for him to have anything he wants resulting from the work at the Museum, but he cannot be a partner in the work, for the accuracy of which Norris and HCR are solely responsible. However, as his books and papers have now reached London, HCR is “ready to set to work in earnest” expects to work steadily all winter and is ready “to come to some definite understanding about Fox Talbot’s cooperation”. [The sentence is not clear, but I think this is what HCR means and Norris’s letter to Fox Talbot dated October 12th appears to confirm it. RBP.] However “Fox Talbot’s translations are a great deal too adventurous to satisfy me and he evidently has not studied the inscriptions half enough.” “Your Dictionary if fairly carried out will be a far better key to the language than all the Semitic authorities at present extant. [This appears to be the first reference to Norris’s proposed Assyrian Dictionary.] “By the bye, I really must tackle Chwolhson [sic] and demolish Kutami. The Saturday Review articles on the book are quite preposterous. I suppose Mr Clerk is the author, the same who wrote the article in the Christian Remembrancer? [III/16(04)].
  5. Addressed “39 Hill Street, Berkeley Square W Tuesday, March 26 [In HCR’s wife’s hand] 1861” Has been “laid up” for some days and is now going into the country, “so that the Museum Report hangs fire”. Encloses “your memorandum” and asks Norris to give it to Panizzi “so that it is incorporated into the general return”. Was unable to “give the imprimatur” for the sheets which he corrected last week because he could not find the original tablets. Asks that they should be set out with the printed sheets ready for his inspection. Disagrees with Fox Talbot’s interpretation of a passage on the Khorsabad Cylinder as indicating the existence of coined money and auguries, although he thinks that his reading of temple worship may be correct, as HCR had already suggested this in an essay which he included in his brother George’s Letters to him during the present week should be addressed to Ampthill Park, Ampthill, Beds. [III/16(05)].
  6. Addressed “Hillside, [The home of his sister Maria Brooke Smith. Their mother seems to have lived there also during her lifetime.] Friday Ap. 5 [in his wife’s hand] 1861 My dear Norris.” Is sorry to hear that Norris is ill “but considering you have [‘not’ omitted here? RBP] had a holiday for 40 years, I really do not think you have much cause to complain.” Is in the country for the Easter holidays [Easter Sunday 1861 fell on March 31st.] but returns to London on Monday to resume work “so I hope Bowler will have some more printed sheets ready for my inspection.” [III/16(06)].
  7. On Athenæum notepaper. “Tuesday May 14. [May 14th was a Tuesday in 1861 and again in 1867. However, according to letters in the Fox Talbot archive, Norris had ceased to visit the British Museum by 1867 because of failing health and in a letter dated May 20th 1867 he says he has been too unwell even to write. 1861 therefore seems more likely. RBP.] Has been “horrified” at the way Bowler is cramming unrelated fragments on to the same sheet without leaving space for headings. Believes it will be necessary to “cancel 4 or 5 of the printed sheets now at the Museum on account of incongruity of contents.” Bowler should concentrate on whole tablets which will fill a sheet until HCR can instruct him how fragments should be arranged. Asks Norris to meet him at the Museum on the following day when HCR can show him what he means. [III/16(07)].
  8. Addressed “Temple Newsam, Leeds. Sunday [in Norris’s hand] early October 1861 [i.e. October 5th or 12th] “Thanks for your letter ‘reporting progress’ as to the Cuneiform Dictionary. I have no doubt that your work will be very useful in facilitating an acquisition of the language by future students, but great care must be taken that all derivatives are traced to their true source and that distinct roots are not confounded together, owing to the difficulty of distinguishing servile from radical letters.” Intends to return to London on Wednesday and hopes “to work seriously at the Inscriptions” all winter so as to “print my transliterations and translations with the text.” “They have sent me a new Chaldæan Inscription from Baghdad, adding another name to our Royal List, that of the father of Rim-Sin[I, king of the city-state of Larsa until its conquest by Babylon under Hammurabi. RBP.] and they are anxious to set to work excavating on a new site, Zuma [I have not been able to identify this site elsewhere. RBP] … if we give them any encouragement from home. I must see if the Trustees will move in this matter [It is not clear who is meant by “they” in this context, particularly since HCR complains in III/15(04) above that there is no-one competent to supervise such excavations. RBP.]” Has found Tingir for “God” in one of the Accadian vocabularies “exactly Tengri and proving the Turanian character of the language. In another Tengir becomes Timir or Demir – the ng in fact is constantly softened to m and I am thus enabled to trace numerous Turkish analogies which had previously escaped me.” [III/16(08)].
  9. On Athenaeum notepaper “[Thursday] Oct. 17 [in Norris’s hand] 1861 My dear Norris.” “I was at the Museum yesterday” correcting proofs but was unable to complete what he was doing because he could not find “a duplicate Inscription” for comparison. Asks Norris to see if he can find it while HCR is away. “I am sorry to hear you are threatened with a return of your malady [gout] but trust you will succeed in boiling yourself out of it.” On his return to London, will set to work seriously both on the [Assyrian] Dictionary and the translations. Envisages the former as a supplement to the “Text and Translations, and be so augmented as to contain at any rate every Assyrian word in the Volume.” Asks Norris to get “Harrison” to print “a few lines of Tiglath Pileser” with translation “(in Latin ?) as a specimen of types &c.” Is on the point of leaving London for “Ld Lyveden, Fanning Woods, Thrapston, Northamptonshire” where he will remain until Monday or Tuesday next when he will return to Temple Newsam and remain there “until the end of next week [i.e. 25th or 26th, in fact he stayed away until the 28th. RBP.] [III/16(09)].
  10. On Athenaeum notepaper “Wednesday [in Norris’s hand ‘end of October 1861’. By reference to the previous letter and the statement ‘I returned to Town on Monday’ can be dated to 30th October 1861. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Does not like the specimens of typography. “The two types are not sufficiently distinct”. Thinks that the translations must be in Latin rather than English “otherwise the long sentences will be terribly confused” although the English translations might be added as an appendix. “I am afraid the Calendars are hardly worth the trouble you are expending on them. The matter is quite beyond our present range of knowledge and when found out will I am pretty sure, prove to be all bosh.” Has found a fragment of a tablet which promises to clarify the reading of previously obscure names, written as compound ideograms, showing how they are composed and the variant orthographies. “Have you seen the last Zeitschrift? [Probably Zeitschrift der deutschen Morgenländischen RBP.] It has several articles, which as far as I can make out, are of much interest.” Also asks if Norris knows anything about a copper bowl from Aden with an unknown inscription “which [William Henry ?] Sykes is telling of?”. [III/16(10)].
  11. On Athenaeum notepaper “Tuesday April 15 [in HCR’s wife’s hand ‘1862’] My dear Norris.” Has been sent a letter in Punjabi by the Russian Embassy to translate, but having no special knowledge of that language asks Norris if he knows of a Punjabi expert, so as to save HCR time and labour. “The writing is so plain that any Punjabi scholar would read the whole thing straight off. I asked the Maharajah Duleep Singh last night if he could assist us; but he says he has no gooroo with him and doubts now if his mother is better supplied. [The Maharajah had been deliberately given an English education. RBP.]” Is about to leave London for his sister Maria’s home for the [Easter] holidays [Easter Sunday fell on April 20th in 1862.] but will be “at my new house, No. 1 Hill Strt [see note on addresses above] on Monday afternoon so that Norris can return the photographs if he has not been able to find a translator. [III/16(11)].
  12. On Athenæum notepaper. “July 1 [1862. Dated by the reference to the letter from Hincks in the Athenæum “controverting all my Chronology”.] Has heard from Bowler that Norris is “ailing again” and fears that it is due to “overwork at the For. Office.” Has discovered a fragment of a tablet which gives “the synchronous history of the early Assyrian and Babylonian kings”. If the remainder of the tablet can be found, “there will be a complete comparative history up to the earliest times.” Complains that there was “neither glue nor awl [?] in our room [at the Museum] nor in fact any of these appurtenances that we ought to have.” Has heard from the Editor of the Athenæum that a letter from Hincks is to appear in the next issue “controverting all my Chronology adopted from the [Eponym] Canon …” which HCR will answer in the following issue. [This must refer to E Hincks, Bible History and the Rawlinson Canon Letter dated 28th June 1862, published in The Athenæum 1810 5th July 1862. (See Cathcart and Donlon No 117.) This was a reply to an earlier letter from HCR announcing the reconstruction of four versions of the “Canon” (essentially a list of officials holding office in successive years) and suggesting HCR had misinterpreted it. HCR’s reply appeared in The Athenæum No. 1812 19th July 1862, and there was a second letter from Hincks dated 22nd July 1862, appearing in The Athenæum No. 1813 26th July 1862. See Cathcart and Donlon No 118. This appears to have been the start of a regular exchange of letters in the pages of The Athenæum lasting at least until 1863. There are two letters in the Fox Talbot Archive referred to above commenting on this dispute: from Fox Talbot to Hincks dated 8th July 1862 and Hincks’s reply dated 11th July 1862. RBP.] [III/16(12)].
  13. Addressed “Knoyle – [Saturday] Aug. 16. [1862. Dated by the reference to his forthcoming marriage.] Does not expect to see Norris [presumably until after HCR returns from his honeymoon. RBP.] but Norris may keep “the Khorsabad papers as long as you please.” Has just heard of the arrival “of the case containing the complete casts of the marbles at Kurkh [excavated the previous year by John George Taylor RBP.]” but will not allow the case to opened “until I get back to Town. [HCR was planning to return to London on August 23rd. RBP.]” Has been correcting Bowler’s tracings “and will leave him lots of work to go on with before I take wing. I am to be executed on the 2nd of Septbr and then come back here for a fortnight – afterwards we pass a month or six weeks in Italy and then return to London for the winter.” Letters to No. 1 Hill Street will always find him. [III/16(13)].

III/17   30  letters from HCR to Edwin Norris from September 25th 1862 to May 3rd 1865 i.e. from his marriage to his re-entering Parliament.

  1. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W Septr 25 1862. My dear Norris.” Regrets that he must leave London before Norris returns from “your American? ovation [I have not been able to clarify this. RBP.] but my lady is anxious to be on the wing for Italy.” During his absence, Bowler is to continue lithographing those tracings which HCR has checked and headed. The fragments of the [Assyrian Eponym?] Canon cannot, however, be published as Bowler has copied them but must be arranged as complete tablets with the missing portions indicated. “This is the only way, it seems to me, that the public can be made to comprehend their chronological value.” Has also “looked over the tracings from the new casts. [From Kurkh? See III/16(12) above.] The Inscriptions appear to be of Sardanapalus and Shalmaneser and to contain more detail, especially of Syria than those previously known, but Norris can “amuse yourself by comparing the different texts. “Bowler’s tracings had better not be put on the stone, till I can bring the Inscriptions into some order.” Has made “a number of very curious discoveries this last month” including a cuneiform word occurring in Bit Zida and meaning “right hand or South” which he compares to the “Indian sídha” and another, the Babylonian kappu meaning the left hand or west, which he compares to the Persian chap. Asks for Norris to forward letters received at HCR’s London house via the diplomatic bag to [Sir James] Hudson at Turin and later to Odo Russell at Rome, who could forward them HCR wherever he might be. He suggests this arrangement because he has been assured that the post restante system is not reliable. Expects to be back about November 20th. [III/17(01)
  2. Addressed “Venice. Octr 11 1862 My dear Norris.” Owing to the limitations of the diplomatic mail service and his expectation of being back in England by November 15th, Norris need only send letters to catch the October 27th

delivery to Odo Russell in Rome, but HCR will write again with definite instructions when he is on the way home. This is his first visit to Italy and he is thoroughly enjoying it – by the time he has seen all the places he plans to visit “I expect to have my head thoroughly bewildered.” Has not visited “Byron’s house here as there are too many realities of great interest to admit of one’s indulging in mere sentimentalities.” Has examined “The Artaxerxes vase [A gray porphyry vase in the Treasury of St Marks with a cuneiform inscription in four languages. RBP.] … the orthography shows a very degraded period” instances the Babylonian form of the name Artaxerxes. “The Lions however at the Arsenal brought from Athens seem to me the more [sic] curious things here. One is nearly the counterpart of [Charles Thomas] Newton’s big fellow from Cnidus [now in the British Museum] and must be very old Greek work – the other I suspect to be Phœnician and think I can trace the remains of Phœnician letters on the back – but what is the real explanation of the Runic inscription? Is [Carl Christian] Rafn’s reading to be depended on and were Runes really used as late as A D 1409? Do you know anything of the Psalter & Commentary of St Jerome at Milan with Irish glosses &c &c said to be of the 9th century? [Norris has written over the words “9th century” in pencil “XXIX ????” At the bottom of the page but apparently referring to the same point he has written, also in pencil, “Muratori (presumably Ludovico Antonio Muratori 1672-1750) ???? p.1063 runic pages “character longobardus sen iti pur? Saxonicus ??? ??? 1846.”] In the accounts there seems to be a strange confusion between Lombard, Saxon and Irish characters – but I suppose it is the earliest undoubted Gaelic we possess, is it not? I have also been to the Armenian Convent and have been poking about both there and in the other Libraries for Arabic M.S.S. but have found nothing of consequence.” In his last letter he made a mistake in identifying a cuneiform word as meaning “left-hand or west” it should have been “left hand or north”. Asks Norris to write to him at Rome between October 25th and November 5th and promises to write again from that city. [III/17(02)].

  1. Addressed “Florence. Octr 20 [In his wife’s hand] 1862 My dear Norris.” Writes a good deal about the vagaries of the post and of the journey from Venice to Florence. Has been overwhelmed by the wonders of the Uffizi. “Tomorrow we hope to take a run through the Pitti – but I see that a whole week at Florence will hardly suffice to give a notion even of what it contains.” His wife has been frightened by stories of brigands, so that instead of visiting Siena and Viterbo as they had planned, they will visit Pisa and then go by boat “from Leghorn to Civita Vecchia.” Wonders about the etymology of the word “vecchia”. They plan to spend a week or ten days at Rome and then “run on to Naples by rail, take a glance merely at Pompeii and then steam to Genoa and home as fast as we can by Turin and over the Mt” Now expects to be in England by November 30th and gives directions as to where to address letters to catch them on the way home. “I have really had no time at all to look at Cuneiforms and Bowler’s tracings are still uncorrected in my writing book. We must work in earnest all the winter.” [III/17(03)].
  2. Addressed “Naples. Novr 13th 1862 My dear Norris.” Comments briefly on his trip and on his plans to be back in London in time for the first RAS meeting on November 27th. Is puzzled by a request to use his influence with the Duke of Somerset [One of his wife’s relatives – it is interesting to note how soon after his marriage HCR’s connection with a much more influential family began to be exploited. RBP.] on behalf of “Mr. Wiltshire” [who appears to be seeking promotion to “1st Master”]. Has very little cuneiform material on hand to occupy himself with but comments on a cuneiform character meaning “the left hand or north” [It is not clear how this relates to similar comments in the letter dated September 25th above but Norris has inserted marginal notes apparently agreeing with HCR and citing chapter and verse. Then comments on some other characters in the tracings which he has with him, but whether he is offering corrections or new interpretations is not clear. RBP.] Hopes that Norris will have finished “the Sardanapalus Inscription as well as the Shalmaneser one before I get home”. [III/17(04)].
  3. Addressed “Hotel de Mirabeau. Paris. Sunday Novr 30 [in his wife’s hand] 1862 My dear Norris.” Has received no letters forwarded from England [since November 5th] and thinks the later ones “are never likely to reach me”. His return home was delayed for 4 days by a back injury which he sustained on board the steamer taking him from Naples to Marseilles and which will take some time yet to clear up. However, he expects to be back in London “on Tuesday evening”. Asks Norris to call on him at home on Wednesday morning “just to give me any Cuneiform news you have and let me know what has become of my letters.” [III/17(05)].
  4. On Athenaeum notepaper. Dated “Thursday Decr 4th [in his wife’s hand] 1862. My dear Norris.” Since Norris’s visit the previous day he has received one batch of letters returned from Rome, but they are old ones. Presumes that there is a batch of more recent ones “lying in some of the pigeon holes of the Paris Embassy.” Has received “two more packets of Inscriptions, from Taylor [in Kurdistan] and Kemball [in Baghdad]. “the former is copy [sic] of a memorial of the 1st Tiglath Pileser on his 3rd expedition against Nairi [now inTurkey], taken from the cave at the source of the Tigris. The cast of a second one from the same spot has not yet reached me, but I presume it will turn out to belong to the great Sardanapalus. Kemball’s packet contains four Inscriptions – 3 Chaldæan and the other Hieratic Babylonian belonging to Ashur bani pal son of Esar Haddon –  it seems altogether new and curious, but is very minute and difficult to read.” If Norris calls any morning about 11, he may see them all. Complains that Oppert has somehow managed to get into “our room at the Museum and copied the fragments of the Canon as we put them together” and has now published it as his own original discovery. Disagrees with him about a “blank before Tiglath Pileser II – the only valuable notice I see is the date of Sargon’s 12th year on the tablet in the Louvre.” Hopes to be about again as usual by next week. [III/17(06)].
  5. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W (crossed out) Knoyle House, Wednesday”. [The reference to the Kurkh Monolith, the casts of which are said in III/16(12) dated August 8th 1862 to have just been received at the British Museum, having been copied by “Coxe” implies a date towards the end of 1862 or the beginning of 1863. The reference to “Talbot Esarhaddon” (presumably H F Talbot Assyrian Texts Translated (1) JRAS 19 1862 pp 124-135) implies a date not much later. In any case the reference to Redhouse sending the “Rishire (presumably HCR’s spelling of Reeshehr, to the south of Bushehr in Iran, where there are the remains of an Elamite settlement) bricks” to the Museum indicates that it cannot be later than 1863 when Redhouse ceased to be secretary to the RAS. Assuming that the reference to “bricks and tablets” being refused admission to the British Museum in the following letter refers to those mentioned in this letter, it can be dated December 10th RBP.] Norris is to speak to “Coxe” [apparently the first reference in the letters to this mysterious individual. RBP.] to take charge of “the things” when Redhouse sends them to the Museum [presumably from the RAS]. The “Rishire bricks” are to be put with “the other Susian relics” and the casts with “the other paper casts in my room.” The Kurkh Monolith which Coxe has finished copying is “very curious, with many new names of Kings and countries and variants for the Eponyms”. Norris’s “guesses about Polyphones won’t do.” The name of the Sidonian king is Abdi-Milkut (now Adbi-Milkutti). Another cuneiform character should be read in a particular instance as ku. Has looked over “Talbot’s Esarhaddon” [see above] and finds it so full of errors that he would draw up an amended translation if he had the time.[III/17(07)].
  6. Addressed “Knoyle House Hindon Decr 13 [In his wife’s hand ‘Before 1862 (crossed out) 1865?’ but datable from the preceding letter to 1862. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Had not expected any difficulty in “receiving the casts and bricks at the Museum” but, rather than bothering Panizzi about them, Norris is to have them sent to HCR’s house, where his housekeeper will be directed to take them in and put them away until HCR returns home. Reasserts, with reasons, that “the name of the Sidon king must be Abdi-Milkut”. “I certainly read the name of the stone as kumina rather than durmina but I know of no analogies.” Hopes to hear soon that “the second Monolith is copied, as it seemed to me there was a good deal of new matter – also in copying Michaux No III, please observe if the curses scattered about the top of the stone apply to the emblems – as we might be able thereby to identify the Gods.” Agrees with Oppert “about Fox Talbot’s wild assumptions” but “Oppert is often just as bad himself”. Asks to be informed if Norris finds anything new at the Museum. “The Syllabary fragments I copied long ago.” [III/17/(08)].
  7. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Monday. Feb.2. [Datable from the address to the period between 1862 and 1868. 1863 was the only year during that period in which February 2nd was a Monday. RBP.] Will be at Ld Wensleydale’s, Ampthill Park, Beds. for the rest of the week. “The Phœnician legends on the Pincushion tablets turn out to be very curious; generally the name denotes the chamber where the deed was deposited, but sometimes the name of the depositor.” Gives example. [Norris alludes to this discovery in a letter to Fox Talbot dated 12th February 1863.] “I have sent a long letter to the Athenæum about Taylor’s discoveries, which will appear I hope in next Saturday’s number.[Actually appeared in No. 1842 14th February 1862 p 228. RBP.]” [See letter dated Dec. 4th 1862 above. W H Fox Talbot alludes in a letter published in The Athenæum published January 24th 1863 to HCR’s announcement of this discovery at a meeting of the RAS Dec. 20th RBP.] [III/17(09)].
  8. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Wednesday [in HCR’s wife’s hand] March 1863 [at end] 3 PM. My dear Norris.” Is obliged to be at “the Persian Minister’s tomorrow morning to settle about the Indian Telegraph [See Christina Phelps Harris The laying of the Persian Gulf Telegraph Cable of 1864 The Geographical Journal 135 (2) June 1964 pp 169-190. It is not immediately apparent from this article what HCR’s role in the project was nor how long it lasted. RBP.].Bowler, therefore, should be put off to Friday if there is time to communicate with him. “Ménant is here, more prying and restless, even than Oppert, and Coxe hardly knows how to manage him – however he has let him loose, for the nonce, on the heterogeneous fragments in the cases below stairs, which we went through last year – and this it is to be hoped will take the edge off his appetite.” [III/17(10)].
  9. Dated “1 Hill Street, [Notepaper has HCR’s printed monogram.] March 14 [1863. Not earlier because HCR had not moved to this address by this date in 1862 and not later than 1864 because by this date in 1865 Volume 2 of Cuneiform Inscriptions had been printed except for the Table of Contents. The reference to correcting the Michaux III Inscription, the copying of which is referred to in III/17(08) above indicates 1863. RBP.]. My dear Norris.” Norris has not had a reply to his previous note because HCR appears to have lost it. Has found “Bowler’s [lithograph of the] Michaux III Hieratic & Cursive” so full of errors that he has stopped work on correcting it “pending your preliminary ‘scouring’.” Has also marked a good number of characters still requiring amendment on “the [Kurkh?] Monolith”. Gives brief answers to some of Norris’s questions. 1. A certain cuneiform word “in New Dio [?] II.52. must mean ‘destruction’ but I can’t pronounce on the orthography or etymology.” Has always connected guti with the Hebrew goim. “It means possibly merely ‘nomadic tribes’ but as a distinct geographical title it was first applied to the desert between the Valley of the Euphrates, which has been always peopled by nomads and Syria – and later to the district immediately round Babylon or even to Babylon itself, through [?] its synonym —- See Ld Aberdeen’s Stone & II. P. 50. Ls 2 & 25 (besides 52 & 62) and also P.48.l.14.” [III/17(11)].
  10. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Friday March 27. [in HCR’s wife’s hand] 1863. My dear Norris.” Hopes that the worst of “your tic” [HCR seems only just to have heard of this. RBP.] is now over. Has been busy most of the week “occupied with other matters” but went to the Museum “yesterday” looking “at another Phœnician legend”. Asks Norris to contact Bowler for details of the work he has done for the annual Report of Progress and to send the Report to HCR to sign. Leaves London the following day to spend Easter at Knoyle [Easter Sunday 1863 was on April 5th. RBP.] and plans to return in a fortnight. Hopes to have the “notes on Khammurabi ready by my return” and “to make some progress … both with the paper on Chronology and with that on Syrian Geography.” [III/17(12)].
  11. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Saturday March 28th. [in HCR’s wife’s hand] 1863. My dear Norris.” Is on the point of leaving London as explained in the previous letter, but had been to the Museum, hoping to “copy a tablet containing the early Synchronous historical notices of Assyria and Babylonia”. Has just corrected a tracing which Bowler had made of it and asks Norris to tell him to send it to HCR at Knoyle. When HCR has copied it, he will return it to Bowler “to be put on the stone.” [III/17(13)].
  12. Addressed “Knoyle House, Hindon. April 2 [in HCR’s wife’s hand] 1863. My dear Norris.” Has received “another dun from Winter Jones”. Norris is to get Bowler to draw up the Progress report referred to above and send it to HCR for signature. “Otherwise I shall be obliged to come up to London expressly on this account.” On second thoughts, Norris can sign it in HCR’s absence. “I am writing my notes on Fox Talbot’s paper” and will show them to Norris when HCR gets back to London. Is embarrassed by not knowing whether “Trubner has got the Cuneiform types from Harrison”. It will be much easier to illustrate his paper with illustrations printed directly in cuneiform type rather having recourse to descriptions of characters. Acknowledges receipt of “the tracing”. Has abstracted the information “for my Chronological paper.” [III/17(14)].
  13. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Friday. My dear Norris.” [Datable from the address to the period after 1862 and from the reference to the fact that HCR’s “Bilingual Paper” has not yet been published to a date before July 1864. The allusion to the weather improving and to Sayce’s 2nd paper makes a date in the early summer of 1863 most likely. RBP.] Is glad “you are come back and as the weather is now really getting fine, hope you will improve [In a letter dated 12th February 1863 in the Fox Talbot archive, Norris says that he has been suffering from the tic douloureux and has not been to the RAS much recently: in a further letter dated 25th March he says that he is still suffering. RBP]” Wants to talk to Norris about the problems of setting up the type for “my bilingual paper [Bilingual Readings – Cuneiform and Phœnician. Notes on some Tablets in the British Museum, containing Bilingual Legends (Assyrian and Phœnician) JRAS I (N.S.) 1865 pp. 187-247. At the AGM of the RAS held on 30th May 1864 it was reported that the part of the Journal containing this paper was to be published ‘in the course of July’.]” The paper itself is written and he has approved the printing of the lithographed plates, but HCR still has to write the notes. Has just had “a peep of Sayce’s 2nd paper [According to Cathcart and Donlon, AH Sayce published a paper on “Old Chaldæan” in Atlantis 4 1863 which elicited a response from Hincks (see below). Sayce was only 18 at this date, although he had already studied cuneiform. RBP.]” Although he has made good use of “meagre materials” it is a pity he did not wait “for our 2nd Volume which would have given him sheets and sheets of bilingual grammatical matter”. Will try to visit Norris on Sunday “to have a talk on these matters.” [III/17(15)].
  14. Addressed “Knoyle House. Friday. [In HCR’s wife’s hand] July 1863. My dear Norris.” Will return to London “next Wednesday” as “I have to see Panizzi about the new Babylonian Excavation grant.” Norris is to ask Bowler to meet him at the Museum between 12 and 1. Is making “good progress” “at Akkadian” “although the subject is a very difficult one.” III/17(16)].
  15. Addressed “Knoyle House, Hindon, Wilts Friday [In Norris’s hand.] 2 Oct 1863.” Hopes Norris is “benefitted by the sea air.” Is surprised to hear “that Hincks disowns the 42 years of Tiglath Pileser. I am confident I can point to a notice of the tablet which was said to be the authority in several of his printed letters. [In a letter dated October 9th 1863 and published in The Athenæum of October 24th, (see below) Hincks denied having ever stated that Tiglath Pileser reigned for 42 years, but it is not clear what HCR can be referring to on October 2nd, unless it was gossip picked up at the British Association meeting in Newcastle 26th August – 2nd September 1863. RBP.]” Goes into some detail on this point. Asks Norris to get from Bowler a copy of the printed “Synchronous tablet”. “There is an old copy at the Museum from which we cut the Bilingual Nominal list for Mr. George Smith. [Apparently the earliest reference in the letters to George Smith. It is not clear what HCR is referring to here: at this date George Smith would have just started work at the BM as a repairer helping to piece together fragments of cuneiform tablets. RBP.]” Also wants to know if Coxe has discovered anything of interest, but fears that he has been wasting his time copying “old Inscriptions”. Expects to be at the Museum next week “on Saturday the 10th.” [III/17(17)].
  16. Addressed “1 Hill St Tuesday [In Norris’s hand] Sep or Oct. 1863. My dear Norris.” Thanks Norris for a copy of an inscription “which I have been writing out in ordinary Assyrian”. The inscription is similar to that on Michaux’s stone and records the exchange of a piece of land for various items of property – chariot and harness etc whose value is given item by item, totalling £710, but being exchanged for land valued at £616. Wonders whether a certain cuneiform character representing the unit of land could be translated “ploughs” “as it is at present throughout the East.” Encloses a slip (not with the letter) giving the equivalents of some letters which Norris was uncertain of. The original stone arrived at the Museum just after Norris left town “and attracts general admiration from its perfect state of preservation. “The fellow [?] stone is dated from Merodach-iddin-akhi contemporary with Tiglath Pileser I BC 1220 and they are both probably nearly of the same date.” Comments on some other points of interest and difficulties in reading the inscription. Will remain in London until the end of the week and will write again before he leaves. [III/17(18)].
  17. Addressed “1 Hill Street Tuesday. [Wednesday October 28th ?] My dear Norris. [Datable from the reference to ‘Hincks’s letter’ to some date not long after 24th October 1863. According to the weather reports in 19th Century British Library Newspapers there were only two days described as foggy in London and two described as misty during the remainder of 1863, none of these being a Tuesday. Of these, Wednesday October 28th is the most likely. RBP.]” Missed Norris at the Museum and at the RAS the previous day and is reluctant to venture out in the fog. Invites Norris to dinner on the following Thursday to meet Strangford who has just arrived in London. “I suppose I must answer Hincks’s letter now that it has appeared [This presumably refers to Assyrian History and Chronology a letter dated 9th October 1863 appearing in The Athenaeum 1878 (24th October 1863) pp. 533-534 (Cathcart and Donlon No. 123) commenting on HCR’s letter in No. 1869 (22nd August 1863) discussing points of interest from some newly-reassembled cuneiform tablets. RBP.] but it will cost some work in looking up Hincks’s previous writings on Tiglath Pileser. Is confident that Hincks is responsible for the statement that Tiglath Pileser reigned for 42 years and that Bosanquet and Oppert have followed his lead. [III/17(19)].
  18. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Monday April 4. [1864. Datable from the reference to ‘Rost’ to the period between 1864 and 1869 when Reinhold Rost was secretary to the RAS. April 4 was a Monday in 1864 and 1868. 1868 can be excluded because HCR refers to Easter as already over: Easter Day fell on March 27th in 1864, but on April 12th in 1868. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Missed seeing Norris at “our special [RAS] Council Meeting” today but has heard “from Rost” that Norris has been ill, so writes to enquire how he is. Hopes that he will feel better with the advent of milder weather. Has stayed in London over Easter [HCR’s first son was born 20th February 1864 and it seems likely that his wife was not yet considered fit to travel. RBP.] “working steadily at the legal tablets” and now feels able to “explain them all” except for a few technical details. Wants to finish “the bilingual paper [see III/17(15) above] but cannot do this because “Bowler has walked off with all the printed Plates – and I do not know in what order the legends are printed, so as to arrange my notes accordingly. Asks Norris to write to Bowler to send HCR a proof copy of the plate asap. “I never cast eyes on Bowler now and am quite in despair about our second Volume of Inscriptions.” [III/17(20)].
  19. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W. Tuesday April 26. [in HCR’s wife’s hand] 1864. My dear Norris.” Is sorry to hear “such a poor account” of Norris’s health but hopes that he will able to get about “as the Spring comes.” Has just returned from Folkestone where his wife has been having sea baths “to get up her strength [see previous letter RBP.].” Has been sorely puzzled by some points in the Bilingual Legends but believes he has “made out the curious Phœnician Inscription on the Triangular tablet” assisted by comparison with another fragment which has also some cuneiform on it. This has enabled him to deduce a date, as well as the word for barley and the word limu. Comments on the importance of these. Is still puzzled by technical terms to do with land tenures, assessments etc “and I hardly expect ever to clear up all the difficulties. “You know, I suppose, that Colebrooke is to be our next President, as Strangford must remain out for a year at least.” [III/17(21)].
  20. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W. July 1 [1864. Datable from the references to Hincks’s letters. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Owing to a misunderstanding, HCR and Norris failed to meet, HCR being at the BM while Norris was waiting for him at the RAS. Bowler has been robbed of a number of sheets which HCR had corrected, so that the work will have to be done again. Has “just cast my eye over Hincks’s letters in the Journ. of Sac. Lit. [referring to Parker’s Chronology of the Archons. 5 No. 10 pp. 409-415 and Chaldean Interpretations. 5 No. 10 pp. 421-425. Both July 1864. (Cathcart and Donlon Nos. 126 and 127.) The latter is a response to A H Sayce’s paper referred to above.] … that on Sayce’s Chaldæan readings seems to [be ?] good but I suspect I have a vast deal more of the language than they do having had access to so much a larger field of comparison. Only yesterday Coxe hunted out a new Bilingual Tablet; difficult, but very important.” Has corrected “another proof of Harrison’s and asked Rost to send it on to you. Pray make any alterations that occur to you as to improvement of the Cuneiform type or a more precise [?] transliteration. … I trust you have still 10 years of good work in you. [Norris was 69 in 1864. RBP.] [III/17(22)].
  21. Addressed “Homburg [i.e. Bad Homburg vor der Höhe, a spa town in what was then the independent state of Hesse. It appears from a letter in Box V that they went there for the sake of his wife’s health. RBP.] Aug. 12th Dear Norris.” Some discussion of postal arrangements – HCR was using the diplomatic bag. Norris is to send one more packet of letters on “Wednesday next [17th]” but that should be the last as they expect to be on their way home again via Treves [Trier] and Luxembourg the following week [i.e. by the 26th. RBP.]. Has received no proofs from “Harrison” and nothing from Rost. “This infernal paper” will never be printed [presumably Bilingual Readings referred to above. RBP.] “and the Journal is delayed in consequence”. Is working at “my Accadian grammar” but finds the Basque very difficult and does not believe it will be of any use in understanding Accadian. Has studied “the Shalmaneser Monolith” thoroughly and has published most of the material from it additional to “the Obelisk annals” in the second volume of “my brother’s ‘Two Monarchies’” [Presumably HCR is referring to the first two volumes of The five great monarchies of the ancient Eastern world …by George Rawlinson 1862-1870. RBP.] Norris, however, is to save his copy for Bowler to work from for “a 3rd Vol. for the remaining Inscriptions …” “There are portions of the Asshur-bani-pal barrel I could make nothing of. I shall be delighted if you are more successful. Another title-deed land mark with a Warwickshire parson [?] does indeed astonish me! There was one which Kemball sent to Ld Stratford some 5 or 6 years ago, and which has since disappeared. Can it be this? Otherwise where in God’s name did the Parson get the treasure from?” There will have to be a “supplementary sheet” [presumably in Vol. II of Cuneiform Inscriptions] to accommodate the fragments which are still turning up and also “a sheet or two of ‘errata’ as accuracy in these lists is most important – and I discover a dozen or so errors in every sheet.” Asks Norris to send him more proofs. [III/17(23)].
  22. Addressed “Knoyle, Hindon. Sept 11 [Apparently added as an afterthought, although it may be in HCR’s hand.] 1864. My dear Norris.” Has not written sooner because he has been “moving about” and has just returned from the Birmingham Festival [held 6th – 9th September 1864.] “saturated with Handel and Costa.” Coxe has found “another bit of Canon I, [HCR describes the four ‘Assyrian Canons’ in a letter to the Athenæum for July 19th 1862. ] the top of Column III” although HCR would have preferred “either the beginning of the list, or the missing bit of Col. VI.” Is worried by the long delay in printing “this bilingual paper” and “we must, I think, give up the use of Cuneiform type and leave the field in exclusive possession of the French.” Has made a mistake in a note which he had added to “the Proof Sheet” but hopes that it can still be corrected. “Fox Talbot’s readings in the number of the Proceedings of the R.S.L. just out, are more wild than ever …” Will not return to London permanently until November but will make a brief visit “as soon as you and Rost return.” Is going to the British Association meeting in Bath “during this next week.” [III/17(24)].
  23. Addressed “Knoyle, Hindon. Wilts. Octbr [in Norris’s hand] 1864.” Will be pleased if Norris is able to produce a “clean and complete” copy of “the Shalmaneser legend” as he “saw many valuable novelties” even in “Coxe’s imperfect transcript”. Explains them in general terms, including “one entirely new Royal name”. One cuneiform word is commonly used for throne “but selut for ‘stake of iron’ is new – how is the word written?” Does not see how another cuneiform word can mean wagons. Is coming up to London “next Wednesday [19th] “to meet the old Nawab of Oude Ikbal ed Dowleh [I have not been able to clarify this reference. RBP.] and shall then be able to have a long gossip with you about Cuneiform matters.” “Coxe’s last discovery of another fragment of Canon I [referred to above] … upsets my assumed Chronology of Esar-Haddon.” HCR will have to look into the matter carefully but will now be able to “write my promised paper ‘on the Assyrian Canon’ for the Journal.” Bowler is not to lithograph “the list of Gods in the Bab. & Assyrian temples.” HCR had left it for Norris to correct “and have never touched it after you gave it up – it will take me 2 or 3 days hard work to go through it, as the writing on the tablet is so very bad and many of the names are altogether new.” Is unable to contribute to Henry Stanley’s “Consular Miscellany, now on the eve of publication” because “in country houses … it is impossible to work.” “A young man also of the name of Hamilton [I have not managed to trace this name either. RBP.] has written to me about copying the syllabaries &c. I have given him encouragement & referred him to you in the mean time for information.” [III/17(25)].
  24. On Athenæum notepaper. “Friday. Oct. 21 [in Norris’s hand] 1864. My dear Norris.” Has found at the British Museum “among Coxe’s new joinings” a phonetic list of the names of the Assyrian months, which “I have been searching for for years past.” viz. Nisaunu, Airu, Sivanu, Tuvazu, Abu, Ululu, Tasritu, Arakh-vana, Ki(silu), Tha(bi)tu, Shabathu, Addaru. Discusses some implications of these findings. “Altogether I think this discovery important and satisfactory and I am delighted accordingly. The Accadian names also (of which the initials only are ordinarily used … are given in full, but I can make nothing of them at present.” Has taken away “some mythological sheets to correct” and will bring them back “when I come up to see Ikbal ed Dowleh”. Asks for information about the etymology of the Hebrew names of the months “Ewald’s Monatsnamen seems to be lost in Burlington St. What does Ewald say of Marcheswan?” [III/17(26)].
  25. [At the head of the letter Norris has written: “Keep. phon. months.”] Addressed “Knoyle. Monday [in Norris’s hand] Oct. 24 1864. My dear Norris.” Discusses some correspondences between the Assyrian and Hebrew names of the months which he has discovered in his notebooks. “It seems that the adjuncts in the Accadian lists are all distinctive epithets, such as are used to the present day in the Arabic.” Also discusses the gods to which various months were sacred. [About half of the second leaf of this letter has been cut away, including the end of the letter, but all that survives is on this subject. The last surviving paragraph reads:] “I hope you will be able to find your Penny Cyclopedia papers; as I should like to compare what Benfey has said, trash though it probably is.” [III/17(27)].
  26. Addressed “Newstead Abbey, Mansfield. Notts. [in Norris’s hand] 5 Nov. 1864.” Will be glad to see “the complete copy of the Monolith Ins. which ought to be published in Vol. III of the Museum series.” A character on which Norris has consulted HCR seems to be a modification of the ordinary one for “a brother.” [There follows a discussion of the ramifications of this point to which is hard to do justice without being able to reproduce the cuneiforms. RBP.] Coxe has found “the small missing fragment in the ‘Month’ tablet so we shall ascertain the exact orthography of Chisleu and Thebet.” HCR has suggested that Coxe collect together all the “Calendar fragments” he can find, as “I think we ought now to be able to make something [of them]” although they are probably mostly astrological or divinatory in character. Is going on to visit “the Dukeries [an area of Nottinghamshire so called because it used to contain four ducal seats in close proximity] … which are said to be the most beautiful part of England [until the advent of coal mining in the 1920’s. RBP.] Norris can “set to work at the Asshur-izir-pal Monolith, comparing the published Inscription as you go on.” [III/17(28)].
  27. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square W Feby [Datable from the reference to Wüstenfeld to 1865. RBP.] My dear Norris.” “I really can’t send my Yacut to Germany” because he is constantly referring to it and because it is full of his own notes “throughout the 5 volumes”. [This presumably refers to Yāqūt al-Hamawī (1179 –1229) Syrian biographer and geographer, author of Kitab mu’jam al-buldan (Geographical Dictionary) and to the edition of this text published by T G J Juynboll and J J B Gaal under the title Lexicon geographicum . . . in 5 volumes 1852-1864. Heinrich Ferdinand Wüstenfeld (1808 – 1899) published his own edition of this work under the title Jacut’s Geographisches Wörterbuch 1866 – 1873. It seems reasonable, therefore to date HCR’s letter to 1865. RBP.] He will, however, assist Wüstenfeld with any doubtful readings. Hopes Norris will be able to attend a meeting at “the Socy’s rooms” on Wednesday to consider how to provide the RAS with its own independent stock of cuneiform type. Discusses the meaning of a word agarin on which Norris has consulted him which, he agrees, appears to mean “mother” in the passages cited although “I never saw the monogram <cuneiform> used with that power.” Does not agree that the word preceding agarini “in the Sennacherib Ins.” can be ibba “pure”. “The whole passage however referring to Beltis requires collation.” Has found another “Astronomical fragment” at the Museum “giving the names of the 7 stars called <cuneiform>” tikphi. Wonders if this can be connected with a Hebrew word (above this Norris has written “<part of the Hebrew word cited by HCR> circumire [i.e. to go round in a circle. RBP.] planets?”) and what is the derivation of the Hebrew word “which applies does it not to the changing point of the seasons?” [III/17(29)].
  28. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Wednesday. May 3 [1865. Datable from the address to the period between 1862 and 1868. 1865 was the only year during this period when May 3 was a Wednesday. RBP.] Is glad to see Norris’s handwriting again & hopes to see him in person soon. [There are two letters from Norris in the Fox Talbot archive dated 24th February and 19th July 1865. There is no hint in either of them that Norris has been ill, although in the first he says that he has been copying out his Assyrian Dictionary. RBP.] Has pretty well exhausted “the astronomical Tablets” at the Museum but does not consider the results very important. Finds the astrological “jargon” almost unintelligible “although closely repeated in the modern formula”. Asks whether it would be possible from modern astronomical tables to identify the two years (in the period BC 665 – 640) in which the vernal equinox occurred on 6th and 15th day of the moon at Nineveh respectively. “Hincks attempted this calculation in his paper on one of the Equinox observations in the R.I.A’s Transactions [On a Tablet in the British Museum, recording, in Cuneatic Characters, an Astronomical Observation; with incidental Remarks on the Assyrian  Numerals, Divisions of Time, and Measures of Length Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 23 (1856) Part II pp. 31-47. Read 12th November 1855. Cathcart and Donlon No. 91.] but he disagrees with the basis of Hincks’s calculation and, moreover, Hincks did not know of the second observation. Has a list of nearly 100 fixed stars but does not know how to identify them, having failed to work out any kind of mapping of the heavens. “Bowler is paging the sheets and I have finished the Index, as far as I can – so the Volume may be bound up & issued immediately.” [By “the Index” HCR seems to mean the Table of Contents to Volume II of Cuneiform Inscriptions. (See III/18(01.)) In the letter to Fox Talbot dated 24th February 1865 referred to above, Norris states that “The 2d volume is all printed and only wants for a Table of Contents, which is to be description.” “I had before spoken to H Seymour [who was MP for Poole at this date] about Hutslet [sic] before and he had promised to make a personal amende to him when objecting to the vote for the State Papers in the Estimates.” [I have not been able to clarify this reference. RBP.]. [III/17(30)].

III/18   17 letters from HCR to Edwin Norris from July 20th 1865 to August 27th 1868 i.e. from his re-entering Parliament to the end of his correspondence with Norris on cuneiforms.

  1. Addressed”1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W. Thursday, July 20. [in Norris’s hand] 1865. My dear Norris.” “The Elections being over [HCR was elected Liberal MP for Frome, Somerset in July 1865.] I should have wished to complete the Index at once, so that the 2nd of the Inscriptions might have been bound up, whilst I am away for my summer holyday.” However, he cannot find the sheet on which he had tabulated the first 20 or 30 Plates – “and I really have hardly courage to go over the whole work again.” Asks Norris to help him by making out a “decent Index” from the headings of the Plates, to which HCR will add notes. “Otherwise I despair of ever getting the work out of hand, for I am dead tired of it – and really do not care one straw about having ‘the grass cut from under my feet’ either by Oppert or any one else.” Intends to spend August at Tunbridge Wells and will try whilst there to complete “my Astronomical paper for the Journal [This appears to be Notes on the astronomical knowledge of the early Chaldæans as recorded on the Nineveh tablets one of three papers by HCR promised at the Anniversary General Meeting 29 May 1865 for Volume 2 (N.S.) which never actually appeared. RBP. ]”. Asks Norris to “look in here” on Saturday morning to talk about “the Index &c.” [III/18(01)].
  2. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Octr 1865. My dear Norris.” Is sorry to hear of Norris’s “recent attack”. Is not surprised at Oppert’s “pooh-poohing the Lithographed Plates of Vol. II [Volume II of Cuneiform Inscriptions is generally said to have been published in 1866. It appears that Oppert had not actually seen any part of it at this date but had merely heard reports of its contents. RBP.] as he evidently wishes to make it appear that he is altogether independent of our labors and discovered all these bilingual lists himself. I should not wonder if he did the same by the Semitic month list which he seems inclined to appropriate in anticipation, as he says, of Hincks’ publication of the names from your copy. Has finished “the Index” except for adding “the Nos of the Photograph list [sic] and a few other points which require a reference to the originals – and the sooner therefore the said Index is printed and the Volume bound up the better.” Asks if it is true that Strangford wants to succeed Panizzi at the British Museum [Panizzi retired as Chief Librarian in 1866.] Spent his time at Tunbridge Wells in writing an article on the Russians in Central Asia “which will appear this week in the new Quarterly. [Apparently refers to HC Rawlinson, Central Asia Quarterly Review, CXVIII (1865), 529-81.]” Since Birmingham [the British Society for the Advancement of Science held its annual meeting in September 1865 in Birmingham. RBP.] I have been shooting and amusing myself.” Proposes to return for work at the beginning of November. [Norris’s reply to this letter, dated 12 October, 1865 will be found at III/20(05).] [ III/18(02)].
  3. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W1. Tuesday Nov. 14 [in HCR’s wife’s hand] 1865. My dear Norris.” Will be glad to see “Newman’s notes [Presumably this refers to Francis William Newman (1805-1897) brother of the more famous Cardinal Newman, but I have not been able to clarify the allusion any further. RBP.]” but cannot promise to write anything on the subject as he is “endeavouring to masticate Palgrave’s Arabia for the next Quarterly. [Presumably William Gifford Palgrave Narrative of a year’s journey through central and eastern Arabia (1862-63) 1 (1865).]. Does not consider it worthwhile to “answer Newman” because Gobineau is “a rank impostor” whose work has been thoroughly discredited. If Norris calls at about 11 o’clock any morning, HCR will show him what he has done about “the Index”. Has heard from Rost that Norris intends to read before the RAS “an introduction to “Vambery’s Dictionary” which would be “very interesting”. Is “astounded to hear that Coxe is to succeed [Martin] Haug [1827 – 1876 as Professor of Sanskrit] at the Poona College. [I have not been able to clarify this reference (see Biographical Notes) RBP.]”. [III/18(03)].
  4. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Tuesday [in Norris’s hand ?] 28th 1865.” My dear Norris.” Will be out of London until the end of the week, so cannot see about printing the Index until Monday.” Answers certain queries from Norris about particular cuneiform letters and words, [HCR’s statements in this and subsequent letters are presumably for Norris’s Assyrian Dictionary but it is not possible to be specific about them without reproducing the cuneiforms. RBP.] “The Talbot tablet is evidently a Billingsgate run [?] between the two Goddesses Ishtar and <cuneiform> but I have not been able to make it all out yet.” [III/18(04)].
  5. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Friday. Jany. 26. [Datable from the address to 1862 – 1868. 1866 was the only year in that period when January 26th was a Friday. RBP.] Asks Norris to call to discuss “our cooperation in the Dictionary”. Will be glad to make his knowledge “available for the public good, if it did not entail on me too great an expenditure of time.” Is not satisfied with Norris’s reading of a certain cuneiform word as “waters” without referring to the originals. Panizzi has asked for “our yearly Progress Report, which I suppose had better be filled in nil. Harrison still hangs back with the Index which is most provoking.” Went to the Museum the previous day to see Coxe before his departure for India “he is now gone.” [III/18(05)].
  6. Addressed “1. Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Friday. Feby 2 [Datable as the previous letter to 1866. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Asks for an explanation of a note which he just received from Harrison. Had sent back “his revise [i.e. corrected proof]” by return of post requesting him to set up the whole Index according to this specimen and let HCR have a proof of it. Had passed his rough copy to Bowler “2 months ago” to be copied and sent on to Harrison, which he understood had been done. Has been trying to compile a list of all the material still in hand for the Museum Report, but is not sure if it is complete. Will show it to Norris before he submits it. [III/18(06)].
  7. Addressed “1. Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. [in Norris’s hand] in March 1866.” Has heard nothing of “Harrison & the Index” and is “quite in despair about this 2nd” Apparently commenting on a query of Norris’s he says that the phrase tabraté la adiru does not occur “in Sard. 1. 20.” “nor anywhere that I remember.” Also comments on a cuneiform word which he says “answers to kupukkhu” and “probably means great, noble, powerful or something similar”. Refers to a plate in Volume II. [III/18(07)].
  8. Addressed “1. Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Saturday [in Norris’s hand] April 1866. My dear Norris.” “I really have not time to write answers in detail to all your questions – but could explain everything in 10 minutes conversation.” Gives brief answers – [would require a complete transcription to make it clear. RBP.] “Anything more you want you must apply in person for – but what with Committees, Geograph. Papers, Debates &c &c &c I really have no time to spare. I still go to the Museum when I have a half hour at my disposal and work up the Astronomy & Astrology – but they are very difficult subjects and I do not therefore make as much progress as I could wish.” Is not making “preparing materials [for the third volume of Cuneiform Inscriptions ? RBP.] as there has been no word yet from Gladstone on the new grant.[III/18(08)].
  9. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W. Friday. [Datable from the reference to Norris’s (Assyrian) Dictionary and to HCR’s “Petition” to late September 1866. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Had expected to see Norris “at the Asiatic on Monday, where we had a longish discussion on your Dictionary. [Norris’s Specimen of an Assyrian Dictionary appeared in JRAS 2 (New Series) 1 1866. RBP.]” Had intended to raise the question of making corrections in “the Index” if in time, namely to change the entry for Pl. 43. No.1 from “Bilingual List with 3 Col. attached” the heading of the plate to “List of Prognostics and influences (Meteorological &c)”. Worried about the cost of ordering an additional 250 copies of the Index “our funds being, I believe, all but exhausted. I am to see the Trustees tomorrow about resuming work and shall try and get them to sanction your re-employment.” Has a few slips of Norris’s [Assyrian] Dictionary corrected which Norris may call for any morning. Also discusses the meaning of another cuneiform word as meaning “‘not having young’, but whether denoting a Eunuch or bachelor I cannot say”. Also discusses another sign which he reads Gid-da and translates as “long”. “I am in the doldrums as the sailors say, just now about my Petition, neither able to go backwards or forwards, but I hope to see my way a little more clearly in a day or two.” [HCR wrote to Lord Cranborne on September 20th 1866 formally requesting to be reappointed to the Council for India (see II/11). RBP.] [III/18(09)].
  10. Addressed “1. Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Thursday Feby 14 [Datable as above to 1867. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Understands that Bowler has sent Norris “the proof of the 1st sheet of Shalmaneser Monolith” [For Volume III of Cuneiform Inscriptions. In a letter in the Fox Talbot archive dated 30th April 1867, Norris says that he is too infirm to visit the Museum any more.] and will await Norris’s “corrections and restorations” before setting to work himself. Is sorry to see so many “normal [Babylonian ?] types” used in this sheet “which we have long disused for Assyrian Inscriptions. Gives examples which must, he thinks, be altered unless, which he thinks may be the case in some instances, they really do occur on the monument. Suggests that lacunae in the inscription should be restored “in outline” wherever this can be done from “the Obelisk or Shalmaneser Bulls”. Would like Bowler to proceed next with Michaux II and III, but cannot find Norris’s copy of II, thinks he must have returned it to Norris, and III is “not by any means determinately arranged”. Asks if Norris has the copy of II and whether he has satisfactorily arranged the “detached passages” in III. He has “cursive” copies of both in his notebooks but neither is complete. Asks whether Norris ever made a copy of the Inscription on the Asshur-izir-pal Monolith from Kurkh. Coxe’s copy is very unsatisfactory. “Smith is getting on with his restoration of the Asshur-bani-pal annals, but we shall never have a very complete series”. Is writing a letter to The Athenæum “contradicting Hincks’s Eclipse discovery [This refers to E Hincks On a newly discovered record of ancient lunar Eclipses (in English) Monatsberichte der königlich preussischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin. Aus dem Jahre 1866. (1867) pp. 647-655. (Cathcart and Donlon 138.)] but will probably not send it “while the pension is pending”. [This refers to a Petition organised by Hincks’s brother “Governor Hincks” for a Civil List pension for Hincks’s daughters. The petition was signed by HCR and other leading orientalists. According to The Times Digital Archive a pension of £100 was eventually announced on December 25th] [III/18(10)].
  11. Addressed “1. Hill Street Strt March 20. [In his wife’s hand 67?] Thanks Norris for “the Proofs” which he will look through and hand over to Bowler tomorrow “when he comes for his countersigned account”. Wonders whether Bowler’s charges are higher than previously. Thanks Norris for the copy of “the Hincks Memorial which will I trust be successful [presumably referring to the petition for a Civil List pension for his daughters referred to above] but complains of “the singularly costive testimonial Oppert has appended to the document”. [III/18(11)].
  12. Addressed “1 Hill St. March 30 [In Norris’s hand: 1867. My dear Norris.” Has had no time to write and “am just now starting for the Rail, so excuse a scrawl.” Gives his answers to certain questions Norris has raised – it is not clear whether they refer to his Assyrian Dictionary or not. “We have found a new Assyrian king – or probably Sargon [?] under his first name <cuneiform> Sar – ukui – arku [? Followed by something I can’t read. RBP.] [III/18(12)].
  13. Addressed “1 Hill Stt. May 2. [in his wife’s hand:] 1867? My dear Norris.” Cannot work at cuneiforms as he has been unwell since returning to London. “Duchni [?] I have always supposed to be the same as tenisit “mankind” – but I don’t know the etymology – it is probably proto-Chaldæan. Bit Ditti I have read as “a prison” for some reason or other – but I don’t know why. I don’t remember vaddakhu and can’t refer; it ought to mean ‘I smote’ or ‘slew’. This is not very satisfactory, but I can’t help it.” “The discovery that Pl. 52 [of Volume II of Cuneiform Inscriptions] is an Eponyme [?] Tablet is most important, as it now places all our Chronology on a precise Astronomical basis. I am writing a letter to the Athenæum on the subject and shall give G Smith every credit for his ingenious suggestion. [Appeared as The Assyrian canon verified by the record of a solar eclipse 763 BC. The Athenæum 18 May 1867. RBP.] There is a fragment with names of the Eponymes which in Coxe’s absence we cannot find, but which I see from my copy fits on to the upper corner of this tablet and thus completes & verifies the discovery.” Thanks Norris for “the mem. About the Almanac”. Is sorry “to hear such a bad account of you” but hopes the country air may help his recovery. [III/18(13)].
  14. Addressed “Knoyle. Hindon. Wilts. Aug 22 [In his wife’s hand:] 1867. My dear Norris.” Has been obliged to return from “the German baths [i.e. Bad Homburg von der Höhe as in 1864] because of the death of “my wife’s sister [According to the Annuary this was Ellen Sanford. HCR had gone to Germany with his wife. RBP.]” Is spending the time at Knoyle instead and writing “a Cuneiform article for the next Quarterly [Not traced. RBP.]”. In consequence of “Smith’s having found a few more fragments of Canon No.1” he has been re-examining the Assyrian calendar. According to his new theory the first two Assyrian cycles were of 81 years each beginning in 909 BC ending in the middle of a reign. The king then took a new eponym for the same year. After two such cycles, in 747 BC the calendar was reformed, and the new cycles were of 60 years. His analysis of this takes up almost all the letter. Intends to announce this discovery “in a short letter in the next Athenæum [Published as The Assyrian Canon dated 27 Aug. 1867, Athenæum 7th 1867. RBP.]”. Asks Norris to “let me know what you are doing with the Dict.” [III/18(14)].
  15. No address, on notepaper bearing HCR’s monogram. Dated “[Thursday] Decr. 26 [In Norris’s hand: 1867]. My dear Norris.” Has been staying at Knoyle but has come up to London for a few days “to keep Christmas” because his wife has been unable to travel “owing to a sick baby [HCR’s second son Alfred was born in January 1867.]” but hopes to be able “to get away [Presumably to Knoyle. RBP.] on Monday [30th]. In the meantime, HCR’s wife will visit Norris bringing with her “this note” and a brace of pheasants. Then gives some comments on Assyrian words. Norris has added comments of his own between the lines, which are hard to read. “My wife will give you all the other news.” [III/18(15)].
  16. Addressed “2 Hill Street June 25 [Datable from the address to 1868. RBP.] My dear Norris.” “When the Median casts from Bisitun were turned out of Burlington St and thrown on my hands [This may refer to the incident referred to above in December 1862 see III/17. RBP.] I had them stowed away in a lumber room, where I really cannot get at them without a great deal more labor than they are worth.” Mons. Menant is welcome to come and retrieve them for himself, but HCR cannot undertake to do it for him. “I never took any Persian casts, except the Epigraphs – but my last notes were the result of the most careful and conscientious examination.” “Mons. Lenormant” is trying to obtain access to the “Asshur-bani-pal” proofs for Oppert’s benefit” but HCR does not want this “in justice to Smith & others” if he asks to borrow Norris’s copy, HCR hopes Norris will say that he is not authorized to lend them. “Lenormant is pumping Smith day and night for Oppert’s glorification and ought really I think to be snubbed.” [III/18(16)].
  17. Addressed “2 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Thursday. Aug. 27 [Datable from the address to 1868. RBP.] Norris is not to allow Oppert access to “our Lithographed Inscriptions [presumably those printed for Vol. III. RBP.] the Asshur-bani-pal Plates in particular” because he will make unfair use of them. HCR found Oppert “hard at work today in Birch’s room and claiming to have discovered all sorts things that we have known for years. Has only just returned from “the German baths [see letters in Box V]. Has not seen Smith since his return. Hopes Norris is “pretty well” asks when and where he plans to take “your autumnal holiday”. [III/18(17)].

This is the last letter from HCR to Edwin Norris in the series documenting their co-operation on Cuneiform studies. At the beginning of November 1868, HCR took up his seat on the Council for India, which both he and Norris anticipated would be a full-time job.

III/19   12 undated and partially dated letters from HCR to Edwin Norris, some of which could probably be dated by reference to other sources of information. The sequence is arbitrary.

  1. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley W. Thursday My dear Norris.” Recalls “Gen. Macintosh’s visit to Persepolis in 1836…as far as I remember he merely uncovered the Artaxerxes inscription which Rich had first opened and which had been again covered up … I must have seen his copy as he spent some days with me and showed me all he had done.” Is looking for a cast of “Michaux’s stone” to use as an illustration “in tomorrow’s lecture” as he is short of illustrations. Thought there was one at the RAS but “Bulford/Bedford (?) [I have not been able to identify anyone of either name associated with the RAS at this period. RBP.] says they have never had one.” HCR had a cast at one time but has mislaid it. Asks Norris to bring one round tomorrow if he has one. [III/19(01)].
  2. Dated at end “Saturday. My dear Norris.” Queries a new procedure for correcting the proofs of the lithographed inscriptions as it will involve just as much work and just as great a chance of error as “under the old system.” “Pray see to the corrections of the three first sheets.” [III/19(02)]
  3. No date or address. HCR’s monogram on the notepaper. “My dear Norris.” Discusses the meaning of various cuneiform signs. The first he reads as zalmu ? and translates as dark and hence night. Refers to “the Astrological tablets and also the bilingual lists 26,30 – 27,12 – 64,28.” Then identifies several other signs as colours, white babar , black, grey? blue, green &c. Has satisfied himself that a certain passage refers to the eclipse of June 15. B.C 744. Speculates that another phrase, which he reads as atalu and translates as “to make the black god” means, when it does not refer to an eclipse, a cloudy sky in which neither sun, nor moon nor stars can be seen. Speculates on the identity of another star whose name he translates as “door keeper”. PS “I hope to see you on Monday at the Asiatic & there we will talk further of the Index &c. [I have not seen Volume II of Cuneiform Inscriptions but volumes I, III and V do not have indexes in the usual sense. In letter III/18(01) HCR clearly uses the term “Index” when referring to the Table of Contents. RBP.] [III/19(03)].
  4. Addressed “Knoyle, Hindon Thursday [Could be 1863 or 1864. In his Annuary HCR says that he spent the autumn of 1863 at Knoyle (possibly with his wife, who was pregnant with their first child). In a letter to Fox Talbot dated 25th February 1865, Norris says that Volume 2 is all printed apart from the Table of Contents. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Will be returning to London “tomorrow” and wishes to meet Norris and Bowler or at any rate Bowler on Saturday to discuss “final arrangements about printing &c.” “If Coxe has found anything new I hope he will have it ready for me to see on Saturday.” [III/19(04)].
  5. Addressed “1 Hill Street Friday. My dear Norris. Many thanks for the reference about the Almanacs but I am off that scent at present and really don’t know when I shall get on it again. Just now I have been looking over Thomas’s lucubrations [I have not been able to clarify this allusion. RBP.] and don’t believe a word of Shakpoor’s Christianity, though I cannot at present satisfy myself as to the real purport of the Inscription. I shall see you, I hope at the Meeting on Monday and we can then discourse on this and other matters.” [III/19(05)].
  6. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Nov. 17. My dear Norris.” Discusses the phonetic values of certain cuneiform signs [which cannot be clearly indicated without being able to reproduce the signs themselves. RBP.] Now accepts that a certain name on “the Monolith” really is Ahab. “The only difficulty is in regard to dates, which the Biblical critics may settle as best they can.” Then discusses the grammatical consequences of certain signs having the same phonetic value. Has been obliged “to lay up for a day or two and take blue pill” but I hope to be out again by Monday”. [III/19(06)].
  7. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W Tuesday. [by reference to the letters in III/18 should be some weeks before April 1866. RBP.] My dear Norris.” Two different signs for Norris may acknowledge HCR’s corrections or not as he pleases. “The Trustees have recommended the Treasury to grant another 1500£ for printing the Tablets, but decline to move Deutch [Deutsch] from the M.S.S Department. Some weeks will elapse before Gladstone decides whether he will accept the recommendation, so you will have plenty of time to escape from the For. Of. before setting to work at the Museum.” Is unwilling to say anything about the Bavian inscription since it is a long time since he looked at it but he knows that the first part describes the aqueducts built to bring water to Nineveh. However, he doubts whether a certain cuneiform sign has anything to do with “water works”. Cannot write anymore because he is very busy and has “moreover a touch of incipient gout.” [III/19(07)].
  8. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Saturday. My dear Norris.” Accepts “the note to Pl. 11, about the title from initial line.” Objects to the word “Occasional” in the title to Pl. 25. Prefers “Small fragment, or anything else you like. Pl. 31 iv & 46. v are certainly Trilingual, not Bilingual, so please correct accordingly, and with these corrections ‘Print’. 250 copies is all I think the Museum requires.” [III/19(08)].
  9. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. My dear Norris. [Dated at end ‘Saturday’]” Had hoped to see Norris at the Museum, where he would have explained the differences between two cuneiform characters which Norris had, apparently, thought were equivalent. The first, HCR thinks, has the normal value kim and the second nir but each has many secondary values. Has found at the Museum an account in minae & shekels “given according to the 3 standards – so I shall be able I hope to determine the relations positively.” [III/19(09)].
  10. Addressed “1 Hill St My dear Norris.” Asks Norris to call in “on your way into Town … as I want to consult with you about applying for a further sum to the Museum – and about your resuming your Sub-Editorial duties with the former ‘honorarium’”. [III/19(10)].
  11. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. [crossed out] Knoyle, Wilts. Dec. 27 My dear Norris.” Has been examining “the Asshur-bani-pal rubbings together with the copies made by you & Bowler”. Finds that it commemorates the elevation by Asshur-bani-pal of his younger brother to the throne of Babylon. Believes he has now definitely identified this brother as the Saosduchinus of Ptolemy and Sammughina and Sammughes of other writers. “I must have mentioned the circumstance to you before [see III/10(03)] though I never had any direct evidence of his being a younger son of Esar haddon’s. This cylinder … explains the difficult passage about this king in the Arbela tablet which we published in the last volume of the Museum Inscriptions.” Also mentions a tablet which he has found of Asshur-bani-pal’s granddaughter, whose name he “doubtfully” reads as Nergal-amiral. Looks upon the link between Assyrian and Babylonian history established by this cylinder as very important. PS “I don’t know exactly when I shall be back but probably in the circle [?] of next week – if you answer me address to Earl Ducie’s Tortworth Court, Wotton-under-edge, Gloucestershire.” [III/19(11)].
  12. Addressed “1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square. W. Thursday [in Norris’s hand] 1865? [by reference to the letters in III/17, should be before May 3rd RBP.] My dear Norris.” Has been in London all week and visited the Museum as well as “the shop in Burlington St”. Needs Norris’s assistance at the Museum “to compile an Index for the forthcoming Vol. of Inscriptions [see III/18(01) above. RBP.]” and at the RAS to discuss “the best way of furnishing Austen with Cuneiform Type as I cannot afford to pay £25 to Harrison for every paper I write for the Journal.” “I am already well up in Weber’s Nakshatras, the controversy between him & Biot being in fact the text upon which Whitney works. [This seems to be rather complicated, but refers to a dispute between the three men on the relations between Indian and Chinese astronomical systems. RBP.]” Has made some progress with “Cuneiform Astronomy” including identifying the 7 planets and “some near guesses at the principal constellations”. Asks Norris to call in next day for a talk. Is going to Knoyle again on Saturday, but hopes to bring his wife up to London “for good” the following week. [III/19(12)].

III/20   6 letters from Edwin Norris to HCR and to his wife, together with one from “E Strangford” mainly dealing collecting HCR’s letters on cuneiform studies [I have transcribed in full the passages giving evidence as to the completeness of the surviving sequence. RBP.] but also touching on other matters.

  1. Addressed “6 Michael’s Grove [Brompton, now Egerton Terrace] 1 August 1865. Dear Madam [at end ‘Lady Rawlinson’]. I have kept nearly all the letters from Sir Henry, more carefully than I usually keep anything. They form a connected series, a history of the discoveries, and it would be a pity to separate them. I will take the earliest opportunity to look over them and pick out such as do not contain matters of scientific interest, which I will send to you , or else send you all for your own selection. The first letters to me are dated in the middle of 1846. There are a few as early as 1838 to Capt. Harkness and General Briggs who were secretaries to the Society at that time. After three or four letters in 1838/9, Sir Henry was called away, and till Nov. 1845 nothing was received from him. He then wrote to Professor Wilson, till 1846 since which date I am happy to say the correspondence with me has not been interrupted. I believe I have all his letters to me, and some of those to Genl. Briggs and Professor Wilson. This is the history of his correspondence and if you will let me know what you wish, as to date or number of letters, or if you like to look over the whole, I will act accordingly.” Hopes they enjoy their visit to Tunbridge Wells [referred to in III/18(1 & 2) above]. “As he proposes to be in Hill Street soon, for a day or two, perhaps it might be best to give him the letters for you. I am unwilling to trust such valuable papers to the post.” [III/20(01)].
  2. Addressed “6 Michaels Grove 5 August 1865. Dear Madam. [at end ‘Lady Rawlinson’] I shall send to Hill Street two packets, addressed under a cover to Sir Henry. The first contains letters folded, from 27 Nov. 1845 to 17 September 1849, marked from F to 2P. Five preceding letters written in 1838 and 1839 I cannot find. I think Lord Strangford has the first. The others were written to Genl. Briggs. I certainly had them, and may find them. The other packet contains the letters written from 16 Decr. 1851 to 8th March, 1853. These are opened out for convenience of reading. I have also many more, but they are all in disorder; I will sort them as soon as I have half an hour to spare. I ought to ask pardon for such a scrawly note. I never could write decently, but my hand grows weak and my eyes are not so good as they were, so that I am now ashamed of what I write.” [III/20(02)].
  3. Addressed “[6 Michaels Grove, as above] Brompton. Saturday. [datable from the preceding and following letters to August 5th or 12th 1865. RBP.] My dear Rawlinson. I enclose a packet of your letters for Lady Rawlinson. They are all that I received from you beginning 27 Nov. 1845 and ending 8th of March, 1853. Those written in 1838/9 to Captain Harkness and General Briggs I cannot find. I thought I had them. I believe Strangford has the first you wrote. I certainly consider all these letters your property as the writer, but I hope you will not keep them. I have more letters written while you were in the East; they are in great disorder, but shall be arranged soon. I understand from Lady Rawlinson that you will be in town on Tuesday. If you want me then, please send a line.” Ends with a query about a certain cuneiform sign which he wants to read as rik but has difficulty reconciling this with a reading in “Michaux”. [III/20(03)].
  4. Addressed “6 Michaels Grove [as above] 17 August, 1865. My dear Rawlinson. I have arranged all your letters up to the beginning of 1855, when I ceased making a regular collection owing to your return to England. I will leave them for Lady Rawlinson at Hill Street before I leave town for my holiday, which will be about the 25 or 24th [sic]” Discusses his holiday plans. “I have been two or three times at the Museum correcting my copies of the Diyarbekir [? i.e. Kurkh] Monolith and the two Michaux. I fancy I must have been blind when I copied the latter or the Museum people must have scoured them well, for I saw several letters that were invisible before. I will give you the corrections when you are inclined to look at them; but I shall not be surprised to find that you have already divined them. My best respects to Lady Rawlinson: I fear she will find some hard bits occasionally in your letters. I cannot find the earlier letters written to Briggs, and suspect I did not keep them, and that they are buried among the Society’s Archives. I have however some abstracts of them, made at the time of receiving them [see III/01 above]. The first of all, containing your first readings, I gave to Strangford about a year ago.” [III/20(04)].
  5. Addressed “Michaels Grove [as above] 12 October, 1865. [This is the reply to III/18(02), the only exchange of letters between HCR and Norris in the collection. RBP.] My dear Rawlinson. You wrote me a note just before I left home, and I jotted down a memo. for reply, but somehow I forgot it. It referred to a letter from Wilson of 1844 containing a copy of Greek inscriptions from Haroonabad, (also written Harunabad) in western Iran where a Greek inscription (on a tomb stone) was found in 1844 by Rawlinson and his travelling companion Commander J. Felix Jones.
  6.  My memo. says no letters reached here from you between Aug. 1839 (to Briggs) and Novr. 1845 (to Wilson) the letters marked P. G. H. R. came to Wilson; after that you wrote to me.” Is glad to hear that the Index is nearly completed and promises to have it “put in type in your absence” if HCR sends it to him. Has not heard of Strangford’s wish to succeed Panizzi but thinks it sounds “improbable”. Is looking forward to seeing “the Quarterly article” soon. “Hincks has just printed a paper on the Astronomical Tablet, containing a good deal of Chrono[lo]gical argument, which my head is quite unable to follow . . .” Then quotes some harsh comments by Hincks on statements which HCR had published earlier, in particular, that a passage in “Sarg. Cylin. l. 39” which HCR has read as urzi u musakhud “graciously and honourably” should read uzra u musa akbud “in morning and evening I laboured.” and that in reading urzi for uzri HCR must have mistaken one cuneiform sign for another. On checking the inscription at the Museum, Norris finds that Hincks is right. [I suppose that the paper by Hincks must be Cathcart and Donlon 133 On the Assyrio-Babylonian Measures of Time Transactions of the Royal Irish Academy 24 (1865) Polite Literature, pp. 13-24. Read 10th April 1865. However, I cannot identify the paper by HCR which Hincks is criticizing. HCR does not comment on this point in his later letters to Norris. RBP.] “Francis Newman is writing and printing an article on the Persian Behistun Inscription taking the Greek as his basis of interpretations. I think it very clever, though he estimates it rather too highly.” Norris finds that he does not know of HCR’s later work in this field and has sent him “your further notes” … “which will delay him” [This does not appear to be related to the “Newman’s notes” to which HCR refers in III/18(03). [III/20(05)].
  1. On notepaper with black border headed “58, Great Cumberland Place W.” but addressed at the end “22 Upper Berkeley Street. W.” from “E Strangford [presumably Emily Anne née Beaufort (1826-1887) widow of 8th Viscount Strangford (died January 9th 1869)]” “Dear Lady Rawlinson. Lord Strangford never lost or burned a paper of any importance therefore I feel sure that if Mr. Norris sent him Sir Henry’s letter he either returned it or buried it at the Asiatic. There is not a single paper or scrap that I have not now examined and I have nothing to send you but this old letter which I feel sure you will like to have. I send back Mr. Norris’s letters to you and wish I had more as the collection of Sir Henry’s letters will by & bye be most valuable. Is about to leave England after the publication of her book [A Selection from the Writings of Viscount Strangford on Political, Geographical and Social Subjects edited by Viscountess Strangford pub. Richard Bentley] which will be out the following week. Hopes “Sir Henry liked the memoir [presumably of her late husband] I sent him. I did not hear if it was read [presumably at the RAS] but I presume it was. Perhaps he would tell Dr Rost to send me a copy when it is printed.” [III/20(06)].

III/21   Documents written by Edwin Norris.

  1. Two scrap sheets of foolscap (apparently picked up in the Foreign Office) written on one side in Norris’s hand (the reverse sides are covered in unrelated material). Headed “Scythic Paper.” It consists of brief notes on HCR’s paper Notes on the Early History of Babylonia. JRAS 15215-259. The entries are labeled with the corresponding page numbers from the published journal. The reason for making the notes is not clear. [III/21(01)].
  2. Single foolscap sheet, unsigned and undated but in Norris’s hand. One side bears a text beginning “Recently received letters from Col. Rawlinson contain several valuable additions to the Assyrian Syllabarium, and these will be printed by the Society in the sequel preparing by Col. R. to his memoir of which the first part is published. [This presumably refers to Notes on the Inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia JRAS 12 1849/50 pp.401-483.] A number of curious identifications are also gradually shewing themselves, the ultimate results of which will be highly valuable to history & chronology although their interest is for the present rather philological than historical.” Then gives details of some of these. From the references to the gods Nuha and Anu and other points, the document must date from after Norris’s receipt of III/09(09) dated June 1st 1853, although probably not long after. [It may have been intended for reading at a meeting of the RAS, although I cannot trace such an occasion, or for publication. At the end of III/09(08) dated 24th May 1853 HCR writes “as there is such a race now for priority, if you can make anything intelligible out of all this farrago for the Athenæum I shall be much obliged.” RBP.] The reverse is headed “Alphabet” and consists of a list of 37 cuneiform signs with entries alongside. Most of these are syllables, but a few are words. Each is accompanied by a page reference, in some cases preceded by the word “slip”. [III/21(02)]

III/22   Documents connected with George Smith. The first three documents were found together in an envelope labeled “Letter from George Smith to Sir H C Rawlinson on decipherment of a cuneiform inscription and animadversions of Rawlinson on a decipherment [sic] of George Smith. Removed by Dr Hansman from context amid the papers. SD 23-5-74.” As follows:

  1. Three printed foolscap sheets stapled together. The first headed “ORDINARY ALPHABET, including all Syllables with not more than one Consonant,” followed by 3 columns of about 35 cuneiform symbols with one or more syllabic values each [not all of which are open syllables.] The second sheet is headed “COMPOUND SYLLABLES” and the third “COMPOUND SYLLABLES – continued.” Each of these sheets contains two columns of about 35 cuneiform symbols each with syllabic values alongside each. [Judging by the total number of symbols, this represents the Babylonian syllabary. RBP.] [III/22(01)]
  2. Foolscap. Letter, [Possibly a draft. RBP.] from “George Smith” to “Dear Sir” preceded by a carefully written-out cuneiform text. “here is the Inscription restored on the basis of the Cylinder with variants from other copies … After you left the museum today I found a fragment of another copy making the 6th separate inscription, the number in the new fragment is clearly 1535 so that of four copies in which the number is preserved 2 are 1535 and 2 other 1635”. The event commemorated by these inscriptions is “the removal of the idol”. Smith considers that the variation between 1535 and 1635 is an error in copying rather than confusion in reckoning the time and that the original reading was 1535. Discusses parallel instances. Hopes to find further material which will enable him to identify the original reading with more certainty. The date of the inscription “was probably about 655 BC … this would make the date of the event referred to about BC 2290 or 2190.” [III/22(02)].
  1. Draft of a letter in HCR’s handwriting headed “Assyrian discovery” “Sir. As Mr. George Smith is well known to have been employed by the Trustees of the British Museum during the last two years in assisting me to prepare for publication a third Volume of the Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia it may be naturally supposed that he has my authority for the historical discoveries which from time to time he announces in the pages of the Athenæum as the result of his labors on the Nineveh tablets.” HCR then formally disclaims any responsibility for any such pronouncements by Smith and to register his disagreement with one of Smith’s recent ones. “It is quite true that Mr. Smith in collecting the disjointed fragments of the Annals of Asshur-bani-pal (Sardanapalus of the Greeks) first detected the figures referring to the translation of the image of Venus from Babylonia to Susiana, and thus is entitled to the credit of having discovered the earliest historical date which has yet been found among the Cuneiform records [i.e. about B.C. 2290]. However, HCR objects to Smith’s associating this event with King Chedor-laomer and with “the age of Abraham”. [I have not seen the letter to which HCR is objecting, but it may be the one which appeared in The Athenæum No 2137 October 10th 1868 p.463. (E Norris to Fox Talbot 5th Nov. 1868 – Norris describes the paper as “much hazarded, I think”.) nor the published version of this letter, if it was published. RBP.] [III/22(03)].

NB In his Assyrian Discoveries 1875 Smith says [p.12] that he discovered this date, which he gives there as 2280 BC, in 1868. He also says [p.11] that he started work at the Museum on Volume III of Cuneiform Inscriptions “at the beginning of 1867” which would date  HCR’s draft to the beginning of 1869. It is not possible to say which of documents 2 and 3 came first.

  1. Letter. Addressed “Leipzig, December 25th 1876. Sir, [From contents, clearly addressed to HCR.] “Being about to write a little biography of George Smith [died August 19th 1876] as well as a pamphlet on the Eponym Canon” asks HCR to confirm Smith’s claim to priority of discovery of the nature of the tablet published in Cuneiform Inscriptions Vol. II Pl. 52 as well as the nature of “the Deluge Tablet” [containing the text of the Epic of Gilgamesh. Smith’s priority in this had been denied by Oppert.]. Signed “Dr. Friedr. Delitzsch” University of Leipzig.” [III/22(04)].

III/23   36 foolscap sheets, some single, some double, containing fragmentary drafts of different texts, all apparently in HCR’s hand (?). None are signed or dated, but all appear to date from after HCR’s return from Baghdad in 1855. At least one appears to be a draft of the beginning of the “Astronomical paper” which HCR promised to write in 1865 (see III/18(01) above). There is also what appears to be a draft of a review of George Rawlinson’s Herodotus. There is also what appear to be parts of a draft history of the discovery of cuneiform decipherment in which HCR is referred to in the third person and which deals with the rival claims to priority of discovery of HCR and Hincks.
[I have not attempted to arrange or analyze the sheets, as it is not clear that the material is of sufficient interest to justify the effort involved. RBP.]

III/24   Miscellaneous documents relating to HCR’s early intellectual interests, the order is arbitrary:

  1. Letter from “Brigdr Shee ? Baghdad ? 25 June 1839” to “My dear Rawlinson” Gives a brief account of “places of interest” on the journey to Samara “by the route of Shauban”. Marginal sketches. [III/24(01)].
  2. Five double foolscap sheets folded and stitched containing 9 pages of writing in HCR’s hand. “Notes and Memoranda regarding oriental geography.” Undated but the handwriting is comparable with HCR’s letters from the early 1840s. [III/24(02)].
  3. Six double foolscap sheets folded and [originally] stitched containing 8 pages of writing in HCR’s hand, comparable to III/24(02) above. Extracts from a book [“Bromes” ?] in Central Asia. [III/24(03)].
  4. Double sheet folded over. Written on first page only “Notes on the Græco Bactrian Dynasty.” [III/24(04)].
  5. Slip of paper with drawing of coins. [I have included it here because the coins seem to have inscriptions on them in Greek and Brahmi ? RBP.] [III/24(05)].
  6. Three single foolscap sheets folded double but not stitched containing five pages of writing “Statistical notes relative to Persia collected by H Rawlinson Lt. Bomb. Army.” [III/24(06)].
  7. Double foolscap sheet folded in four (tending to tear along the folds).Unsigned and undated but in HCR’s hand. “Rough table of the Statistics of Looristan [Presumably Lorestan/Luristan in W. Iran RBP.] Estimates of tax revenue. [III/24(07)].
  8. Unfinished letter in HCR’s hand [undated, but the writing is comparable to that in HCR’s first letters to the RAS dated 1838.] “My dear Pastems.” Thanks him for the loan of the Chudenama ? “which is now being copied for me.” Hopes not to be anticipated by “Cunningham” in a paper on the antiquities of Sinde but thinks that Cunningham will not be able to complete the project successfully because HCR has access to authorities which Cunningham does not. [III/24(08)].
  9. 13 sheets of rough notes on various matters, most probably now unintelligible. [III/24(09)].

III/25   Further documents relating to HCR’s early intellectual interests. It is convenient to separate these from the preceding group, because of the sizes of the sheets. The order is arbitrary.

  1. Three double sheets [larger than foolscap] folded over but not stitched 8 pages of writing in HCR’s hand. Headed “III. March of Alexander from Susa to Ecbatana”. [Appears to be a draft of an article related in subject to HCR’s early papers in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, although I cannot relate it to any published material. RBP.] The text is interspersed with calculations. The sheets are much dog-eared and need to be handled with care. [III/25(01)].
  2. Single sheet written on both sides apparently connected with the above, headed “Strabo’s route of Alexander Lib 15 l.2.S.8 ? ” [III/25(02)].
  3. Double foolscap sheet folded over written on the outside only, headed “Route from Persepolis to Ecbatana.” Apparently connected with III/25(01) above. [III/25(03)].
  4. Foolscap sheet ruled into three columns on both sides, headed “E.A. vocabulaire”. The columns are headed “Zend”, “ Pehlvi” and “François” respectively and give, in HCR’s hand the corresponding words in each language. [III/25(04)].
  5. Double foolscap sheet folded over, written on the first two pages only in HCR’s hand. The first page is headed “Translations of Persian poetry.” It consists of translations into English prose of passages from various Persian poets. The second page (reversed) has what appears to be an account of items of household expenditure. [III/25(05)].
  6. Four double foolscap sheets folded and stitched. On the outside “Notes on the Taki Bostam ? ”. On the ninth page “Remarks on the word Traw ? <Arabic letters>. On the the 15th to 17th pages “Notes on the Parthians ? ” The other pages are blank. [III/25(06)].

III/26   Ten pieces of scrap paper with rough notes, maps, lists of places and distances etc. All apparently connected with HCR’s time in Persia, but unclear whether they relate to his intellectual interests or to his military duties.

III/27   “Extracts relating to the comparative Geography of Persia. H Rawlinson. Tabriz. Sept. 12th 1834.” Six sheets enclosed in separate Melinex sleeves because of their fragility. In Latin, French and English, with isolated words in Greek and Arabic ?. Judging from the variation in handwriting, the entries appear to have been written over a considerable period.

III/28   Three letters from Rev. Dr Edward Hincks to Edwin Norris [presumably included by mistake with the letters from HCR which Norris sent to Lady Rawlinson in 1865. See III/20 above. RBP.]

  1. Addressed “67 Great Russell St. Bloomsbury 20th June 1853 My dear Mr” [See III/09(11) above dated 5th July 1853 where HCR asks Norris to enquire “what Hincks is up to at the Museum”.] Comments on a report “in the Literary Gazette of Saturday [i.e. 18th June. RBP.] that the two first names in the line of ancestors of the king whose cylinder Col. R. has with him at Bagdad [sic] are not names of kings.You showed me the list & I recollect that “Tiglath Pileser the first” occurs early in it & also a name which I read “Shamshiyar ? ”. I do not, however, recollect the first name nor am I sure of the order of the following ones. I saw, however, on one of the fragment [sic] of the cylinder in the British Museum “Shamshiyar” named as the father of the king who constructed it & his father named also neither of them being called king of Assyria. It occurs to me, then as highly probable that the three names on the Museum cylinder are the first three on Col. R.’s. They are: [There follow three names in cuneiform, under part of the first Hincks has written “Dagon”, under part of the second “Shamshi” and under the third “Tikilti? Pal, itsur?.” They correspond with nos. 1, 2 and 7 in HCR’s first List of Assyrian Kings enclosed with III/09(06). RBP.] Is this the case? & if it be, how many generations older is this Tiglath Pileser (the first) than T.P. the second, whose cylinder Col. R. has? As this is a matter of extreme interest an early answer would oblige. Yours very truly Edw. Hincks. [PS] Of course you are aware that the law of Namri [?] is mentioned on the Nimrud obelisk; it must have lain near the Tigris below Kaleh Shergat – perhaps as far as Bagdad.” [III/28(01)].
  2. Addressed “67 Great Russell St. 20th June 4 P.M. My dear Mr Norris. I am greatly vexed at having given you a false impression of the antiquity of the B.M. cylinder in my note of this morning. It is true that the king calls Shamshiyar the son of Dagon his father; but he must have meant his ancestor – the word being used with great latitude. In another part of the cylinder, however, which I had not before looked at he calls himself ‘the son of <cuneiform ≡ 6 in HCR’s list, see previous letter> & grandson of <cuneiform ≡ 5 in HCR’s list> who was son of <cuneiform ≡ 4 in HCR’s list> who was son of <cuneiform ≡ 3>. I presume this cylinder is of the same date as Col R’s. I fear, however, it does not give the years of the kings reign in which his conquests took place. At least, I have not met any date yet. Yours very truly Edw. Hincks.” [III/28(02)]
  3. Addressed “Killyleigh Co Down 6th August 1853. My dear Mr Norris. You would much oblige me if, when you have leisure, you would look at the 22d line of the Babylonian Behistun inscription & let me know if the first character in the word there read ni.ta is really a li as printed. Is it not rather <cuneiform> wech? I have looked over the book [Presumably the same version of Memoir on the Scythic Version of the Behistun Inscription eventually published in JRAS 15 pp. 1-213 (1855) on which HCR commented in III/07(22)] you were kind enough to give me. I wish to leave the matter in your hands; but I am quite sure that you have mistaken the values of many characters. The question with me is. When all that are wrong are corrected, does your main point – the language being Scythic – still hold good? I incline to think that it may, just as, when the erroneous values that I gave to some of the Van characters are corrected, its Indo European character is still obvious.” Hincks then gives a list of corrections “which I regard as absolutely certain”. [Norris has appended comments and cuneiform signs to many of these corrections. RBP.] “I wish you would reconsider the whole matter in these lights. Believe me Yours very truly Edw. Hincks.” [III/28(03)].
  4. Addressed “Nimroud. June 6th 1853. My dear Sir.” [The writer is clearly Hormuzd Rassam, although this appears to be a copy made by one of HCR’s clerks in Baghdad. The only reference to a consignment of sculptures etc arriving by raft from Mosul is in III/10(07) and is dated 9 months later than this one. Moreover, HCR there mentions only one letter from Rassam which he will have copied for Norris, although it is accompanied by two such copies.] Discusses arrangements for transporting a consignment of sculptures by raft down river to Baghdad. The road-building and other work necessary to transport these sculptures to the river has meant that very little excavation work has been done “in the centre of the mound of Konyunjik” but “a perfect Obelisk in white stone” has been found. Gives a detailed description of the reliefs. The letter breaks off with the remark that “Mons. de Place came out to Konyunjik to see this Obelisk the day I left Mossul.” [III/28(04)].BOX IV
    Mainly biographical and autobiographical material.IV/01     Rawlinson family tree. 2 items rolled up, written in ink along the long axis (in landscape mode), apparently both in the same hand..

    1. On two foolscap sheets pasted together along the longer edge. Headed Rawlinsons of Graysdale Hall in the County of Lancaster. In the top LH corner Ms. Collections relating to the Rawlinson family. Vol. I f.30. Shows descendants of “Robert Rawlinson of Hawkeshead, born 1538” through about 8 generations to “Thomas R. Born 16 June 1728.” [IV/01(1)].
    2. On four sheets of parchment (?) pasted together along the shorter edge. No heading. Shows the descendants of “John Rawlinson of the Greenhed Calton Temp. Henry VII” through about twelve generations to 1851. The children of HCR’s brothers are shown and an attempt has been made to extend the tree in pencil to include HCR’s descendants also but it was abandoned, possibly because of lack of space to do so tidily. [IV/01(2)].

    IV/02     Miscellaneous items relating to Rawlinson family history. 6 items plus one empty envelope.

    1. Clipping from a newspaper (?) containing a notice of the marriage of “T. A. Rawlinson of Grass-yard Hall co. Lancaster [HCR’s father] at St George’s, Hanover Square” on 18th August 1800. [IV/02(01)].
    2. Scrap of paper written in pencil in HCR’s hand headed “Memo of honorary distinctions.” At the bottom: “‘All is vanity’ saith the Preacher and he sayeth truly. Baghdad February 26 1854 H Rawlinson.” [IV/02(02)].
    3. Letter addressed “St Catharine’s [Ont. Canada Queenston St. No 30] April 29th /74” to “Sir Henry Rawlinson” from “your old friend Lucy Rawlinson” requesting information about her father’s parentage. [IV/02(03)].
    4. Letter in envelope addressed “Plumpton House, Bury St Edmonds 11 Febry 1875” to “Dear Lady Rawlinson” from “Sarah Bevan (?)” dealing with various points in the Rawlinson family history, apparently in connection with heraldry. On the outside of the envelope, in Lady Rawlinson’s hand “Explanation of the R. Arms.” [IV/02(04)].
    5. Letter from “Henry Creswicke, C.E. Barrie, Lake Simcoe, Ontario Canada” to HCR dated “17th Novr Honourd. Sir” Claims kinship with HCR on account of sharing the maiden name of HCR’s mother. Hopes that HCR may be willing and able to assist him and his brother to recover property in England out of which he thinks they may have been cheated. He goes into this in considerable detail. [IV/02(05)].
    6. Letter addressed “2 Iden Villas 13 Janry 91 My dear Harry [presumably HCR’s eldest son H S Rawlinson]” from “your affate cousin Sarah Bevan ? [the writer is clearly the same as in IV/02(04) RBP]” gives the answers to various questions in connection with HCR’s coat of arms. She mentions having received queries also from “your aunt Mrs G[eorge] Rawlinson and Alice Gatty.” Apparently three enclosures containing the promised information. [IV/02(06)].

    IV/03     Items relating to HCR’s journey to India. 1827. 2 items.

    1. Foolscap sheet folded over. On the last page “Henry’s account on going out to India.” The first page headed “Paid for Henry’s outfit expences [sic] & pocket money previous to his going to India. Incomplete itemization totalling £454/14/0 [There is a small error in the addition. Since both HCR and his elder brother Abram are referred to by their first names, the writer is presumably their father. RBP.] [IV/03(01)].
    2. “Journal of an Exile.” Account of the voyage to India in HCR’s hand covering 46 numbered pages, followed by “some scraps of poetry” which he had composed to fill an on-board newspaper The Herald of the Deep. Preceded by a single sheet in an unknown hand summarizing points of interest from the Journal. [IV/03(02)].

    IV/04     “Journal of an Ensign” Two stiff backed exercise books. The first headed “Journal of an Ensign. H C Rawlinson attached to do duty with the second Bomb. Eur. Reg.” runs from 1st December 1827 to 14th October 1828. (152 pages) The second volume recommences on October 25th – HCR excuses the hiatus by not having been able to procure a fresh book to write in. On the first page he writes “Continuation of a Journal kept by Henry Creswicke Rawlinson of the first Bomb. Grenadiers in compliance with a promise made to his affectionate Sister Maria Rawlinson in the Spring of 1827.” The second volume breaks off on December 26th 1828, ending with a letter to “My darling Biah” from “your old Beazly General” explaining that he cannot write any more as “Clibborn” is about to embark for England, but promising to continue “in my next book”. “I enclose some of my hair for you Geordie Bessy Powell or whoever may think it worthy of acceptance.” Preceded by a single sheet in the same hand as that in IV/03(02) similarly summarizing points of interest. [IV/04].

    IV/05     13 letters from HCR to his sister Maria dated from October 12 1828 to November 1833. Nos. 1 – 9 are addressed to “Miss M Rawlinson” at the family home at Chipping Norton, Nos 10 – 13 (i.e. from October 1832 onwards) to “Mrs M Brooke Smith, Park Street, Bristol. Numbered and with brief notes on the contents of each letter written on the front in red ink [in the hand of HCR’s elder son H. S. Rawlinson?]. The letters are very long and hard to read, being written very small and much of it cross-ways. They seem to be concerned with personal and family matters and details of his military career. The last was written as he was leaving on his mission to Persia. [IV/05(1-13).]

    IV/06     Manila folder with two typewritten labels pasted inside. On the outside is written in pencil: Autograph material of Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson Bart displayed in exhibitions of RAS Sesquicentenary 1973 … Feb. ’74. Papers restored to various contexts mainly to HCR’s correspondence with RAS. 11/3 1975.” Inside is a label describing a letter from HCR to his sister Maria [dated 1836?] announcing that he has sent a translation of the Old Persian inscription at Behistun to the RAS and his feelings of triumph. The folder is the only evidence currently [Feb. 2012] available of the existence of this letter, the location of which is unknown. [RBP.]

    IV/07     Material surviving from the period 1st January 1838 up to the end of HCR’s service as Political Agent at Kandahar, Afghanistan (1842). 4 items.

    When the British withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of 1842, HCR’s effects, including his official records were sent by water. The boat caught fire on the River Sutlej and burnt to the water’s edge. This cost HCR 6 months hard work reconstructing his accounts to the Government (over £1m had passed through his hands during this period) which he was able to do successfully. Many of these papers show signs of scorching and water damage, some pages being stuck together. Documents in other HCR collections dating from this period show similar damage.

    1. The remains of a ledger – it is impossible to tell what kind of binding it originally had – which has been written in from both ends. At one end: “Abstract of Private Correspondence commencing Janry 1st 1838 H C Rawlinson, Major serving in Persia Teheran.” Abstracts of letters sent appear on the RH pages and letters received on the LH. The list of letters sent runs from January 1st 1838 to October 10th 1838 and then after a gap due to absence on travel from February 5th 1839 to October 17th The list of letters received runs from January 30th 1838 to October 8th 1838 and then from February 18th 1839 to May 22nd 1839. This list contains the only mention by HCR of his younger brother Richard Smith Rawlinson [see IV/01] who trained as a doctor and died in India aged 36. At the other end: “Journal 1841” announces that he is recommencing a journal long laid aside.” It runs from January 1st to January 21st when it was abandoned apparently due to pressure of work. On the page following the end of the journal there are pencilled notes on a “Journey from Candahar to Mymuna (?).” There is nothing further written on the pages of the ledger itself, but tucked into it are a large number of pieces of paper, most of which have financial calculations written on them. Most of these are unsigned and undated, but such dates as do appear are for 1841 and where any references are given they relate to “Candahar”. These notes may relate to HCR’s retrospective reconstruction of the accounts. [IV/07(01)].
    2. One double foolscap sheet and two single foolscap sheets written on four sides in HCR’s hand, concerned with the contemporary political situation in Persia. Possibly the draft of a report to his superiors. One of the sheets appears to be in a slightly different (earlier?) hand than the others and was clearly written while he was based in Candahar. It is the only one to show signs of scorching. [IV/07(02)]
    3. Letter in blue envelope. Addressed to Muhammad Karim Mirza from [Sir William Hay] Macnaghten, British envoy in Afghanistan, whose seal, dated 1838, appears on the reverse. Dated 18 October 1841, 7 Ramadan 1257. Thanks the recipient for news and sends greetings to Muhammad Ibrahim Mirza. [Macnaghten was killed outside Kabul on 23 December 1841.] Translation of this letter by Alexander Morton 24.2.10. [IV/07(03)].
    4. Small red notebook with label on the front “Sir Henry Rawlinson’s Diary.” The first page is headed “Political Diary.” Begins with an entry dated “July 14 [1840]” recording his taking up the post of Political Agent at Candahar. The last dated entry is August 29th. At the back of the book are various notes with the general explanation “Notes taken on my trip from Baghdad to Hamadan and back by Sulimaneh in 1847(?) [The dates given i.e. Sunday 6th to Wednesday 9th October are not compatible with that year but could be 1844 or 1850. RBP.] This was the same journey as that reported on by Capt. Felix Jones in the ‘Bombay Solutions.’” [IV/07(04)]

    IV/08     Letters from HCR to his sister Maria, 3 from Baghdad January 28 to December 4 1848, 5 written during his stay in England, November 8 1850 to August 28 1851, and 4 after his return to Baghdad, February 29th 1852 to February 12th 1854.
    The letters deal mainly with family and personal matters, including his feelings of loneliness in Baghdad and his longing to get married as well as how his health suffers during the summers in Mesopotamia. The London letters also contain references to his angling for a more prestigious appointment. There are also complaints that Maria does not appreciate his scholarly achievements and one letter, dated March 4th 1853, refers to the presence of the refugee Queen of Persia in Baghdad.

    IV/09     Passport dated 4th November 1856 issued to “Colonel Sir Henry Creswick Rawlinson K.C.B. (British Subject) travelling on the Continent.”

    IV/10     MS consisting of 6 double foolscap sheets, not gathered, containing a draft “Biographical notice of Maj. Gen. Sir H. Rawlinson KCB.” Unsigned but dated “London Sep. 30 1859.” It is not clear what was the purpose of this account but it reads as though intended for publication. It ends with his departure as Ambassador to Teheran, where, it states, he expected to have leisure to produce the transliterations and translations which were to appear in the interleaved edition of Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia which HCR was to publish at his own expense. As his letters to Norris from Teheran [III/15] make clear this proved not to be the case, and he complains of being busier than he was in London.

    IV/11     Octavo ruled notebook with stiff black oilcloth (?) cover, written in HCR’s hand. On the verso of the flyleaf: “Journal for wedding tour Sept 1862. Begins with their departure from London Sept 26th and is continuous for 23 pages to October 12th where it breaks off in the middle of a description of Padua. There follow 31 blank pages and then an entry of just over a page dated October 26th describing their arrival at Civita Vecchia by sea from Livorno and their subsequent departure for Rome. [In a letter to Norris (III/17(03)) HCR explains that this sea trip was because his wife had been frightened by stories of brigands in the area of Tuscany they had originally planned to visit.] The diary largely consists of descriptions of works of art and architecture. At the back of the book are copies of inscriptions in various scripts.

    IV/12     Letters from and about HCR’s sons up to the time they left school. There are further letters, particularly about the boys, in Box V.

    1. Letters of congratulation on the birth of HCR’s first son, Henry Seymour Rawlinson (Harry) January 1864. 4 items. [IV/12(01)]
    2. Letters of congratulation on the birth of HCR’s second son, Alfred Rawlinson January 1867. 15 items. [IV/12)(02)].
    3. Enclosed in a folder with stiff covers. Miscellaneous items dating from 1870 to 1881, approximately 151 items. The majority are letters to HCR or his wife, either from the boys themselves or about them from nurses, governesses, schoolmasters etc. There are also a few school reports, bills etc. Some of the letters might be of interest to biographers of H S Rawlinson or historians of upper class education in the later nineteenth century. [IV/12(03)].

    IV/13     Notebook with stiff covers with ruled pages, spine missing. The first few pages had been written on, but have been cut away. The first intact recto is headed “Rough Annuary of Sir Henry Creswicke Rawlinson begun Oct: 31 1884 – 21 Charles St. Underneath [in another hand?] is added “finished Dec. 1884.” The next 33 openings contain entries giving the principal events of his life, year by year up to 1884. At the back of the book are five openings listing year by year the honours and appointments which HCR received. The main entries appear on the recto with additional notes written in a much smaller hand on the opposite page. At least some of these entries refer to HCR in the third person and may possibly be by his son H S Rawlinson. The entries for the early years contain many lively anecdotes not found elsewhere, but which are probably not of historical significance It should be noted that the accounts of events given in this book, and particularly of the motivation for HCR’s actions, are sometimes at variance with statements in letters written at the time.

    IV/14     Notebook with stiff covers. The first page is headed “Abstract of accounts”. It contains summaries of income and expenditure for each year from 1879 to 1890, expenditure on the left hand page and income on the right. On the page following the entry for 1890 there are figures for total expenditure for 1890 and 1891. At the back there are eight lines in pencil “Notes on the Afghan frontier” ending “Quoted from the Standard March 13 1885.” The summaries show that HCR’s financial position was very finely balanced and that he was dependent on the salary from his post as a member of the Council for India to maintain his lifestyle and the position of his family.

    IV/15     Letters to H S Rawlinson [HCR’s elder son] while serving in India. 36 letters dated from August 16th 1888 to July 1889. Mostly from HCR, with occasional enclosures from his younger son (Toby) but there are one or two from his wife. Topics include: comments on the political and military situation in the Middle East (HCR was at this time serving on the Council for India); his younger son (Toby)’s mysterious illness, which led to his return from India and his withdrawal from the Army until the outbreak of the First World War; complaints about Toby’s subsequent extravagant lifestyle, which threatened to outrun HCR’s resources but which he clearly had not the heart to curtail; Toby’s determination to get married and arrangements for his support; concerns over HCR’s wife’s deteriorating health (she died at the end of 1889) and the visit of the Shah of Persia July 1889. The bond between father and son is illustrated by a phrase in one of HCR’s letters “I feel quite lost without you.”

    IV/16     Booklet consisting of 9 quarto leaves sewn together along one edge enclosed in a cardboard cover with Life of Sir H Rawlinson embossed in gold on the front. It contains an unsigned biographical memoir written in 1877 cut from an unidentified periodical. [This memoir can fairly be described as uncritical and it is not clear what was the occasion for its publication at that time. The label “Lord Rawlinson” pasted inside the front cover must refer to HCR’s elder son, who was created Baron Rawlinson of Trent in 1919. RBP.]

    IV/17     Documents relating to HCR obituaries. 3 items as follows:

    1. Letter from Robert Cust, Hon Sec to the Royal Asiatic Society to an unidentified recipient. Dated “63 Elm Park Gardens, Fulham Road, S.W. London 10 III 95 My dear Sir” Requests help with the task of writing an obituary for the JRAS “as I am not acquainted with the sons of my lamented friend …” Also offering suggestions as to the best way of disposing of HCR’s library “which is very valuable”.
    2. Letter from Lord Roberts dated “Glenart, Arklow 9th November 1897” to “My dear Rawly [i.e. H S Rawlinson]. Discusses a possible contribution by Roberts to a Memoir of his father H C Rawlinson (d. 1895).
    3. Obituary of HCR from The Times 6th March 1895.

    IV/18     Two double foolscap blue ruled sheets bearing verses, unsigned and undated but in HCR’s handwriting. Judging by the alterations it is his original composition. It appears to refer to a disturbance arising out of a dispute about the relative rights of commoners and the Lord of the Manor. The title on the outside of the manuscript The Ballad of Haddon Hill is in the handwriting of HCR’s elder son H S Rawlinson.

    BOX V

    Mainly family correspondence dating from after HCR’s marriage. This box had been arranged to a considerable extent before I started work on the collection and I have not interfered with the arrangement unless absolutely necessary. The original intention appears to have been to place in this box only letters between HCR and his wife, but other items were included. Many of the items are similar to those to be found in Boxes II or IV

    V/01       2 letters which cannot be located in the other folders:

    1. Letter on notepaper embossed “Secretary of State for India” and dated “Friday Decr 17th [this is compatible with the year 1858, during HCR’s first period as a member of the Council for India. RBP.] From HCR to “Dear Alfred [his future brother-in-law Alfred Seymour]”. Facetious in tone, about the affairs of “Ashley” and also alludes to Alfred’s brother Henry being stranded somewhere abroad and being unable to return until the spring, with Henry’s concern at being absent from the House of Commons. [V/01(01)].
    2. Unsigned note in Louisa Rawlinson’s hand. It is about “a letter of Lady C Masses to you asking about a man to find out springs of water.” From the reference to “No 2 [Hill Street]” it may be dated to 1868 because the house was not renumbered as No 2 until that year and was sold the following year. [V/01(02)]

    V/02       Five letters dated 1862 with two envelopes addressed to “Miss Seymour, 39 Grosvenor Street.” Including:

    1. Letter from HCR to “Dear Miss Seymour” addressed 1 Hill Street, Berkeley Square, W Tuesday July 22nd 1862” HCR’s proposal of marriage.[V/02(01)].
    2. Three letters from HCR to “My dearest Lou” dated August 10, 11 and 12 1862. Addressed from “Hillside [the home of his married sister Maria Brooke Smith, where HCR was visiting his mother.] About how much he is in love and unable to think of anything else and how impatient he is to see her again. It would appear from these letters that Louisa kept him waiting for a week for an answer to his proposal. [IV/02(02)].
    3. Letter dated “11 Septr 1862” from HCR’s elder brother A L Rawlinson to “My dear Henry” addressed from “Chipping Norton [the Rawlinson family estate, which ALR had inherited]. Family business. [V/02(03)].

    V/03       14 letters. 11 from HCR to his wife dated in her hand to various dates in 1863, plus two notes simply dated “Monday” and “Saturday” [which I have left in this folder where I found them RBP]. plus one from his sister Maria to HCR expressing her concerns about their mother’s declining health (she died in June 1863). Private and family business. [V/03].

    V/04       26 letters. 25 from HCR to his wife all but one dated to 1864, mostly in his wife’s hand. The remaining note is dated “Thursday 5 PM”. I have left it in this packet where I found it. There is also one from HCR’s mother in law Jane Seymour dated “Tuesday 9 August” – which is compatible with the year 1864. Jane Seymour was caring for HCR’s elder son because HRC’s wife was ill. Mostly private and family business, but there are passing references to HCR’s public duties. [RBP]. [V/04].

    V/05       72 letters. 69 from HCR to his wife, all but two more or less completely dated to 1865, mostly in his wife’s hand. [Some of these dates are clearly incorrect. RBP.] Mostly family and private matters, but there are references to HCR’s public activities, including a lecture he gave in January to the RAS and a number written from Frome, Somerset, in July giving a blow-by-blow account of the election campaign when he was elected an MP for the second time. There are also three other letters:

    1. Letter from Maria Brooke Smith [HCR’S sister] addressed “Corsygedol Arms, Barmouth, Thursday [In the hand of HCR’s son ‘1865?’] My dear Louisa” Primarily about Louisa’s attempts to collect HCR’s early letters. Promises to send her all the letters which HCR wrote to her from India etc but says that she has burnt those which he wrote to his mother because “they related to the only episode in his life that I considered not creditable to him”. She also mentions that Lewis Pelly is staying with them and that they are having a good time. [V/05(01)]
    2. Letter from Lewis Pelly addressed “Marseilles – 19th September 1865 Dear Sir Henry. [It appears from other letters that he was en route to take up a post in Persia, but was proceeding by way of India. RBP.]” Sets out proposed financial arrangements for his forthcoming marriage to Eudocia [Maria Smith’s daughter] which he asks HCR to convey to the bride’s father, but otherwise to treat in the strictest confidence. [V/05(02)].
    3. Letter from Maria Brook Smith as above to HCR addressed “Stoke Bishop, Friday [in HCR’s wife’s hand ‘Nov. 1865’]” Expressing her outrage at the way her daughter Eudocia has been treated by “the villain” [i.e. Lewis Pelly] who appears to have broken off the engagement as soon as he reached India. [It is not clear whether this Lewis Pelly is the distinguished soldier and diplomat Lewis Pelly (1825-1892), but I cannot trace anyone else of that name. RBP.] [V/5 (03)].

    V/06       32 letters from HCR to his wife, mostly dated in his wife’s hand to 1866. [The few undated ones have been left in this packet where I found them. RBP] Very largely concerned with domestic and personal matters, although there are passing reference to what may be official duties such as “the Palestine affair” and “the Mysore deputation.” In addition, the packet contains:

    1. Letter dated “1 Hill Street [at the end] Saturday [added in pencil, but in the writer’s hand] 1866 [from the reference to New Year greetings, may be dated to the beginning of January. Most probably Saturday January 6th RBP.]” from “L[ouisa] C[aroline] H[arcourt] R[awlinson] to “Dear Portia” Mostly family news. “I am glad Baby [HCR’s elder son HS Rawlinson, who was 2 years old in 1866] has been to see his Granny [this must refer to Louisa’s mother Jane Seymour, as HCR’s mother died in 1863. RBP]” Says how gloomy London is at Christmas “our only waits a trumpet playing the Missletoe [sic] Bough!” and how she is looking forward to the return of her family. There is a PS from J[ane] P[leydell] B[ouverie] Louisa’s elder sister saying “Lou is so glad to have ‘the tenants’ back again.” [V/06(01)
    2. Letter on Athenæum club notepaper dated “Jan. 8 -/66” from “H.D.S [i.e. Henry Danby Seymour, HCR’s brother-in law] to “My dearest Lou”. Family matters, particularly about arrangements for the care of Louisa’s mother, whose health was giving cause for concern. [V/06(01)
    3. Letter undated, except for an addition in pencil “1866” from “LCHR [i.e. Louisa Caroline Harcourt Rawlinson] to “My dearest Ellen.” Family matters, particularly asking for details of a servant which Louisa was to engage for Ellen.
    4. Letter dated “Knoyle House, Monday July 23rd [in HCR’s wife’s hand ‘1866’]” from “Jane Seymour [Louisa Rawlinson’s mother.] to “My dearest Lou” with a brief message to “Dear Sir Henry” on the back. Family matters. [V/06(03)].
    5. Letter dated “Knoyle, Tuesday 24 July [This is compatible with the year 1866. RBP.]” from Jane Seymour as above to “My dear Mary [apparently Louisa was staying with her at this time]”. Thanks for information about Louisa’s health.

    V/07       29 letters from HCR to his wife datable to 1867. Mostly dealing with family matters, but there are references to his official duties, including the debates on the Parliamentary Reform Bill of that year, as well as to “my Indian Committee” and to a meeting with Gladstone. One letter refers to the debate of 9th April on alleged corruption during the election of 1865 in the constituency of Totnes. During this debate HCR’s brother-in-law Alfred, who had been the successful candidate, had to defend himself.

    V/08       57 letters from HCR to his wife datable to 1868, including 14 written from the German spa town of Bad Homburg, plus 14 to HCR from his wife during this visit. These letters also cover HCR’s taking up his seat on the Council for India and his initial impressions of this. Plus:

    1. A letter dated “Frome, 7 Aug 1868” from William Davis, Liberal agent for Frome, expressing disappointment at HCR’s decision not to defend the seat at a forthcoming General Election, because he was seeking a seat on the Council for India.
    2. A letter dated “47 Eaton Square, Novr 21 1868” to HCR from “AS [Alfred Seymour]” requesting HCR’s assistance in managing the affairs of Alfred’s elder brother Henry.[V/08].

    V/09       49 letters mostly datable to 1869: 35 letters from HCR to his wife dated January to April 1869; dealing with Louisa’s mother’s last illness and death and issues arising from winding up her estate; the disposal of HCR’s house in Hill Street, and finding somewhere else to live; various other family matters, only passing references to HCR’s official duties. 6 partially dated or undated letters from HCR to his wife, similar to the above. 5 letters from Louisa to her husband, all written from Taplow in August, where she was staying with their elder son Harry. Two notes from “Alfred Rawlinson” [presumably written by his nurse – I have left them in this folder where I found them although one of them would appear to have been written at the beginning of 1870. RBP.] one is addressed to his mother and the other to his brother Harry. One note from “Ellen Parry” addressed “My Lady” reporting on Alfred (Toby)’s well being. [V/09].

    V/10       9 letters from HCR to his wife dated 1870: 8 written at various dates in April, one in November. Mostly personal and family matters, but passing references to HCR’s official duties. He also once mentions visiting the British Museum, although perhaps only to offer them some of “my M.S.S.”. [V/10]

    V/11       18 letters from HCR to his wife all dated “1871” in either his or his wife’s hand, 3 written in January, 8 dated September, 3 in October, 4 in November, mostly dealing with family matters, with only passing references to HCR’s official duties. Plus two letters to his sons from “your loving Papa”, plus a letter from “F Hilliard” to “My lady” apologizing for Harry not having written himself and one from “P[hilip] P[pleydell] Bouverie [Louisa’s brother-in-law]” dated “Pall Mall East Nov. 4 1871” to “My dear Louisa” confirming the payment of the residue of the estate of “your relative Hopkinson decd” and commenting “The d― to pay about the housemaid in Hill S―. Don’t let Rawlinson get too thick with the young lady.” [V/11].

    V/12       19 letters from HCR to his wife all dated 1872 in his wife’s hand. 2 in July, 1 in August, 13 in Sep, 2 in Nov and 1 in Dec. Almost all to do with family matters but does include letters written during an extended visit to Scotland. [V/12].

    V/13       16 letters from HCR to his wife, all dated “1873” either in HCR’s hand or his wife’s, except for one, which is dated “Wednesday” in HCR’s hand to which his wife has added “July 26”. [In fact, July 26 was a Saturday in 1873, however, I have left the letter in the place where I found it. RBP.] 1 letter was written in April, 4 in June, 4 in July, [including the one which is probably misplaced] 1 in October, 4 in November and 2 in December. The letters are mostly concerned with family matters, but some were written while HCR was attending the Shah of Persia on his State visit to Britain, and there are also references to his wife’s involvement as a witness in the Tichborne Case. [V/13].

    V/14       27 letters from HCR to his wife, all but one dated “1874” in HCR’s hand or his wife’s [the one without a year is dated “Tuesday Oct 6” which is compatible with the year 1874. RBP.]. 4 written in January, 3 in August, 2 in September, 13 in October, 4 in November and 2 giving no date except “1874”. Family matters, including one commenting on a note from his elder son Harry, who had started school, expressing misgivings about Harry’s reports of bullying and stealing. In another letter he expresses concern that his younger son Toby is spending too much time with the servants. There are also 3 letters from Brooke Smith, who married HCR’s elder sister Maria, dated 3rd April, 4th May and 18th June 1874 concerning certain financial transactions involving “our precious brother-in-law”, apparently the husband of “Georgiana” [HCR’s younger sister ??? – this could be clarified from the Rawlinson family tree. [IV/01(02)]

    1. Note dated “Monday” and by his wife “Sep. 14 /74” and headed “Oriental Congress, London” he writes “I went to the Museum & saw Birch, Lepsius and others – and shall see the whole body of savants tonight at the Royal Institution – I shall modify my address a little in order not to appear too hard on G Smith, Sayce & others.[This refers to the inaugural meeting of the second International Congress of Orientalists which was held in London September 14th to 18th HCR was the President of the Semitic section. The Times for September 15th lists in some detail the scholars attending and their achievements, as well as reporting the opening address by the President Dr Samuel Birch, HCR’s address to the Semitic Section is reported in the Times for Sept. 16th]” [V/14(01)].

    V/15       14 letters from HCR to his wife, all but 2 dated “1875” either in HCR’s or, more often his wife’s, hand. One of the remainder is dated “Sunday” but refers to his wife’s “Good Friday letter” and also to the fact that she and their sons are staying at Southsea; this implies that it was written on Easter Sunday, 28th March 1875. Of the datable letters, one each were written in January, February, April, July, September, October and December and 6 were written in March while his wife and sons were staying at Southsea, presumably during Harry’s school holidays. The remaining letter is headed “Wednesday” and gives no clues as to date, except that HCR is at a shooting party and tells his wife to “kiss the boys for me”. [I have left it in this packet where I found it; it cannot be much later than 1875 as Harry would have been too old to be kissed. RBP.] There are also two letters to Harry dated February and March. In the first of these, HCR says “I am working hard on my ‘Index’ which may refer to an Index to his book England and Russia in the East which was published in this year.

    V/16       20 letters from HCR to his wife, 19 of these are dated “1876” in either his or his wife’s hand. [The 20th is headed “Wednesday” but refers to a play called “Lord Bateman” at “the Alhambra” which he says he will take Harry to see before he goes back to school. I have found a reference in the online version of the Observer to a play of this name at the Alhambra Theatre which had come off by 13th February 1876. RBP.] Of the dated letters, 4 were written in January, 1 in April, 3 in August, 8 in September, 1 in November and 2 in December. The September letters include 4 written from Brussels where HCR was attending a Geographical Congress held under the sponsorship of the King of the Belgians to co-ordinate efforts to “civilize” Africa. Associated with these is a draft of an agreement to establish a TransAfrican railway system somewhere south of the Sahara.

    V/17       13 letters from HCR to his wife, all dated at least “77”as above, 1 in April, 1 in May, 1 in June, 2 in August, 2 in September, 1 in October, 3 in November, 1 in December, and one simply dated “77”. There are also two letters to their son Harry, one from HCR and one from his wife. These are both dated July and deal with his coming home for the summer holidays.

    V/18       5 letters from HCR to his wife dated or datable to 1878. 3 written in October from Paris while HCR was attending the Paris Universal Exhibition and 2 in November from Bigods Hall, Dunmow, Essex where he was attending a shooting party.

    V/19       11 letters from HCR to his wife dated 1879. 1 written in February, 3 in September and 7 in October. One of the September letters mentions visiting the British Museum to look at inscriptions, but being frustrated by fog. The October letters refer to his writing an article for the Encyclopaedia Britannica on Herat and to serious concerns about the behaviour of his younger son Alfred (Toby) who was about 11 at this time. In these letters, HCR shows himself to be an indulgent parent by the standards of the time, rejecting both his wife’s suggestion of giving the boy a flogging and his headmaster’s of sending him into the Navy in favour of a stern talking-to which “left the poor boy dissolved in tears and myself not much better.”

    V/20       Four letters from HCR to his wife, all dated “1882” in either his or his wife’s hand, 3 written from London in April and 1 from “Down Hall” in November, plus one dated “Monday Jany 2nd [which is compatible with the year 1882]” addressed to “My dear Harry [his elder son, then about 18 years of age.]” and one dated “March 7 1882” to “Dear boys” and one letter each [undated] from his two sons [the younger was about 15 at this time]. The letters are all about family affairs. There is no indication why there are no letters dating from 1880 or 1881 in this collection. It appears that the boys were at “Hyde Hall” under the tutelage of a “Mr Hiley”. This appears to refer to Hyde Hall, Sawbridgeworth, Hertfordshire at this time occupied by a Rev. Walter Hiley, who prepared private pupils for examinations, in Harry’s case, Army entrance.

    V/21       12 letters from HCR to his wife, all dated “1883” in either his or his wife’s hand, 4 written in January, 1 in July, 6 in October and one simply “1883”. By the end of the year, Harry had started at Sandhurst and had been given his own bank account while Toby was still at Hyde Hall. Includes:

    1. A letter dated October 20th contains the first mention of a scheme to obtain for [Garnet Joseph] Wolseley the post of Commander-in-Chief India, which he coveted, in the expectation that he would, in return, further Harry’s military career in India. [V/21(01)]

    V/22       22 letters from HCR to his wife, all but one dated “1884” mostly in his wife’s hand, 7 dated in January, 1 in February, 3 in June, 1 in July, 4 in October and one “Nov.-Dec”. 5 are dated “/84” in HCR’s wife’s hand, while one is completely undated. Includes the following:

    1. A letter from HCR’s elder sister Maria to “My dear Louisa” asking her to buy a present for Harry as from her and to send her the bill. The letter is dated “Stoke Bishop, Feb. 26th” and says that Harry is to leave for India the following Tuesday. February 26th was a Tuesday in 1884, which would imply that Harry departed on March 4th. [V/22(01)]
    2. A letter dated “Oct/84” enclosing a brief note from HCR’s younger son Toby, one of the very few letters from him since he was a child. [V/22(02)]
    3. A letter dated “Oct/84” “I wrote to Wolseley yesterday & enclose you his answer – if he wants me to assist him in getting the India appointment he is the more likely to bestir himself in Harry’s favor”. The enclosure reads “Dear Rawlinson I am writing about your son & will let you know the result when I receive my answer. I should like India very well if Stewart came home. Sincerely yours Wolseley.” [V/22(03)]

    V/23       14 letters from HCR to his wife, all dated “1885” mostly in his wife’s hand. 1 in February, 2 in April, 3 in July, 1 in August, 2 in September, 1 in October and 4 in November. Included among them are the following:

    1. Dated “Feb. 28 1885” summarizes a telegram from Wolseley on the military situation in Sudan. [V/23(01)]
    2. Dated “July 14 1885” containing the first mention of the trouble which Toby has got into at Sandhurst, discussed in more detail in (4) below. [V/23(02a and 02b)]
    3. Dated “July 28 1885” mentioning a suggestion that HCR should “go out as Ambassador to Persia to settle Treaty” but he is not in favour as “I am really too old.” [V/23(03)]
    4. Dated “Aug. 4th” discussing difficulties arising for his younger son Toby who has been denounced for cheating in an examination at Sandhurst. “It seems they said at the College ‘it is hard A.R. should suffer alone when cribbing was the common practice – let us look further into the matter.’” As a result several “cribbers” had been detected and the matter had been reported by one of the other students to his father, with the result that a public scandal had been created, which meant that the authorities would probably feel obliged to impose some punishment, for forms sake. [The issue seems to have been resolved in a manner favourable to Toby by the time of the first letter in V/24. An account of the systematic cheating in examinations which was the norm at Sandhurst was published in The Deseret [sic] News Salt Lake City, for January 16th 1904, with the remark that the practice had been even more widespread in the past than it was at that time. Further information about Toby’s brief military career and its abrupt termination will be found in HCR’s letters to his son Harry at IV/15. RBP.] [V/23(04].

    V/24       7 letters from HCR to his wife, all dated “1886” 2 in May, 1 each in August and September, 3 in November including:

    1. Dated in HCR’s hand “Friday May 7 1886” refers to his first visit to the “[Colonial and Indian] Exhibition [South Kensington 4th May – 10th November 1886]. “Today I have been 4 mortal hours at the Exhibition … but it will take another half dozen visits to place me ‘au courant’ to such a wonderful collection.” [There are references in many of the letters in this group to Toby’s military career – his place in the Army seems to have been assured by the beginning of the year and he had set his heart on a commission in the 17th Lancers, but it is not clear when this was settled. He was still in England in November.] [RBP.] [V/24(01)].
    2. Three letters dated in HCR’s hand “Novr 24, 25 and 26 1886” describing a large shooting party given by Lord Salisbury [then Prime Minister] at Hatfield House attended by numerous Cabinet ministers etc where he says he “feels rather like a fish out of water among all these smart ladies and the house is so hot that I am half suffocated” [V/24(02a,b,c)].
    3. plus one letter to HCR from his elder sister Maria [datable to 7th February 1886] thanking him for his good wishes on her [82nd] birthday [V/24(03)].
    4. and one from HCR [dated “Aug. 15th 1886] to his brother-in-law Ayshford [Sanford] with an enclosure about assisting someone who wanted a job as a “Duster” (at the BM). [V/24(04)]

    V/25       4 letters from HCR to his wife, none dated in HCR’s own hand, and a telegram from his elder son Harry. This telegram is dated “Simla, Ju 22 87” and says “Starting. Rawlinson.” Harry may have been coming home for his parents’ Silver Wedding on 2nd September 1887. One letter dated “Monday 10AM [in his wife’s hand] 1886, [altered from 1887]” can probably be dated from the contents to January 17th 1887, one dated “Saturday 5½ PM [in his wife’s hand] April 1887” comments on the massive boxes which his son Harry has sent home from India, one dated “Sunday afternoon 4PM [in his wife’s hand] Ap 1887” contains the remark “They are just crying ‘another attempt on the life of the Czar, but I daresay it is all humbug.” [A plot to assassinate Alexander III was unmasked on March 1st 1887, but I cannot trace any later attempts in that year. RBP.] The fourth letter is dated “Monday 5½ PM [in his wife’s hand] Easter 1887 [Easter Day 1887 was April 10th] contains the remark “There is immense excitement in Town today, as to what will take place in Parliament this evening – most people expect that Parnell will brazen it out and reject the ‘Times’ letter, but it is believed that they [sic] are more in the background.” [This refers to the publication of letters – later shown to be forgeries – accusing Parnell of sympathy with the Phoenix Park murders in 1882, but I cannot make the dates tie up. RBP.]

    These are the last letters from HCR to his wife in the collection. It is clear from many allusions in previous letters that she had not enjoyed robust health during most of their married life and that she had been at best a semi-invalid during the whole of 1886 and 1887 (see, for instance, allusions to her needing a ‘bath-chair’ to visit the Colonial and Indian Exhibition in 1886 [V/24(01)] and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition in 1887 [II/26(09)]). HCR’s letters to his eldest son Harry at IV/15 between August 1888 and July 1889 show his anxiety over his wife’s deteriorating health.

    V/26       12 letters of condolence to HCR on the death of his wife. [I have not been able to establish the exact date of her death, but the earliest of these letters is dated November 1st 1889, so that death probably occurred in the last week of October. It is also clear that Harry was present at his mother’s death, but it is not clear whether it was his mother’s declining health prompted his return from India, or some other cause. HCR was badly affected by his wife’s death and his son decided to remain in England to look after him. Several of the letters are annotated “Answered” in Harry’s hand. RBP.]

    V/27       Letter to HCR from his sister Maria. Dated “Stoke Bishop, Monday” and annotated in Harry’s hand “written in 1894 when she was 89”. [According to the Rawlinson family tree in Box IV, Maria Smith was born in 1804, so that her 89th birthday would have occurred on 5th February 1893, which was a Tuesday. In this letter she says that she is “‘going’ hard for 89” so the letter may have been written on February 4th. RBP]. A response to an enquiry about her state of well-being. There is also a reassuring comment about HCR’s sons from which it appears that he had expressed misgivings about what they were doing with their lives.

    V/28       6 letters in envelopes, all dated March 1895, dealing with HCR’s final illness and death, plus one empty envelope. The letters and envelope are all addressed to “Mrs Rawlinson” i.e. Louisa, wife of George Rawlinson, HCR’s brother who was then in Italy with her husband. 4 of the letters are written by HCR’s elder son, Harry, but one is written by his wife Meredith “Merrie”, almost the only mention of her in the collection. The 6th letter is addressed from “43 Eastbourne Terrace W” to “Dearest Mother” from “M & T”. [I have not been able to identify these. RBP.]