. 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)].
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.
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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.”
- 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)].
- 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)].
- [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.
- 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).
- 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).
- [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.
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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 …”
- 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.”
- 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. …”
- 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:
- 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)].
- [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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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/.
- The bibliography of Dr Hincks’s publications referred to in the Biographical Notes.
- 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.
- 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).]
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- Notepaper embossed with what could be the East India Company seal. Addressed “Wednesday Feb 10th  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)].
- Addressed “Hotel Bristol [Paris] Monday March 8  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)].
- Addressed “Friday May 14  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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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).]
- 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.
- 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)].
- Addressed “Folkestone Sept 7  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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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)].
- Addressed “Temple Newsam, nr Leeds, Sunday Septr  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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- [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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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:
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- Double sheet folded over. Written on first page only “Notes on the Græco Bactrian Dynasty.” [III/24(04)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.]
- 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)].
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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..
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.
- 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)].
- “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.
- 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)].
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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 ” 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.
- Letters of congratulation on the birth of HCR’s first son, Henry Seymour Rawlinson (Harry) January 1864. 4 items. [IV/12(01)]
- Letters of congratulation on the birth of HCR’s second son, Alfred Rawlinson January 1867. 15 items. [IV/12)(02)].
- 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:
- 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”.
- 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).
- 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.
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:
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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)]
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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)
- 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)
- 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.
- 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)].
- 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:
- 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.
- 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)]
- 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:
- 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:
- 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)]
- 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)]
- 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:
- Dated “Feb. 28 1885” summarizes a telegram from Wolseley on the military situation in Sudan. [V/23(01)]
- 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)]
- 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)]
- 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:
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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)].
- 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.]