HOSTEN, Henri. Ramscapelle, West Flanders 26.3.1873 — Brussels 16.4.1935. S.J. Father. Belgian Missionary Scholar in India. Joined the Jesuit Order in 1891 and, suspected of consumption, was in 1893 sent to Kandy to die there, but recovered quickly and started teacher’s work in Ceylon. In900 returned to India and 1906 ordained priest in Kurseong. For a while he worked at Shembaganur near Kodaikanal and became interested in prehistoric archaeology. Now he also started learning Portuguese. Soon he was transferred to Calcutta Archdiocese and worked there as teacher for 29 years, at St. Xavier’s and from 1917 at St. Joseph’s in Darjeeling. Retired because of health problems and returned to his native Flanders in 1931. Hosten’s main interest as a scholar lied in the early history of mission in India, which he discussed in numerous articles, often in a rather controversial vein which was said to be characteristic to him. In Calcutta found Monserrate’s forgotten manuscript.
Publications: Edited the Memoirs of Father Monserrate. MASB. Calcutta 1914, translated the same in The Catholic Herald of India, Calcutta 1920-21.
– edited: Le Bhâgavata. 44+235 p. Pondichéry 1921.
– many articles in JASB, Bengal Past and Present, JUPHS, etc.
Sources: *F. Eelen, “Life and works of Fr. H.H.”, Antiquities from Sau Thome 19??; *K.R. Hambye, “Edward Douglas Maclaga and H.H.: The Golden Jubilee of ‘The Jesuits and the Great Mogul’ 1932-1982”, ICHR 17, 1983, 67-72; J. van Manen, JASB 3:2, 1936, 217-219; defective bibliography in www.goethals.in/collections/felixrajarticles/Hhosten.htm.