SEWELL, Robert

SEWELL, Robert. Carisbrooke, Isle of Wight 4.6.1845 — London 30.12.1925. British Civil Servant, Historian, and Indologist in India. Son of Robert Burleigh S., solicitor in Isle of Wight. Educated at St. Peter’s College, Radley. Joined I.C.S. and arrived in India in December 1868, served in Madras Presidency as Assistant Collector and Magistrate (1869 North Arcot, 1873 Godavari), Special Assistant Collector and Magistrate (1880 Chingleput, 1881 Malabar) and Sub-Collector and Joint Magistrate (1884 Tinnevelly). From 1888 District and Sessions Judge in Kistna, South Malabar and North Malabar, from 1889 in Salem and 1890 in Bellary, soon Collector and Magistrate in Bellary. In 1894 retired and returned to England. Fellow of Madras University.

Sewell was a noted historian with special interests in epigraphy, archaeology and chronology. With great patience he compiled many useful mathematical tables. He was the pioneer of the study of Vijayanagara history. In 1881-83 he started the Archaeological Survey in South India.

Publications: Numerous articles in IA, JRAS, EI.

Analytical History of India, from the Earliest Times to the Abolition of the Honourable East India Company in 1858. 28+334 p. L. 1870.

Buddhist antiquites at Bezwada, and the rock-cut temple at Undavilli. 43 p. Madras (1878?); The Amravati Tope and Excavations on its Site in 1877. 69 p. L. 1880.

Chronological Tables for South India, from the Sixth Century A.D. 36 p. Madras 1881; edited W. S. Krishnasvami Naidu’s South Indian Chronological Tables. 5+97 p. Madras 1889.

Lists of antiquarian Remains in the Presidency of Madras. 12+325 p. 62 pl. A.S.S.I. 1-2. 1882-84.

A sketch of the dynasties of South India. 6+132 p. Madras 1883; Lists of inscriptions, and sketch of dynasties of Southern India. 11+297 p. A.S.I. New Imp. Series 8. Madras 1884.

– “Early Buddhist Symbolism”, JRAS 18, 1886, 364-408.

Sir Walter Elliot of Wolfelee. A sketch of his life, and a few extracts from his note books. 83 p. Edinburgh 1896.

With S. B. Dikshit: The Indian Calendar, with tables for the conversion of Hindu and Muhammadan into A.D. dates. 169 p. 136 pl. L. 1896, with Suppl. by R. Schram: Eclipses of the Moon in India. 1898.

A Forgotten Empire. Vijayanagara. 22+427 p. L. 1900, 2nd ed. L. 1924 (the 16th century accounts of D. Paes and F. Nuniz).

Indian Chronography. 187 p. 25 tables. L. 1912; “The Cycle of Jupiter and the names of Samvatsaras”, EI 13, 1915-16, 61-103; “The Siddhanta-Siromani (a continuation of the Author’s ‘Indian Chronology’)”, EI 15, 1919-20 (1925), 159-245; “The first Arya-Siddhanta, the ‘Aryabhatiya’, or ‘Laghu-Arya-Siddhanta’ of Aryabhata, A.D. 499. Working tables for calculation by the true, or apparent, motions of Sun and Moon”, EI 16, 1921-22 (192?), 100-221; “The first … Mean System”, EI 17, 1923-24, 17-104; “The Brahma-Siddhanta of Brahmagupta. Working tables…”, Ibid. 123-187 and “… Mean System”, Ibid. 205-290.

The Siddhantas and the Indian Calendar. 17+609 p. Calcutta 1924 (collected articles).

Historical Inscriptions of South India. Ed. by S. Krishnaswamy Aiyangar. 6+451 p. Madras Univ. Hist. Series 5. Madras 1932.

Sources: L.D. Barnett, JRAS 1926, 166f.; briefly in JASB 23, 1927, clxxiv; Buckland, Dictionary; *IHQ 2, 1926, 220f.; Wikipedia.

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