SEWELL, Robert Beresford Seymour. 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.
RS 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 os 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. 1870.
– The Amravati Tope and Excavations on its Site in 1877. 1880; Antiquarian Remains in the Presidency of Madras. A.S.S.I. 1-2. 12+325 p. 62 pl. 1882-84.
– Chronological Tables for South India, from the Sixth Century A.D. 1881; South Indian Chronological Tables. Madras 1889.
– A sketch of the dynasties of South India. 1883.
– “Early Buddhist Symbolism”, JRAS 18, 1886, 364-408.
– Sir Walter Elliot. 83 p. Edinburgh 1896.
– with S. B. Dikshit: The Indian Calendar. 1896, with Suppl.: Eclipses of the Moon in India. 1898.
– A Forgotten Empire. Vijayanagara. 1900, 2nd ed. 20+427 p. L. 1924.
– Indian Chronography. 187 p. 25 tables. L. 1912; “The Cycle of Jupiter and the names of Samvatsaras”, EI 13, 1915-16, 61-103.
– Chronology of South India. 192?.
– The Siddhantas and the Indian Calendar. 17+609 p. Calcutta 1924 (collected articles).
– Historical Inscriptions of South India. Ed. by S. Krishnaswamy Aiyangar. 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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