Lewin family papers

Scope and Content

The collection contains diaries, account books, correspondence, watercolours, photographs, genealogical notes, legal papers, printed material and other miscellaneous items of Thomas Herbert Lewin and his immediate family, accumulated between 1788-1926, notably official papers relating to his military and administrative work in India, diaries, scrapbooks and philological and literary manuscripts, correspondence, articles and reviews on his publications, photographs and sketches by him, genealogical papers collected by him, notebooks and journals and miscellaneous other items. There are also papers of other members of the Lewin family.

Administrative / Biographical History

Thomas Herbert Lewin was born in London on 1 Apr 1839, and was educated at Littlehampton and Addiscombe Military College. In 1857, Lewin traveled to India as a lieutenant and was involved in several campaigns to put down the Indian Mutiny. He became the District Superintendent in Police at Rampur Bandleah, 1861-1864, later taking up the same post at Noacolly, South Bengal and Chittagong, 1864-1866. In March 1866, he was promoted to Captain, and appointed first as Temporary Superintendent and later permanent Deputy Commissioner and Political Agent for the unregulated Chittagong Hill Tracts - a post that he held until 1875. In 1874, Lewin returned to England due to ill health, was made an honorary Lieutenant Colonel and received a Colonel's pension. He returned to India in 1875 to take up the post of Deputy Commissioner of Cooch Behar, and later became Deputy Commissioner of Darjeeling, where he remained until his retirement in 1879. In 1885, Thomas Herbert bought Parkhurst, a house in Abinger, near Dorking, Surrey where he lived until his death in 1916. Lewin was the author of several works on India and Indian languages.


Arranged according to subject, and chronologically within those groups.

Access Information

Access to this collection is unrestricted for the purpose of private study and personal research within the supervised environment and restrictions of the Library's Palaeography Room. Uncatalogued material may not be seen. Please contact the University Archivist for details.

Acquisition Information

Deposited in the Library by the family in 1973.

Other Finding Aids

S J Lewin, 'The Lewin Papers: a catalogue with introduction', (University of London Library, 1985). The full catalogue of this collection is also included in the ULRLS on-line archive caalogue, http://archives.ulrls.lon.ac.uk/default.aspx

Archivist's Note

Compiled by Sarah Smith as part of the RSLP AIM25 Project.

Separated Material

The British Library Oriental and India Office Collections contain copies of family correspondence, 1855-1875.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies may be made, subject to the condition of the original. Copying must be undertaken by the Palaeography Room staff, who will need a minimum of 24 hours to process requests.

Geographical Names