Letter books of Robert Cust

Scope and Content

Letters from Robert Cust, chiefly in India, to correspondents in England. Most of the letters cover many pages.

Administrative / Biographical History

Robert Needham Cust (1821-1909), orientalist, was born on 24 February 1821, and educated at Eton College. After attending the East India Company's college at Haileybury, he administered the Hoshiarpur and Ambala districts of India. He was called to the bar in 1857, and was appointed judicial commissioner of Amritsar, 1861, and a member of the legislative council, 1864. He retired from the service in 1867. Cust studied oriental languages and published works on oriental philology and religion. He was secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1878-1899. He died in London on 28 October 1909.

Access Information

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact mss@lib.cam.ac.uk. Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (www.lib.cam.ac.uk).

Acquisition Information

A note by Cust, dated 1898, in the first volume, indicates that the letters were preserved by the recipients, and bound by him in 1893. It is not known when the Society received the volumes.


Includes index.

Other Finding Aids

MSS 22 V

Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), p. 62.

A catalogue of the collection can be found on ArchiveSearch.

Related Material

The R.C.S. Manuscripts Collection includes essays by Cust, RCMS 13. Cambridge University Library holds Cust's judgements in cases in Lahore and Amritsar, 1858-1860, MSS.Add.6198-6201.

Additional Information

This collection level description was created by RAS.

Cust, Robert Needham, 1821-1909, orientalist