Papers of Reginald Stanley Underhill

Scope and Content

The Papers of Reginald Stanley Underhill consist of:

  • Photocopy of a letter from Chandra Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana, 5th Prime Minister of Nepal, to Mrs Underhill to thank her for letting him know she enjoyed the [Fulpati] procession. He iterates that she has no need to apologise. Handwritten with printed letterhead, dated 9 October 1921.
  • Photocopy of envelope and Christmas greetings to Reginald Stanley Underhill from Maharaja Mohun Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana, 6th Prime Minister of Nepal. Postmarked 1963.
  • Photocopy of letter from Maharaja Mohun Shamsher Jung Bahadur Rana to Peter Coombs, nephew of Reginald Stanley Underhill, to express his regrets on hearing of the death of Underhill. Typed, dated 28 November 1964.
  • "The Nepalese Ropeway" presenting a short biography of Underhill's life. Typed with handwritten corrections, unsigned and undated. The biography references some photographs but these are not with the documents.

Administrative / Biographical History

Reginald Stanley Underhill was born in Oxford in 1870. He qualified as an engineer and travelled to South America with his wife, to construct a rope-way to copper mines in the Andes. He then joined the Indian Forestry Service and was lent to the Maharaja of Nepal, around 1913, to survey and build a rope-way into the country from Raxaul, India, to Kathmandu. The finished ropeway was 57 miles long. He was one of three working Europeans in Nepal, the others being the British Minister and the Maharaja's doctor. Underhill retired and left Nepal in 1928 and returned to England living in the Channel Islands and Cornwall. He died in Bath in 1964.

Chandra Shumsher Jung Bahadur Rana and Mohan Shumsher Jang Bahadur Rana were prime ministers of Nepal. They held power in Nepal, the reigning monarch being more of a figurehead.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist using the email address given here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The source of acquisition is unknown.

Archivist's Note

The Papers were catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The original papers were in the possession of Underhill and Coombs. It is unknown where the originals are now held or how these copies were sent to the Society.


Geographical Names