Essays of Robert Cust

Scope and Content

A collection of essays titled 'Secular subjects: Prose. Eton College 1836. Haileybury College 1841-2, furlough from India 1857. Robert Needham Cust'. The volume includes an essay on the progress and results of maritime discovery, particularly in the West, 67 pages, with manuscript notes by Cust made in 1886; notes on law lectures, 1841-1842, East India College, c. 100 pages; and 'Prose studies on secular subjects prepared during my furlough 1856-1857', c. 130 pages, with material on India.

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 Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Acquisition Information

The provenance of the collection is unknown.


Includes index.

Other Finding Aids

MSS 11 V

Donald H. Simpson, ed., 'The manuscript catalogue of the library of the Royal Commonwealth Society' (London, 1975), p. 30.

A catalogue of the collection can be found on ArchiveSearch.

Related Material

The R.C.S. Manuscripts Collection includes three of Cust's letter books, RCMS 70. 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