Edward Byles Cowell: Papers

Scope and Content

MS.Add.6406: Collectanea, in English and Latin, 1810-1864

1, 2. English: letters from Charles Cowell to Abraham Kersey Cowell, 24 November 1810, and to E.B. Cowell, 31 March 1835; 3. E.B. Cowell, writing copy, 1836, endorsed 'Schoolday Memorials. E.B. Cowell'; 4. Same, 'Life of Sir Isaac Newton' signed 'Naturalist'; 5. Same, 'Magazine of General Knowledge', October 1839; 6. Latin: same, 'Virgilii Parilipomena', 1841; 7. Same, 'Fall of Jerusalem', poem, 1840-1841; 8. Same, 'Xenophon: Ephesius, Bks IV and V', translation, 1 July 1841; 9. Same, 'Journal of a Tour in Belgium and Germany', July 1845; 10. Latin: same, 'De Die Christi Natali', poem; 11. English: J.T. Nottridge, a copy of a sermon on Jer. xxii.6, preached 13 September 1846; 12. E.B. Cowell, 'Tennyson's Poetry', essay [1848]; 13. Same, 'A few thoughts on the Atonement'; 14. Same, copy of a letter to Babu, 5 July 1863; 15. Same, 'Use of Conversion&Value of several Kinds'; 16. Same, 'Sakoontal, or the lost Ring', from the Edinburgh review, July 1858; 17-19. Letters from Bemola Ch. Bhuttacharjya to [E.B. Cowell]; 20. E.B. Cowell, notes on Persian literature; 21. Printed extract on the 'Ipswich Mechanics' Institution', possibly by C. Cowell. Accompanying the papers is a partial list of contents in the hand of Miss C.M. Ridding.

MS.Add.6407: 'Ipswich Radical Magazine', 1838-1841

Vol. I and pp. 121-140 of a further volume of the manuscript periodical 'The Ipswich Radical Magazine & Review', edited by E.B. Cowell, containing political articles, serial stories, and articles on, and translations of, various classical authors (114 folios). Vol. I was written at intervals throughout 1838, the remainder being the portion for December 1841.

MS.Add.6408: Correspondence at the death of E.B. Cowell, in English and French, 1903

1-56. Correspondence to Elizabeth Byles Cowell, Caroline M. Ridding and M.B. Cowell at the death of E.B. Cowell; 57. List of E.B. Cowell's pupils who have had books sent to them; 58. List of the same to whom books are sent and acknowledged; 59. Further lists of names; 60. Verses; 61. Rough list of names with statements of books sent to them.

MS.Add.6409: Collectanea, 1847-1902

1. E.B. Cowell, 'On the Death of the Rev. J.T. Nottridge', verses, 28 January 1847; 2. Same, 'Sermon on the Goodness of God', 1847; 3. Same, 'The North American Indian', poem, 1849; 4. Prospectus of a lecture; 5-45. Letters or parts of letters from M.B. Cowell and C.H. Cowell to E.B. Cowell and Elizabeth Cowell. Attached to 38 is a note from C.W. Moule to E.B. Cowell.

Administrative / Biographical History

Edward Byles Cowell (1826-1903), scholar and man of letters, was born at Ipswich on 23 January 1826. He studied Sanskrit, Persian and Arabic, before training in his father's business as a merchant and maltster from 1842. He entered Magdalen College, Oxford, in 1850 (B.A., 1854), and catalogued manuscripts for the Bodleian Library. Cowell was Professor of English History at Presidency College, Calcutta, 1856-1864, and became Principal of the Sanskrit College in Calcutta in 1858. He returned to England in 1864, and became the first Professor of Sanskrit at Cambridge University, 1867-1903. He founded the Cambridge Philological Society in 1868, and became a fellow of Corpus Christi College in 1874. Cowell died at Cambridge on 9 February 1903.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by Miss Caroline Mary Ridding, 1923.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives. The biographical history was compiled with reference to the entry on E.B. Cowell in the Concise dictionary of national biography, Part II, 1901-1970 (Oxford University Press, 1982), p. 153.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.

Related Material

Cambridge University Library holds other papers of E.B. Cowell, MSS.Add.4193, 4195-4199, 4201-4204, 4225, 4501-4503, 4509-4510, and 6441.


For information concerning the 'Ipswich Radical Magazine' see the entry on E.B. Cowell in Sidney Lee, ed., Dictionary of national biography, 1901-1911, Vol. I (Oxford University Press, 1927), pp. 427-430, and George Cowell, Life and letters of Edward Byles Cowell (London, 1904), p. 10.