Papers of John Romer

Scope and Content

The papers of John Romer consist of:

  • An untitled translation beginning: "Translation of the first fifteen verses of Col. 1 of the Behistun inscription, being done into the literal and schismatic Persian rejecting Arabic works". Romer provides a description of his translation in English and a copy of the fifteen verses in Persian. He acknowledges the work that Sir Henry Rawlinson undertook on the inscriptions. Six sheets of paper, 20 sides. The final page bears the label in a different hand, "Persian Language, J. Romer Esq."
  • A letter to the Bombay Gazette found within the 1687 Complementum thesauri linguarum Orientalum by Franciszek Meninski, (1623-1698). This Thesaurus was donated to the the Royal Asiatic Society by John Romer. The letter to the Gazette takes issue with a contemporary evaluation of the Dabistan, a seventeenth century work in Persian, which is a unique study of different religious creeds. The letter gives some explanation of the Dabistan and provides some examples. It is dated 20 July 1820, handwritten, 8 sides.

Administrative / Biographical History

John Romer was born in 1780 at Ancroft, County Durham, England, the son of Robert Romer and Frances Marshall. He married Margaret Stewart Anderson, daughter of Robert Anderson, on 10 September 1816 at Surat, India. Romer held the office of Magistrate of Surat in 1816 and was Acting Governor of Bombay in 1831.He was vice-president of the British Empire Life Assurance Company Ltd in 1839. He wrote articles on Persian and Zand in the Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bombay and the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. 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

Romer donated manuscripts and books to the Society on 1 April 1837 and 18 November 1848. It is possible that the translations arrived at the same time as the latter donation or were sent at a later date. The letter to the Bombay Gazette was found within the thesaurus donated by Romer.

Archivist's Note

This material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2019 and supplemented in 2023.

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

It is assumed that these papers were in the possession of John Romer until he sent them to the Society. However the provenance is unknown.

Related Material

John Romer donated manuscripts and books to the Royal Asiatic Society. Details of those in the collections can be found on the online catalogue. The 1687 Complementum thesauri linguarum Orientalum, by Franciszek Meninski, still form part of the Collections.

Personal Names