Papers of James Caulfeild

Scope and Content

There is a single item within these fonds presented to the Royal Asiatic Society by James Caulfeild at the same time as presenting a copy of the manuscript, Pṛthvīrāja-rāsau, to the Society. It is the "Contents of the History of Prithee Raja" (Pṛthvīrāja-rāsau), the poems of Chand. In the document Caulfeild provides a translation of a chapter as a specimen, a sketch of the contents of all the chapters and a list of the thirty-two sciences which none but the most famed for wisdom were supposed to be masters. This is a handwritten document on foolscap paper, 23 pages, 44 sides.

Administrative / Biographical History

James Caulfeild was the son of the Venerable John Caulfeild, Archdeacon of Kilmore, County Cavan. He joined the Bengal Army in 1798, arriving in India in 1799. Apart from a period of sick leave in England from 1807-1812, he served in the military until 1819 when he was appointed as 1st Assistant to the British Resident at Indore. He continued to serve in an administrative capapcity as Political Agent in Haraoti (the territories of Bundi and Kotah in the Rajputana Agency)1822–32, then Superintendent to the Mysore Princes in 1836, before being appointed Resident at Lucknow in 1839. Meanwhile, his military career progressed through seniority: regimental Captain 1818, Major 1823, Lieutenant-Colonel 1829, Brevet Colonel 1834.
Caulfeild left India on furlough in 1841, and never returned. Promoted to Major-General in 1841 and Lieutenant-General in 1851, he was a Director of the East India Company 1848–51, and stood for Parliament, unsuccessfully contesting the seat of Abingdon in 1845 and 1847 before finally winning it in July 1852. Caulfeild's career as a Member of Parliament was short, however, because he died at Copsewood, Pallaskenry, County Limerick, on 4 November 1852.

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

Major James Caulfeild presented this document to the Royal Asiatic Society on 3 November 1827 to help Fellows understand the manuscript of Pṛthvīrāja-rāsau that he was donating to the Society. This is recorded in the "Donations Register, 1823-1827", p.94, and also in the General Meeting Minutes for that date found in the "Minutes of the General Meetings, January 1827-March 1830", p.35.

Archivist's Note

This material was 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 material was written and presented to the Royal Asiatic Society by James Caulfeild.

Related Material

The manuscript, Pṛthvīrāja-rāsau, still forms part of the Society's collections. It is described in the catalogue as:
Pṛthvīrāja-rāsau [RAS Tod MS 120]. By: Cand Bardāī.
Publisher: 19th century CE (18--? CE)
Description: 110, 18, 198, 6, 3, 8, 2, 3, 5, 7, 11, 11, 8, 90, 132, 110 f.; 36 x 24 cm.
Other title: Pṛthvīrājarāsau | Prithviraj raso.
Subject(s): Rajput (Indic people) - Kings and rulers
General note: Paper; text in black ink, with occasional use of red; coloured floral decoration on edges of text block. Indian binding with flap and broken clasp (possibly silver), covered with red brocade flowered silk. Text is preceded by a full page fine Rajput style portrait of Prthvi-Raja, seated with bow, arrows and shield, pasted on to the leaf preceding the text. Text is ascribed to Cand Bardai. Copied by various scribes under the patronage of Maharajas Kishore Singh and Bhim Singh. The colophon of prastāva 36 (Haṃsāvatī-vivāha) gives the scribe's name as Gulāb and the date as Samvat 1883, Jeṭh kṛṣṇa Sauma in the reign of Kiśor Singh. The colophons of pr. 38 and 43 mention Bhīm Singh as reigning. The final colophon gives the date as Samvat 1883, uttarāyana, Vaiśākha śudi 4, Guruvāra, and the place as the temple in Kota. Inscription inside manuscript: 'Presented to the Royal Asiatic Society, by Major J. Caulfeild. Nov. 3, 1827'. Tod Manuscript Collection. See L. D. Barnett 'Catalogue of the Tod Collection of Indian manuscripts in the possession of the Royal Asiatic Society', Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1940, Pt. 2, p.155. See also unpublished catalogue of the RAS Tod manuscripts by Dr. Rima Hooja, 2002, held in the RAS library. Major James Caulfeild, gift, 3 November 1827. Text in Rajasthani.
The document within these papers became English Manuscript II-13 and is described in the Catalogue of English Manuscripts, p.27.


Geographical Names