Correspondence of Sir William Jones

Scope and Content

The Correspondence from William Jones to Samuel Davis consists of 37 letters collected into a brown leather bound book, approximately in date order. The introduction to the book states the letters are "chiefly concerning the Literature & Science of Asia; including some of the early history of the Asiatic Society of Calcutta." The correspondence reveals a lively communication from Jones to Davis and often concerning Davis interest in Indian astronomy.

Also within the book is a handwritten version of an introduction to these letters as printed in the "Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society Vol. III - Part I", 1831 in which all the letters were printed

The letters also contain one letter from Sir Joesph Banks to Samuel Davis thanking him for paper on the History of Astronomy which Banks had communicated to the Royal Society and remarks from a Mr Cavendish. These are handwritten and the letter is dated March 18th, 1790

The binding is broken and therefore care must be taken in using this material.

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

The letters from William Jones to Samuel Davis were presented to the Royal Asiatic Society by John Francis Davis, son of Samuel Davis, on June 19th, 1830

Alternative Form Available

The Letters were printed in the "Transactions of the Royal Asiatic Society Vol.III - Part I", 183, pp.1-31. This can be found online at

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