Centre of South Asian Studies


Handlist of Papers - N


Given by Dr. K. Nagarajan

Madras: 1900-1957

Envelope l Collection of personal letters, 1928-1957, written to him in Pudukkottai. 33pp.

Envelope 2 Letters concerning the University of Madras 1953 and personal matters 1954-1956. 78pp.

Lawyer at Large 3 vols. Vol. I. Although the author is a practicing lawyer, his journal as he himself terms it, is not so much a biography as a 'log' describing the interesting, often eccentric, people whom he has encountered throughout his life. Individuals are described with a sly, but kindly sense of humour and by frequent recourse to literary analogies. His discursive style complements the unwieldy material of his journal which is a melange of anecdotes concerning his father who was head of Police in Pudukkottai state, Indian princes and officials, humbler Indians, and a variety of English men and women who were working and living in India, particularly his English lecturers at College who were mainly Oxford men. There are many digressions on religious duties, mythology, superstitions particularly concerning astrology and also the history, recent and remote of Pudukkottai state. Throughout past and present are interwoven as one. He speaks of cave temples and shrines with their ancient frescoes and bronzes and legends of the Chola and Pandya Kings and in the same breath makes references to contemporary events both domestic and political. He describes his English orientated schooling first at Raja's College, Pudukkottai and then at Madras Christian College. Only at the end of Vol. I. when he comes, on his own admission, unwillingly to the Bar does he become factual when he describes his personal involvement in the administration of justice in Pudukkottai State.

Vol. II. Opens with his work as a lawyer in Pudukkottai. Describes difficulties encountered in administration of the State caused by the Rajah's marriage to an Australian girl and subsequent arguments. concerning the succession. Early in 1930 goes to Rangoon in his capacity as a lawyer. Descriptions of Burma, its people and its economy. In 1931 there are riots in Pudukkottai over municipal taxes. Ends with generalised comments on Indian politics. Rioters are sent for trial. In 1935 he comes to England as secretary to delegation headed by Sir Annamalai Chettiar for discussions between India and Burma. Describes sea voyage and his impressions of London. Has a meeting with R.A. Butler, Under Secretary of State, to put Indian case. Also meets Lord Winterton, Lord Hailey and Sir Samuel Hoare and discusses with them problems concerning Indian States and Government of India Bill. Describes session in House of Commons during. which Winston Churchill was an active speaker on India Bill. His comments on English attitudes. Describes various excursions into English countryside also to Oxford and to Scotland. Goes to Paris to discuss with French Minister for the Colonies problems concerning Chettiars (see p.265,. Vol.II). Visits Berlin and is conscious of military activity and power of Hitler. Back in India he describes debates in Legislative Assembly at New Delhi concerning Indian immigration and disputes with Burma. He is involved in these discussions. After Second World War he is still involved in debates on Burma. In 1939 works on discussions on new Income Tax Bill. In 1941 is nominated a Syndic of Annamalai University. Describes at length various aspects of University, its teaching staff and students. Ends Vol.II with anecdotes of leading Indian figures in legal world.

Vol.III After mainly factual account of his work in Vol. II he returns to anecdote style of Vol. I. Refers. at length to work of Pudukkottai Legislative Council. Mentions visit in 1937 of Pundit Jawaharlal Nehru to Pudukkottai. In 1945 is appointed State Vakil and Public Prosecutor in Pudukkottai. Soil erosion becomes a problem in the State. Philosophical digression at length on India in 1940s, Indian independence, and the partition of India and Pakistan. He refers to recent past with special reference to Princely States and compares it with contemporary situation. On 3 March 1948, State of Pudukkottai becomes defunct as it is embraced into Indian Union. Looking back he refers at length to Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba, and reviews his life and influence. In 1949 comes to Britain for a short holiday. Visits Oxford and meets University members. Also goes to Trinity College, Dublin and amongst others he meets Ethel Mannin, the novelist. Returns to London and Works in British Museum for a lecture on Development of Novel in India which he is to deliver to Royal Asiatic and Pakistan Society. Returns to India and his legal work and the transition of Pudukkottai State in the Indian Union. After merger he is appointed Special Public Prosecutor in a case involving Koravars. In 1953 is engaged to defend a petitioner in an election case. Reminiscences on his friendship with Milton Brown. Refers to dussera and its connected festivities and to His Holiness Sri Sankavacharya and his preaching. Philosophical digression on religion. Digresses at length on Delhi, its history and character. In 1963 accompanies his son who goes to Bonn as First Secretary, Education, to Embassy of India. Describes journey on Italian boat and passengers, amongst them the Prime Minister of Australia. Description of Bonn and Rhineland. Visits Switzerland and Britain.


(R.B. Naish, C.C.S.)

Thirty-two letters from Naish to his mother written while he was stationed at Gape, Ceylon, and staying at the New Oriental Hotel, 24 January 1915-6 August 1916. The letters recount day to day happenings both work and personal matters. (Some pages are missing.)

Four letters to his mother written while he was stationed at Avissawella 27 August-1 October 1916. Work as magistrate, description of his bungalow, procession at Kandy, his appointment as Extra Office Assistant to the Government Agent at Jaffna. (First page only of letter dated 1 October 1916.)

Letter from Jaffna dated 3 December 1916 reports that he has been transferred to Kurunegala; fails his examination in Sinhalese.

Twenty-four letters from Kurunegala to his mother 12 December 1916-21 October 1918. Details of his work and life, and people he meets; installation of telephone (Some pages missing.)

Four letters from Coonoor, South India, written to his mother 7 November-26 November 1918. Visit to India on leave; description of journey; news of the armistice; no possibility of home leave until 1921 because of shortage of staff.

Three letters from Gampola, 6 December 1918 - 12 January 1919. Return journey to Ceylon.

Letter from Tangalle to his mother and father, dated 24 September 1922. Trip to Julampitiya with other officials to investigate a murder.

Two letters from Batticaloa, 6 May 1923 and 14 June 1925. On tour in his district; cutting from newspaper with obituary of Sir William Twynam; cholera epidemic; description of the Veddah Festival of Perija Deva; plan of his bungalow.

Copy of a talk given by Naish to the Inverness Rotary Club in 1936 on the subject of his work as a member of the Civil Service with a description of Ceylon. TS 18 pp.

Cuttings (from either the Ceylon Observer or The Times of India about 1922) - printed copies of letters from Kegalle, Ceylon, in early days of coffee-planting, 1842-47.

Letters relate difficulties in early days of coffee-planting, methods, wages and finance generally. Comment on competition from slave-grown coffee.



(H.E. Newnham, C.M.G., C.C.S.)

Small Collections Box 18

'Report on the relief of distress due to sickness and shortage of food, September 1934 to December 1935', by H.E. Newnham. Colombo, Ceylon Government Press, 1936. Sessional Paper V.

Cutting from The Times showing the unveiling of the memorial to the Colonial Service, March 1966.

Cutting from The Ceylon Observer, 12 May 1963, of an article by R.L. Brohier on 'Law - in the last days of the Sinhalese kings.'

Article from the Bulletin of the European Association of Ceylon, July 1951 on 'Just gun licences' by H.E. Newnham.

Letter to Professor Ludowyk, 5 November 1962, from W.T. Stace; contains criticisms of Ludowyk's book Story of Ceylon. TS 3 pp.

Letter to Mr. Smith, 8 January 1965, from H.E. Newnham, concerning W.T. Stace.

Cutting from the New York Times, August 1967 - obituary of Dr. Walter T. Stace.

Three letters from Professor E.F.C. Ludowyk, 25 January, 31 January and 8 February 1965, on Ceylon. TS.

Letter to Mr. Hulugalle from H.E. Newnham, 9 June 1965, enclosing notes on Hulugalle's book British Governors of Ceylon. TS 10 pp.


Given by Miss E. Norman Butler.

Burma: 1917

Report of the Committee appointed to ascertain and advise how The Imperial idea may be inculcated and fostered in Schools and Colleges in Burma. Rangoon. Government Printer, Burma 1917.
Stored with Official Publications Collection: G (591):37


(Miss P. Norton-Griffiths)

Small Collections Box 18

Given by Sir Peter Norton-Griffiths, Bt.

Bengal, Bombay: 1928-1929

A complete set of instructions to guests, seating plans, table plans, lists of guests, menus, engagement diaries, speeches etc. collected by Miss Phoebe Norton-Griffiths when she visited India in 1928-9 to stay with the Governors of Bengal and Bombay, and the Viceroy at Delhi.


Extract from The Journal of The Society of Arts, May 1981

The Sir George Birdwood Memorial Lecture by Gavin Stamp, M.A., Ph.D.

'British Architecture in India 1857-1947' delivered to the Commonwealth Section of the Society, 10 February 1981. Illustrated with photographs by Gerald Cobb and Penelope Chetwode. 12pp.