Henry Cousens, Kaisir-i-Hind Medal

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Henry Cousens, Kaisir-i-Hind Medal

Birthplace: Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK
Death: November 05, 1933 (79)
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England (United Kingdom) (Heart Attack - Angina Pectoris and Arteria Sclerosis)
Immediate Family:

Son of Henry Cousens and Margaret Fitzmaurice
Husband of Marion Bryce Cousens
Father of Henry James Morrison Cousens; Gordon Bryce Seymour Cousens, Major, M.C.; Ellen "Nell" Jane Morrison Everett and Marion (Mysie) Bryce McG.Cousens
Brother of Sarah Mary Cousens; John George Cousens; Charles Edward Cousens; Emma Cousens; James Frederick William Cousens and 2 others
Half brother of Frances Seymour Cousens

Occupation: Civil Engineer, Superintendent, Archaological Survey of Western India, Artist and Photographer
Managed by: Private User
Last Updated:

About Henry Cousens, Kaisir-i-Hind Medal

Born 1854 September 13th, Paisley, Scotland.

(Source Baptism Certificate)

Baptised 1854 September 24th, in Trinity Episcopal Church, Paisley, Scotland.

  • Father Henry Cousens- Private, Sappers and Miners - and
  • Mother Margaret Fitzmaurice:
  • living at 26 George Street, Paisley.

His father was one of the first two Sappers trained in the new field of photozincography for the Government of India.

1861 England Census Record:

61 Devon Lane, Southampton, Hampshire, Parish of St. Mary (Note spelling transcription error in family name)

  • Henry Cousons (father) 34 born c. 1827 Titchfield, Hampshire, England
  • Margaret Cousons (mother) 37 born c.1824 Island of Leylon (Ceylon?) [Irish, nee Margaret Fitzmaurice, Jan 31 1822]
  • Henry Cousons 6 born Scotland (Paisley)
  • Charles Edward Cousons 3, born c. 1858 Southampton, Hampshire, England
  • Emma Cousons 9 Mo, born c. 1860, Southampton, Hampshire, England

Trained in Civil Engineering and Building Construction.

Archaological Surveyor,


Talented Artist:

 '''Won first prize for seven years''' for his paintings at the''' Bombay Academy Society's Annual Exhibition'''- later, in his retirement, his paintings were accepted at the Royal Academy of Art Exhibit in London.  He painted many Tunbridge Wells area scenes.   (Photos of some of his paintings of Indian and English scenes are included in his Geni photo section).

Much of his life's work centers on his

"Archaological Survey of India"

(http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/DS416. A3/photographer.html - British Library, Digital South Asia Library).  The British Library has 855 photos by him with excellent information at http://www.collectbritain.co.uk/search/advanced.cfm

30 photos of his works at http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/DS416.A3/allphotos

1874 Worked for the Bombay Survey (a letter written by James Burgess. Superintendent, in 1883 indicates that he had worked for them for nine years)

1881, 16 Nov Joined (Indian) Archaeological Survey Department

1882, June 7 - Married Marion Bryce Morrison, Spinster, d. of James Thomson Morrison, by License. Chaplain Joseph Higgins, Christ Church, Byculla, Diocese and Archdeaconry of Bombay, India. [Source: Register Book of Marriages, Christ Church, Byculla - also recorded with FIBIS]

15 December 1883, Letter from James Burgess, Archaeological Surveyor, Western and Southern India to the Madras Government, dated Ahmadabad, Madras pub. proc., 24 December 1883, No. 2420, p.107, IOR/P/2118): "In order to secure the best possible photographs of the Amaravati sculptures for my report on these remains, I have arranged to send Mr H. Cousens, my First Assistant in the Bombay Survey, to take them. Mr Cousens has been 9 years in the survey, and knows exactly what to do and how to do it, securing the photographs to scale and attending to details which the mere ordinary professional photographer is not accustomed to. Moreover besides being better it will be much cheaper."

Read: http://asi.nic.in/asi_aboutus_history.asp

- Archaeological Survey of India History, which mentions Henry Cousens

After 1886 he supervised and trained Indian draughtsmen;

1886-7 and 1889-90 'Toured Northern Gujarat in , surveying and photographing.

Non-gazetted appointments until 1890;

Archaeological Surveyor, Western India, Poona, 1 10.1890;

May 1891 - April 1892. From the beginning of May until 4 November 1891, 'the establishment was occupied at head-quarters, Poona, chiefly in inking and preparing drawings for photo-lithography.'

May 1891 Cousens visited Bijapur in to organise the Museum in the Yaqut Mahal' 24.6.1891 Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Bombay (Poona)

Oct 21st 1891 at their home - Bhamburds House, Poona, - fourth child - daughter Marion (Mysie) was born

May 1894 The months of May-November were occupied in office work at Poona, mainly involving the finishing of drawings plotted in outline in the field. "This completed, practically, all unfinished drawings in hand and we were free for new work at the end of the monsoon season."

Cousens had received notification from the Government of India in May 1894 that the Hyderabad government were anxious for an architectural survey to be undertaken in the Nizam's territories, and it was arranged that Cousens would start the work on 1 December 1894

Dec 1894 -31.8.1895 Deputation to Hyderabad State

[see http://dsal.uchicago.edu/books/DS416.A3/photographer.html: British - Digital South Asia - Library OIOC Photographic Database -

  • Cousens, Henry (b. 13 Sep 1854; d. Tunbridge Wells, 1933).
  • Areas: India
  • 1.9.1895; Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Western Circle (Poona),11.2.1906; officiating as Director General of Archaeology, Simla, 14.4.1906 Civil engineer. Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of India, Western Circles and photographed sites for the survey (particularly Gujarat). After 1886 he supervised and trained Indian draughtsmen; retired 13.9.1910, after 'three months short of 35 years service.'Toured Northern Gujarat in 1886-7 and 1889-90, surveying and photographing. Works by Cousens at: SW 266/12; SW 196/46; X 373; SW196/32; V 7970; SW 196/37. IOR/V/12/11; Brief obituary in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1934 Author: (with James Burgess), The architectual antiquities of Northern Gujarat, more especially of the districts included in the Baroda State (vol. IX of The Archaeological Survey of Western India, London, 1903, IOL pressmark SW 196/32).
  • Will of H. Cousens of Tunbridge Wells in Times of 30 December 1933, p. 13e. Left gross assets of Pounds Sterling 1,200.]

See also - http://worldcat.org/identities/lccn-n50018010/


1.9.1895 Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Bombay (Poona) (When not in the field, the Archaeological Survey establishment was occupied at head-quarters, Poona, chiefly in inking and preparing drawings for photo-lithography.)'

1896 Henry talks about rediscovering a meteorite at the Gol Gumbaz in Bijapur in his magnum opus ‘Ruins of Bijapur City,’

1898 January 22 - British Astronomical Society photographer of total eclipse at Jeur, India

1901 Scottish Census - Cousens family were living at 33 University Avenue, Glasgow, Scotland. Census lists wife Marion age 41, Henry age 17, Gordon age 16, Nell age 12 and Mysie age 9. Census does not list Henry.

1901 Maharashtra is the third largest state of India. "Maharashtra's largest and most progressive museum owes its origins to the resolution of the Government of India.

'In 1901, Henry Cousens succeeded in setting up a brief exhibition at the Town Hall, Bombay in 1901. The visit by the Prince of Wales in 1905 served as a catalyst in crystallizing plans for a museum called The Prince of Wales Museum of Western India"

COUSENS, H. 1905.

  • Report to Marshall. File No. 26, Serial nos. 1-11. May 1905. New Delhi: Archaeological Survey of India.

11.2.1906 Superintendent, Archaeological Survey, Western Circle (Poona being the headquarters)

14.4.1906 Director-General of Archaeology, Simla,

Civil engineer. Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey of India, Western Circles and photographed sites for the survey (particularly Gujarat).


  • An Account of the Caves at Nadsur and Karsambia, pp 11, pl VII, Bombay 1891
  • Portfolio of Illustrations of Sind Tiles 1906. This was a great collection of 50 beautifully rendered and rare tiles from Sind by Henry Cousens. The tiles illustrated are from the Great Mosque at Thatta, now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Talpur Tombs in Hyderabad, and Abul Baki Purani’s mosque in Sukkur. Photo-Chromo-Lithographed by W. Griggs and Sons, Chromo-Lithographers to the King (of England). Issued by the Government of India.
  • Bijapur and its Architectural Remains, with historical outline (1913) 1916
  • The Antiquities of Sind, with historical outline (1925) 1929
  • The Chalukyan Architecture of the Kanarese Districts 1926 (Cousens: in the press)
  • The Architectural Antiquities of Western India (including many photographic plates) 1926 (copy signed to his daughter Mysie Tugwell, 12 March 1926) - Publisher "The India Society"
  • The Architectural Antiquities of Northern Gujarat - Burgess and Cousens - 1903
  • The Antiquities of the Town of Dabhoi in Gujarat - Burgess and Cousens - 1888
  • The Medieval Temples of the Dakhan 1931 (Cousens: in the press)
  • Somanatha, and Other Medieval Temples, in Kathiavad 1931 (Cousens: in the press)
  • Several guide books to places in India

Recipient of the Kaiser-i-Hind Gold Medal for his services in archaeological research and writings

(most famous recipient of this was Mohandas Gandhi)  This award was established by Queen Victoria in May 1900 for distinguished service in the advancement of the public interest in undivided India, then a part of British India*)

"Situated on the famous Crescent Site near the Gateway of India in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), is the landmark heritage building that houses the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. It is one of the most exquisite examples of the Indo-Saracenic architectural style for which the architect, George Wittet is well known. Designed in A.D. 1909, it filled the need for a quality museum in Western India, particularly to house artifacts excavated by HENRY COUSENS, a famous archaeologist and Superintendent of the Archaeological Survey at the time."

The Mohatta Palace Museum in Karachi, Sindh, Pakistan recently posted this reference: “Tale of the Tile: Ceramic Traditions of Pakistan,” “ This is followed by galleries devoted to the “grammar of the ornament,” composed of enlarged reproductions from an art historical text by Susan Stronge and an archaeological, documentary compilation by Henry Cousens. 

13 September 1910 Retired to Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, after 'three months short of 35 years service.

5 November 1933 Died of Heart Attack at home (3 Montacute Gardens, Broadwater Down, Tunbridge Wells (See Death Certificate)

30 December 1933 The Times of London , p. 13e: 1922 Will of H. Cousens of Tunbridge Wells. Wife Marion Executrix Left gross assets of British Pounds 1,200.

Brief obituary in the Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, 1934


  • The British Raj refers to the British rule of the Indian subcontinent, or present-day India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Myanmar, during which period these lands were under the colonial control of Britain as part of the British Empire.

Since the independence of these countries their pre-independent existence has been loosely termed British India, although prior to Independence that term referred only to those portions of the subcontinent under direct rule by the British administration in Delhi and previously Calcutta.

Much of the territory under British sway during this time was not directly ruled by the British, but were nominally independent Princely States which were directly under the rule of the Maharajas, Rajas, Thakurs and Nawabs who entered into treaties as sovereigns with the British monarch as their feudal superior. Aden was part of "British India" from 1839, as was Burma from 1886; both became separate crown colonies of the British Empire in 1937. It lasted from 1858, when the rule of the British East India Company was transferred to the Crown, until 1947, when pre-independence India was partitioned into two sovereign states, India and Pakistan.

Although Sri Lanka (then Ceylon) is peripheral to the Indian subcontinent, it is not counted part of the Raj, as it was ruled as a Crown Colony from London rather than by the Viceroy of India as a part of the Indian Empire. French India and Portuguese India consisted of small coastal enclaves governed by France and Portugal, respectively; they were integrated into India after Indian independence.


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Henry Cousens, Kaisir-i-Hind Medal's Timeline

September 13, 1854
Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, UK
September 24, 1854
Trinity Episcopal Church, Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland (United Kingdom)
May 4, 1883
Poona, India
February 14, 1885
Pune, Maharashtra, India

1885, 14 February - born at home - No. 11, Wanowrie Lines, Poona (now Pune), India - where his father was working for the Indian Government on the "Archaeological Survey of Western India" (as stated on his Birth Certificate, registered 17 February 1885 with the Cantonment Magistrate, Poona)

August 15, 1888
Hamilton House, Portobello, Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom
October 21, 1891
Bhamburds House, Poona, India
November 5, 1933
Age 79
Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England (United Kingdom)