Sir PROBY CAUTLEY – REMINISCECES OF HIS HEADMASTER
RUSSELL, John (1786–1863), clergyman and headmaster. Autograph letter signed to Sir Proby Thomas Cautley, 3 sides of an 8vo bifolium, Devonshire Square, June 1 1855, thanking Cautley for a book sent to him and for his “very kind and affectionate note …… I have only one correction which I would offer. I never thought you a good for nothing Boy. I always thought and hoped well of you. Whether you should arrive at high honour I could not venture to prophesy. But I was fully assured that I was working where profit would come of the working …….. may you continue to go on as you have begun, adding to your honor, and reflecting it on the School which nurtured you”.
John Russell graduated from Christ Church Oxford, and was assistant master of Charterhouse from 1806-1811, and master from 1811 to 1832. His correspondent was Russell’s former pupil Sir Proby Thomas Cautley (1802–1871), a civil engineer and palaeontologist who made his name in India, notably in the construction of the Ganges Canal (one of the largest irrigation canals ever built) which was opened in 1854. He was actively involved in Hugh Falconer's fossil expeditions in the Siwalik Hills, publishing major works on the fossil fauna recovered, which finds he presented the British Museum (214 cases full of fossils were shipped back to England). Cautley was knighted for his services in India in 1854 and back in England was in 1858 appointed to the newly formed Council of India, which ruled in place of the East India Company after the Indian Mutiny of 1857.