Samuel Swinton Jacob

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Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur

Sir Samuel Swinton Jacob KCIE CVO (14 January 1841 – 4 December 1917) was a British Army officer and colonial engineer, architect and writer, best known for the numerous Indian public buildings he designed in the Indo-Saracenic style.

Early life and education[edit]

He was born in 1841 to Colonel William Jacob[1] (of the Bombay Artillery and a member of a distinguished military family) and Jane Swinton, granddaughter of Captain Samuel Swinton RN, who was the inspiration for the story of The Scarlet Pimpernel. He was educated at Cheam School and then at the East India Company Military College at Addiscombe where he was one of the last batch of graduates (graduating as an engineer in 1858).[2] (See Clan Swinton.)

Career[edit]

Jacob was commissioned into the Bombay Artillery in 1858, qualifying five years later as a surveyor and engineer. After initial service with the Bombay Staff Corps in the Public Works Department, and a brief spell with the Aden Field Force in 1865–6, he was appointed in 1867 as chief engineer of the state of Jaipur in Rajasthan, India.[3] He was to spend the remainder of his working life in this position until he retired at the age of 71.[1]

At the time he became chief engineer and took charge of the public works department of the Jaipur it had only been in existence for seven years, having been founded in 1860.

He was promoted to lieutenant-colonel on 6 February 1885,[4] and to Colonel on 26 February 1889.[5] Among his honours were the Kaisar-i-Hind Gold Medal for Public Service 9 November 1901.[6][7] On 26 June 1902, Jacob was made a Knight Commander of the Indian Empire.[8]

He was married to Mary Brown (daughter of Robert Brown of Edinburgh) from 1874 until his death.[1] He died at Weybridge on 4 December 1917.[1]

Architecture[edit]

Jacob's department was responsible for the construction of everything in the state of Jaipur ranging from walls, outhouses, guard houses, roads, canals to major public buildings.

Compared with many British officials in India he was noted for his respect for local building traditions and skills, which lead to his incorporating many Indian architectural features into his building designs. As a result he became – with F. S. Growse, Robert Fellowes Chisholm, Charles Mant, Henry Irwin, William Emerson, George Wittet and Frederick Stevens – a pioneer of the Indo-Saracenic style of architecture.

For the benefit of other contemporary architects, Jacob published from 1890–1913 the Jeypore portfolio of architectural details, containing numerous drawings, in 12 volumes.[9]

He had no sooner retired to England in 1911 then he was recruited by the secretary of state for India to assist Edwin Lutyens and Herbert Baker in the design of New Delhi. Failing health soon forced him to withdraw from the assignment.[1]

Notable buildings[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e The Times, 7 December 1917, Issue 41655. Obituary.
  2. ^ The Times, 11 December 1858, Issue 23174.
  3. ^ Colonel F. W. M. Spring, 'Bombay Artillery: List of Officers' (1902), entry 500.
  4. ^ London Gazette, 10 February 1885.
  5. ^ London Gazette, 26 February 1889.
  6. ^ The London Gazette: (Supplement) no. 27374. p. 7288. 9 November 1901.
  7. ^ The Times, 9 November 1901, Issue 36608.
  8. ^ SIR SAMUEL SWINTON JACOB KCIE CVO
  9. ^ Thomas R. Metcalfe, A Tradition Created: Indo-Saracenic Architecture under the Raj, in: History Today, Volume 32, Issue 9, 1982.
  10. ^ Antram, Nicholas; Morrice, Richard (2008). Brighton and Hove. Pevsner Architectural Guides. London: Yale University Press. p. 197. ISBN 978-0-300-12661-7. 
  11. ^ Sachdev/Tillotson, p. 118 s.
  12. ^ "College to poll office, a 123-year-old quiet journey". Hindustan Times. 12 May 2013. Retrieved 23 September 2013. 
  13. ^ http://www.ststephens.edu/StStephens/httpdocs/history/glimpses.htm. Retrieved 17 April 2008
  14. ^ WelcomHeritage Umed Bhawan Palace
  15. ^ Sachdev/Tillotson, p. 126 s.

Further reading[edit]