The Bhugola was presented to the Lewis Evans Collections in 1927, but the precise identity of the donor is not easy to establish.
The two manuscript sheets, kept inside the Bhugola, are inscribed with: ‘Plan of Globe/ pres. To the L. Evans Collection/ by Captain [?] Cobb of Oakhurst, Baughurst.’ The letter or letters between the words ‘captain’ and ‘Cobb’ are not possible to make out – but one possibility is a letter ‘B’, struck through twice as if in an attempt to delete an error.
We certainly know that there was a Cobb family associated with the village of Baughurst in Hampshire. One candidate for a likely donor could be Evelyn Hay Cobb of Baughurst (1899-1972), who held the rank of captain in 1927 (the year in which the Bhugola entered the collection) (see the London Gazette, 4th July 1925: 4956), and who spent much of his career in India. His younger brother, Edwyn Harlan Wolstenholme Cobb (1902-1956) also spent much of his career in India, but did not become a captain until c. January 1934. Their father was a William Hey Cobb (1863-1936), who served in the Indian Civil Service, but appears not to have held a military rank.
The donor is recorded in the Museum’s annual report for 1927 as ‘Captain W.H.Cobb’. In the absence of any trace of such a person with such a rank and an association with Baughurst, we may perhaps entertain the possibility that an error in transcription was made by whoever compiled the annual report.
As to how the Bhugola entered the possession of any of the likely donors, I can find no trace - but it seems reasonable to assume that it was acquired on service in India.
- Inventory no. 51703 - Reference
- Indian Bhugola
- Article in Museum Publication : Sphaera No. 4 (Autumn 1996) 'Sphere No. 4 : the 'Bhugola'
- Inventory no. 51703 - Former Display Label