Sir Henry Sumner Maine

Sir Henry Sumner Maine K.C.S.I. [Knight Commander of the Star of India] has a black and white marble memorial on the wall of the west aisle of the north transept of Westminster Abbey. This shows a portrait relief and is by the sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm. The inscription around the relief reads;

Sir Henry Sumner Maine K.C.S.I. 1822-1888

and at the base:

Member of the Council of India, Master of Trinity Hall, Cambridge

and below, translated from the Latin:

He searched out the jurisprudence of the ancients, established new laws for India, and revealed to his followers the fountain-heads of the justice of olden times

He was born on 15th August 1822, a son of James, of Kelso in Scotland, and his wife Eliza (Fell). He was educated at Christ's Hospital School and Cambridge university. He became regius professor of civil law and worked as a lawyer and lecturer. In 1847 he married Jane Main. His reputation as a jurist was established by the publication of Ancient Law. In 1871 he was knighted and was a legal member of the Council of India and professor of international law. He died on 3rd February 1888 at Cannes in France and was buried there. His son Charles died soon after him.

Further reading

Oxford Dictionary of National Biography 2004


15th August 1822


3rd February 1888




North Transept

Memorial Type


Material Type


Sir Henry Sumner Maine
Sir Henry Sumner Maine by Lowes Cato Dickinson

[Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Sir Henry Sumner Maine
Sir Henry Sumner Maine memorial

This image can be purchased from Westminster Abbey Library

Image © 2022 Dean and Chapter of Westminster