Central Asia. He was once more appointed a member of the India council on 9 Oct. 1868, a post which he held till his death. His wide knowledge of the East, natural sagacity, high intellectual powers, and commanding personal influence and reputation gave extraordinary weight to his counsels. His other official duties comprised attendance on the shah of Persia during his visits to England in 1873 and 1889, and service as royal commissioner for the Paris exposition of 1878 and the India and colonial exhibition of 1886, and as trustee of the British Museum from 1876 till his death. He was given the grand cross of the Bath on 23 July 1889, and created a baronet on 6 Feb. 1891, on Lord Salisbury's recommendation, ‘in recognition of his distinguished service to the state, stretching over a long series of years.’
In his last years Rawlinson was much occupied in the work of learned societies. Of the Royal Asiatic Society, before which he read numerous papers, he was elected director for life in 1862, and was also president from 1878 to 1881. He was likewise president, in 1871–2 and 1874–5, of the Royal Geographical Society, of which he had been a member since 1844; and he frequently contributed to its ‘Journal’ and ‘Proceedings.’ In 1874 he was president of the London Oriental Congress. As trustee of the British Museum he lent his influence to the support of the numismatic collections, and himself possessed a cabinet of Greek and Bactrian coins, some of which were published by W. S. W. Vaux in the ‘Numismatic Chronicle’ (vol. xiii. p. 70, cp. xiii. 11, xviii. 137). Besides honours already mentioned, he received the Prussian Order of Merit, and the honorary degrees of doctor of laws of Oxford (1850), Cambridge (1862), and Edinburgh; was a correspondent (1875) and afterwards (1887) foreign member of the French Académie des Inscriptions, and honorary member of the Vienna Academy of Sciences and the Munich Academy.
Personally, Rawlinson was a fine specimen of the old school of Anglo-Indian officials, a survival of a great tradition—soldier, scholar, and man of the world. To strangers he was in manner somewhat imperious and abrupt; to his friends he was large-hearted and generous. He died on 5 March 1895. He married Louisa, daughter of Henry Seymour of Knoyle, Wiltshire (she died on 31 Oct. 1889), and left two sons, of whom Henry Seymour succeeded him in the baronetcy.
A large photograph of Rawlinson is in the Royal Asiatic Society's rooms in Albemarle Street, London.
While still a consul he had revised, for the British Museum (1851), the second half of the early cuneiform texts discovered by Layard, and after his return home he prepared for the trustees of the British Museum, with the assistance, in succession, of Edwin Norris [q. v.], George Smith, and Mr. T. G. Pinches, the six volumes of the ‘Cuneiform Inscriptions of Western Asia’ (1861–80, 2nd edit. of vol. iv. 1891).
His valuable papers in the ‘Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society,’ some of which were issued separately, include, besides the Behistun volumes of 1846–53: ‘Inscriptions of Assyria and Babylonia’ (chiefly the Birs Nimrud), 1850; ‘Outline of the History of Assyria, as collected from the Inscriptions discovered by A. H. Layard,’ 1852, of which Rawlinson wrote that it was drawn up ‘in great haste, amid torrents of rain, in a little tent upon the mound of Nineveh, without any aids beyond a pocket bible, a notebook of inscriptions, and a tolerably retentive memory’ (letter to the secretary of the Royal Asiatic Society, Nineveh, 11 April 1852); it was translated into German in 1854; ‘Notes on the early History of Babylonia,’ 1854; ‘The Birs Nimrud Inscription,’ 1861; ‘Bilingual Readings, Cuneiform and Phœnician,’ 1865.
His chief papers for the Royal Geographical Society were: ‘Notes on a March from Zoháb, at the foot of Zagros, along the mountains to Khúzistán (Susiana), and from thence through the province of Luristan to Kirmánsháh, in the year 1836’ (Journal, ix. 26, 1839); ‘Notes on a Journey from Tabriz through Persian Kurdistán, to the Ruins of Takhti-Soleïman, and from thence by Zenján and Tárom to Gilán, in October and November 1838; with a Memoir on the Site of the Atropatenian Ecbatana, Map’ (Journal, x. 1, 1840); ‘Notes on the Ancient Geography of Mohamrah and the Vicinity’ (Journal, xxvii. 185, 1857; map, vol. xxvi. 131); ‘Observations on the Geography of Southern Persia, with reference to the pending Military Operations’ (Proceedings, old ser. i. 280, 1857); ‘Notes on Moham'rah and the Chaab Arabs, &c.’ (Proceedings, i. 351, 1857); ‘Notes on the Direct Overland Telegraph to India’ (Proceedings, v. 219, 1861); ‘Observations on two Memoirs recently published by M. Veniukof on the Pamir Region and the Bolor Country in Central Asia’ (Proceedings, x. 134, 1866); ‘On Trade Routes between Turkestan and India’ (Proceedings, xiii. 10, 1869); ‘Monograph on the Oxus’ (Journal, xlii. 482, 1872); ‘Notes on Seistán,’ map (Journal, xliii. 272, 1873); ‘On Badakhshán and Wakhán’ (Proceedings, xvii. 108, 1873); ‘The Road to Merv,’ map (Proceedings, new ser. i. 161, 1879).
Rawlinson contributed learned notes to his