Keshub Chunder Sen

Date of birth: 
19 Nov 1838
City of birth: 
Country of birth: 
Current name city of birth: 
Date of death: 
08 Jan 1884
Location of death: 
Calcutta, India
Date of 1st arrival in Britain: 
21 Mar 1870
Dates of time spent in Britain: 

21 March 1870 - 17 September 1870


Keshub Chunder Sen was a Brahmo Samaj reformer. He visited Britain for six months in 1870. During this trip, Sen toured Britain to deliver sermons and met with a variety of political leaders, including W. E. Gladstone. Sen met Queen Victoria, who later presented him with two books.

On a visit to Bristol. Sen stayed at the house of Mary Carpenter. It was during this meeting that they decided to form the National Indian Association in aid of Social Progress, which was run by Carpenter in Britain.

Upon his return to India, Sen was involved in controversy when he arranged the marriage of his daughter (Sunity Devee) to the son of the Maharaja of Cooch Behar, despite the fact that she was only thirteen years old and violated the reforms that he and the Brahmo Samaj had been campaigning for.


Annette Beveridge (née Akroyd), Mary Carpenter, Frances Cobbe, Sophia Dobson Collett, Sunity Devee, John Stuart Mill, Friedrich Max Müller, Hodgson Pratt, Reverend Robert Spears.


Published works: 

Diary in England (Calcutta: Brahmo Tract Society, 1886)

Secondary works: 

Mozoomdar, P. C., Life and Teachings of Keshub Chunder Sen (Calcutta: J. W. Thomas, Baptist Mission Press, 1887)

Kopf, David, The Brahmo Samaj and the Shaping of the Modern Indian Mind (New Delhi: Archives Publishers, 1988)

Carpenter, J. Estlin, The Life and Work of Mary Carpenter (London: Macmillan, 1881)

Raychaudhury, Tapan, 'Sen, Keshub Chunder Sen (1838-1884)', Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, (Oxford University Press, 2004)  []  

Archive source: 

Photo, National Portrait Gallery

Letter to Rev. Robert Spears, Unitarian Minister, 1872, Mss Eur A159, Asian and African Studies Reading Room, British Library, St Pancras