British East India Company

Durbar of the Rajah of Travancore, Reception of General Outram and Staff

This coloured engraving shows an assemblage at the Travancore royal court with  James Outram and his staff  and Maharaja of Travancore, Uthram Thirunal Marthanda Varma (1814-1860). General James Outram was appointed as a political agent in Lucknow in 1854 and became the region’s first commissioner after the annexation of Oudh State. He was a British… Read more »

Martiniere, Lucknow

This photograph of La Martiniere, the oldest college in Lucknow, was taken by photographer Felice Beato (1832-1909) in 1858. General Claude Martine (1735–1800), a Frenchman, constructed La Martinere in 1795. It was intended to be a country home and was given the original name Constantia. The place was later converted into a college and served… Read more »

Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire

Historical Fragments of the Mogul Empire by Robert Orme (1728–1801) was Orme’s last publication. This edition of the book was published posthumously. In this, Orme describes the story of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb (1618–1707), and his efforts to conquer the Deccan. He focuses mainly on the expanding Maratha power under Chhatrapati Shivaji (1630-1680) and the onset of British… Read more »

Tellicherry on the coast of Malabar

This is a view of Tellicherry on the coast of Malabar in the Kannur district. This view was originally illustrated by James Forbes (1749-1819) who arrived in Bombay as a 16-year-old in February 1766 and departed 17 years later after occupying several administrative posts with the East India Company. Only around the end of the… Read more »

Major Eyre driving the Oude rebels from Allahabad

This engraving depicts the battle scene between the British troops led by Major Vincent Eyre and the Oudh (Oude) rebel forces in Allahabad (now, Prayagraj). The revolt of 1857 was a crucial point in India’s colonial history, marking the first widespread form of resistance to the rule of the British East India Company. It spread… Read more »

Fugitive British officers and their families attacked by mutineers

This engraving depicts British officers, a woman and a child facing the rebel soldiers while escaping during the revolt of 1857-58. The revolt of 1857 was a crucial moment in India’s colonial past and the first widespread and semi-structured form of rebellion against the rule of the British East India company. It was widespread across… Read more »

Colonel Platt killed by the mutineers at Mhow

This engraving portrays a morbid scene depicting the shooting of Colonel John Platt of the 23 Regiment Bengal Native Infantry and Station Commander Mhow by the mutineers in 1857. Mhow in Madhya Pradesh was a critical battlefield during the Rebellion of 1857 in Central India. On July 1, 1857, the revolt reached Mhow, when numerous… Read more »

Disarming the 11th Irregular Cavalry at Berhampore in 1857

This engraving depicts scenes from the disarming of cavalry of soldiers by the British units at Berhampur in present-day West Bengal during the revolt of 1857. On the 27th of February 1857, Berhampur (now Berhampore) was one of the first places of sepoy insurrection in the British cantonments at Barrack Square, when the 19th Native… Read more »

Mowbray Road, Madras

This photograph, from the late 19th century, is of the Mowbray Road in Madras (Chennai), Tamil Nadu. The long avenue lined with trees on either side got its name after a house built by George Moubray, the Moubray’s Cupola (presently, the Madras Club). George Moubray served the EIC (East India Company) and was the first… Read more »

A voyage from England to India, in the year MDCCLIV

A voyage from England to India was published in the late 18th century and contains two large folding maps and 13 etched illustrations. It recollects Edward Ives’s (1719-1786) service in India with the British Army. Edward Ives was a surgeon on board the flagship Kent, commanded by Charles Watson (1714-1757). The travelogue chronicles Ives’ remarks… Read more »

Wanderings of a Pilgrim, in search of the Picturesque, Vol I

This mid 19th-century book by Fanny Parkes Parlby is an account that illustrates her independent travels in India. Fanny Parkes, born as Frances Susanna Archer in 1794, arrived in Calcutta from England in 1822 and eventually set out on solo explorations, sometimes on horseback or a boat, across India. She pieced together her account from… Read more »

Fort St. David with the French Attack, May 1758

The Fort St. David in Cuddalore, Tamil Nadu, was originally a British headquarters for southern India, as seen on this map. It was attacked by the French forces led by Dupleix. The fort was renovated by the French in 1782, but then it was captured by the British in 1785. The map highlights the areas… Read more »

Trails & Tales

According to the prevailing view of cartography experts, maps can be categorised into two types: topographic or general maps, which might help you find your way around an area, and thematic maps, which serve to highlight specific features or a particular event, for eg, a battle plan. Regardless of their type, all maps tell a… Read more »

Narrative of the Indian Revolt

The Revolt of 1857 was a large-scale display of active resistance against the British East India Company. It was the first time British dominance on the Indian subcontinent was so evidently called into question. The book illustrates and describes the uprising, narrated by Colin Cambell, Commander-in-Chief in India (1846-1853), mostly based on official letters, dispatches… Read more »

Premier Tableau: Taking of the Fort and City of Seringapatam, 4th may 1799

This Engraving by French illustrator and engraver Jean Duplessis-Bertaux is the Premier Tableau that depicts the siege of Seringapatam on the 4th of May, 1799. Jean Duplessis-Bertaux’s famous works include many representations of scenes of the French Revolution. Tipu Sultan’s formidable fortress at Seringapatam was breached after a month of relentless attacks by the British… Read more »

Charge of HM 14th Light Dragoons at the Battle of Ramnuggur

The Battle of Ramnagar which took place between British and Sikh forces during the 2nd Sikh War (1848-1849) incurred great losses for the British. Fought on the banks of the river Chenab in Punjab on 22 November 1848, the battle had resulted in an unambiguous victory for the Sikh forces. Yet, this engraving which depicts… Read more »

Storming of Seringapatanam (triptych)

A mezzotint engraving produced by John Vendramini, this triptych illustrates three episodes from the final victory of the British over the Mysore state during the 4th Anglo-Mysore War (1798-99). Spanning nine feet across, it was created after a painting by Sir Robert Ker Porter, one of the first artists to depict this landmark episode in… Read more »