This showroom contains a selection of manuscripts connected with India, including letters signed by Viceroys and officers' commissions. Last updated 8th March 2018. To enquire about any item please e-mail  or telphone 01242 576767 or 07966 176839.      For an updated version please visit our new website:

Letter from the Viceroy, Lord Lansdowne to the Begum of Bhopal, 1891 10011

A formal letter signed by the Viceroy, the Marquess of Lansdowne, to Nawab Shah Jahan Begam, G.C.S.I., C.I., of Bhopal, 1891. A manuscript letter written in palace script on two sides of a parchment bifolium, embossed in gold with the Viceroy’s royal coat of arms, addressed to Her Highness Nawab Shah Jahan Begam, G.C.S.I., C.I,. of Bhopal dated Fort William, The 14th January 1891 and signed Lansdowne. This is a formal letter thanking the ruler for her letters of the 30th December 1890 “conveying your kind good wishes for the New Year.” There are needle holes to the gutter margin where the letter has been sewn into a folder, otherwise it is in excellent clean condition with just the usual two horizontal fold marks. It is accompanied by a Persian letter giving the translation.

East India Company Indenture for a Member of the Civil Service, 1856 11029

Dated 8 Feby. 1856 Counterpart COVENANT Mr Arthur Ramsay Macdonald MEMBER OF THE CIVIL SERVICE AT THE PRESIDENCY OF Bombay. A fine and large counterpart indenture printed on three sides of a folded elephant folio [each side 13 x 19ins] engraved at the head with the arms of the East India Company, setting out the detailed terms and requirements imposed on Arthur Ramsay Macdonald upon his appointment to the Bombay Presidency. Deliberately cut irregularly along the top edge to form the counterpart to the one signed by Macdonald and retained by the Company, this part with the Company’s paper seal attached at the end. One horizontal and two vertical folds allowing the document to be folded to display its printed title with manuscript insertions, fine clean condition, the margin with embossed duty stamps for 5/- and 2/6d A very scarce and attractive piece of East India Company ephemera from the end of the Company era. Arthur Ramsay Macdonald of Sandside, Caithness was in 1859 Asst 3rd Class to Collector & Magistrate Hyderabad and in 1871 Asst Magistrate Tanna.

A signed letter from Sir John Lawrence, Viceroy, to the Begum of Bhopal. 1867 01039

Sir John Lawrence (1865-69) A formal letter written in palace script on two side of a plain bifolium addressed to Nawab Sekunder Begum, Knight Grand Commander of the Most Exalted Order of the Star of India, Bhopal dated Fort William 9th April 1867 and signed John Lawrence, thanking her for some samples of her handiwork and expressing an interest in the Victoria School which the Begum had recently established. Stab sewn into a simple folder with a manuscript letter in a secretarial hand from the Governor of Bombay on the same subject. This letter is dated Bombay Castle, 5th March 1867 and signed H.B.E. Frere. This letter refers to the school as the Victoria Madrissa and thanks the Begum for her gift of some worsted work which he and Lady Frere propose to take back to England with them. The folder contains some 24 other letters in Persian. Half of these have some gold leaf decoration, one has a contemporary marginal note in English to the effect that it is from Raghuraj Singh Bahadur, Maharaja of Rewah, K.C.S.I. and some of the others have inked seals and signatures. Sir Bartle Frere [1815-1884] went on to Governor of Cape Colony where his handling of the Zulu War led to much criticism in England from Galdstone and others.

An autograph letter signed by the Viceroy, Lord Lansdowne, to the the Begum of Bhopal, 1893 10040

A personal letter addressed to Her Highness The Begum of Bhopal, G.C.S.I., C.I., &c &c &c written in the Viceroy’s own hand on three sides of a sheet of folded writing paper embossed in blue with the address Government House, Calcutta, dated Dec 31st 1893 and signed Lansdowne, in which he announces his imminent departure from office, thanks the Begum for the message she had given him for Queen Victoria when she had visited Lansdowne at Simla, and adds Lady Lansdowne’s good wishes. The letter has two horizontal folds and is fastened to an old album sheet by glue to part of the final blank page: there is a small fold to the lower margin fore edge and a small section of the top gutter margin is glued together partially obscuring a couple of words. Personal letters from Viceroys to rulers in their own hands are not common

Letter of thanks to the Begam of Bhopal, signed by the Viceroy, Lord Elgin, 1896 10041

A single folio sheet of watermarked paper embossed at the head with the Viceroy’s royal coat of arms in gold, attached by a thread to a second sheet which is blank apart from an inscription in Persian on the reverse, presumably with a brief summary of the letter. Good condition, two horizontal folds. The letter is written in a fine copperplate secretarial hand and addressed to Her Highness Nawab Shah Jahan Begam, G.C.S.I., C.I., of Bhopal thanking Her Highness for her good New Year wishes to the Viceroy and Lady Elgin and is signed Elgin and dated 4th February 1896 at Fort William.

Signed letter from Major Impey to the Begum of Bhopal on behalf of the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, 1902 10042

A personal manuscript letter written on three sides of a small sheet of folded writing paper embossed with the royal arms and Bhopal Agency, Sehore in blue in a small oval top right, dated Sehore, 13th April 1902, and signed L. Impey. Major Impey of the Political Agency writes in response to a letter from the Begum asking if her three sons may pay their respects to the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, when his special train stops at Bhopal. He assures her that because of the brief halt – “a minute or two at the early hour of five in the morning” – this will not happen. This is stated in strong terms – “I understand that His Excellency will be probably be resting at this hour & attendance is not necessary or desired.” The letter is tipped to an old paper page by the blank rear leaf and there are a few faint markings in blue pencil to the top margin. Despite the reasons given for the Viceroy’s not receiving Sultan Jehan’s sons an underlying reason is more likely the breech of protocol that would be involved in his meeting them rather than the ruler herself. There could also be some issue over the effect any meeting with them might have for the question of succession because the British preferred to continue the line of female rulers in Bhopal.

Viceroy's Military Commission signed by Lord Dufferin, 1888 06816

Viceroy's Commission on vellum granting Thomas Henry Stillingfleet Biddulph the Honorary Rank of Captain in the Volunteer Forces of India in Bengal, signed Dufferin and dated 23rd March 1888 in the last year of Lord Dufferin's period of office. Printed on vellum with ink insertions in manuscript and the original signatures of the Viceroy and the Secretary to the Govt of India, some staining and foxing. Biddulph ended his Indian career as Accountant General of India and had been responsible for the reorganisation of the finances of both Mysore and the state of Patiala in the Punjab. 14 x 10 Ins [355 x 260mm]. Some creases amnd foxing and a mark where possibly a wax sseal has been. Commissions for the Violunteer Forces in India do not appear very often.

Garden Party invitation to the Viceroy's House, Calcutta, 1935 00000992

A small card invitation, 4.5 x 3 ins, printed on yellow card with the person invited, Mr K D Ram, typed. The reverse has procedural details printed. This invitation was made during the viceroyalty of the Earl of Willingdon. Although the capital of India was moved from Calcutta to Delhi in 1911 it was often the case that the Christmas season was spent in Calcutta.

Warren Hastings' Trial. Admission ticket signed by the Archbishop of York. 1788 11006

Ticket to the 29th Day of the Trial of Warren Hastings in 1788. Original paper trial ticket admitting the bearer to the Twenty Ninth Day of Warren Hastings' Trial in the House of Lords. Printed in sepia on hand laid paper with the title around an armorial shield, signed bottom right W. Ebor (William Markham, Lord Archbishop of York) and with his armorial seal in red wax to the right bottom corner, the wax seal worn almost smooth but the archiepiscopal mitre still visible above the armorial shield, the left margin rather trimmed but still well outside the plate mark, old folds but generally excellent clean condition, a small section of the lower left corner has been clipped not affecting the printed area. Hastings' impeachment trial dragged on over a number of years (from 1788 to 1795) and this is an early ticket from the first year, when the House of Lords considered the case for 35 days. William Markham (1710-1807) was consecrated Archbishop of York in 1777, formerly a friend of Burke, his friendship ended when he strongly supported Hastings in the trial. His son, also William, private secretary to Hastings and later Resident at Benares, gave evidence at the trial in Hastings’ favour. The DNB has a long and unusually outspoken account of the Archbishop. Markham attacked his fellow peers in 1795 for treating Hastings “not as if he were a gentleman ... but as if you were trying a horse-stealer”.

HEICo Ensign's Commission of 1850 signed by Sir Charles Napier 08765

HEICo Commission signed by Sir Charles Napier as Commander in Chief A parchment commission granting Henry Macdonald, Gentleman the Rank of Ensign in the Queen’s Army, in the East Indies only. The document is dated Simla 30th July 1850 although Macdonald took rank from 20th December 1849. It is signed C J Napier and his wax seal as Commander in Chief is attached. The document has the usual three vertical folds and is in clean condition. Henry Macdonald of Sandside in Caithness, served in the Mutiny (awarded the medal with two clasps). He was a surviving officer of the former 19th Bengal Native Infantry which mutinied at Berhampore. In 1859 he was serving as Adjutant at Dehra Doon. He was hacked to death in 1873 by Mohmand Afridis while serving as commandant of Fort Michnee and was buried at Peshawar.

A Lieutenant's Commission signed by the Earl of Dalhousie, Governor General of India, 1852 08766

Lieutenant’s Commission signed by the Governor General, the Earl of Dalhousie A commission printed on one side of a bifolium watermarked 1849 appointing Henry Macdonald, Gentleman to be a Lieutenant of Infantry in the Service of the East India Company on the Bengal Establishment from the 26th April 1852, dated the 7th May and signed Dalhousie [Governor General of India], F Currie [Sir Frederick Currie, Bt, 2nd Ordinary Member], J Lowis [3rd Ordinary Member]. Excellent clean condition with the usual three folds. Henry Macdonald of Sandside in Caithness, served in the Mutiny (awarded the medal with two clasps). He was a surviving officer of the former 19th Bengal Native Infantry which mutinied at Berhampore. In 1859 he was serving as Adjutant at Dehra Doon. He was hacked to death in 1873 by Mohmand Afridis while serving as commandant of Fort Michnee and was buried at Peshawar

JODHPUR STATE, RAJPUTANA.. A blank sheet of writing paper with the arms of Jodhpur 10074

A blank sheet of writing paper, 5 x 8ins engraved in blue top left with the arms of Jodhpur within an oval in, the paper itself has suffered the ravages of time but the arms remain, late 19th century. The use of arms became widespread among Indian Princes following the 1877 Imperial Durbar although the long intended full introduction of a system of heraldry such as that operated through the College of Arms in London was never achieved.

A letter to Lady Macgregor, wife of Sir Charles Macgregor and editor of his “Life and Opinions” 10063

A letter signed A Colvin [Auckland Colvin, 1838-1908] dated Lucknow 14 February 1888 written on 4 sides of a folded sheet of writing paper embossed with Colvin’s crest & motto, addressed to My dear Lady Mac. An interesting and lively letter, partly about about her pension but also trying to persuade her not to publish her husband’s anti-Russian work for it would alienate her from her friends and she would become known as “Lady Dhulip”. Col Macgregor had been Quarter Master General in India and head of the newly formed Intelligence Division and had fallen foul of his superiors for advocating strong action against the Russian threat about which he and other hawkish Great Game authors like Charles Marvin and Arminus Vambery wrote about. Macgregor was a notoriously difficult and opinionated man whose works are now scarce.

Small East India postcard advertising military equipment from a Ludhiana merchant, circa 1890s 10060

The card, 122 x 75mm has printed pre-paid stamp of Queen Victoria of a quarter anna. The card has a printed price list for equipment such as helmet puggrees, kolas, etc from the firm of Ahmed Shaw, Mohamed Shaw & Co of Loodiana, Punjab. It is addressed to the Commanding Officer of the 6th Regt N I at Neemuch and is postally used showing stamps of 30 Dec at Ludhiana and 1st delivery at Neemuch Jan 3rd. The year is not given on the stamps. An amusing piece of military ephemera in clean condition.

Secretary of State for the Home Department. Embossed arms. 00000989

A small white envelope, 5 x 4ins, bearing the embossed blue seal of the Home Department. Unused but one half of the flap is stuck down.

A Gala Night Programme held in Bombay in the presence of the Nizam of Hyderabad 11057

GRAND GALA NIGHT!!! Under the distinguisehd patronage and in the immediate presence of His Highness the NIZAM of Hyderabad Deccan, G.C.S.I., K.G.C.B. The Victoria Theatircal Company, will perform to-night at the specially erected Royal Pandal, on the Cosy Corner, Malabar, Hill, Bombay. The Heart-Rending Pathetic Play HARISCHANDRA or The Model of Truth. Printed by J N Petit parsee Orphanage Captain Printing Works. Folio sized paper programme [single sheet folded in half to present four sides each 13 x 8ins. The three pages after the title page explain the plot in detail. An unusual ephemeral survival. There are additional horizontal and vertical creases. There is no date but the printing style and the omission of term Exalted in the Nizam's title would suggest very early 20th century.

Field Marshal Earl Roberts of Kandahar, V.C. – typed letter signed, June 1914 07781

A short letter declining an invitation to attend a play, dated just before the outbreak of the 1914-18 War, 20th June 1914. Roberts died on 14th November of the same year. The letter is typed on a small folded sheet of writing paper embossed with his address – Englemere, Ascot, Berkshire and is signed “Roberts F.M.”. It is tipped by the final blank page to an old album leaf and is accompanied by Tuck’s post card portrait of the Field Marshal in old age, wearing uniform and his order, decorations, and medals. The postcard is unused but has small areas of paper on th eback where it has been tipped to an album leaf.

2nd Patiala Yadavindra Infantry. An unused embossed envelope 11094

A large size envelope [approx 18.5 x, of the size used for formal invitations. The flap of the envelope is embossed in red and green with the badge of the 2nd Patiala Yadavindra Infantry. The envelope, which is unused, probably dates from the 1930s.

Patiala, an unused envelope embossed on the flap with the arms of the Maharaja of Patiala 11095

A large size envelope [approx 18.5 x, of the size used for formal invitations. The flap of the envelope is embossed in blue with the arms of the Maharaja of Patiala with the lettering Comptroller Household Patiala within an oval. The envelope, which is unused, probably dates from the 1930s. The envelope, made by Rama & Co of Simla and New Delhi, is unused and probably dates from the 1930s.

Maler Kotla, an unused envelope embossed with the arms of the State 11097

A large size envelope [approx 18.5 x, of the size used for formal invitations. The flap of the envelope is embossed in green with the arms of the Nawab of Maler Kotla, with the lettering Maler Kotla State within an oval. The envelope, which is unused, probably dates from the 1930s. The envelope, made by Rama & Co of Simla and New Delhi, is unused and probably dates from the 1930s. Maler Kotla was a small Muslim State close to Patiala in the Punjab.

Theog. An invitation card embossed with the arms of the Thakur of Theog 11096

A card invitation printed in gold and embossed with the arms the Thakur within an oval with the wording Theog. The invitation has not been filled out with the recipient's name but is an invitation to the Thakur's Masnad Nashini [an oath taking ceremony, possibly on the occasion of accession] on 16th November 1941. The card, with rounded corners measures 15 x 11.5cm. There are a couple of light ink stains Theog was one of the small Hill States in the Simla area.

Palanpur. A used envelope with the embossed device of the Palace at Palanpur 11098

The envelope measures 12 x 9.5cm and is addressed to a Khan Bahadur in Jodhpur {Marwar]. The reverse has two cancelled stamps of 1/2 Anna and 9 Pies and another stamp denoting 9.30 am delivery on 28 March 1934. It contains a folded sheet with a note in Urdu or Arabic and both this and the envelope have the Palace device embossed in red.

3rd Bn 14th Punjab Rregiment. A crested photographic greeting card, 1938 11116

A two part folded Christmas & New Year card tied with a ribbon in regimental colours of green, white, and red, the front cover embossed in green with the regimental badge, opening to reveal a simple printed greeting to the left with "The officers, Christmas 1938" added in ink. The right hand side has a tipped in photograph titled Razani, Waziristan, 1938. The card is in very clean condition. The rear card has the blind stamped credit of R S HOLMES, PESHAWAR, probably the most renowned photographer of the pre war era on the North West Frontier. Overall size 6 x 4ins [15 x 10cm].

Governor of Bengal's Body Guard: autograph signed letter from the Commandant, Maj W R P Henry 11122

The letter, signed by the Commandant of the Governor's Body Guard, Major W R P Henry, is dated Alipore, Calcutta, 3rd November 1926 and is seeking to fill the post of ADC to the Governor [Victor Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Earl of Lytton, GCIE, son of the 1st Earl, Viceroy in the 1870s]. It is written on two sides of a sheet of writing paper [7 x 9ins with two two folds] embossed with the Body Guard's badge in red and asks the recipient, Abbott, if he knows "anyone who would care to take on the job of A.D.C. to the Governor here this cold weather". The appointment of an A D C seems to require few precise qualifications but Major Henry does stress "we are very keen to get somebody who can play a bit of polo & A.D.C.s nowadays are helped by the Body Guard with ponies &c.". A fascinating letter giving some insight into the rather casual, or at least personal, way in which appointments were made even as late as 1926. The Governor of Bengal's Body Guard only came into being in 1912 after the capital with the Viceroy and Governor General moved to Delhi and the Calcutta post was enhanced from Lieutenant Governor to Governor.

General Orders, Head Quarters, Calcutta, 24th January 1811 07935

General Orders, Head Quarters, Calcutta, 24th January 1811. Printed in Calcutta and issued under the orders of General W Grant Keir. 4pp. Folio. Single sheet producing four pages,folded as issued. Somewhat soiled, later horizontal fold marks, marginal chips and tears and one small hole but nothing affecting printed area, contemporary No5 to top left in sepia ink and three holes in fold indicate that at some time this was bound with other orders. An extremely scarce survival of original daily orders for the King's Troops in Bengal. Signed off by the Adjutant General Col Sir William Grant Keir [shown in the 1811 East India List as Sir William George Kier but spelling was less consistent in those days. The last page includes some orders for 29th January. The details, set out by regiment, list promotions (by purchase and without), resignations, appointments, etc. Regiments appearing in the 28th Jan list are: 8/17/22/24/25 Light Dragoons and 1/12/14/17/19/22/30/33/34/47/53/56/59/65/67/69/78/80/84/85 Foot.

Sir John Lawrence. Autograph letter signed and dated Simlah Oct 30 1868. 11139

An interesting letter highlighting the process of promotion in India, written, in Sir John's own hand, on three sides of sheet of folded private writing paper, black edged and embossed in black with Lawrence's crest and motto. The letter is addressed to a Mrs Umpherbly who appears to have written to him trying to advanced the career of someone working in the Oude Commission. The Viceroy points out to her that this person occupies a fairly lowly post and hard work and good character will determine his advancement rather than influence. Note the rather unorthodox spelling of the summer capital used by the Viceroy.

Earl of Minto, an unused example of his bookplate. 00001138

An unused example of the Minto bookplate.

HEICo Commission signed by Lord Harris, Governor of Madras, 1856 08768

A parchment commission granting Senior Lieutenant Hugh Gordon Thomson the rank of First Lieutenant in the Corps of Artillery. The document is dated Fort St George 21st February 1856. It is signed Harris as Governor and Commander in Chief and also by three other members of the government including Sir H C Montgomery, the Chief Secretary. The document has the usual three vertical folds and is in clean condition and also bears the paper wafer seal of the East India Company. Thomson became a captain in 1860 when he was 1st Assistant Adjutant General of the Madras Army. By 1868 he was a major and Assistant Superintendent of the Mysore Commission. In 1883 he appears in the India List as a lietenant colonel on the staff, Superintendent at Coorg and a judge at Bangalore.

Madras Presidency HEICo Commission of 1822 signed by Sir Thomas Munro 008153

The commission is printed on parchment with manuscript insertions and appoints Lieutenant R Butler in the 11th Regt of N.I. to be a Brevet Captain in the Army and is dated 5th September 1822. It is signed Thos Munro (The Hon Major General Sir Thos Munro, K.C.B, A. Campbell (Gen Sir Alexander Campbell, Bart. K.C.B., Commander in Chief), and Geo Stratton (George Stratton, Member of Council). The commission bears the paper wafer embossed seal of the Company. There are the usual two vertical folds and a few small holes along one fold and the lower right corner is lacking but this does affect any wording. Robert Butler was commissioned into the 11th NI in 1812, in 1837 he was a Captain in the 21st NI and retired at the end of that year as a major.

Secret letter signed from Gen Nott to Gen Sir George Pollock, Candahar 1841 08155

Maj Gen Sir William Nott: Secret communication to Maj Gen Sir George Pollock, commanding the Army of Retribution in the First Afghan War. An extremely scarce and unusual secret communication in the form of a letter written to his superior by Nott from Candahar on 6th May 1842 in miniature but very clear writing on a slip of paper measuring 6 x 1.5ins [37 x 154mm] and signed W Nott. The letter bemoans the fact that Nott has not received a response to the letter he wrote to Pollock on the 29th April and he includes a copy of the earlier letter on the reverse [also signed and marked at the top “Duplicate”] in case that letter had not reached Pollock in the extreme circumstances under which it was sent. Both letters show a commander at breaking point who feels he is receiving no support from the Scind government which, he feels, does not appreciate the potentially disastrous position in which his force finds itself. In the April letter Nott regrets that “I am not on my way to Ghuznee. My troops have had no pay since Decr. 1841. I am in want of almost everything. I have not carriage even for three Regiments and I have not a Rupee either to buy or hire Cattle for five months. I have been calling to Scind for aid, none whatever has been sent!” He notes that General England has failed to reach him with supplies and money and reports that instead of being able to meet up with Pollock at Ghuznee “my small force is paralized”. Although he has high praise for his Sepoys who have “licked the Afghans in every affair even when five times their number” but he underlines the last clause in his sentence about Shah Shujah’s cavalry. “I have the Shah’s first Regiment but I have never been able to get them to charge”. Nott’s letter of May 1841 shows him in even greater despair: “The people of this country unfortunately have an idea that we are to retire whether we are successful or not and therefore they will part with nothing and as far as Cattle are concerned we are nearly helpless. God knows why such delay has occurred in sending me money and stores, this is dreadful. I shall move towards Cabool the moment I can get carriage. Genl England’s retrograde movement has been a sad disappointment to me.” The letter is in excellent condition and is preserved in an old folded sheet of slightly larger size with later Victorian inscription on it.

First Burma War. East india Company's plans for a medal in gold and silver, 1829 08165

East India Company Medal for the First Burma War. Two interesting letters concerning the planning of this medal which give some insight into the relationship between the Company and the Royal Mint. The first letter, which is marked “Copy” top left and dated East India House 12 March 1829, is written by two Directors of the East India Company, William Astell [who had been a Director since 1800] and John Loch [who was to become Deputy Chairman] and is addressed to John Charles Herries [1778-1853, Master of the Mint 1828-30]. It suggests that the Directors wish to have a medal struck for issue to the Native Troops who were engaged in the Burma War. They anticipate needing 765 in gold and 33,264 in silver. The standard reference book suggests that rather smaller numbers [750 & 24,000 were actually issued]. This letter is written in a secretarial hand on a the first side of a bifolium of paper watermarked J Green 1828. The second letter is written in his own hand and signed “Jas W Morrison” to the Master of the Mint on a smaller sheet of folded writing paper dated Mint Office 13 March 1829 and after a discussion of the work being done on an ingot for another client Morrison talks about the copy of the letter from The Company which he is enclosing and pointing out that the usual course is for the request to go through the Secretary of State.

Copies of some Orders of Courts of the Old East India Company. Circa 1708 08166

Copies of some Orders of Courts of the Old East India Company relating to the Trustees of the said Company. A large folio [15 x 10ins] book of manuscript copies of Orders and Petitions etc made during the reign Queen Anne a the time of the uniting of the Old East India Company and the New East India Company. 8pp [unnumbered] Index followed by 26 numbered pages of Order of the Courts, the last two pages being the Petition to the Queen’s Most Excellent Majestie from the Governors of the Old East India Company. [At this point few pages appear to have been cut out a long time ago. The remainder of the book is unnumbered apart from a 1 on the first page. These remaining 55 pages comprise “Awards of the Lord High Treasurer concerning both Campanys”, “The Old East India Company’s Declaration of Trust”, “The Schedule indented in the Indenture mentioned” [10 pages of names of the Adventurers in the General Joint Stock of the Company with the sums defaulted], “The Grant of the Old East India Company of their Debts to the Queen”, another Schedule of names from the Indenture, “The Regrant from the Queen of the Old East india Company’s Debts to Trustees [5 pages the las with a tear without loss. The whole is written in sepia ink in an elaborate but clear court hand. It is bound in what are possibly somewhat later but certainly 18th century blue paper covered soft boards with a later taped blue paper spine. The book bears the small bookplate of Sir Clive Coates of Helprby Hall, North Yorkshire [adorsed and intertwined Cs] with the later ownership inscription of Clive Milnes-Coates dated 1948. Capt Clive Milnes Coates [2nd Baronet from 1921] served in the 15th Hussars and was ADC to the Earl of Aberdeen when Lord Lieutenant of Ireland. He married Lady Celia the daughter of the Marquess of Crewe, who was Secretary of State for India 1910-11. A large number of books connected with India were sold off from Helperby in the 1980s.

Indian Mutiny. Capt W D Dickson, 3rd Bombay NI, a small arc hive with commissions 008173

This small archive comprises: A manuscript letter of commendation addressed Capt W D Dickson, 3rd Bombay NI from the Secret Department, Political Agent's Office, Belgaum 19th September 1857 congratulating him on "the commendation of the Government for the great assistance I received from you in the course of the enquiries which ended in the conviction and execution of the Conspirator Mahomed Hoosein." It is signed G B Seton Karr, Magistrate of Belgaum and Political Agent. This is written ona folio sheet of writing paper with three horizontal and one vertical fold, some short tears without loss to edges of folds. A small cutting is attached showing that Dickson has passed the examination in the Canarese language. Documents mentioning individual mutiny convictions and trials are most unusual. Another copy of this manuscript, signed and certified as a true copy by G B Seton Karr on a folio sheet of blue paper but this with an additional note stating that "the Magistrate and Political Agent has much pleasure in stating that Captain Dickson's skill in reading Persian and Hindoostanee manuscripts was of the greatest advantage to the public service during the disturbances of 1857." Pinned to this letter is another cutting about Dickson's language skills and a later letter on a smaller quarto bifolium dated Commander in Chief's Office, Camp near Mhow, Jan 30th 1866 written in his own hand and signed by the Military Secretary, Lt Col Martin Dillon informing Major Dickson that he has been too late in applying for the command of his regiment but that Sir Robert Napier has received good reports of his service from the AG's office and will bear this in mind when the issue of command next arrises. Dickson's completed application form to join the Staff Corps, dated Agra 30th May 1861, with a further ms note on the reverse requesting further confirmation of some aspects of his service, signed by a DAG. Together with an extract form General Orders signed by Capt C T Aitchison, Acting DAG appointing Dickson a Major from 2nd March 1861. Three commissions on parchment from Governors of Bombay dated between 1841 [Ensign] and 1856 [Captain]. These are all in good condition with embossed paper wafer seals of the East India Company. They are signed, amongst others, by George William Anderson, Lt Gen Sir Thos McMahon, James Henry Crawford [1841], Lestock Robert Reid, John Pollard Willoughby, Sir Thos MacMAhon [1845], Lord Elphinstone, James Grant Lumsden, A Malet [1856]. The earliest of these commissions is somewhat yellowed but perfectly sound. . A certified manuscript extract from Station Orders, Neemuch commending Colonel Dickson for his service as Magistrate and Political Agent in Neemuch. A Church of Scotland certificate for Dickson's marriage, in Banff 1855, to Mary Stuart Souter. A child's baptism certificate at Agra, a furlough note, a cabinet portrait of Dickson in civilian clothes, another vey faded, a faded and damaged group photograph of three gentlemen and an officer at a table. An interesting group of material

Sir John Malcom's account of the Capture of Asseerghur, 1817 08184

Assighur. A contemporary manuscript account of the capture Assighur comprising 52pp of folio reports on events, orders, etc dated between 17th March and 8th April 1819, the final page signed by Brig Gen Sir John Malcom “John Malcolm, B.L.” The account begins on Wedensday 17th March 1819 “All attempts towards an amicable adjustment having ceased this day at 1o’clock P.M. orders to the following effect were issued by Brig General Doveton”. The left margin of this first page has a list of the troops to be involved divided into Column of Attack [5 Comps Royal Scots, Flank Comps of 30th, 37th, & Ms Eu Regt, 5 Comps of 1st Bn 12th Foot, Corps of Sappers & Miners] and Column of Reserve [larger number of infantry and 1 Sqn 7th Cavalry, 2 Brigades H Arty, Detachment 2nd Cav.]. The first 10 pages are numbered but from 25th March 1819 the pages are not numbered but written in the dame secretarial hand. As an example of the degree of detail recorded that day, a Friday, begins “During the day fired 131 Shells into the upper fort with good effect, and two 18prs , seventeen 12 & fifty one 6pr shots at the defences. The Pioneers and Publick followers employed in collecting materials for erecting a new battery to the Southward and an 18pr & 12pr to make a second breach in the lower fort and fire at its defences. The 2nd Bn 6th M.N.I. ordered to march to a Position in the Batteekainee Nullah for the Protection of the new batteries to the southwards and 3 Troops of the 3rd M.L. Cavalry tomorrow morning at two o’clock the whole under Lieut. Col. Russell”. Further lists of troops involved appear in the left margin [as is the general practice in military orders throughout the Company period]. There are some copies of Malcolm’s letters to Brig Gen Doveton these marked “(signed John Malcolm B. Gl.” This very interesting and readable account of the proceedings have all the appeal of immediate reporting and the signature of John Malcom himself at the conclusion gives them the authenticity which copied documents sometimes lack. The pages have all been folded and in places there are tears without loss but the paper watermarked Golding & Snelgrove 1816 or 1817 and KG 1816] is in sound condition. A good general account of this action will be found in “The Summary of the Mahratta and Pindaree Campaign, during 1817, 1818, and 1819” [National Army Museum, ISBN 1-845747-36-4]

MANKAPUR. A printed bookplate of Raja Ambikeshwar Pratap Singh, ruler of Mankapur 1932-43 7701

The bookplate, measuring 7 x 10 cm is printed in black and pasted on a piece of an old book leaf.It is in good clean condition and shows the lamp of learning above a collection of books with the motto "Do Good, care not to whom".Mankapur is a small state to the north of Ayodhya in present day Gonda district of Uttar Pradesh.

Marquess of Lansdowne, Viceroy of India 1888-1894. Signed letter to the Begum of Bhopal 08455

Marquess of Lansdowne, Viceroy of India 1888 – 1894 A manuscript letter written in palace script in a fine secretarial hand on two sides of a bifolium of Viceregal paper embossed in gold with the royal coat of arms. This appears to be the first letter to the recipient, Her Highness Nawab Shah Jahan, G.C.S.I., C.I., of Bhopal as it announces the Viceroy’s arrival in India. It is signed “Lansdowne” and dated Calcutta, the 29th of December, 1888. It commences “My dear Begam Sahiba” and congratulates Her Highness of having agreed an appointment of Minister with his predecessor, Lord Dufferin. [The appointment of advisers was always a thorny problem at Bhopal, particularly as it was often linked to problems of marriage and succession which were especially sensitive in this state – the only one in India with a female ruler. The paper has been trimmed across the top edge rather aggressively so that the crown at the top of the royal arms has been cut off. It has the usual holes on the gutter margins where it has been stab sewn into a folder. There are two letters in Persian tipped to the rear of the second blank page.

East India Company Commissions of Dr George Lamb, Physician General in Bengal, 1823-1850 00000977

George Lamb sometimes described as George Lambe [born 26 Oct 1787, died Cheltenham 3rd Feb 1862].Lamb left College in Aberdeen in 1801 and was appointed assistant Surgeon in 1808. He was at the capture of Mauritius in December 1810. The following commissions represent his career from his appointed as a full Surgeon in 1823. Lamb ended his 42 year career in Bengal as the highest ranking medical officer in the Presidency, holding the position of Physician General and being the President of the Medical Board. In the order of precedence in India he ranked with Brigadier Generals. Also included are a few pages of photocopied research including a family tree showing that Dr Lamb was first married to a French woman Heloise Chevalier [she died in Mauritius in 1812 and the marriage was probably questionable as the British were forbidden to marry the French during the Napoleonic Wars. His second marriage was to Matilda Roebuck [nee Gibson] a widow. Lamb had no children. One brother David was also a doctor and died in Surat in 1818. The youngest, Alexander Imlach Lamb was married and had issue. He was buried in Dean Cemetery, Edinburgh. The group of commissions is accompanied by a printed petition to the Secretary of State for India in Council from George Lamb, Forty-four years in the Medical Service of the East India Company, and late Physician General on the Bengal Establishment, now of Cheltenham. This concerns Lamb’s perceived loss of rights regarding his position as Zemindar of Pergunnah Shampore in Zillah Tipperah [purchased in 1835] which he claims were wrongly granted a Rood Ram Roy. This is small octavo in size, 14 pages, printed by F Thomson of St Andrews and sewn in original pink paper wrappers without any titling, single central vertical fold. Commission documents 1. 1823, 25th July. Hon Sir Edward Paget, GCB, General of HM’s Forces, Commander in Chief of all the King’s and Company’s Forces in the East Indies. Appointing George Lambe Esquire to the rank of Surgeon . Signed, sealed and dated Fort William, Calcutta, 30th December 1823 Edwd Paget with Sir Edward paget’s personal seal in red wax by the signature. A counter signature on the left is hard to decipher. Printed on a paper bifolium watermarked 1819 with the usual folds, a little chipped along the lower edge and with two small holes in the blank half of the paper. The Hon Sir Edward Paget [1775-1849] was the son of the Earl of Uxbridge and brother of the 1st Marquis of Anglesey. His very distinctive backward sloping signature results from his having to use his left hand after losing his right arm in the Peninsula Wars. He was criticised by some for his harsh repression of the mutiny of three Sepoy regiments at Bharatpur [Bhurtpore]. 2. 1823, 25th July. HEICo commission headed in manuscript The Right Honble William Pitt Lord Amherst, Governor General, and The Honble John Fendall Esquire appointing George Lambe Esquire to be a Surgeon on the Bengal Establishment of the EICo. Signed, dated and sealed Fort William, 17th October 1823Amherst & John Fendall. The Commander-in Chief’s red wax seal is fixed top left and signed beneath Wm. Casement, Lt Col . It is further signed by Lt Col Casement, CB, Sec to the Mil Dept in the usual place. Printed on a paper bifolium watermarked 1819 with the usual folds, and an additional vertical fold to the right of the signatures. There is a little foxing mainly along the folds and most visible when opened and on the reverse of the blank. This and the previous commission are signed at a period of transition. Lord Amherst was only appointed to succeed the Marquis of Hastings in late October 1822 and the printed printed subscription has been altered in manuscript to show the lower level Amherst occupied in the Peerage. He declared war in 1826 against Burma and was made an earl after the successful capture of Bhurtpore. He was the first governor general to use Simla as the summer seat of government. Sir Edward Paget was the first General in India to hold the position of Commander in Chief – a title previously held by the Governor General himself. 3. 1823, 1st July. The Rt Hon Stapleton, Lord Combermere, GCB, GCH, , General of HM’s Forces, Commander in Chief of all the King’s and Company’s Forces in the East Indies. Appointing George Lamb Esquire to the rank of Surgeon. Dated 25th April 1826 and signed Combermere. Blind stamped personal seal of Lord Combermere beside his signature together with a cut blind paper seal of the Company. It is countersigned lower left for the Military Secretary. The commission is printed on a paper bifolium watermarked 1824 and is good condition with the usual folds. This commission appears to back date Lamb’s rank by some days and also may have been required to correct the earlier spelling of his name with a final e. The booklet accompanying these commissions indeed shows his printed signature as George Lamb. 4. 10th April 1847. His Excellency The Rt Hon Hugh, Lord Gough, GCB General of HM’s Forces, Commander in Chief of all the Queen’s and Company’s Forces in the East Indies. Appointing George Lamb, Esqre., Inspector General of Hospitals in the Service of the East India Company to hold the corresponding rank in the Queen’s Army in the East Indies only. Dated Simla, 20th February 1848 and signed Goughand counter signed lower left B Gough, Lt Col as officiating Military Secretary. This commission is printed on a single sheet of vellum with one vertical and two horizontal folds. It has some old water staining affecting especially the area around Gough’s signature and the paper seal is lacking leaving a small hole where it has been fixed above the signature. 5. 23rd July 1848. The Supreme Government of India commission appointing George Lamb Esquire to be Surgeon General and Second Member of the Medical Board on the Bengal Establishment of the HEICo. Dated 19th July 1848 signed F Millett and J H Littler. The commission is further signed R Wyllie, Lt Col lower left as Deputy Military Secretary and it bears the blind stamped paper seal of the Company at the left side. It is printed on a bilfolium of blue paper watermarked 1845 and has the usual folds. 6. 23rd July 1848. His Excellency The Rt Hon Hugh, Lord Gough, GCB General of HM’s Forces, Commander in Chief of all the Queen’s and Company’s Forces in the East Indies. Appointing George Lamb, Esqre., Surgeon General in the Service of the East India Company to hold the corresponding rank in the Queen’s Army in the East Indies only. Dated Camp Ramnugger, 27th November 1848 and signed Gough and counter signed lower left for the Military Secretary. This commission is printed on a single sheet of vellum with the usual folds. By the signature is a very good example of the wax seal of the Commander in Chief East Indies. The top corners are a little curled but complete and there a few minor smudges and marks. This is a good example of a commission signed in camp rather than at headquarters in Calcutta or Simla. Lord Gough was engaged at this time in the Punjab War during which he commanded in the field in several battles 7. 10th February 1849. His Excellency The HonSir Charles James Napier, GCB General of HM’s Forces, Commander in Chief of all the Queen’s and Company’s Forces in the East Indies. Appointing George Lamb, Esqre., Physician General in the Service of the East India Company to hold the corresponding rank in the Queen’s Army in the East Indies only. Dated Simla 20th May 1850 and signed G Napier beside the wax seal of the Commander in Chief East Indies and lower left for the Military Secretary. It is printed on a sheet of vellum with the usual folds and the top left corner has an additional light corner fold. 8. 10th February 1849. The Supreme Government of India commission appointing George Lamb Esquire to be Physician General and First Member of the Medical Board on the Bengal Establishment of the HEICo. Dated 10th February 1849 signed J H Littler and J Lowis. Major Gen Sir J H Littler GCB was 1st Member of the Supreme Council and John Lowis was the 3rd [the Governor General at the time was the Earl of Dalhousie]. The paper blind stamped seal of the company is afficed at the left and lower left it is signed R Wyllie, Major who was the Officiating Deputy Military Secretary. The commission is printed on a bifolium of pale blue paper watermarked 1824 and has the usual folds.

Autograph letter signed by Sir John Lawrence, Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab 00000999

An unusually personal manuscript letter written on two sides of a small sheet of writing paper in his own hand addressed to Major Lumsden [later Lt Gen Sir Harry Lumsden, founder of the Guides], dated Lahore 17th Janry 1859, signed John Lawrence congratulating Major Harry Lumsden and his brother Peter on the report of their special secretive mission to Candahar, mentioning a letter he has received from the Govt. He promised to support the brothers in the Indian Council and notes that Edwardes [later Maj Gen Sir Herbert Edwardes] will forward extracts of the Government letter. A very immediate record of the important and secretive mission to Afghanistan which occupied the Lumsden brothers in the early stages of the Mutiny. The letter has the usual folds. Its provenance is from an archive of material which had belonged to Sir Peter Lumsden. A very immediate record of the important and secretive mission to Afghanistan which occupied the Lumsden brothers in the early stages of the Mutiny. It was almost certainly as a result of the promised mentioning of his achievements in the Council that led to Lumsden’s receiving his CB later in 1859. Lawrence was later a great friend and champion of Peter Lumsden. At the time of this letter Lawrence had just been made the first Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab: he was to go to become Viceroy in 1864. During the Mutiny Sir John Lawrence was widely regarded as having saved the Punjab when he raised a movable column which he sent to Delhi to take part in the siege and capture of the city.

Hyderabad & Bhopal, 1900 00001048

A manuscript letter in her own bold hand signed “ C. A. G. Barr, Mrs David Barr” written on all four sides of a folded piece of writing paper embossed The Residency, Hyderabad, Deccan. The letter is dated 29.12.1900 and is written to the Begum of Bhopal (addressed as “My dear Friend” and contains interesting comments on life at Hyderabad – “Every one seems nice but they are all new people to us. I do not recognize who they all are, there seem to be such a number of Dowlas, Nawabs, Jungs and Jahs here, that it is quite puzzling!! Their Mogulai way of salaaming is very funny to see. They double up & salam with their right hands for about ten times to each other. And when they see H. H. the Nizam they all nearly fall down salaaming.” Mrs Barr was the wife of David William Keith Barr, C.S.I. who had been Agent to the Governor General in Central India from 1896 and was appointed Resident to the Nizam of Hyderabad in August 1900. [He was knighted K.C.S.I. in 1902 and photographs of him with the Nizam at the 1903 Delhi Durbar can be seen in the catalogue section of our website]. Frank and unguarded comments such as these would have been very dangerous to her husband’s career had they been made public at the time. There are two pieces of brown paper pated to the top of the first page where they letter has been pasted to an album page.

BhopaL. Letter from the former Vicereine, the Marchioness of Ripon 00001050

A simple manuscript letter in her own hand by the Marchioness of Ripon to H. H. the Begum of Bhopal. The letter, on two sides of a sheet of folded writing paper embossed in purple with personal initials beneath a coronet, thanks the Begum for her letter of good wishes for the new year. It is signed H.A.T. Ripon, dated Jan 27th 1899 and the address at the head of the paper is 1 Carlton Gardens, London. It is tipped by the top of the final blank to an old sheet of paper which also has a short letter in Persian attached to it – probably a translation of Lady Ripon’s letter. The Marquess of Ripon was Viceroy of India from 1880 to 1884.

3rd Bn 5th Mahratta Light Infantry. Regimental greetings card circa 1936 00001076

The folded card measures 6 x 4.5 ins and has the regimental badge in green to the front with ribbon of regimental colours. indide there is a mounted photograph of Bombay Harbour and a greeting from Lieut Colonel R O Camber & the Officers. Lieut Col Chamber, CIE became Commandant of the Battalion [formerly the 110th Mahratta LI] in February 1934. The Battalion arrived in Bombay on 10th December 1936 from Manzai.

Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston. An example of his bookplate. 07820

The handsome armorial bookplate is still attached to the detached leather front board of a small octavo book and pasted to the bold marbled endpaper [from a book which was published in 1765]. It probably dates from the early 19th century during the period when Henry Temple, 3rd Viscount Palmerston was an independent minded politician who, after turning down several posts offered by Canning [including that of Governor General of India], became Foreign Secretary. He had succeeded to the Irish peerage after the death of his father in 1802. He was twice married but without a male heir so the peerage became extinct on his death in the 1860s.