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BACKGROUND INFORMATION ON THE INDIAN VISITORS 1902

research from documents held by the India Office,London

This document provides some background information on the selection of and arrangements for Indian representatives invited to London for King Edward VII's coronation.  Particular emphasis has been given to sitters photographed by Lafayette.

 

CONTENTS

15 REPRESENTATIVES TO STAY AT ST. ERMIN'S HOTEL
MAHARAJAS OF KOLHAPUR, GWALIOR, JAIPUR INVITED
NAWAB OF BAHAWALPUR AND RAJA OF NABHA INVITED
MINDER OF GWALIOR - COLONEL CROFTS
LONDON ARRANGEMENTS FOR 5 'NATIVE CHIEFS'
DURBAR INVITATION EQUIVALENT TO CORONATION
ACCEPTANCE OF INDIAN CHIEFS - KOLHAPUR, NABHA, BAHAWALPUR, SINDHIA, JAIPUR
HOME DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NATIVE REPRESENTATIVES AT CORONATION
TRAVEL OF COOCH BEHAR
COOCH BEHAR'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT AND ADC NAMED
TOTAL NUMBERS FOR THE ABBEY
ARRANGEMENTS TO LOOK AFTER INDIANS
REPORT BY MINDER
BABA SIR KHEM SINGH BEDI HAS DIABETES
PRESENTATION TO PRINCE OF WALES - 4 JULY
VISIT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE - 11 JULY
DIFFICULTY GETTING TO THE ABBEY - 9 JULY
DEPARTURE TO INDIA

15 REPRESENTATIVES TO STAY AT ST. ERMIN'S HOTEL
L/P&S/7/141/286 Telegramme 263
From Secretary of State to Viceroy, 22 January 1902
 
Your Foreign telegram of 7th November. It being absolutely necessary to secure accommodation for fifteen Indian representatives at once, I have engaged rooms St. Ermin's Hotel for the fortnight ending 5th July. Please arrange accordingly.

MAHARAJAS OF KOLHAPUR, GWALIOR, JAIPUR INVITED
L/P&S/7/142/411
Minute Paper dated 23 Jan & 20 Feb 1902
Telegram, No. 3807I.-A., dated the 15th October 1901
From-The Foreign Secretary, Simla
 
... Secretary of state enquires whether Maharaja of (Kolhapur, Gwalior, Jaipur), who has been invited to the Coronation, will require house or hotel accommodation in London and for how many persons and how long. It is assumed that Chief will pay for his own accommodation if his stay in England is prolonged after Coronation...

NAWAB OF BAHAWALPUR AND RAJA OF NABHA INVITED
No. 3808I.-A., dated Simla, the 15th October 1901
From-The Deputy Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department
 
... Their Highnesses the Nawab of Bahawalpur and the Raja of Nabha having been invited to attend the Coronation of His Majesty the King, Emperor of India, and of Her Majesty the Queen....

MINDER OF GWALIOR - COLONEL CROFTS
Telegram, No. 11244G., dated the 19th October 1901
From-The Hon'ble the Agent to the Governor-General in Central India, Indore, to-The Foreign Secretary, Simla
 
Your telegram of the 15th october, No. 3807I.-A. Maharaja of Gwalior proposes to go to England without ladies, but wishes to take Colonel Crofts and one other person not yet named. He will only take two attendants and will accept whatever accommodation is given him....

LONDON ARRANGEMENTS FOR 5 'NATIVE CHIEFS'
Nos. 4069-4070 I.-A
From The Deputy Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department
To The Hon'ble Mr. J.M. Douie, I.C.S., Chief Secretary to the Government of the Pujab
{&} The Hon'ble Lieutenant-Colonel A.P. Thornton, I.S.C., Offg. Agent to the Governor-General in Rajputana.
Dated Simla, the 5th November 1901
 
Sir,
In continuation of my letter/telegram No. 3808/3807I.-A., dated the 15th October 1901, I am directed to state that the Government of India are arranging to provide house accommodation in London for each of the five Native Chiefs who have been invited to attend the Coronation of His Majesty the King Emperor of India, and of Her Majesty the Queen. The Government of India trust that the number of the party accompanying each Chief will be kept as low as possible. The number of followers to be accommodated in the houses which will be provided in London must, in any case be limited to a maximum of 30 with each Chief. ...
I have the honour to be, Sir, Your most obedient Servant,

DURBAR INVITATION EQUIVALENT TO CORONATION No. 4218.I.-A
From-Foreign, Simla
To-The Chief Secretary, Punjab Government, Camp
 
Coronation. It has been found impossible to make arrangements for visits to England of any larger number of Chiefs than those already invited, but King-Emperor has been pleased to order that attendance at Delhi Darbar on 1st Janaury 1903 will be regarded by His Majesty as equivalent to presence at his Coronation. Please reply accordingly to any Chiefs, other than those invited to England, who express wish to be represented at Coronation in London...

ACCEPTANCE OF INDIAN CHIEFS - KOLHAPUR, NABHA, BAHAWALPUR, SINDHIA, JAIPUR No. 4171 I.-A., dated Simla, the 12th November 1901
From-The Deputy Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department
To-
The Secretary to the Government of Bombaby, Political Department
the Chief Secretary to the Government of the Punjab
The Hon'ble the Agent to the Governor-General in Central India
The Hon'ble the Agent to the Governor-General in Rajputana
 
.....2. Should the (Maharaja of Kolhapur, Chiefs of Nabha and Bahawalpur, Maharaja Sindhia, Maharaja of Jaipur) who (has, have, has, has) accepted an invitation to attend the ceremony....

HOME DEPARTMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR NATIVE REPRESENTATIVES AT CORONATION
L/P&S/7/142/420
{stamped 'seen 25 March 1902 - printed sheet:}
Native Representatives at the Coronation
Home Department Recommendations
 
Place
Name
Remarks
Presidency Towns
 
1. Calcutta
Maharaj Kumar Prodyot Kumar Tagore
He is the heir and adopted son of Maharaja Bahadur Sir Jotendro Mohun Tagore, K.C.S.I., the head of the leading native family in Calcutta
 
2. Bombay
Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhai, Bart., J.P.
He is the recognised head of the Parsi community in the City of Bombay
 
3. Madras
Raja Sir Savalai Ramaswami Mudaliyar, Kt., C.I.E.
He is a native gentleman who has long been distinguished for his public spirit and generosity in Madras
Provincial Representatives
 
4. Madras
Maharaja Sir Rao the Honourable Sir Venkatasvetachalapati Ranga Rao Bahadur, K.C.I.E., Raja of Bobbili
He is an enlightened member of the class of Zemindar Rajas in the Madras Presidency
 
5. Bombay
Meherban Ganpatrao Madhavrav Vinchurkar
He is a Sardar of the Deccan and Additional Member of the Legislative Council. A loyal supporter of Government and a worthy representative of the best elements of Mofussil society.
 
6. Bengal
The Honourable Asif Kadr Saiyid Wasif Ali Mirza, of Murshidabad
He is the eldest son of the Nawab Bahadur of Murshidabad, and owing to the circumstances that his father is incapacitated by paralysis from taking any part in public affairs, is in effect the representative of that ancient house, the first Muhammadan family in the Province. He was educated in England.
 
7. North-Western Province (for Oudh, see No. 12)
The Honourable Nawab Mumtaz-ud-daula Muhamad Faiyaz Ali Khan, of Pahasu, Bulandshahr District.
He was for two years an Additional Member of the Imperial Legislative Council, and is at present a Member of the Provincial Council.
 
8. Punjab
Nawab Fateh Ali Khan, Kizilbash
A nephew of Sir Nawazish Ali Khan, K.C.I.E., and a very influential and enlightened man. Is one of the leading Mussalamans of the Punjab.
 
9. Central Provinces
Gangadhar Madho Chitnavis, C.I.E., President, Nagpur Municipality.
He knows English well. He belongs to a good Native family in Nagpur, and has represented the Province on the Viceroy's Legislative Council.
 
10. Assam
Rai Jagannath Barua Bahadur
He is a tea-planter of independant position, and a gentleman of character and education, who represents the Province in the Calcutta University.
 
11. Burma
Maung On Gaing, C.I.E., A.T.M.
He is a Municipal Commissioner and an Honorary Magistrate for the town of Rangoon. He is a man of wealth, and has been most liberal in his subscriptions to charitable institutions in Rangoon. He knows English well, and is the only non official Lower Burman decorated with the C.I.E. Maung On Gaing accompanied the expedition to Upper Burman in 1885 on the Headquarters Staff, and acted as Assistaant to Colonel Sladen in Mandalay in 1886.
 
12. Oudh
Raja Pertab Singh, of Pertabgarh, Oudh
He is one of the leading Talukdars. Is being pressed to come, because his seniors in rank are unable for caste or other reasons to leave India.
 
13. Frontier Province
Lieutenant-Colonol Nawab Mahomed Aslam Khan, C.I.E., Khan Bahadur of Peshawar
Late Commandant of the Khyber Rifles
 
14. Viceroy's Nomination
 
15 Mr. Justice Banerjea and General Raja Sir Amar Singh, K.C.I.E. or Judge of Calcutta High Court Commander-in-Chief of the Kashmir Army Kunwar Sir Harnam Singh, K.C.I.E., of Karpurthala
A member of the Viceroy's Legislative Council

TRAVEL OF COOCH BEHAR
L/P&S/7/142/521
{Letter, Calcultta, 20 March, 1902 from H. Daly to Sir Lee Warner, Secretary, Political Department, india Office, London}
 
...The Maharaja of Cooch Behar, who attends the Coronation as A.D.C. to the King, proposes to leave Bombay on the 3rd May, by the "Arabia", and expects to reach Marseilles about the 16th May whence he will go through to London. He asks for customs facilities at Marseilles and Dover.
A copy of the Bengal Government's letter on the subject is enclosed.
{enclosure}
 

From J.A. Boudillon, Esquire, C.S.I., Chief Secretary to the Government of Bengal

To H.S. BArnes, ESquire, C.S.I., Secretary to the Government of India, Foreign Department.
Dated Calcutta, the 8th March 1902.
 
Sir,
With reference to the letter from the Foreign Department No. 726-I/A, dated the 19th FebruAry 1902, regarding the visit of His Highness the Maharaja of Cooch Behar to England in May next to attend the coronation of His Majesty the King Emperor as one of His Imperial Majesty's Aides-de-Camp, I am directed to report for the information of the Government of India, that the Maharaja proposes to leave Bombay on the 3rd of May next by the S.S. "Arabia" and expects to arrive at Marseilles about the 16th idem. He intends leaving the same day for England by the P. and O. "Empress" and asks that th enecessary instructions may be issued for affording him and his party customs facilities at Marseilles, Calais and Dover.

COOCH BEHAR'S PERSONAL ASSISTANT AND ADC NAMED
 
2. I am also to report that, as at present arranged, the following persons in the Maharaja's staff will accompany him viz:.
Babu Priya Nath Ghosh,
Personal Assistant,
Mr. N.C. Sen, A.D.C.,
while Mr. C.W.C. Plowden, Private Secretary and Mr. J.L. Sen, Aide-de-Camp are going in advance to make the necessary arrangements. If any change is made in these arrangements it will be communicated....

TOTAL NUMBERS FOR THE ABBEY
L/P&S/7/142/577 {cont.d}
{Letter from Earl Marshal's Office,to Col. Wyllie at India Office}
 
28th April, 1902
 
Dear Colonel Wyllie,
 
I have shown your letter of the 24th instant to the Earl Marshal, who desires me to acquaint you, for the information of the Secretary of State for India, that he accepts the first instalment of the thirty three names you have kindly sent him -
(1) 6 Ruling Princes
(2) 15 Representatives of British Indian Provinces.
(3) 11 Members of the Secretary of State's Council (omitting the name of Mr Le Marchant as requested) together with the nine ladies, being wives of the Members of the Council.
 
The total list therefore from the India Office for whom seats are to found in Westminster Abbey at the Coronation will be: -
(1) for Six Ruling Princes
(2) One hundred others all told.
... The Earl Marshal has made a note that the Maharajah of Cooch Behar is to be included with the Military A.D.Cs to the King, and that an invitation should also be sent to the Maharani of Cooch Behar to attend...

L/P&S/7/142/577
LIST OF INDIAN REPRESENTATIVES FOR WESTMINSTER ABBEY
 
1. Colonel His Highness Maharaja Dhiraj Sir Madho Rao Sindhia, G.C.S.I., A.D.C., Maharaja of Gwalior.
2. His Highness Maharaja Dhiraj Sawai Sir Madho Singh, G.C.S.I., G.C.I.E., Maharaja of Japur (Rajputana)
3. His Highness Sir Shahu Chhatrapati Maharaj, G.C.S.I., Maharaja of Kolhapur
4. His Highness Muhammad Bahawal Khan Bahadur, Nawab of Bahawalpur (Punjab)(1)
5. Colonel His Highness Maharaja Sir Pertab Singh, G.C.S.I., K.C.B., A.D.C., Maharaja of Idar
6. His Highness Sir Sultan Muhammad Shah, Agha Khan, K.C.I.E.
7. Maharaj Kumar Prodyot Kumar Tagore.
8. Sir Jamsetjee Jeejeebhai, Bart., J.P.
9. Raja Sir Savalai Ramaswami Mudaliyar, Kt., C.I.E.
10. Maharaja Sri Rao the Honourable Sir Venkatasvetachalapati Ranga Rao Bahadur, K.C.I.E., Raja of Bobbili.
11. Meherban Ganpatrao Madhavrav Vinchurkar.
12. The Honourable Asif Kadr Saiyid Wasif Ali Mirza, of Murshidabad.
13. The Honourable Nawab Mumtaz-ud-daula Muhamad Faiyaz Ali Khan, of Pahasu, Bulandshahr District.
14. Nawab Fateh Ali Khan, Kizilbash.
15. Gangadhar Madho Chitnavis, C.I.E., President, Nagpur Municipality.
16. Rai Jagannath Barua Bahadur.
17. Maung On Gaing, C.I.E., A.T.M.
18. Raja Pertab Singh, of Pertabgarh, of Pertabgarh, Oudh.
19. Lieutenant Colonel Nawab Mahomed Aslam Khan, C.I.E., Khan Bahadur of Peshawar.
20. Kunwar Sir Harnam Singh, K.C.I.E., of Kapurthala
21. Sir Baba Khem Singh, Bedi, of Kullar, K.C.I.E.
{these are members of the Council of Secretary of State}
22. Sir Dennis Fitzpatrick, K.C.S.I.
23. Sir James Braithwaite Peile, K.C.S.I.
24. Sir Alfred Comyns Lyall, G.C.I.E., K.C.B.
25. Sir Charles H.T. Crosthwaite, KC.S.I.
26. Sir Steuart C. Bayley, K.C.S.I., C.I.E.
27. F.C. le Marchant, Esq.,
28. Gen. Sir J.J.H. Gordon, K.C.B.
29. Sir James L. Mackay, K.C.I.E.
30. Sir John Edge, Kt., K.C.
31. Sir Philip P. Hutchins, K.C.S.I.
32. Sir James Westland, K.C.S.I.
33. Lieut. Gen. A.R. Badcock, C.B., C.S.I.

ARRANGEMENTS TO LOOK AFTER INDIANS
L/P&S/7/142/678
From {F.S. Cowie} The Assistant Secretary to the Government of India in the Foreign Department,
To The Hon'ble Lieut.-Col. H.A.Deane, C.S.I., Agent to the Governor-General in the North-West Frontier Province
Dated Fort William, the 14th March 1902
 
Sir,
In continuation of my telegram, dated the 8th March, 1902, I am directed to inform you that it is proposed to make the following arrangements for the representative Native noblemen and gentlemen who will attend, as the guests of Government, at the forthcoming Coronation of His Most Gracious Majesty the King, Emperor of India.
2. An officer will be appointed to assist and advise them, and it is intended to take passages for him and for as many wish to travel with him in some P. and O. Steamer, probaby the Persia, which will leave Bombay on May 31st. The cost of thge steamer passage, to and from England, of each of the fifteen guests will be defrayed by the Government, whehter he travels with the officer in charge or not, but the passages of servants will not be paid for. In London arrangements have been made for the accommodation of the party at St. Ermin's Hotel, Westminster, for one week at the expense of Government. Rooms will be provided for the fifteen gentleman who have been invited, and for one servant with each of them. The Government of India have no wish to require their guests either to sail by the steamer selected or to stay at St. Ermin's Hotel; but,unless they do so, the officer in charge will not be able to give them any real assistance nor can he be responsible for seeing that they are conveyed to their proper destinations at the Coronation Ceremony or on other occasions. London will at the time be very crowded, and there will be great difficulty in obtaining both house accommodation and carriages; these gentlemen themselves , probably see the advantage of profiting by the arrangements made by the government. In any case it is desirable that they should all meet for the Coronation week at the hotel where the Secretary of State has secured lodgings for them....

REPORT BY MINDER
L\P&S\3\393\2646
{Report to the Political Secretary, India Office from The Hon'ble Mr. J. Pollen L L.D., I.C.S., - the officer deputed by Indian Government to take charge of Indian Provincial Representatives}
 
... I at once placed myself in communication with the invited Guests as ordered, and informed them that the Steamer "Persia" would sail on the 31st May .... Considerable correspondence followed between myself and the Selected Guests and the P.&O. Company: and I was ultimately able to arrange satisfactorily for the accommodation of those Guests who elected to travel with me on "the Persia."
... The rest of the Representative Guests(2) began to assemble in Bombay from the 25th onward and I finally succeeded in getting them and all their followers &c., safely on board the S.S. "Persia" in the afternoon of the 31st...
The Representative Guests had several particular and peculiar wants on the voyage - and the requirements of their miscellaneous followers were at times not easy to meet - but owing to the constant kindness, courtesy and consideration of the Captain and Officers of the Ship all difficulties were over-come and the voyage was satisfactorily completed....

BABA SIR KHEM SINGH BEDI HAS DIABETES
 
...With the exeption of Baba Sir Khem Singh Bedi - who was an old man suffering from diabetes - and Asif Kadre Wasif Ali Mirza (who seems to have left Calcultta in bad health) - none of the Representative Guests suffered much inconvenience from the voyage...
...We landed for a few hours both at Marseilles and at Gibralter, and finally reached Plymouth at 11 o'clock on Thursday the 19th June arriving at Paddington the same evening at 7.40. Here we were met by Mr. Gabriel, I.C.S., on behalf of the India Office, who accompanied us to the St. Ermin's Hotel, where I found the Maharaja Prodyot Kumar Tagore, Sir Savalia Ramaswamy and the Maharaja, the Raja of Bobbili. Sir Jamsetji Jijibhoy, I learnt, was staying with his family at the Westminster Palace Hotel - and Sir Harnam Singh & family at 3, Bolton Gardens, Kensington. Maung On Gaing was also with friends at Kensington.
...On Saturday the 21st, Sir Anthony Macdonell kindly called on some of the Representatives at the Hotel; and in the afternoon of the same day I accompanied Sir Bab Khem Singh and several other Representatives to the Garden Party given by the Earl and Countess of Jersey at Osterly Park...

PRESENTATION TO PRINCE OF WALES - 4 JULY
 
...On Friday night the 4th {July} all of the Representative Guests attended the Reception at the India Office and were formally presented to the Prince of Wales representing His Majesty the King Emperor. The Guests were arranged territorially - according to Province and Cities.... Some points were raised and several questions asked - as to the order of precedence - and the underlying principles involved - but I was able to satisfy those concerned that all things in this connection had been rightly done...(3)

VISIT TO BUCKINGHAM PALACE - 11 JULY
 
...On Friday the 11th July T.R.H. the Prince and Princess of Wales, on behalf of Their Majesties the King-Emperor and Queen, received the Representatives at St. James Palace....
...Meanwhile I was auithorised to inform the Representative Guests that they could all stay on as Guests of the Crown until the completion of the Coronation ceremonies, and it was amongst other things decided that I should take those of them who were willing to accompany me on a tour - through the United Kingdom...(4) Sir Khem Singh... elected to remain in London

DIFFICULTY GETTING TO THE ABBEY - 9 JULY
 
... On Saturday {9 July}, not without delay and difficulty due to the heavy traffic, I succeeded in getting all the Representative Guests safely seated in the Abbey where they had an excellent view of the great and solemn Ceremonial of the CORONATION.
On the 13th as directed I accompanied all the Representatives to Buckingham Palace where they were individually presented to His Majesty the King Emperor just before the Review of the Indian troops...(5)

DEPARTURE TO INDIA
 
Next day I saw the Nowab Fateh Ali Khan and party off to Paris by the 11 o'clock train from Victoria Station, and the next day I said goodbye to .... Sir Khem Sing Bedi... at the same station...

 

 

 

FOOTNOTES

1. However, in l/P&S/7/142/720 - telegram from Viceroy, dated Simla, 24 May 1902 - Maharaja of Bikaner gratefully accepts invitation to attend coronation in place of Bahawalpur. He leaves Bombay 31 May. He requests that Major Manners Smith may be on duty in England with him...

2. The Hon G.M. Vinchurkar
The Hon Faiaz Ali Khan
Raja Partab Bahadur Singh
The Hon Fateh Ali Khan
Baba Sir Khem Singh
Mr G.M. Chitnavis
Rai Jagannath Barua
Lt.-Col. Aslam Khan
The Hon. Faiyaz Ali Khan

3. Note that the King's illness started a process of depletion. 5th July, Sir Sawalai Ramaswamy Mudaliyar went back to India. Asif Kadr Sayid Wasif Ali Mirza who had not heard from his aged father made arrangements to leave. 11th July Maharagh Kumar Prodyot Tagore made arrangements to leave - but before he reached Brindisi "the Official announcement that the Coronation would take place on the 9th August reached him, and he returned to London before that date!"

4. This reference contains some newspaper reports of the Representatives's visit to Sheffield, Belfast etc.

5. According to the "List of Engagements" - it was Wednesday, 13th August at 3 p.m. at Buckingham Palace that the Representatives received from the King-Emperor their Coronation Medals