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Record of historical events

Victoria and Albert collected photographs that documented the political and military events that defined a period of global expansion


    During the late 1850s, Queen Victoria (1819-1901) regularly corresponded with Lady Canning (1817-61), the wife of the Viceroy of India, and formerly the Queen’s Lady of the Bedchamber. Lady Canning frequently wrote to the Queen on political matters and showed a great interest in photography. For example in 1858, she sent the Queen a set of photographs by Oscar Mallitte (1829-1905) which documented the Andaman Islands. These photographs can be explored below.

    The Indian Rebellion of 1857-59 was a widespread but ultimately unsuccessful rebellion against British rule in India. It began in Meerut by Indian troops (sepoys) in the service of the British East India Company and expanded to Delhi, Agra, Kanpur (Cawnpore) and Lucknow. An aftermath of the mutiny was that the East India Company was replaced with direct rule by the British government. The following fifteen years saw a peak of British imperial power in India. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert continued to collect photographs that reflected these social and political changes