British Families In 19th Century Colonial India, 1880
An old 1880 photo of a group of British families in 19th-century colonial India. By the look of the pandal on the left side, the families may have attended a function there. There are British women and children along with their men. Two horse carriages with their handlers seem set to convey them to their destination.
Not sure of the exact location but some part in Northern India. It could also be Bombay or Calcutta, Jaipur, Allahabad, etc. There was a sizeable concentration of Britishers in those places. Working typically in the military, civil services, or even doing business. Once the Suez Canal opened in 1869, it was a great relief for travellers from England.
Who otherwise had to travel from around South Africa taking around six months to reach India. However, travel via the Suez Canal greatly reduced the time and cost. In a matter of four weeks, travellers reached India by steamer ships. Thus enabling many Britishers to take their families along. It is said that unmarried ladies would also arrive in India by this route, primarily to seek prospective British grooms. The unlucky ones would return only to be back the next year to try their luck again. They were derisively known as the fishing fleet girls. Click on the photo for better view.
Did you know – many children of Britishers found it easier to be inducted into the required job services in colonial India.
From the collection – 1964 M. Suriyamoorthy Charcoal On Paper (#2)., King George V & Queen Mary In Bombay, 3 PCs 1911., View of Poona or Pune – Old Print 1855., Opening Of The Madras Railway – Old Print 1856.