Lord Curzon The Flamboyant Viceroy Of India, 1903 Print

Lord Curzon The Flamboyant Viceroy Of India, 1903 Print

A 1903 print of Lord Curzon the flamboyant Viceroy of British India. This page is from the London-based newspaper The Illustrated London News of Jan 5, 1903. The image is titled at the top “The King’s Representative At The Imperial Durbar” and below “His Excellency Lord Curzon, Viceroy of India.”

First appointed Viceroy & Governor-General of British India in 1899. He was reappointed for a second term in 1904, but resigned from the high post in 1905, because of differences with Lord Kitchener. Kitchener was the Commander-In-Chief of the British Indian Army at the time. Curzon was flamboyant, intelligent, and smart but also had some sort of brashness about him.

The Delhi Durbar of 1903, under Lord Curzon’s supervision was a genius act. The Viceroy’s dazzling and insightful touch had covered the most minute details. To a great degree that years later the event would still be known as Curzon’s Durbar. He even eclipsed the King’s brother, the Duke of Connaught in importance at the Delhi Durbar.

The ceremonies lasted ten days. Every resource had been strained to transport, feed, and house the 173,000 persons who had attended the Durbar in Delhi. The viceroy’s committee had organized mile upon mile of roads and light railways. They had made complicated arrangements for electric lighting, water supplies, sanitation, medical supervision, and police.

Both in the city and the vast area occupied by the temporary camps. Besides the Durbar itself, outside the city, there had been a grand state entry of the Viceroy and the Duke and Duchess of Connaught. Riding on richly caparisoned elephants through the streets of Delhi. There were two investitures, a state ball, a spectacular review of the troops, and the reception to the ruling chiefs. The extravagant ceremony proclaimed the British as legitimate successors to the Mughals.

Curzon presided in the partition of Bengal into two in 1905. The divide comprised of East and West Bengal. Arguably one of the most disastrous blunders ever made by the British, it created a huge uproar and outrage. King George V reversed the partition in the Delhi Durbar of 1911. Lord Curzon died in England in 1925. 

Did you know – in 1923 he was in the running for the British Prime Ministership but unfortunately for him, he was denied the post.

From the collection – Nizam of Hyderabad VI – Photogravure 1915., Senate House & Cooum River Madras, 1920 Postcard ., Mumbai Railway Suburban Services – Old Print 1955.