Wednesday, 23 October 2013

Sir Bartle Frere and family

Sir Bartle Frere, his staff and family. From Left to right Sir Bartle Frere, Miss Frere, Moore CS. Mansfield CS. Marston, Lady Frere, Miss Frere.

The photograph above is believed to have been taken in Karachi, as it appears along with several other photos from my great great grandfathers collection, which are all marked as having been taken in Karachi in 1866. Sir Bartle Frere (1815-1884)  who was Governor of Bombay,  was planning to return to England in the following year, and it is very probable that the photograph was taken during his last visit to Karachi where he had spent much of his earlier career as Chief Commissioner for Sindh.

A rather poor photo of government house Karachi in the same year.

One of the two Miss Frere's must be Mary Frere (1845 to 1911) who wrote Old Deccan Days; or, Hindoo Fairy Legends, Current in Southern India. Collected From Oral Tradition with help from an ayah called Anna Liberata de Souza, who was a Christian convert from the Lingayat community.

Mary had received encouragement and assistance from time to time from her father. She accompanied her father on his frequent journeys around the Bombay Presidency.

Anna Liberata de Souza,

Marston, shown in the first was Edward Marston, who at that time was running the police force in Karachi and Sind. He was a larger than life character who led a very eventful life as his obituary written in 1902 shows.

“A BRAVE SOLDIER. DEATH OF GEN. MARSTON. The last mail has brought the news of the death at Karachi of Major-General Edward Charles Marston, of the Bombay Army, at the age of 80. He entered the army in 1839, and served with Gen. Sir Richard England's forces in the Afghan war. the battle of Meeanee, in 1843, when Sir Charles Napier defeated the Ameers Sind, he performed a feat which nowadays would have been rewarded with the Victoria Cross. He encountered and slew with his sword three huge Beluchis who were making for the General, and saved Sir Charles Napier's life. When Sir Charles organized the Sind police, on the model of which the police throughout the rest of India were established later, he entrusted the raising and command of the Karachi district police force to Lieutenant Marston, who became Commandant of Police for the province in a few years, A man of great activity and powerful physique. Sir R. Burton describes him as excelling every native sportsman in stripping the hills of ibex and wild sheep, and in 1855 Sir Bartle Frere brought specially to the notice of the Bombay Government his undaunted courage in a single-handed encounter with a gang of Afghan burglars. After his retirement about 25 years ago he spent the remainder of his life in Karachi, a place for which had a great attachment. He became a major-general 1891.” [2]

[1] From's_Narrative This narrative is an extremely interesting account which deals with the life of Anna's father and grandfather. Her grandparents had campaigned in the wars with Tipu and were present at Kirkee.  Deccan Days can be read here's_Narrative
[2] From Cheltenham Chronicle - Saturday 19 April 1902

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