Winter Botham's Work And Leisure Activities

[INDIA] [WINTER BOTHAM, Henry Martin] (1847-1932) [Attractive Private Scrap Book with Forty-Two Original Ink, Pencil, Pen and Wash Drawings and Watercolours, Eleven Albumen Photographs (Including Two Carte-de-Visite Portraits by Lala Deen Dayal), and Two Rare Lithographs by the “Behar Lithographic Press” (After Sketches by Sir Charles D’Oyly). The Scrap Book Shows Winter Botham's Work and Leisure Activities while in Service in Southwestern India (Calabar, Enamakkal Lake, Karimpuzha River, Sispara Mountain, Nandi Hills, Elathur, etc.). Ca. 1870-1879; lithographs: ca. 1828. Folio album (ca. 30,5x24 cm). 17 paper leaves. With 42 original mounted works of art (ink, pencil, pen and wash drawings, watercolours) from ca. 14x23 cm (5 ½ x 9 in) to ca. 6x10 cm (2 ½ x 4 in).

All works of art with period manuscript captions on the lower margins and/or on the mounts or verso, over thirty dated from 1870 to 1897 and one signed “H.M.W.” With nine mounted albumen photographs from ca. 11,5x18 cm (4 ½ x 7 in) to ca. 4x10,5 cm (1 ½ x 4 in); most photos are captioned in negative or on verso. With a lithograph portrait of “Mirza Kulleaun Beg” by Charles D’Oyly, ca. 16x17 cm (6 ¼ x 6 ¾ in); captioned and signed on the lower margin. With several leaves of Indian plants mounted in the album. Also, with two loosely inserted carte-de-visite photos of Indian Rajas by the studio of Deen Diyal (Indore), the photos are ca. 5,5x9,5 cm (2 ¼ x 3 ¾ in). With a framed lithograph by Charles D’Oyly; frame size ca. 21,5x26,5 cm (8 ½ x 10 ½ in). Period brown diced blind-stamped full cloth album, neatly rebacked; front cover with a gilt-stamped decorative frame and a gilt-tooled title “Scrap Book.” Several leaves with very minor tears on the blank lower margins, but overall a very good album with attractive, well-executed drawings and watercolours. Historically interesting and attractive private album with lively and often humorous drawings, watercolours and photographs, depicting the life of a young civil servant in British India in the 1870s. The artist and compiler, Sir Henry Martin Winter Botham, served for over thirty years in the Madras Presidency, becoming a veteran of the Indian Civil Service (see more details from his biography below). When he created the artwork for his album, Winter Botham was in his twenties - a young adventurous “assistant to the Collector and Magistrate of Malabar,” interested in hunting and exploring the forests, lakes and peaks of the Western Ghats. He is present in many of the drawings and watercolours, with his name reduced to simple “H.M.W.” The other person often seen in the artwork and named “F.H.W.” is his elder brother Francis Heskins Winter Botham (1839-1879), then an officer of the Madras Infantry residing in Bangalore (Bengaluru). The two other Englishmen present in the artwork are “H.C. Hannyngton” (John Child Hannyngton) and “A. McGregor” (Atholl MacGregor), both long-time civil servants in British India, interested in native flora and fauna. The drawings and watercolours show Winter Botham swimming in the Enamakkal (Enamavu) Lake and hunting at its shores, “Muggur shooting at Elatur [Elathur] 7 miles N. of Calicut. 1871,” riding horses with his brother, camping with Hannyngton in the forest near the Sispara mountain, dining in a jungle tent with Hannington (the notes on the margin humorously define a camp bed as “bedroom,” a pot as “lavatory,” a book on the bed as a “library,” a pipe as a “smoking room,” etc.), crossing the Karimpuzha River, “bison-stalking near Sholakal, 1871,” pursuing a wounded elephant “near Chaned”, etc. A dynamic sepia watercolour depicts the “death of a wild cat” (featuring both Winter Botham brothers and Atholl MacGregor), a large ink drawing shows Hannyngton and Henry Martin Winter Botham with a procession of porters ``surveying forest between Punchponah and Chmikadavy.” A series of five pen and wash drawings depict Henry and Frank Winter Botham’s trip to the “Nundidroog” (Nandi Hills) fortress near Bangalore – the ascent, descent, a moon-lit scene on top, and two hunting scenes. The other drawings show the British travellers ``watching for sambur [deer]” under the heat of 40°, crawling into Toda native huts, Henry Winter Botham getting a haircut on the verandah of his brother’s house in Bangalore. There are also views of “Frank’s house, 10 St. John’s Road, Bangalore, 15-4-72,” “Head assistant’s house, Palghaut [Palakkad],” a portrait of Henry Winter Botham with his face cut out of a photograph, several portraits of the native people, a watercolour coastal view of Tellicherry (Thalassery) and a pencil drawing of a shot elephant (both made after photos by J.C. Hannyngton), a watercolour view of “Frank’s grave” near Peshawar, etc. The original albumen photos include a view of Henry Winter Botham’s house, taken by J.C. Hannyngton. The other images reproduce original drawings (possibly, Winter Botham’s) and include amusing scenes of “Moplah vaccination in Malabar, 1874,” “Defendant pleads not guilty, 1874,” locals watching the British swimming at “Malapuram, 1873,” and others. The two lithographs are from the private “Behar Lithographic Press,” founded by Sir Charles D’Oyly (1781-1845) in Patna (Bihar) in 1828. These rare lithographs were executed after D’Oyly’s original drawings and intended for private distribution. The mounted lithograph is a portrait of “Mirza Kulleaun Beg,” and the framed one is a scene with an elephant procession “Near Gyah” (Gaya, Bihar). The carte-de-visite albumen photos are mounted on the studio cards of a notable Indian photographer Lala Deen Dayal (1844-1905). The handwritten notes on verso identify the portrayed people as “Maharaja Rewa” and “Raja of Ruttam.” Overall a rich collection of original artwork and photographs, showing the life of British civil servants in the Madras Presidency of British India in the 1870s. Sir Henry Martin Winter Botham started in 1869 as an assistant to the Collector and Magistrate of Malabar (Hart, H.G. The New Army List, Militia List and Indian Service List… London, 1872, p. 492), became Collector and Magistrate in 1888, Commissioner of Revenue Settlement and Director of Agriculture in 1895, and a Member of Council, Madras in 1898. He became Companion of the Order of the Star of India in 1900 and Knight Commander in 1903, retiring the same year (Rao, C. Hayavando. The Indian Biographical Dictionary. Madras, 1915, p. 467). Francis Heskins Winter Botham served in the Madras Infantry, did “duties with the Sappers and Miners at Bangalore” in the 1870s (Hart, H.G. The New Army List, Militia List and Indian Service List… London, 1871, p. 403), and died during the second Afghan War (1878-1880); he was buried near Peshawar. John Child Hannyngton (1835-1895) started his Indian service in Bengal in 1859. For the next thirty years, he served in southern India, becoming prominent as a judge in Tellicherry since 1867. In 1878-1880s, he served as a British Resident in the princely states of Travancore and Cochin. He was an arbitrator of boundary disputes between them (Princep, C. Record of Services of the Hon. East India Company’s Civil Servants in the Madras Presidency from 1741 to 1858. London, 1885, p. 179). J.C. Hannyngton was interested in botany; his son Frank Hannyngton (1874-1919) became an entomologist. J.C. Hannyngton had an affair with an Indian woman; their granddaughter Janaki Ammal (1897-1984) was a notable Indian botanist and cytologist. Atholl MacGregor (1836-1922) started his service as assistant to the Collector and Magistrate in Madura in 1857. He later took several civil service posts at different cities of southern India (Tinnevelly/Tirunelveli, Malabar Coast, Coimbatore, Travancore, etc.). In the 1870s, when Winter Botham created the artwork for his album, MacGregor served as the Collector and Magistrate of Malabar (from 1870), Acting Secretary to Government – Revenue Department (since 1975), and British Resident in the princely states of Travancore and Cochin (in 1876-77). See more: The Indian Civil Service List for 1880, Madras, 1880, p. 516. An avid bird-watcher, MacGregor compiled the list of birds for William Logan’s comprehensive guide to the Malabar district, widely known as “Malabar Manual” (Madras, 1887, vol. 1, p. 61).


Subscribe to WanjaraNomad to receive updates and alerts about nominations, the WanjaraNomad Photography Competition, and other news and events.