1893 Cantonments enquiry

Archive Unit
  • This material is held at
  • Reference
      GB 106 AMS/C/03
  • Former Reference
      GB 106 D1 JB 65
  • Dates of Creation
  • Physical Description
      7 folders

Scope and Content

Reports, papers and correspondence relating to the parliamentary Committee set up to investigate claims surrounding the regulation of prostitution in Indian Cantonments, specifically the licensing of prostitutes, the medical examination of women and the maintenance of hospitals for those serving British troops. Henry J Wilson served on this Committee and most files in this series were collected by him. See also GB 106 AMS/C/02/02 for more of Wilson's papers dating from his time on the Committee.

The Committee was established to investigate the findings of a report published by two American missionaries, Dr Kate Bushnell and Mrs Elizabeth Andrew, who had visited India as representatives of the Ladies' National Association from 1891 to1893. They found regulation of prostitution in cantonments ongoing. The Committee sent Mr Hyslop Bell to check the facts presented in Bushnell and Andrew's report and heard testimony from several military personnel including Lord Roberts. As a result of the Committee's findings, the Cantonments Act of 1889 was amended in 1895 by the India Act No.V which prohibited the registration and examination of prostitutes.