The Reception of Lord Amherst by Rup Lal Mallick

Scope and Content

Correspondence concerning the identification of the portrait, The reception of Lord Amherst by Rup Lal Mallick, by William Henry Florio Hutchisson. The painting, at the time of the correspondence, was owned by Major-General Sir George McKenzie Franks. The material consists of:

  • A photograph of the painting mounted on brown card.
  • Letter from Major V. Hodson to Sir Patrick Cadell to give his opinion on who might be present in the painting. He recognises Colonel Duncan Macleod and names other possibilities. With the letter is a pencil sketch of some of the figures and his identification of those numbered. He also writes of a possible date and occasion. Typed letter, dated 13 July, 1947.
  • Letter from Sir Patrick Cadell to Sir Richard Winstedt to write of the information he has obtained from Major Hodson. The letter records that the photo was sent to Winstedt by a Mr Sheppard. He also adds thoughts from other sources, but admits beyond the information he's provided he cannot help further. He suggests contacting C.E.A.W. Oldham or W. Foster. Handwritten letter, 7 sides, dated 18 July 1947.
  • Note from Sir Richard Winstedt to Sir William Foster to ask him if he might be interested in the material and be able to identify the painter. Handwritten on Royal Asiatic Society headed paper, dated 30 August 1947.
  • Letter from Sir William Foster to Sir Richard Winstedt in which he suggests that the artist might be William Henry Florio Hutchisson. Typed letter, dated 1 August 1947 (Probably 1 September 1947).
  • Letter from Major-General Sir George McKenzie Franks to Major Sheppard in which he writes of new information that he acquired about the picture from a book he had been lent by a Mrs Brabazon with reminiscences of her ancestor, General Sir George Bell. In the book is an account of an event in 1827 in Calcutta which fits with the details of the painting. This dates also fits with the time that Franks' great-grandfather was in India. The description gives clues to other people present and that the event was hosted by Rup Lal Mallick. With the letter is a typed copy of the appropriate section from Bell's memoirs. Typed, 4 sides, dated 16 September 1947.
  • Letter from Major-General Sir George McKenzie Franks to Sir Richard Winstedt to update him on the material that has been found describing the events of the painting. He invites Winstedt to view the painting if ever in Ireland. With his letter he sends a list entitled 'Notes on colour of uniforms, etc, with reference to numbers on tracing'. Typed, dated 22 September 1947.

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir George McKenzie Franks was born in Edinburgh and served in the British Army. He died in Belfast.

Sir Richard Winstedt was an orientalist and colonial administrator in Malaya. On his return to England he was actively involved in the Royal Asiatic Society serving as both President and Director.

Sir William Foster was a British historiographer and civil servant who was Registrar and Superintendent of Records in the India Office.

Sir Patrick Cadell was a civil servant who served in India.

William Henry Florio Hutchisson was a British painter known for his portraits and scenes from India.

Access Information

Open. Please contact the archivist. Details can be found here. The archive is open on Tuesdays and Fridays 10-5, and Thursdays 2-5. Access is to any researcher without appointment but it will help if an appointment is made via phone or email. Please bring photo ID.

Acquisition Information

The material was acquired when Major-General Sir George McKenzie Franks requested the help of Sir Richard Winstedt, Director, Royal Asiatic Society, in identifying the occasion of the painting and the people portrayed.

Archivist's Note

The material was catalogued by Nancy Charley, RAS Archivist, in 2022.

Conditions Governing Use

Digital photography (without flash) for research purposes may be permitted upon completion of a copyright declaration form, and with respect to current UK copyright law.

Custodial History

The original painting was, in 1947, owned by Major-General Sir George McKenzie Franks. The correspondence was created in his attempt to discover more about the painting.

Location of Originals

The original painting was sold at Sotheby's in 1989 for £56,000.

Geographical Names