Tuesday, 12 September 2017

Victoria Rules OK

It is sometimes the case that a grandparent has a closer and better relationship with a grandchild than with one or other of their own children. Then it might happen that someone close becomes what might be seen as a surrogate grandchild, particularly if they are always near, willing to listen and unencumbered by the family of the past.

The TV and media and those watching the programme on Queen Victoria as well as in the recent past have had Abdul Karim, "The Munshi" the Indian servant of QV in her last years, see Wikipedia, as some sort of boy friend with the usual inferences as to their closeness.

When you consider that Kaiser Wilhelm of Germany was a grandchild along with other choice persons it is easy to understand why Abdul's company may have been preferred. It was when I saw that he was given lands by Agra when packed off back to India and that his father served with the Central Indian Horse that the twitch came in.

The Wikipedia article gives the names etc. of those most closely involved but there are others in the background. One is a person already mentioned here, Auckland Colvin, Treasurer of India in the period, whose father, John Russell Colvin, has a magnificent tomb in Agra and was a hero of The Mutiny. They were cousins to the Antrim's who were at Court down the generations along with members of the Grey families.

In the early years of Victoria's reign she relied on the Duke of Wellington for sound advice rather than the Whig/Liberals with their fetishes about giving the franchise to lower class men reforming Parliament and social reform along with other things.

You will find across the fields from his house in Hampshire another old India hand, Ralph Henry Sneyd, 1784-1840, whose daughter Emma Catherine Julia "Kate", was one of the beauties at Court in the early 1850's, see J Hayter's, Court Album.

She had other family in London then, who may well have shopped in Piccadilly, a short distance away from Dean Street, where a Prussian, Karl Marx was taking lessons from Morgan Kavanagh in philosophy.

Kate married George Glynn Petre a leading diplomat of his age. At one stage with some intricate negotiations concerning Latin America, what to do about Argentina etc., he acted as the Crown, a rare trust and honour.

This entailed direct contact with The Queen. It does not quite end there. The granddaughter of one of the Antrim's married John Herbert Bowes-Lyon, second son of the 14th Earl of Strathmore and Kinghorne. John had a younger sister Elizabeth, born in 1900.

She became the last Empress of India.