John Falconer, British Library
A Biographical Dictionary of 19th Century Photographers in South and South-East Asia
Assistant Superintendent, Revenue Survey. Last listed in Bombay almanac for 1864 as assisitant superintendent of the Gujarat Revenue Survey.
Contributed to The Indian Amateur’s Photographic Album in mid-1850s. Photograph of the sluice gate at Ahmadabad appears in the September 1858 issue. Appointed by Government to photograph the tribes of Gujarat, 1861, but this commission was recommended to be cancelled by the Revenue Commissioner of the Northern Division, who was ‘of opinion that Government should not place themselves under any obligation to Mr Rae...for taking photographs of the remarkable tribes in Guzerat, until he has cleared himself of the serious charges preferred against him by Mr Rogers, late settlement officer’ [Bombay pub. proc. 18 January 1862, no. 47]. However, in June 1862, the proceedings record that Rae had asked for payment for photographs supplied, although in the Acting Chief Secretary to the Bombay Government’s opinion, ‘they did not appear sufficiently good to send home for exhibition.’
‘The Revenue Commissioner, N.D., forwards for consideration a letter from Mr Ashburner, Acting Collector of Ahmadabad, offering to take photographs of the remarkable tribes in Guzerat, and suggests that he is allowed an assistant on Rupees 50 per mensem.’
The reply of 13 September 1861, asked the Revenue Commissioner ‘to ascertain and report if the services of Mr Rae, Assistant Superintendent Revenue Survey, are available for taking the photographs.’
On 10 December the Bombay Government informed the Revenue Commissoner, N.D., that it did not ‘contemplate deputing Mr Rae to take the photographs required, but they will be glad if Mr Rae will submit for approval a few photographs of natives, and, if approved, they will take some prints of each. Mr J. Gibbs and Doctors Birdwood and Bhow Dajee are appointed a Committee to give their assistance to Government in procuring any well selected and authenticated photographs of the different tribes required by Home Government.’
The Revenue Commissioner replies to the Bombay Government’s request for examples of Rae’s working, stating their recommendation that he should not be employed ‘until he has cleared himself from the serious charges preferred against him by Mr Rogers, late Settlement Officer.’ The order to employ Rae was therefore cancelled by order of 18 January 1862. (Check entry 972 of 1860 and 1452 of 1861 of Revenue Department Proceedings abstracts).
‘The Collector of Surat requests instructions for the disposal of a number of photographs taken by Mr Rae, and the payment of charges incurred for the same.’,br>
‘The Revenue Commissioner, N.D., reports the circumstances under which Mr Rae was employed in taking photographs’
‘The Acting Chief Secretary to Government intimates that Mr Rogers, the Collector of Surat, called on him with the negatives and prints, and that they did not appears sufficiently good to send home for exhibition, and states that he has advised Mr Rogers, who is taking home the negatives for Mr Rae, to show them at the India Office, and if they there wish to have prints, he can get them printed for them in England.’
- Λ Bombay pub. proc. 11 June 1862, no. 426.
- Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, September 1861, IOR/P/352/34 No. 737
- Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, December 1861, IOR/P/352/34 No. 974
- Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, January 1862, IOR/P/352/35 No. 47
- Λ Bombay Public Proceedings, June 1862, IOR/P/352/35 No. 426