Signed letter from Major Impey to the Begum of Bhopal on behalf of the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, 1902
A personal manuscript letter written on three sides of a small sheet of folded writing paper embossed with the royal arms and Bhopal Agency, Sehore in blue in a small oval top right, dated Sehore, 13th April 1902, and signed L. Impey. Major Impey of the Political Agency writes in response to a letter from the Begum asking if her three sons may pay their respects to the Viceroy, Lord Curzon, when his special train stops at Bhopal. He assures her that because of the brief halt – “a minute or two at the early hour of five in the morning” – this will not happen. This is stated in strong terms – “I understand that His Excellency will be probably be resting at this hour & attendance is not necessary or desired.” The letter is tipped to an old paper page by the blank rear leaf and there are a few faint markings in blue pencil to the top margin. Despite the reasons given for the Viceroy’s not receiving Sultan Jehan’s sons an underlying reason is more likely the breech of protocol that would be involved in his meeting them rather than the ruler herself. There could also be some issue over the effect any meeting with them might have for the question of succession because the British preferred to continue the line of female rulers in Bhopal.
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