Robert Tytler and Charles Shepard,
Bahadur Shah II, the ex-King of Delhi, May 1858
This rare portrait of Bahadur Shah, Emperor of Delhi from 1837-57, shows him in captivity in Delhi awaiting trial by the British for his support of the Uprising of 1857-58. It was, apparently, common practice for Europeans to visit the ex-king in captivity. One of these, William Hodson’s wife, describes seeing him as he is portrayed in this photograph, reclining on a bamboo charpoy and smoking a hookah. Although there was considerable agitation for his execution, a promise had been made on his surrender that his life would be spared, and he was shortly afterwards sentenced to permanent exile.