"the death of their parents in India"
This painting of the interior of the Neminath Temple reflects 19th century British romanticized views of India
Public DomainThis painting of the interior of the Neminath Temple reflects 19th century British romanticized views of India - Credit: William Carpenter
1857 map of India. Even those areas designated Hindu or Muhammadan were still indirectly controlled by the British
Public Domain1857 map of India. Even those areas designated Hindu or Muhammadan were still indirectly controlled by the British - Credit: British East India Company

India had been under the control of the British Raj since 1858. This meant Britain depended on India for many of its raw materials and foodstuffs, and numerous British soldiers and officers were deployed there to protect those interests.

British views of India at the time were highly romanticized, with art and literature portraying it as a place of sensual exoticism. However, regular outbreaks of cholera in India claimed millions of lives during the 19th century and it may well have been this that carried off our young bachelor’s parents.

 

Cartoon portraying the deadly spread of cholera
Public DomainCartoon portraying the deadly spread of cholera - Credit: National Library of Medicine photographic archive