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H.H. Davies collection on India

Reference Code: GBR/0115/RCS/Y3022Q-R

Scope and Contents

Two albums containing prints collected by Herbert Howel Davies (HHD), Principal of the Colvin Taluqdars School, Lucknow. It includes a number of professional photographs of places visited by HHD (notably Lucknow, Delhi, Benares, and Agra) and also many smaller amateur prints, presumably taken by him, of his life at the school and his travels, particularly to Kashmir. Y3022Q/52-60 are non-Indian photographs, presumably taken on leave.

Sir Auckland Colvin (1838-1908) was appointed Lieutenant Governor of the North West Provinces and Chief Commissioner of Oudh in 1887. At his urging, the taluqdars, a group of estate holders in Oudh whose status had been recognised under British Rule, but who were regarded as needing improved education, set up a committee to raise funds for a school. In 1880 Colvin laid the foundation stone, on a plot donated by the Government, and the school began classes two years later. It was named the Colvin Taluqdars School, and its first Principal was Henry George Impey Siddons, the posthumous child of a Captain in the Indian Army, who graduated at Oxford and returned to India to teach. From 1875 to 1884 he had been first headmaster, then Principal, of the MAO College, Aligarh, subsequently holding other teaching posts in India. His successor at the Colvin School was HHD. A copy of HHD's obituary is held within Y302Q.


  • Creation: 1902 - 1910


Conditions Governing Access

Unless restrictions apply, the collection is open for consultation by researchers using the Manuscripts Reading Room at Cambridge University Library. For further details on conditions governing access please contact Information about opening hours and obtaining a Cambridge University Library reader's ticket is available from the Library's website (

Biographical / Historical

Herbert Howel Davies was born in Wrexham on 3 December 1872, educated at Grove Park School, Wrexham and St John's College, Cambridge. He taught for some years at Framlingham College, Suffolk, and thus came into contact with Sir Auckland Colvin who had settled at Framlingham on his retirement from India in 1892. Colvin appointed him Principal of the Taluqdars School in 1902. Here he remained until his death at Mussoorie on 17 May 1910, of meningitis following enteric fever. He had played an active role in hockey, football and other sports in Lucknow; was a member of the Oudh Light Horse and founder of the school's mounted Cadet Corps. Prominent in freemasonry, he was also Hon. Secretary of the Lucknow Station Library, a member of the Municipal Board and an amateur actor. His obituary, which originally appeared in the Mussoorie Echo and was reproduced in the Wrexham Advertiser, praised his educational work; 'With wonderful energy Mr Herbert Howel Davies threw himself zealously into all the duties of his very responsible position and made himself not only a teacher but the guardian, friend and comrade of those entrusted to his care. From the very beginning he gave himself wholly to his work, identifying himself completely with its fortunes, and under his care the school developed wonderfully'.


.02 cubic metre(s) (2 albums containing 481 images) : photographic prints

Language of Materials


Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

The albums are in poor condition; the general state of the photographs is fair, and more details are given under each volume.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Presented in 1968 by Herbert Davies' nephew, Colonel John Smith.

Existence and Location of Copies

This collection is available on microfiche: South Asia, fiche number 39-44.


For a history of the Colvin Taluqdars School (now Colvin Taluqdars' College) see: Metcalf, Thomas R. (1979), 'Land, landlords, and the British Raj', Berkeley: University of California Press, pp.322-40. For more information on Henry Sidons see: Bhatnagar, Shyam Krishna (1969), 'History of the M.A.O. College', Aligarh, London: Asia Publishing House; Lelyveld, David (1978), 'Aligarh's first generation', Princeton: Princeton University Press.


This item level description was entered by SG, NE and MJC using information from the original typescript catalogue.


Davies, Herbert Howel, 1872-1910

Includes index.
2004-03-08 15:00:18+00:00
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge University Library Repository

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