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Chronology

Tripe-16

1807
November 21 
Cornelius Tripe marries Mary Fincham at Stoke Damerel Church. Between 1808 and 1828 they have twelve children — eight sons, including Linnaeus, and four daughters.

1822
April 14  Linnaeus born at 4 St Aubyn Street, Plymouth Dock; sixth son and ninth child.

1839
June 12  Tripe formally accepted as ensign by East India Company.

August 24 
Sails from Portsmouth on Carnatica for Madras.

December 5 
Arrives in Madras and is assigned to 12th Madras Native Infantry.

In conformity with East India Company policy, Tripe’s regiment is sent to a new posting every few years between 1839 and 1850, including Palaveram, Trichinopoly, Quillon, and Cannanore.

1840
October 3  Promoted to lieutenant.

1850
November 27  Granted home leave after ten years service. Sails on Victoria for Bombay.

December 3 
Sails on Feroze from Bombay to Suez en route to Great Britain.

1851
April  Arrives in England.

May 1 
Great Exhibition opens at Hyde Park, London, with first comprehensive display of cameras, equipment, and photographs submitted by British and foreign makers.

June 17 
Tripe promoted to captain.

December 
Places order for unspecified equipment and materials with leading scientific instrument maker and retailer, G. Knight and Co., London.

1853
February 3  Elected a member at the first general meeting of the newly founded Photographic Society of London.

July 
Granted additional six-month leave of absence.

1854
January  Photographic Society of Devon and Cornwall is founded in Devonport, with Tripe as a member.

March 
Tripe “permitted to return to duty.”

April 
Leaves Southampton on Ripon bound for Madras.

May 31 
Returns to service with 12th Madras Native Infantry, stationed in Bangalore.

December 
Travels to Mysore with fellow officer Dr. Andrew Neill to photograph at Hullabede, Belloor, and Stranan-i-billikul. Takes one hundred pictures, of which ninety-eight have been traced.

1855
January  Prints Mysore negatives.

February 
Exhibits sixty-eight prints at Madras “Exhibition of Raw Products, Arts, and Manufactures of Southern India,” winning high praise from the jury.

July 18 
Officially appointed to Ava mission. Sails for Calcutta, then to Rangoon, arriving July 26.

August 1 – October 21 
Mission sails upriver from Rangoon, four vessels in all. Arrives at Prome, August 7; at Thayet Myo, August 8; at Ye-nangyoung, August 14 – 16; at Tantabeng, August 17; at Pugahm Myo, August 20 – 23; at Tsagain Myo, August 29 – 30; at Ava, Amerapoora, and Mengoon, September 1 – October 21.

October 22 – 30 
Mission leaves Ava and returns downriver toward Rangoon. Stops at Pugahm Myo, October 23 – 25, but illness prevents Tripe from taking photographs; arrives in Rangoon, October 30.

December 14 
Tripe arrives in Calcutta on Fire Queen from Rangoon.

Prints 134 Burma photographs and sends to Lord Dalhousie, governor-general of India, and his private secretary, who pronounce them “excellent.”

December 27 
Arrives in Madras on Hindostan from Calcutta.

December 31 
Arrives in Bangalore.

1856
January 21  Begins printing Burma Views after extensive preparations.

May 17 
Submits first report detailing progress in printing Burma Views; attributes high failure rate to inexperienced helpers and wax from negatives melting in sun and migrating to prints, where it causes blemishes.

July 
Advised of appointment as photographer to Madras Presidency upon completion of fifty copies of Burma Views. Drafts mandate for new assignment.

September 6 
Reports improvement in printing output, now averaging 285 per week.

September 22 
Submits paper “On a Photographic Printing Process” for meeting of newly founded Photographic Society of Madras. Recommends Thomas Sutton’s method of toning using hyposulphite of gold as “simplest in manipulation.”

October 
Adjutant Jesse Mitchell publishes “Description of a Plain or Waxed Paper Process in Photography” in Madras Journal of Literature and Science and mentions working method “followed by Captain Tripe and Dr Neill. . .”

November 26 
Reports completion of printing for Burma portfolio, which involved making 6,517 prints, of which 2,832 had to be rejected.

1857
March 13  Fifty sets of Burma Views sent to government in Calcutta, with additional complete and partial sets of prints made during the year. Government acknowledged Tripe’s “copyright” in images by granting him permission to make sets for himself and for retail.

March – May 
Tripe formally assumes role as photographer to Madras Presidency and is occupied until May photographing objects at the Madras “Exhibition of Raw Products, Arts, and Manufactures of South India.” Submits Burma Views to this exhibition, where photographs are praised for their “finish and delicacy.”

Makes a series of formal portraits of residents associated with Madras Presidency.

May 10 
Long-standing grievances among the sepoy troops of East India Company’s native army leads to violent uprising in northern India.

December 14 
Tripe leaves Bangalore en route to Madura.

Late December 1857 – January 1858
Visits Oodenhully, Royacottah, Beekinpully, Palacode, Namculdroog, and Shungavellor.

1858

January 
In Seeringham, Trichinopoly, Veralimalay, Coilputty, and Teramboor.

January – February 
In Madura.

February 
In Trimium.

February – March 
In Poodoocottah.

March – April 
In Tanjore, Triviar, and Annicut.

April 
Possibly in Trichinopoly again.

March 4 
Thomas Sutton of Jersey printed pictures presented to members of the Photographic Society of Madras, including “Old Banian [sic] and Date trees on the bund of the Hullabede tank, and ship ‘Duke of Wellington’ in the Plymouth Dock from negatives by Captain Tripe.”

April 30 
Tripe arrives back in Madras from photographic tour.

May – June 
Spends two months photographing Elliot marbles and other sculptures in the Government Central Museum, Madras. Uses dry collodion on glass for the entire series of 120 studies, which leads to some “unsatisfactory pictures.”

1859
February 4  Tripe’s panoramic scroll of the Great Pagoda at Tanjore, shown at meeting of the Photographic Society of Madras, is highly praised.

March 3 
Tripe offers “one of his views as a negative to be printed for distribution” to members of the Photographic Society of Madras.

April 7 
Offers two more negatives to be printed for distribution to members of the Photographic Society of Madras.

May 12 
Submits fifty large views taken around Madura, Trichinopoly, and Tanjore to annual exhibition of the Photographic Society of Madras that are called “undoubtedly the best in the exhibition.” Status as official photographer precludes his receiving gold medal. Declines silver (class open to all members of society), saying he could not properly “be considered an amateur.”

May/June 
Sir Charles Trevelyan, newly appointed governor to the Madras Presidency, begins reviewing expenditures, with photographic operations an early target.

June 18 
Tripe’s photographic establishment in Bangalore ordered to close.

August 2 
Tripe requests permission to complete outstanding work on the Madras series, and closure date is grudgingly extended until “end of the year.”

December 31 
Despite further appeals, Tripe is given three months to prepare detailed accounts and put affairs in order.

1860
March 18 – 19  Packs unsold photographs, apparatus, and photographic paraphernalia and sends to the Engineering College, Madras, as instructed.

Late April 
Acquires two of the unsold landscape cameras, assorted equipment, and materials from government for his private use.

Late May 
Receives permission from government to retain negatives (now in the collection of the Royal Photographic Society, National Media Museum, Bradford).

June 23 
Submits final accounts to government and forwards them to civil auditor for scrutiny.

August 
Granted furlough on grounds of ill health.

September 7 
Civil auditor seeks clarification, stating that “he will ask Captain Tripe to go over the accounts with me.”

October 26 
Accounts finally “checked and found correct.”

November 
Tripe returns to England on furlough, granted on medical grounds, his health “impaired by such continuous labour and anxiety” over twenty months overseeing the closure of the photographic establishment.